16/06/2017 06:25 SAST | Updated 16/06/2017 06:25 SAST

Our Fight For Decolonised Education Is A Just One

As the youth, we have chartered our own path to consciousness. We have seen that being black in SA is a mark of shame, poverty and landlessness.

Deaan Vivier/ Foto24/ Gallo Images/ Getty Images
Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) march from the main campus to the CBD during #FeesMustFall protests on October 12, 2016.

Our cause is legitimate. It is a fight for decolonised education, and by that, we also mean a free education. Because a decolonised education is a decommodified one – a socialist education. As young people, we have chartered our own path to consciousness. We have seen that being black in South Africa is a mark of shame, coupled with poverty and landlessness. As students we have experienced the criminal act of having our personhood defined by others, the constant, relentless and debilitating fear - that gives 'no rest at night, no peace at dawn' - brought only by being custodians of the black body.

We have seen the false promises of colonial education. The education that has rendered the African spirit to slip into a deep pessimism of despair. We have seen our mothers and fathers; those who have come before us, suffer a merciless death, not physical, but a death of the African Personality. To be no more than hollow empty shells, robbed of African individuality. Broken by the barbarous system that disguises itself as liberal education.

Never has there been a more pressing issue for this generation to tackle and overcome, it goes at the very heart of self-determination. The 'colonial ward' has finally decided to remove the shackles of exploitation, to awake from the long slumber of monotony, to create an awareness of self that breaks the low row of weary thoughts; the cognitive dissonance of being black and innocent. At this, we arrived by being witness to the disappointed hopes of our parents; those who thought these institutions of higher learning would emancipate them from poverty.

Here we are as their children saying, 'We are still poor!' Our parents made one mistake which we must not because the rainbow dream of democracy made them forget that they are black and it is this very blackness, which is the cause of their suffering, we see in them our future. The arduous and seemingly inescapable path they took. The path that kills the personality. The path which seems predestined for us to follow. And so with these blatant truths that face us; we as their children, us as the youth, as students, a question gnaws at the deep crevices of our consciousness. We are forced to cry out with the most solemn of contemplation: Must we die young?

Must we accept our lot? Must we bury who we are to some place so deep so as not to upset whiteness? Must we disguise our black souls to be no more that clogs in its capitalist machinery?