#FeesMustFall

An on-going struggle

right that has been fought for decades

during colonization

until post-democracy,

struggle restlessly continues still

from one generation to the next

though its impact directly scars,

brutally paralyzes as well as deprives

a black African child

desperately in need of an escape from poverty

seeking any form of advancement

through education – a heavy burden it’s considered

 

victory we are yet to achieve

once education is of a high standard

decolonized, classless, faceless and free for all

then automatically equality shall reign

mirroring rivers flooded with blood

rained through tears of 1976 students uprising,

their legacy in the form of a fight,

of what should now be a free educational system

for everyone

we the born frees – are now determinedly fighting for,

to see it to an end; intimidated and deter – we shall not be

understanding, patient, silenced – we have been

status quo still remains the same

but no more, shall this proceed on our watch

this is our country that our forefathers fearlessly died for

 

the freedom charter vividly stipulates

“free education for all”

words glued on the lips of our political leaders

though implementation

seems to take centuries to come to effect

just like our government mistakenly think it shall not fall

and will always rule forever

like it is the Kingdom of Eswatini and we are the disciples

forgetting the fact we (the people) elected it into power

thinking it would liberate

and do right by everyone

specifically a black African child fully deserving

to be at a higher institution of learning

but simply cannot

as it is unaffordable

 

in a black child jungle state of mind, I find myself

exhausted, lost and enraged with fury and millions of unanswered questions

whilst opportunities pass me by

“I worked hard to be accepted at higher learning of institution

now doubly I have to stress about fees

which seem to be the constitutional court

and ultimate decider of my future

this should not be”

financial circumstances should not preclude anyone

from furthering their educational ambitions

especially in a democratic country built upon equality

but excluded I continue to be still

and so are my fellow struggle-mates

dropping-out of institutions of higher learning

as fees crazily intensify like climate change

 

we complain

we protest

then our government shockingly looks the other way

worse teargas, jail and deny us bail

that’s their response hiding behind the notion

that we complain unnecessarily (over nothing)

and that all is under control

instead grateful we should be

for having mere access to higher learning

as a result of its heroic liberation credentials

that brought about change

yet selectively forgetting the fact that it was the entire nation

that collectively fought against the apartheid system

and the entire world as a whole in solidarity – for freedom

 

in exclusion of some leaders that disappeared into exile

some imprisoned and others on vacations

only to resurface as proclaimed leaders after flames had gone out

knowing completely well they had selfishly sold out

yet now feel a sense of godly entitlement

to remain in power as they wish, that is indicative of them – politicians;

mostly not paying for basic necessities,

and making laws that they, themselves are exempted from

only to preach equality thereafter

while utterly failing to comprehend the significance of free education

and the long term advantages associated with it

 

yet corruptively steal from the poorest of the poor

with failure of taking full responsibility where it is due

oppositely they habitually draw a comparison from

and blame their corruptive behaviour on apartheid still,

as if the previous unjust system is still in control whereas it is them

doing almost the same, if not worse of what the previous unjust government did

but the fundamental visible difference still remains the same

the unjust government looked after its own people – “the minority”

at whatever cost

and never pretended to care for the majority

 

What is freedom? – If basic things meant to be free, are not?

neither is there any progress – to show something is being done

inequality is vastly deepening – socially, religiously, economically

so is education; a privilege it seems to be nowadays

although our government knows what is going on

it forever tries hard to convince me and my other fellow youth

like they have always been doing since the dawn of democracy

which serves no difference of that which they would repeatedly do

with no permanent solution until Jesus comes back

if immense pressure they are not put under

I am free, I constantly say

but reality dominantly displays the opposite

that I am free not; as the same black government

that should relate to our educational difficulties

and boldly help lift-off financial burden incurred by students year in and out

does not even care – what am I, what are we to do

when our black leaders, who are currently in power

able to grant fellow black child free education

those deserving at least – an opportunity

to break away from a vicious cycle of poverty

 

a blade; our political leaders are in words – shifting the blame

but blunt and blind; they remain with implementation

yet do not realize their faults and imperfections

for they hardly think they have any

when criticized

they instantly label you a traitor, an agent, and anarchist

though touch they lost with the people

they are supposedly leading

a massive problem that it – soon to be accompanied by a revolt

a ticking bomb soon to explode

if nothing is done to address the issue at hand

and many others

 

“Once you reach a point in your life and career where you feel as a politician or a leader, the need not to account to those that elected you into power. Then just know without a doubt, the time has arrived for you to humbly pass the leadership torch to someone else who shall. Anyways, it’s not a bad thing for such to occur. However, it only becomes a huge problem when a leader refuses to accept the reality and the depletion of whatever sense of connection that may have existed based on communal or societal accountability other than self” – Mmaletsema Mokgohlwa

© 2015 Lordwick Mmaletsema Mokgohlwa