I am a third year, graduating, full degree international student from a SADC country. I am a mixed race, hetero-sexual, male-identifying feminist, who has lived in South Africa for approximately three years now. I intend on remaining at UCT next year to complete an Honours in International Relations. However, given everything that’s going right now I am very uncertain about the viability of my being here next year.
Amidst these uncertain times, you may find that there are some people who completely misunderstand or misinterpret certain aspects of the #FeesMustFall movement. Let’s take some time to list some of these things:
Students are violent and arsonists are destroying what they are fighting for!
It is safe to say that the last two years at UCT have been historical ones. Those who fought, and still fight, will definitely go down in history as people who enabled the future generations of South Africa to reach their full potential and transcend their circumstances. The desire to be a part of this historical movement is immense. Every single one of us wants to do the most that we can to contribute towards this struggle; and we all want to make our mark in history. We want to be a part of change.
The Golden Key New Members Ceremony, where new and honorary members are inducted into the society, was held on 21 September at The Mill, Church-on-Main, Wynberg. The venue was filled to capacity, with over 800 people attending the event. Guests travelled from far and wide to see their loved ones accept their membership.
With summer almost upon us, thoughts of warm, sandy beaches and refreshing waters, wearing shorts and eating ice-cream all come to mind. Yes, summer is the time when those bodies you´ve worked on all winter, can finally soak up some sun!
The past few weeks have been difficult. They have been fraught with tension and unease, false starts and limited information provided at any one time. Whether you were immediately involved in protests or not, the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the shutdown has left many of us under a great deal of stress and anxiety. Psychological stress, if left unchecked, could have a negative impact on physical and mental health in the long run. Prolonged periods of stress have been known to contribute to high blood pressure, suppression of the immune system and impairment of memory and cognition.
There has been a resurgence of the #PadDrive movement to get the South African government to provide free menstrual hygiene care to people who need it. It is a growing awareness that the socio-economic standing of large portions of our country’s population make it impossible for people who menstruate to access the necessary sanitation for their monthly flow. Hence it is deplorable for pads, tampons, menstrual cups and other sanitary products to be priced – and so expensively priced at that.
What may seem like a new age trend is actually just an expression of something that has been there all along. For the millennial generation it all began with androgynous models such as Agyness Deyn and continued through the celebration of trans models like Isis King who have blurred the carefully constructed gender lines through their bold style. Now through a resurgence of feminist values there is a levelling of gender identity emerging. Trans and queer bodies are finally being given more of a space for expression, abandoning the past policing of gender as a binary construction, both socially and ideologically.
Almost a year later, I can still hear the stun grenades exploding metres away from me. I still quiver when I see the blue and red lights of the police cars whenever they drive by. Almost a year later and I still don’t understand how fighting for a cause I believe to be completely legitimate can get you locked up in a jail cell for almost 24 hours.
The last two years at UCT have been historical ones, to say the least. Those who fought, and still fight, will definitely go down in history as people who enabled the future generations of South Africa to reach their full potential. The desire to be a part of this historical movement is immense. Many students want to do the most they can to contribute towards this struggle; and everyone wants to make their mark in history. We want to be a part of the change.