15 July, 2010

Back in campus

by Anorth Mabunda

As is the case with many students in the Tshwane University of Technology’s Soshanguve campus, I expected some changes after the World Cup in my dormitory which is famously known as Block X.
I abruptly disembarked from a taxi on the 10th of July with a much anticipation that things would have changed, new curtains and bulb holders would have been installed and our cracked walls well painted. It’s a shame to be back to the same dilapidated, health hazard dormitory where I am paying more than seven thousand Rands annually.

This all makes me long for the interim comfort that I have experienced in the Rhodes University’s New Res Two. Students at Rhodes (particularly whites) are living a Five-Star life, good catering, TV rooms, fresh blankets that looks like they have just come from the dry clean and of course, well maintained rooms that are good to raise future leaders in. In TUT Soshanguve campuses we only get a broom, two stoppers, a bin and an old ragged blue curtain which looks like a donkey has just chewed and spilt for hobos to use. We have to bring all of the basic needs with us including a stove, iron, food, a fridge, TV, etc., it’s like starting another home.

Ever since going to Rhodes and the TUT’s Pretoria campus, I could feel the impact of class and racial divisions. Why should black students be the ones that are suffering?
From our poor homes thousand miles away, we all anticipated that fancy life and freedom that our peers from rich families who went to the university before us told us about; only to find out that we have just been dragged in the harsher conditions that makes you long for the “pap and vleis or morogo” at home.

I would be lying if I say I’m enjoying my university life as a black student in the post-apartheid South Africa, my life in the campus reflects the one that my father told me about in the Mamelodi West hostel in his youthful days in the 80’s. Old, leaking, stinking bathrooms and showers, cracked walls and ceilings; and of course, noise from Zulu drunkards in the corridors every weekend.
I dream of a life whereby black disadvantaged students will deserve a good life as that of rich whites and BEE kids whose parents are affiliated to the ruling party.

Do you or did you enjoy your university life reader?

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