Have you ever been at university?

acting cool

acting cool

To the greatest library dwellers of my entirety. The two girls who never had enough money to pay for anything. The two girls who were forbidden class because their parents couldn’t afford tuition fees. The ladies who’ve taken photos to surpass the pain. The ladies who’ve shared more than just cheap French fries and dry rolls for lunch. The ladies who’ve internally cried together tears of despair.  The ladies who’ve learnt to laugh and cry when telling a story of their lives. The ladies whom life hasn’t been so kind too. The ladies who fed on books for understanding. The ladies who can sit together the whole day sharing their road in strength. This is a story of survival in a great private educational institution. A story teaching you how to smile when sad, and how to laugh with people who are dining while your stomach is suppressed with hunger. It seemed impossible then, and maybe still is but the journey hasn’t stopped!

ImageThe Two Ladies I’m Refering To.

“Have you ever been at university? With two pairs of black shoes (the good pair and the other pair, in which your feet act as a sole – thank God your toes are still intact), two T-shirts, two round-neck skippers, one V-neck, one vest, tow pairs of underwear (that should be written off), four pairs of jeans and four pairs of smart trousers. Not to forget about the pair of washed-every-evening socks. You have absolutely no pocket money at all, and then there is the institution itself, which keeps reminding you that you need to pay your fees or you are out. As if you weren’t their student at all, but were working. Four months pass with their share of peer pressure and stress. Then comes the student awards and they award you for the most unfashionable student of the year or, worse still, they look at you as some kind of socially handicapped library-dweller…It gets too deep inside, into the soul, and then you start to lose a kilogram every two and a quarter days and now your well-catered-for clothing hang on you like it was never yours. Have you ever been at a tertiary institution of education and witnessed what the black students are going through?”

This is an adaptation from one of my favourite books: Room 207 by Kgebetli Moele, P35.

This is our story. Without you, there wouldn’t be strength in me. I only  got through it for you stood with me. 



4 thoughts on “Have you ever been at university?

  1. This we shall call Our Pain, our survival, our journey, the road we chose to take because we did not the hardships of it… And this, it has made us stronger for we live for one another. In you I found strength that no one could offer me, an understanding only you and I shared, tears only we will remember because this was OUR PAIN, OUR JOURNEY. What you wrote is beautiful. I love you more than the life of me


  2. This we shall call OUR PAIN, this was our journey, the road we chose to take because we thought it would be easy, beginnings that left us ever humble. We walked a journey, oblivious of the choices we had made, oblivious that it would be hard, but firm and strong in each other we stood. We have cried so many times, wiped each other’s tears with silly jokes only so we could forget the pain ahead, yet we knew it would come. Living in fear every single day, but in each other we turned, in each other we found laughter in tears, in eachother we found US, but most of all, in each other we learned what it was truly like to struggle and wake up every single day with the same hopes and dreams as yesterday. This is OUR PAIN, our UNTOLD strugglings that only we shared amongst the two of us, because no one understood it better than us. I love you more than the life of me. What a great story.


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