The discomforting white space that is Rhodes

By Lesedi Ntuli

Most people would agree that attending university can have a substantial effect on one’s life because higher education, as we all know, equals better employment opportunities. But there are other factors in these institutions that affect our experiences, factors such as race.

When I applied to Rhodes University five years ago, I honestly did not know what to expect, but my parents knew what I was getting myself into. “You do know that that university was built on white success, right?” my parents would ask. “Ka nnete setso sa yunivesiti e ea hao se sweufetse.” (Truly speaking, the culture there is still very white.)

You see, my parents are the kind who have always been deeply invested in politics and strongly believe that the educational institutions in this country were built to cultivate “the white man’s” ideologies. Though I refused to admit it, they were right. Continue reading


The Freedom Circle

By Carol Kagezi

I grew up in a household where we spoke English for the most part. My mother tongue is Luganda but it was always much too hard to speak when we visited grandpa over the weekend or over the long school holidays.

He was once an educator so he spoke the “Queen’s language” flawlessly. He often read to us and told us of his adventures in English. However, he always made it a point to teach us the mother tongue by issuing us commands in Luganda. He would say “Mugende mu sene amazzi” to mean go and fetch water but he used this phrase rarely because like most grandparents, he spoiled us and did not want us hanging around the communal village well. He however often used the phrase “Kati saawa za kwebaka” to mean it is time for bed and we all often heeded. It never really bothered me. In fact, listening to my mother tongue roll off his tongue always gave me some sense of security. I adore my grandpa immensely so I always waited on him hand and foot waiting for the next Luganda phrase. It is from him that I learned the most of my language. Continue reading

Upstarters ready to move up!

by Sihle Jack

As the Ukufunda blog writers, we are so fortunate to be working with children who are full of promise on almost a weekly basis. This week was no different, except for the fact that it was spiced up. Rod Amner, one of the writing and editing lecturers and Executive editor of our blog, was kind enough to share an idea with us, one that we immediately loved. He opened us to the idea of teaching the children who are part of Upstart how to be citizen journalists and report on issues, events or anything they find newsworthy about the different environments that they find themselves in. Upon hearing about this, we, the writers, were so excited to be doing this. I of course only speak for myself when I was super excited as I have been looking for something like this for a while.

Our little mission to the Joza Youth Hub was first derailed by one of our writers, Roxanne, getting her car keys jammed in the boot minutes before we had to leave. We then were able to overcome this and managed to get there on time with the help of everyone on our team.

Meeting the small group of budding journalists, much like us, was quite an experience for all of us. After arriving at the centre, we took it upon ourselves to introduce ourselves to the teens and introduce an icebreaker so that we could all be comfortable with each other before doing what we had set out to do.

We then broke ourselves up into groups. I was lucky enough to be in a group with three teenage girls.

We then followed one of the girls to her school, T.E.M Mrwetyana, where they conducted interviews with each other about all the negative things which happen at their schools and what their wishes for their schools are. For the next time we meet, we have scheduled to go to their different home environments as they have kindly invited Roxanne and I to see what happens in their lives.

Having gone to the Joza Youth Hub reminded me of how interested I was in journalism before taking the decision to study it. The teens that we saw today looked so passionate and were willing to learn. I am really looking forward to the next time that we are all going to meet.

Folktales still relevant today

By Ntombovuyo Ngaphu

Do you think folklore is still relevant today, where technology has taken over the attention of most children? Do you think that children’s stories that are broadcast on television channels can take the place of folktales and that movies and TV games steal their attention away from the real world?

My answer to all the above questions was ‘YES’. But that was before I went out to interview children around Grahamstown about their interest in folktales and to find out whether they had any favourites. Continue reading

Fun Q & A with the Admin Clerk for Education

Ukufunda compiled a list of seven fun questions to ask different people involved in education. This first installment features the answers from Tamara Ndziweni, the Admin Clerk of Customer Care at the Grahamstown District Office for education.  Continue reading

Unity in diversity

by Thokozani Dladla

It is well known that tertiary institutions are a big mix of students of different races, languages and cultures all together in one place. This brings up a question that many people have been asking a lot more in 2015: different as they are from one another in terms of their races, languages and cultures do they interact to such an extent where they all feel at home in this mixed space?

I spoke to three Rhodes University undergraduate students from different races, cultures and languages, namely Anelisa Sandi, Kimara Govender and Daniel, as well as one post graduate student, Mlamuli Hlatshwayo to find out whether they feel there is unity in diversity in their university “home”. Continue reading