Showing posts from June, 2010

The luckiest girl in the world

Recently I was selected as one of the young people in Mail and Guardian’s “200 Young People in South Africa to take to lunch” list( This was a selection due to my involvement around Grahamstown schools as well as my research into mother tongue education. In essence they’ve recognised me as one of the “movers and shakers” in my field. After the disbelief and uncertainty of this means for me I recognised this as an honour for me to be recognised in the same publication with people I’m in awe of and whom I think are far “cooler” than I could be.

Apart from the honour I realised that the list that could never be publicised as widely as the Mail and Guardian’s list comprises of my 200 people that have been part and parcel of the person that Mail and Guardian recognised. I’ve been blessed with loving family members, past and present, who have contributed to both the woes and joys of my upbringing. My family …

My schizophrenia as a South African youth

I’ve been having a schizophrenic year. This is the best description I have to explain the divided life I live: a life of privilege and wealth as well as sheer poverty and disadvantage. Most of my experiences have been framed within the life of privilege and suburbia through my middle class education at a former model c school in a conservative racialised town, East London. On the other hand when I went home I would go home to a block of flats in a neighbourhood where prostitutes and drugs were the norm; later I called Duncan Village home, an informal settlement on the cusp of East London’s CBD. In between these movements between home and school I have been in the centre of the multicultural world that South Africa is. I’ve been exposed to all kinds of people from various backgrounds, language groups, classes, different countries, all shapes and sizes. Even though this is the case, my world has still been mostly black and white, race has been central to most of my interactions. Because… read

I was raised in a home where reading is as important as brushing my teeth, a daily ritual. I always lived in areas where the library was in walking distance. Even if I was punished and not allowed to go play outside, I was allowed to visit the library. Newspapers were also accessible and my father would give me “The Chiel” column from the Daily Dispatch to read where there were jokes, quotes and language anecdotes to begin with, thereafter I graduated to reading real articles and we would share the paper. We also didn’t have a tv for many years so that meant radio and books became a huge part of my life. I was also lucky enough to go to a school with a flourishing library where going to the library and getting out 3 books every week was as important as play during breaktime. The librarians at the public libraries began to notice if I didn’t pay a visit on a particular weekend. I had my first library card when I was 6 years old. When my sister and I were in primary school we thought we…