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Showing posts from August, 2010

finding the language

One of the challenges of doing postgraduate studies is understanding other people’s ideas and trying to generate personal ideas from those about how to approach one’s own research. Another fancy word for this is finding a theoretical underpinning for ones research or an approach to explain the phenomena or people one will be working with. I have been on the verge of tearing my hair out trying to find the relevant theory to explain the classrooms I hope to do my research in. My proposal writing got to a point where I could show that I understand the issues and complexities around teaching literacy in many South African classrooms. I exhausted relevant research explaining literacy as a social practice and my supervisor was satisfied with this but it was not sufficient to explain the research I am looking to do. I was left with the question “And then what?...So what if I understand the issues?”

The trick has been finding the language that speaks to what I see in the classrooms. How can I …

Inheriting the new South Africa

In trying to transform South Africa, a new generation is emerging and we are at odds with what we have inherited. In pursuing a non-racial society (as well as many of the issues on South Africa’s wish list such as removing the class and gender inequalities) we are also confronted with ourselves. Some of my peers and I recognise that we still need to talk of race while trying to undo the damage of the past that named, shamed and discriminated on the basis of the colour of ones skin: being black. Emerging from this, I am one of the people who reject the label of being black and would rather embrace being human on the basis that I wasn’t born black, history decided this for me, I was born a human being. But because I am part of the new South Africa and part of the generation that has inherited the task of rebuilding South Africa, I have realised that there is a disconnection. In trying to rebuild South Africa, race is still important.



I was offended and infuriated by this realisation whil…

The adventures through Khayelitsha...and Equal Education

Today was my first time in Khayelitsha. The first time I encountered Khayelitsha was my first trip from Cape Town International Airport coming for the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship interviews. I was with my friends who had been to Cape Town before and had spoken so highly of it; the grand metropolis, the New York of South Africa or something to that effect. So I had this wonderful image of what it would be like driving through Cape Town for the first time...the land of milk and honey.

I was crestfallen.And today was a reminder I why was crestfallen.It's different seeing Khayelitsha and all the shacks and sand everywhere. It's different when you can actually see the people and hear their conversations, the bellowing gospel music from the shops screeching about a reality that is nothing like the one in this township. Today, I had to travel from N1 city to Khayelitsha. I took a taxi to Elsies River in order to find a taxi to Khayelitsha, when I got there a taxi driver told me I had t…

My girlfriends

This past weekend was an unplanned girlfriend’s weekend. It started on Thursday with a cooking date for my Grahamstown duo. They helped me pack banging outfits for my internship in Cape Town, they helped me keep calm about not knowing what to expect with this experience and the usual, we ranted about our relations with the opposite sex. The evening was also very celebratory with sparkling wine, celebrating a successful week rubbing shoulders with Trevor Manuel, Dr Kenneth Kaunda and Joaquim Chissano! I arrived in Joburg with the hopes of meeting with my latest crush at some point during the weekend. Instead I spent the day with a friend who was in desperate need of retail therapy and someone to listen to. Her boyfriend has had to leave South Africa as a matter of life and death. After the retail therapy another friend met up with us and we reflected on the 10 year friendship, moving from girl into woman with each other. Over supper we reflected on the throes of love, loss, loneliness,…