– The children with a thirst for knowledge.
The sun smiled each day and gently stroked our backs assuring us that; we are life. We were courageous, audacious young men and women. We marched down city streets to confront a pain that we have lived with, that was unbearable – Inequality. We set out to unpack the burdens that we bore on our backs everyday. We wanted to be free.
Ten days ago, the #FeesMustFall movement began at Wits University, this was a protest against the 10.5 % fee increment that was set for 2016. The students could not watch their dreams of higher education being shattered by capitalist agenda’s. Students could not sit back and watch the gap of inequality widen, they could not allow higher education to be commodified by the government, and lastly they could not allow the systematic oppression of the black child to continue. This cause struck a cord with students countrywide, they took action and universities all around South Africa were being shut down by students, UCT, UWC, UP, Stellies,UJ, Forte Hare and TUT and more joined the movement, this was a shared struggle. Academics, and international institutions all stood in solidarity with the students.
The students demanded that the government provide free and quality education for all. The students demanded that outsourcing in universities be put on an end, they could no long watch the exploitation of their mothers and fathers. The students expressed their frustrations and fought tirelessly despite the violence against them by the police, and the indifference that was displayed by the ruling government. This was the beginning of the fight to free, quality education for all in our lifetime. Yesterday the students marched to The Union Buildings in Pretoria. President Jacob Zuma announced that there will be a 0% fee increment for fees in 2016.The students emerged victorious, this was an achievement in this long journey to free education.
We commend you class of 2015. Continue to sing the songs that speak your struggle, the songs that speak your strength. Keep fighting to create the world you want to live in, Amandla!
Written by Kea Mooka
Photography by Sameera Soorjee Photography