Being an African is a privilege. But it's not enough

2019-04-26 16:14
Seipati Mokhema

Seipati Mokhema

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Name: Seipati Mokhami

Age: 25

Occupation: Junior researcher

Dear Mr President

My name is Seipati Mokhema, I am a 25-year-old female from Kroonstad in the Free State. I am currently working as a junior researcher at the Human Sciences Research Council in Cape Town while studying towards a Master's degree in Sociology. I am writing to you as a South African who has lived and studied in Europe (Germany to be precise) and have experienced other infinite possibilities.

Being an African is a privilege, but there are a number of factors that compel me to look elsewhere to ensure a better future for myself. Please allow me to lay it out with the following short points:

Safety and femicide

Ntate Ramaphosa, it pains me that as a citizen of this country, it is not safe for me to walk freely in the streets of the country of my birth without having to look over my shoulder the whole time. It is devastating that being female automatically puts me at risk because I am an easy target for gender-based violence, human trafficking and petty crimes. In essence, South African women are not safe in their own spaces. I just want the fundamental right to move as freely as I want to, but my country – beautiful as it is – does not allow me to enjoy that kind of freedom and safety.

The socio-economic scene is not youth friendly

Ntate Ramaphosa, I want to be here and build my community as my community has built me. But my chances of getting a scholarship/internship at organisations abroad are greater than getting funding to start up and sustain an SME or a community development project because of the discriminatory policies of my country, that work against anyone who is black or female, moreover so if you are both. The reason why Africans will continue to remain the world's greatest export is because there is little room for us to flourish in our own communities, and thus the global arena becomes a welcome sanctuary.

A little investment goes along way

I love my country, Ntate Ramaphosa, but the deliberate disrespect of state resources being looted and abused by democratically elected officials is disheartening to watch from the periphery. When we are deprived of resources to sustain our livelihoods, (electricity and education to name just two) we lag behind and slowly lose the ability to compete with the rest of the world on an equal footing. It is frustrating to be stuck in a space where you cannot explore your talents and skills because resources meant to invest in our gifts never reach us to begin with.


In conclusion, Ntate Ramaphosa, I am constantly forced to think beyond the border because my human rights and freedoms are abused, I will always find myself at the bottom of the food chain because of the discriminatory systems of my country. Lastly, I'm deprived of resources to further my skills and talents. Please help us by allowing platforms that enable us to build this country by driving an open economy, resource and infrastructure investment as well as the ensured safety and protection of women.

Thank you for looking into my grievances.

A black woman


Read more on:    youth  |  youth unemployment

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