Free education might be the water we need

2016-01-21 06:00
laughing lunga adam

laughing lunga adam

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Is it me, or do you also have a feeling that 2016 is going to be one of a kind?

Or Annus Horribilis-as Queen Elizabeth of Britain once remarked some moons ago, on account of the shenanigans taking place in the royal palace ala- Princess Diana(may her soul rest in peace) and Prince Charles-depending on our water levels.

Even as it is in its infancy, there’s just something about this year that I think will make it all the more interesting.

For, no sooner had we set off the firecrackers just past midnight on December 31st, than we had to start thinking about the challenges that lay ahead.

Take the contentious issue of #feesmustfall. Students seem to have started from where they left off last year with the protests, tweets and retweets. For them a 0% increase is not enough. Free education!.

Just the other day, I was deep in thoughts about the spin-offs that a free education could bring to the Black child and/community.

It dawned on me that everyone, from plumber Jwarha to carpenter Sipho, would grab the opportunity with both hands. Even the laggers would fine good reason to go back to school.

For, nothing can quite compare to felefele education. Tata Nelson Mandela said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

In the midst of it all, I was reminded of this lanky fellow-albeit a bit older- who frequents the same phuza joint as yours truly. I have known him for quite a number of years now. He is one character who never misses the opportunity to let anyone who cares to listen know that he is an erudite person.

He somehow lightens up whenever he comes upon the sight of me and puts on his best English accent, even calling me ‘Lunga Eirams’. I always know that, soon as he sees me, he will bellow: “Lunga Eirams, come here. There’s something I wanna ask you. I know you know the answer to this because me and you, we are scholars.” This he does, more than anything else, to impress other carousers, who are often left agog with his parlance and charisma.

So, imagine then, how Kasi drinking holes would resemble a library, were free education to be introduced. Interactions around the table would seem like an indaba of sorts, with folks trying to outdo each other as walking encyclopaedias. Hardened alcoholics and those previously on the margins of despair would dust their matric certificates off and register at varsity. Everyone everywhere would be a ‘scholar’, to quote my old pal. Finally, some fellas would be genuinely ‘educated’, rather than claiming to be when they are not. Many a time I have had to shake my head in disbelief when a guy tells me he had been to the University of Cape Town. You ask which campus and they say ‘the one in Durban’. Hehe. Thixo wase Bush!

This also promises to be the year of a dry spell, what with the kid el nino rearing his ugly head. Did you hear the one about Eastern Cape farmer Krisjan Kruger committing suicide last December because of the drought.

There had been no rain for a prolonged spell and he could not bear the thought of his beloved farm in ruins. What a pity, because according to residents quoted in a media report, rain fell in the area the following day.

The water situation is a dire one and, if you don’t believe me, look no further than the water restrictions being imposed by the City of Cape Town.

A drought might well be looming in the horizon in these parts – don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Be water wise and rather drink beer. Just like this lowly newspaperman. Or kanjani? Annus Mirabilis!

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