Everything Must Fall? Why?

2015-04-07 19:56

It has been a long two weeks for statues around the country with the protest against statues which celebrate infamous apartheid icons. To a large extent I empathise with the many students and South Africans who are bothered by the existence of these statues. They are a constant reminder of the days in our history that were dark and the people depicted by those statues, played a big role in the manifestation of the events-past.

The only problem I have is that this exposes us as a country that can't prioritise what is important to the development of this country that is full of possibilties.

I believe that we need to look at what is important and I just don't see the removal of statues as being at the forefront of solving social ills. Students should be lobbying for means and ways to improve student life on campus by having academic related programmes and student life programmes which speak to the actual needs of the student populace. I also believe that it cannot be the reason why students at times do not meet the academic standards in order to do well in your studies.

As Black students (Africans, Coloureds, Indians, etc.) we should be working together towards to get through university and other tertiary institutions. How much money will we (yes, us tax payers) be spent on taking down every statue that we want to fall? Another question is whether we will see any returns on the statues that fall? I believe we will not receive any returns with regards to the fall of these statues.

One thing that has been plaguing South Africa is that the history that is taught in schools in rather one sided and does not give the full picture of our history as South Africans. I do then believe that there is a use for these statues in giving a broader narrative of the history of the country. There is space for the heroes who fought for democracy and we should celebrate them and our rich diverse history of our land. I believe that education and information is power, it is power that helps us prevent the past from repeating itself. We need to also beware that we do not fall into the trap where we are followers rather than leaders of society. Kudos to the students at UCT for taking charge but the needs in universities and other institutions are different and they should be careful about removing statues while students are being excluded. Students surely should come first ahead of statues.

Let South Africa become a country that looks to growing and then we can re-evaluate the removal of these statues, after we have reached our goal. Rome was not built in one day. Priorities are important in the progression in these institutions of learning as well as the country.

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