#FeesMustFall fully charged, in control; here to stay

2016-02-29 20:24

News stories come, get us thinking and acting in a certain way in our response to them and then those stories ultimately die out. But if there has been a news story that came, and it did not get us thinking but it literally shook the very foundation we stand on, that news story is the #FeesMustFall movement. What is so special  is that the news story kept alive and instead of dying it has leaped like a grasshopper, hopping from one ground to the other and as it does that gathering force and confidence.

What or who is #FeesMustFall?

This has been a pestering persistent question posed by the ruling party.

Various attempts to tackle #FeesMustFall were made by the ruling party. First it was declared that #FeesMustFall is led by the ANC itself through the Progressive Alliance (PYA). The students who are actively involved in the movement kind of laughed at that as some kind of a weird joke. They knew, and so is the nation that this is not the ANC movement.

When the ANC saw that their attempts to own and control the movement failed they then said that the ANC Youth League which is SASCO and PYA in the university sector should pull out of the movement. It was thought in doing so attention and strength of #FeesMustFall movement will be supped off.

But here we are in the new year with the news story of the #FeesMustFall being a permanent feature. As the movement gathers strength the more the impression is given that the ANC don't know how to proceed. Whether to move forward, backwards or sideways.  People have seen all efforts of the ANC crashing down and #FeesMustFall movement standing victorious.

In both body language and substance, the ANC has given the impression of being overwhelmed by #FeesMustFall movement.

Last year I suggested that the #FeesMustFall movement is much like a swarm of bees. That is, I made a comparison between the collective behaviour of bees and #FeesMustFall movement.

I am willing to attempt again to capture my argument. Let me restate the points I made last year.

“They are small…but they are highly organized!” These tiny creatures called bees have the ability to build structures that are 25 feet high.

And as a collective they wage vicious war and go on and win the war. How do they do this with brains the size of pinheads?

They do that by maintaining order and creating nimble communities. Within these communities communication network is incredibly sophisticated.

These communities are called “superorganisms" because of the super intelligence, super mobilization and super execution happening within them.  Bees, ants and wasps belong to the so-called eusocial (“truly social”) insects. We talk about social media as the crux of #FeesMustFall movement.

Within the bees' social community, communication occurs via pheromones, the chemical messages of the insect world. The collective intelligence of these insect staggering.

Further studies are being undertaken to see how these insect intelligence can be applied to human societies. For example studies are being made on locusts, how they have this ability to avoid collisions while flying in groups of millions.

Locusts flying as a swarm, millions of locusts close to one another do not collide. What makes them not to collide? Synchronicity. Synchronicity is what we see within #FeesMustFall movement.

And now the Minister of Police has been called on the scene of #FeesMustFall movement to deal with the students. To be fair, Minister of Higher Education has a solid point of view in bringing in the Minister of Police. It is a point of view one eminently worthy of ventilation. There have been acts of violence of recent. But the Minister has made his case at the wrong venue, and in the process showing haughty condescending attitudes to the students. He refused to talk to them - shutting their mouths. And after that walked away from them.

In the end we are asking for one thing. Positive engagement to all those involved. Solutions sought to burning issues of transformation in the universities. Much time has been wasted over the more than 20 years.

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