In most black communities education is a valued asset. To them it symbolises the beginning of the end to poverty, the beginning of a successful life and it earns parents bragging rights. Somehow, other parents will ow and ah with eye’s filled with envy. An educated child means your parents have raised you well and their children being the example makes them glow like a pregnant woman.
However, what does having a degree mean to the child who laboured to wear that seanamarela( graduation gown) after four years? Statistics show that Youth Unemployment Rate in South Africa increased to 52.40 percent in the first quarter of 2018 from 51.10 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017.Whilst a staggering 7.3% of graduates are unemployed. A graduate with a cardboard box sign written ” Graduate in engineering looking for a job” is all but a common display in South Africa. You see, we were sold a dream tantamount to our forefathers being conned into exchanging mirror for cattle and land. We are often told if you dream hard enough your dreams will become a reality. Thousands of black children dreamed to have that key that unlocks doors of opportunity, but now all they have are beautiful papers that unlock nothing.
I am aware that the black race has been mocked by many, we are the people who would buy a pair Jordan’s rather than save. You are more likely to hear the likes of Casper Nyovest and Rick Ross rapping about ‘waking up in new Bugatti’s’.Rather than rapping about investing and entrepreneurship. Our people have become great unpaid advertisers for individuals who won’t think twice before saying the K word.
As a born free, a graduate, having the pleasure of regarding myself as a historian and political scientist, I wonder what the future holds for me. What does a degree mean or do for me ?when I am a extremely shy, have low self-esteem and socially awkward.I learned a hard lesson, a degree is not a magical key everyone promised. I have been told that I should consider myself lucky for having an honours degree, but nobody knows how much of a loser I feel like. That I dread applying for job’s with the fear of getting rejected. What will my answer be when the employer asks me “what value will you add to my company?”
Employers don’t exactly roll out the carpet for Introverted workers. They put everyone into a mold, be extroverted or die! 💀It is as Charles Darwin put it”Survival of the fittest”. The education system is extremely flawed as well, instead of encouraging individuality they award the talkative kid for being simply Talkative. In life orientation classes they taught crap that didn’t prepare me for the real world.
I look at my parents who struggled to put me through university ,still struggling. All their hopes and dreams thrust upon me, yet ,I can’t move nor stand up from the couch. I hide under the shared thought that I am lazy. But, all I am is strangely misunderstood. I ,like most graduates, thought get a degree and it’s smooth sailing from here on out. I was busy studying to graduate in record time, that I failed to join the almost non existent volunteer programs, go to the invisible career guidance counselor and attend therapy sessions for my issues because like any black folk would believe God will provide.And talking to my friend Jesus would make everything feel alright.
Black people like myself will continue to fail because:
- We believe that God will keep on doing great things, whilst we sit on our arses
- We don’t believe in our selves, and we are prideful to ask for Help!
- We hate to see another darkie progress in life,because buried Ubuntu and Ujamaa a long time ago.
- We still waiting for the same white man who enslaved us to help, we give White’s too much power over us
- We don’t take responsibility for our actions,that’s why we still blame apartheid, government, Mandela and White’s for every bad thing
- We fail to equip our children with skills that can better their future.
- And we are ignorant AF.
- We like to emulate western stuff, and we undermine our Africanism.
- We are great planners, talkers and we love to hear ourselves talk but we fail to implement our ideas. If we implemented those plans Africa would’ve been great.
- We hate the truth.
But the Truth of the matter is
A degree won’t give me courage
A degree won’t give me self-esteem
It won’t teach me to love and appreciate myself.
It won’t fix my mental illness.
It’s not what I thought it would be, as a part of the 7.3% frustrated, depressed and saddened unemployed graduate’s in a country with the world’s most awesome constitution, the rainbow nation and the no longer oppressed nation.
Yes, it rather sweet to blame my government for having failed me and calling Mandela a sellout makes me feel better, my parents huh, what about them. Rather than come to terms with the fact that I am a loser and my graduation gown an illusion of a brighter future. We have traded chains and nooses for graduation gown and belt. Our graduation cap’s simply sucked the sense out of our brain’s.