We are the babies of freedom. Gone is the segregation, finally we can mingle with our white friends from primary to tertiary school, as “equals”.
Are we really equal? Are we really free?
We are told to count our blessings as we did not suffer during apartheid. We didn’t suffer.
We continue to suffer.
We carry the heavy burden of grudges and whispered hate with us.
26 years of democracy, your born frees are all grown up. Your born frees are finally old enough to have a voice, and have that voice listened to.
Finally the infants of freedom are demanding for equality in the form of free education,
That battle is lost, but the war is far from over.
We occupy the seats at universities. What was once known as a
privilege is now a common occurrence. We dwell on campuses, we make our voices heard.
We are flourishing in fields our ancestors were unable to.
Many leave with the family’s first degree. That’s the burden we carry, not the diluted racial
segregation… we carry the burden of our future success.
You become your family’s investment. All you have to do is to pass every test, all you have to do is get that piece of paper, and make that money.
It seems an easy task. Our role models were able to accomplish exactly that.
What we forget in the process is ourselves.
We lose ourselves to the degree – the institution.
We become the student.
The student that feels guilty for sleeping one extra hour. The student that feels guilty for enjoying our free time a little too much.
A student that would rather go hungry because cooking a nutritious meal steals
from our study time. As a student, you would rather pull multiple all-nighters, instead of enjoying
worry free sleep.
A student who forgets what it means to be human.
We forget about our basic needs because the degree just means that much. The pressure from family and society is what we have to carry on our born free shoulders.
We seek recognition from our elders; we seek approval from the freedom fighters. We want to say thank you to those who fought for our “freedom”.
We want to say thank you with our success. We want to repay them with a piece of
paper… but at what cost?
So I ask, “Are we really born free?”
The IllumiNvture Secret Library presents:
Quite Frankly! – A Born Free-Ish story
A Natural Light Magazine production
Written by XM2
Edited by The Scribes Navy