Being Frank with Sir Mac
Blog by MacFarlane Moleli
Let me begin by saying…….Funerals, Tombstones, Church and Thanks Givings are not more important than your children’s sports days. Meketi, Manyalo Mafu all the triple M functions that black parents like to attend can wait, your children need your support. Allow me to explain why I have made this statement. You see our parents sent us to private or model C schools and then they closed their eyes and hoped for the best. In their minds they had done their jobs, they had sent us to the best schools in the country to get the best education that money can buy. Trust me not for one second am I ungrateful for the hard work, pain and suffering that our parents had to endure for them to provide us with an education.
However, what they do not know and understand is that they were introducing us to a system that was carefully engineered and mastered for a certain class of white society. And I say certain class, because even some whites kids at our schools also went through some of the hardships, which we endured. Children from average white working class families also felt the way that we felt when we entered those gates. They too had to go through the very same system which I am about to talk about.
You see when you left us at that classroom door in the hands of Miss so so, or at the boarding house, little did you know that you were leaving us in peril. The private education system is all about family, support, the school governing body, the braai’s, the wives clubs the holiday clubs and the elite families that donate thousands if not millions to the schools. Its about who is who, which family has the exotic holidays, whose dad personally meets the principal and whose grandfather was best mates with ex Alumni. It is an intoxicating mix of wealth, arrogance classism, race, elitism and ego my goodness the ego’s.
The minute you walk onto those hallowed grounds you are reminded in every direction you look, that you do not belong there. When you walk into that class or boarding house you are asked thousands of questions by rich white privileged kids. Which school do you come from? Where did you go for holidays? What do your parents do? What cars do they drive? Where do you come from? Which sport are you going to do? Do you play sports? Which team were you in at your past school? Did you make first team? Are you an athlete? How fast do you run the 100 metres?…and the barrage of questions hit you so hard in the face that you begin to ask yourself the question, what am I doing here? Do I really belong here? this is not for me, why did my parents bring me here?
And when you finally get some free time you remember your mom or dads words, “this is a very expensive school, this is the best school in the country, you must make us proud, the fees are very high here.” You also start to recall the murmurs of aunts uncles and family friends when they heard that you are going to private school “tjo that school is so expensive, how will you manage? “Phela di school fees di likana le chelete ya ntlo” (the school fees cost as much a house) and when your parents aren’t around you hear people say….“oh ho they think they are better, such expensive schools”. That is the sad reality of our situation and that is what we have to deal with in our minds our hearts and in our little school lives.
So when we asked that you come to our sports days, when we asked that you come and watch the rugby matches or the athletics days, its not because we don’t think you have better things to do. We really needed you, we needed you to tell us that we can, that even without the most expensive boots or the latest Grey Nichols cricket bat or most expensive hockey stick, you were still proud of us. We needed you to also shout your lungs out as we approached that try line, as we whizzed through that ribbon on the athletics field. We needed you to show us your support whether you arrived in a Datsun or taxi or Mercedes Benz we needed you to tell us that yaaaaas you are as good as them if not better.
We worked hard, we worked effin hard to beat them, to get the provincial colours, the blazers, craven weeks and the honors. Against all odds we surpassed them, we made the first teams we got the high grades and we went on the podiums to collect those medals. We could not beat their exotic holidays, their expensive homes their branded clothes and sports kits so we worked our arses off to make sure we gave them a hiding. We did it, because we knew in the back of our minds, we had family neighbors, friends and other siblings to show that we can do it. We knew that this is all we had, this is the only place that we could be better or equal to them because history had told us we are not. But I swear we needed our parents to be there, to watch us in wonder and astonishment as we kicked ass.
It was not fair that white parents congratulated us and spoke highly of us and yet our parent’s didnt know how awesome we were. It is not fair that the whole school knew our names, our positions and the number of tries we scored or our fastest time in athletics and yet you our parents did not even know the sports we played. Go out there support your kids, the funerals, the weddings, the Tombstones the thanks giving’s can all wait because your children are at war with a system that is not designed for them.
Please I beg you……Support your children at all school events as this new year starts!
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Kaya FM.