Slice of Life: The harsh light shines on purpose

I used to work at the University of Cape Town as one of the support staff. Transformation was always important to me, so I joined our staff transformation committee. It was then that I really got to see all this race privilege.

It was at that time that the #RhodesMustFall movement happened. As a staff member — especially if you were a staff member of colour — you knew that that movement was inevitable. I remember once sitting in on one of the transformation committee meetings and the vice-chancellor, Max Price, would say things like: “We don’t need a transformation policy; everything is fine.”

Shortly after Chumani Maxwele threw the poo on the Rhodes statue, the university called a town hall meeting. I listened to black students speaking about their experiences at UCT and, just listening to them speak and realising how much I could relate to their experiences — even as a staff member — I knew at that moment that I wouldn’t be able to make a change at that university.

That was the push for me. It made me realise I needed to move from there and use my skills as an attorney to do my bit.

Yes, #RhodesMustFall was about a statue, but for me it made me see my calling, which is to really try and make society a better place — and that I wouldn’t be able to do it at that university. I tried, but it was impossible. That movement and that moment really directed me to where I am at the moment. — Keval Harie, 34, as told to Carl Collison, the Other Foundation’s Rainbow Fellow at the Mail & Guardian

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Carl Collison
Carl Collison
Carl Collison is a freelance journalist who focuses primarily on covering queer-related issues across Africa

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Suicide cases soar in Zimbabwe

The economic crisis in the country appears to be pushing people over the mental edge

OPINION| New UK work visa to exclude graduates from Africa

If graduates did not get their qualifications from the list of top 50 universities, 40 of which are in the US, France, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, Canada and Japan, they will be excluded

Hackers infiltrate SA illicit financial flows conference with porn clip

The conference was attended by state agencies, blue- chip global and local non-governmental agencies and public accountability experts

OPINION| South African audiences want more authentic and accurate diversity...

The media has the power to shape perceptions, so television shows and movies can help shape a positive view of people who feel stereotyped
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×