Saturday, April 22, 2017
Point of order Chairman!
To most people it seems cocky to suggest that I was never educated by the University of the Witwatersrand even though I spent something like five and half years there. I think by this piece I need to correct that. Yes, I was never educated by the WITS University Professors. That is my truth and I will stand by it...finish and klaar! I guess what WITS University offered me was a bigger platform to find my way around the tenuous path of life. Prior to my coming to WITS I was already educated. The Professors there just initiated the debates so that I could be able to formulate the already crystallizing ideas in my mind. To tell the truth I was educated by the people outside the hallored lecture halls rather than inside them. If I were to really credit the people who shaped my education, it will be my uneducated uncle first and foremost. By Buying copies of the Sowetan newspaper every given Friday and Monday, he unduly instilled in me an inquiring mind. From the early years, say around 9 to 10 years of age, I was already exposed to journalists like Mathata Tsedu and cartoonist Zapiro. Fair enough, the complex prose of Mathata's Black Eyes column and Zapiro's abstract drawings were difficult to grasp at first, but that was the foundation. Other people who can be credited with my educational development are my former teachers...from primary school right up to high school. Those were the people with no fancy titles! The primary teacher who had a direct bearing on my development in was one Mr. Tlhale...(The Blacker, his nickname). A stocky, colourful fellow who made lessons enjoyable. Then by my middle school years three outstanding individuals remain head and shoulders above the rest. My two English teachers, Mr. Bagananeng and Mr. Segatle, with the History teacher, Mr.Tshwane hot on their heels. Twenty something odd years later their lessons are still fresh in my mind. Mr. Segatle's Literature lessons were legendary. You could see characters from the books we read as if in real life. That's how sharp he was. Likewise, Mr.Bagananeng, who by the way, was a bit of a drunkard, made events in novels by Rosina Umelo (Felicia) and e'Lollipop feel as if were happening right in front of our eyes. His classes use to be packed. Now that is something! Then by high school I met Mr. Mpho "Gift" Ramadie. A very eloquent fellow that one who made things easy. Did I mentioned that they did not have lofty titles, but merely teachers Diplomas from bush colleges to their names? Out of the academic fraternity an individual who stood tall above the rest was Ceasar (let me leave out his last name for reasons that are about to become obvious). The kind of education I got from him was through observation from the distance. I could not associate with him because he was my senior in high school. Come school debates, come student politics, come leadership roles Ceasar was a towering giant! Unbeknown to him he was making an impression on a young developing mind. I hear through a grapevine that he is now a corrupt Mayor of some municipality elsewhere in the motherland. Corruption or not corruption he was the best. His rumoured misdemeanors are irrelevant to the points I am making here. His logic and reasoning capacity was lucid. He can shame many who are running our national government. Back to the question of WITS. Yes, I still stand by my words. I was not educated by those Professors! What they did was just to make it possible for me to have an accreditation. Mark Twain says somewhere that "let your schooling not interfere with your education". He nailed it. I learned nothing from WITS University Professors. Those who taught me were guys like Roy Blumenthal who was with the work readiness progamme run by a late white lady whose name escapes me now and the comedian, Chris Foresst who use to frequent the campus in my days. Hardly academics. Other than that the many colourful friends who I had the opportunity to cross paths with them takes the shine. They had direct bearing in the making of your truly...I thank you.