Experience, my teacher!
I consider myself privileged to be South African yet at times I often find myself dancing between loving and hating my new Government. It all came with promises of a new beginning and a better tomorrow. A lot has changed and yet some things still remain the same and everyday still proves the saying that “Education is the key to success; however we often times have to dig for this key like gold. According to my own understanding, education is not only acquired in a classroom setup but also through being awarded opportunities such as learnerships, internships or even a volunteering position in an Organization. Education is defined as the act or process of imparting or acquiring knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.
Growing up in a well off family had its own perks, I was able to start school on time and I can still remember my primary school years vividly like it was only yesterday. School was made to feel like home, I guess it was somehow fun and tricky only uncomfortable with all the spanking that the teachers used to frequently communicate their frustrations with us. I remember one humiliating incidence, whilst I was in grade 1 and couldn’t put together a sentence in a wording board and my class teacher spanked me so hard that my days at school where now made to feel like I was in a foreign country.
I did pretty well at school; maybe I should thank God for passing every grade. Whilst I watched my peers failing and repeating grades with humiliation. But things quickly changed when my body started developing and back home my parents were constantly fighting and where on an edge of a divorce. As young girls turning into adolescents we lacked mentors and often used television to relate with the rest of the world. I don’t really know why but we were always made to think that pretty was better than smart. Rather be conscious of how you look because in this world image is everything.
But that kind of mentality only puts a lifetime invisible wall between you and your goals in life. In middle school, I was an unhappy child. Overweight with no boyfriend, now my attention was always on some weight loss plan (one which I never found until later) again in school we only had guidance teachers and no mentor to affirm our uniqueness and to share our experiences with. This lack of mentors made me to grow so self conscious that my attention withered away from my studies.
High school years were the worst; I rebelled and experimented with any bad habit that I could think of. Hanging out with the boys, smoking weed and missing classes. I think there is a huge gap between students and teachers and this drifts them away and puts a blurred vision of the purpose of education.
This also plays a major role in women staying in abusive relationships and not being able to negotiate safer sex (increasing the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate) because of their lack of confidence and inability to provide for themselves. Granting their male counterparts of the power to use and abuse them because of their weak positions in relationships. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming anyone for my “confusion years” in school because of the lack of support especially for female students who end up thinking that beauty is better than education.
I can’t say that I have overcome the barriers of my own mental slavery but I choose to celebrate my achievements. Like many other women, I choose to carve my own education path through experimental learning and using valuable resources like the internet to gain further education and to explore my creative abilities. It is through platforms like World Pulse that we begin to rediscover ourselves and harness our skills. And I have been using my life experiences as a syllabus to educate young girls and women to know that they too can rise against any odds even their own way of thinking.
My vision is to establish a movement that will link girls with mentors who will help shape their dreams into reality. I think that we can all do that from where we are by adopting at least one girl and mentor them through their challenging years of school.Lets all starting acting as stars and shed the light on young girls and women and usher them into a brighter future.