Skattie is a fashion, arts and culture website, and while it is unusual for us to make any political statements or take official positions on the events of the day, we also recognise that life itself is political. The #FeesMustFall movement is one we believe to be of paramount importance in the context of a nation that has failed to lift the majority of its citizens out of poverty. We CANNOT remain silent.
In this country, people who work hard every day, seeking progress, trying to make something of themselves, are constantly hitting brick walls thanks to systems that continue to perpetuate and support a further entrenchment of inequality.
We therefore fully support the students’ efforts to be heard and their calls for action, recognising that these are efforts not meant to deprive others of education, but these are efforts that, we should all recognise, can and should result in a better country for all of us to live in.
It is unfathomable, 21 years into democratic South Africa, that we are still dealing with such appalling levels of inequality and we challenge you, as our beloved Skatties to truly reflect in the most honest possible way about what it means to be South African, and what kind of South Africa is most desirable for all of us as a nation.
For us, it has been absolutely inspiring to see both black and white students standing together, recognising that we have a shared destiny, as a people. No one must get left behind!
In solidarity with the #FeesMustFall movement, we’ve asked our designer friends who have shown concern about the unfolding situation to add their messages of support.
Anisa Mpungwe, Loin Cloth & Ashes
“By crawling, a child learns to stand… It is sad, in a time where investing in the future is important as ever – at least this is what investments firms or insurance companies, vigorously advertise – why can’t we think the same for our scholars – the future somebodies that will be written in about in books and sung about in songs. As a privileged black female, who has seen many student’s dreams shattered because of a funds shortage in my place of work. It is horrible. I am in full support and stand with them. We cannot claim unemployment woes, complain about our turbulent economic state, fund projects that make no sense on the one hand and disregard this struggle on the other. If you close your eyes to facts, you will learn through accidents. It’s silly. When you follow in the path of your father, you learn to walk like him and right now our children are limping.”
“This is long overdue. Our parents were sold dreams and I am glad that these students are standing up and saying ‘education is our right, we want a way out of porverty, we can’t keep prioritising others before ourselves’. We need to stand up to the government and say this is what we are about, we are here to learn and we’ve been pushing against all odds. Tomorrow, we are marching with the students to Pretoria to show them that we are in solidarity with them and these fees must fall. This is a man-made issue, it must be resolved and it should be resolved. Voices are not being listened to. If it means there must be a national shutdown, then so be it! We need to make sacrifices for our future. If our current leaders will not listen when the future stands at their doorstep in parliament- this is the excellent we keep saying we want, yet we won’t even grant them access. They are at your door saying we want equality. No one is asking for a freebie, people want equality. These are people who are deserving!”
“Education is not a delicacy, it’s a basic need! As Nelson Mandela said: through education we can conquer! It’s time for our government to deliver on those promises from way back in 1994 when they were still luring us into vote for them. Free education for all! Our brothers, sisters, children, nephews, nieces – they deserve better. Where must they get the money from? Parents are not getting paid enough. Here in Gauteng, they want us to pay e-tolls. There’s really something wrong with this system. The time has come for this government to start paying attention to basics! These are the basics of running a country!”
Image Credits: Bobby Brown Cosmetics, Simon Deiner, Timeslive.co.za