Saturday, 24 October 2015



They do not just march, they sing, they dance, they chant,
They pound the ground with young angry feet,
The heat beats,
But their hearts beat harder,
They come, they come, they come, the young they come,
Dark and beautiful and angry, they come
With fire and energy and hunger
A hunger for knowledge and hunger to sit, learn and elevate
A hunger to step up the ladder,
the ladder which keeps being pulled out from under black feet.

Everywhere they turn obstacles are placed in their way.
They march for free education
They march so they can afford to eat
They march so they do not have to walk to university
They march so they have somewhere to sleep at night.
They march so their families do not have to sacrifice in order for them to learn.
They are loud, they are passionate, they are clear

"Fees must fall
 Fees must fall
 Fees must fall
 Fees must fall
 Fees must fall
 Fees must fall."

I watch, I stand, I soak myself in the middle of this young energy,
This new energy
These new voices which refuse to be silenced,
They are demanding to be heard,
I hear them, I feel them. I admire them.
It’s hot but the heat does not penetrate,
They are stronger than the sun,

Resistance is in abundance out here.
Resistance is in the air
Resistance is in their eyes
Resistance is in their voices
Resistance is in the songs they sing.
At times if feels more like a celebration than a protest,
but there is anger, there is pain, there is a sense of betrayal. 
Those emotions are not hard to find.

I talk to students, record their voices,
They tell me of hardships, of rage that their lives, 
black lives have not changed,
Of financial exclusion
Of being classed as too rich for assistance
They tell me they are too black for loans,
They tell me some are not smart enough for a bursary
They tell me they are too poor to continue education after the first year
A male student tells me the only way to create change,
is for black penis’s to Impregnate white wombs
and create a brown world.
His words are so inflammatory, I fear for his safety.

Something scares the crowd and they run,
scores of frightened black faces
run towards me
I do not know why they are running,
But only a fool would stand still,
I run too
Fear activates my legs,
The tension is edible 
you could cut into it like a large slice of Durban cake,
It would not take much to light the flame of violence.
I am no longer sitting in front of a TV screen
throwing naive commentary from the safety of my English sofa
This is not a Hollywood movie
I am in the belly of the beast, 
Luckily it is a false alarm; all is well,
But I am shook
it is time for to leave,
I sheepishly retreat
They continue to march
I have the option to turn my back 
and leave the fight behind.
They do not.


  1. Powerful! Youth as power and so together they'll get there. Success to you all.