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It’s kind of a touching book

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini is a book that I have read a million times (no not really but like three.) I borrowed it from a friend and never returned it.

There is a part of the book that has stayed with me for a long time, just because I feel it was written with truth. It is easy to tell which part of the book was included for emotion or for a thrill, but this; this was just honest. Yes, I know it was based on the writers real life experience, but sometimes it is easy to fish out sincerity and this was it.

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Fees Must Fall- My second piece for the POST

After my first article for the Post newspaper, they asked me to write a little something for them based on the awakening of Fees Must Fall. I was hesitant because although I am a student of Rhodes University, I tend to steer clear of controversial topics if I haven’t immersed myself in the concept. But after a few interviews and reading, I managed to put together an article I was proud of. Have a read 🙂

 


Fees Must Fall has become one of the greatest student revolutions of the 21st Century in South Africa. A complex matter that has been of great contestation and examination by the public but few fully understand the details that make it more than just a protest. With the movement arising again, it is useful to unpack the dynamics of the concept.

University students began the Fees Must Fall movement in October 2015 as a response to the increase of tertiary education fees. The protests lifted off at The University of Witwatersrand and almost immediately touched base nationwide. At the beginning of October last year, it was announced that fees will increase by 10.5% the following year although the inflation rate headed to a round number of 6%. The first part of the movement ended after the president announced a zero fee increase. Parents of university goers are mindful of the extreme costs that encompass university fees. At the moment is costs about R120 000 per year to send your child to university. This includes residence, transport, tuition fees and general living expenses. As students, many of us were not aware of the hardships more than half of our fellow university goers and their guardians face, Fees Must Fall brought to the surface more than just the fee increase. In a total of about twenty days, we learned about the deficiency in funding provided for poorer students to attend university, the deterioration in the source of economic funding from the South African government, the excessively high incomes received by those in university managerial positions and lastly, the infamous racial inequality matters. This month marked the reawakening of Fees Must Fall as The South African Union of Students (SAUS) have been discussing and implementing the shutdown of universities once again after being dissatisfied with the lack of a response from Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande regarding where fees will stand in 2017. After the presidents announcements last year, there has been a constant state of tug of war between the government and universities, in attempt to numb this war, Nzimande announced that there are several other tertiary options for students after school other than attending universities to obtain degree. He merely just added salt onto the would instead of healing it. Students at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal have already began protests but some universities have been struggling to follow suit. Students from The University currently known as Rhodes (UCKAR) for one, are silenced at the moment out of fear as they still have an interdict against the student body from the university itself following the #RURefrenceList movement.

David Fryer, a senior economics lecturer at UCKAR explains that arguments such as free education is not possible in middle income countries are due to the lack of the intellectual effort that we need to assist the situation. He continues by adding a solution to the current thought process that some individuals include in their arguments, “Another thing that I think we need to fight is the idea that the rich ought to pay fees even if education is made free to the poor. This is just sneaking means testing back in, and we will still have the missing middle. The top ten percent of the population owns 90% to 95% of wealth; so a means test that excluded half of the population would be a disaster.”

Some students have taken to social media to express their distress with the term Fees Must Fall Reloaded, explaining that this is not a ‘sequel’ and shouldn’t be referred to as one, it is rather a continuation of a battle for the greater good. The mainstream media have been under relentless scrutiny by the movement itself due to their incorrect depiction of the events that take place. Fryer interestingly describes this portrayal as being fairly similar to the way the mainstream media portrayed the Marikana Massacre.  A different opinion on free tertiary education comes from a historian at UKAR, Craig Paterson. Paterson explains that free tertiary education is not the way to go in our society being that we live under such unequal circumstances, instead he believes that the threshold of support of our government should be raised. “The real question is where do we find the money to support students who can’t pay? The constant line of government is that there is no money for this. But this simply not true. It is just in the wrong part of the budget. Their priorities are skewed”, continues Paterson.

Fees Must Fall will continue to grow as a movement until the government makes the decision to meet the pending demands of students instead of attempting to pacify them with temporary solutions.

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A photo of my article. I wasn’t home to see it myself so my proud mommy sent me a picture.

 

Vogue Body and Beauty Book- Bronwen Meredith

Well, this was a strange book. With regards to content it was exceptionally unfamiliar to me. I found this book on my sisters bookshelf and started off by scanning through the pages. I did not manage to read it cover to cover but the little that I did see surprised me.

Bronwen Meredith focuses the book on self-maintenance. Now while this might be a common genre choice for some, it is definitely new to me. From the little reading I managed to do, it seems like the book has a good message. Meredith attempts to teach the reader that caring about the way you look is okay, and no one else should tell you otherwise. Some parts were a bit boring, but it is clear the book is written for someone looking for this type of advice.

The writing style is a little instructional as there are various exercises, recipes and diets. The writing differs slightly depending on what she is speaking about. For example, when she speaks about sex; it becomes a bit more personal than when she addresses things such as aging. I think this is brilliant because it made me aware of how one can make a sensitive topic easier to ‘read’. The book also consists of pictures which was a good touch. I love books with some pictures, it is like taking mini-breaks in between your read!

The Spark of My Beginning

As I mentioned in my previous post, I will be sharing my personal narrative which was written for The Expressos. My fellow cups of talent have also posted theirs on our page, so after you’ve read this- take a look!

The Spark of My Beginning

I did not open the blinds to let in the light; I opened the blinds to let out the dark.

The darkness pervaded and bounced off the four walls of my nanoscopic room again and again. I watched it. I consumed it. I devoured the dark in all its forms, and I swear to you – like I swore to Him – if you cut me, I’d bleed darkness.

I am lying uncomfortably on my bed – my safe space – staring at the excruciatingly bright ceiling light. “Am I at war with myself? Or is my soul at war with my body?” I repeat the question in my head.

I close my eyes to find composition and I suffer the after effects of having them opened in the first place. All I see now is white, but not the pleasant kind. Not the kind that sets you free or differentiates between danger and tranquillity. Definitely not the type that brings the music.

This white was different: it wouldn’t allow me to open my eyes.

I hear the fan next to me, blowing my hair across my face. Bullets of sweat creep towards my brows as they caress every curve that lines my stressed forehead. I need to open my eyes now, but this white light shepherds me to the abyss of my mind. Little did I know that this is where I’d lose myself, only to find myself again. Was this the beginning of my spiritual journey? I wasn’t so sure yet.

I finally opened my eyes, and it was as agonising as opening your eyes mid-dream to a world of realities. But this time, the agony was otherworldly; it didn’t unsettle my psyche – it ravaged it. My question was answered by the rogue hairs hugging my face. I didn’t know where I was going, but I knew the path to my destination will become clearer.

This was the beginning of my journey, my very own Genesis, only this wasn’t the Garden of Eden – there was no God, and Satan was merely just prowling alongside the outskirts of what had now become my solace.

I was eternally burning to initiate the search for something greater than me, you and the depth of the oceans and magnitude of the solar system. I was born into a home where some choices were considered simple, but I found myself tugging at this sentiment and looking for answers. Going against the norm was almost as challenging as it would be dancing fearlessly in the middle of a hurricane.

I was influenced by the nature of a Hindu home, to worship a god with many faces. But even as an innocent child, I necessitated justifications and authentication before I wholeheartedly devoted myself to the act of doing.

Religion should be effortless if your soul is in it with you – to me, that is how you meet spirituality. It is almost like a friendship where you just ‘be’ and the rewards enter your life through an open door. I yearned for this feeling, this feeling of contentment, of security and tranquillity. I just needed a mental shift to push me in the right direction, a direction that called for all my soldiers to be ready and expect the worst sort of war. A war with myself, a war with the world, and – most significantly – a war of the soul.

The acceptance of an uncertainty that is seen as a conviction to everyone you have attached yourself to is a struggle which I never imagined being able to overcome. I kept waiting on a long process of acceptance, a step-by-step method with which I would then face my inner demons and explore the world of spirituality. I feared being characterized someone who gave up and abandoned a sacred entity of life.

But I was wrong. By waiting, I was abandoning myself and my sanity. The process wasn’t acceptance. Acceptance was something that purely came over me and obliterated all my doubts about having doubts.

It was like reading a book for the first time: wanting to understand it, but physically not having the capacity to wrap your mind around it. All you did was absorb a page full of alphabets and fictional characters. But unknowingly – finally – one day, you give the book another chance and this time everything is different. You engage with feeling, the emotion, the depth and maybe even fall in love with the characters after meeting them for the second time. This is what it felt like, all I wanted to do was scream at the top of my lungs, “FINALLY. FINALLY, KHINALI.”

I do not reject the world I was born into. I do not reject beliefs or God. I am in exploration. John Muir once said “The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” That is my journey in a quote, a journey in which I take one day at a time, and – when I reach my destination – I will be ready for the next one.

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Meet The Expressos

If I have ever come across a group of talented writers, it would undoubtedly have to be the lovely ladies I work with for my third year Journalism course. By lovely I mean together- we form a dynamic and exclusive combination of personalities, writing styles and our interests butt heads to create beautiful pieces of Journalism.

I like to call us The Spice Girls, but in real life we are The Expressos– For Your Literary Shot Of The Day.

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Reality- Pretty cool, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our blog is currently our platform for publishing and most of our content is based on Self-Expression. From gardening to slang, we will explore it all, and who knows? Maybe even you could be featured on our page! At the moment you can find an enthralling and colorful series on Art Therapy and Adult Coloring.

My next post will be my personal narrative from The Expressos, so in the meantime, take a look for yourself (www.theexpressosblog.wordpress.com) and like us on Facebook (The Expressos)

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari- Robin Sharma

 

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari yes, I know…what? ‘Monk’ and ‘Ferrari’ in the same sentence?! Well this is a book that I read a while back but decided to go through it again, and jot down some of my thoughts about it.

Honestly, I cannot specify a fault in the way in which this book has been written. Perhaps it was in the way the discipline, life and dreams were depicted, that I managed to see it through the lens of my own opinion. The first few chapters are captivating and fascinating, but it is diseased with a couple of clichés that made me feel a little vexed because I don’t feel that life is just a series of clichés (especially not the ones that were written there). My opinion of Robin Sharma is that he is a capable writer, but I feel that the way, in which the story was packaged, was a wee bit messy and all over the place. In a sentence; it made me uncomfortable.

The moral and ‘life lesson’ is there (the sentiment is too) but I cannot wrap my mind around the way certain parts of it were constructed to try to make whole. It was almost like it was too succinct but enigmatic at the same time. Granted that this might be because the message and principle is targeted at ‘all age’ groups (and by this is don’t mean toddlers. Okay, maybe high school students). So the writing style is a little easy-going (I won’t say sloppy) and not as impressive as many of my other reads. More detail could’ve been helpful to guide ME as a reader. Overall; it was a useful read and this book has never left my book shelf.

#GirlBoss- Sophia Amoruso

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#GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso was presented to me on Christmas, as a gift, from my sister. This gift came with a purpose; my sister was moved by the story and wanted to share it with me, hoping that it would inspire me in the same way that it did with her. To be honest, it took me around 3 months to actually open the book and start my little journey. I have never been keen, or in any sort of hurry, to indulge in non-fiction because I always felt that it’s ‘too real’ – Does that make any sense? The idea that what I am reading comes directly from a personal experience (I mean, even trying to comprehend that the source may be a first-hand account) has always been a little unsettling to me.

Amoruso is the CEO of the ever-growing retail line Nasty Gal.

#GirlBoss is a book about business, but not just any business- Business with a touch of feminism and a little bit of everything that we can all relate to. Although the book seemed to be going in the direction of wanting to be placed on an ‘advice shelf’ (like a readers guide or manual of some sort) I really couldn’t find any actual advice when reading through the chapters of the woman’s life. And there’s no doubt that she isn’t a writer, I mean- the entire book is based on her life as a nothing turning into something. Without knowing Amoruso, I read the entire book in a voice that wasn’t my own. I don’t know what she sounds like, but through the words that described her, it was my version of ‘her’ that guided me through each page.

The unconventional nature of her success story was my motivation to keep reading. I am not easily pleased by non-fiction. Usually, I find myself less than halfway through a book and putting it down because it was just not working for me. This, however, was an easy read and I feel that it was written in a way in which one would speak. It didn’t sound like an arrogant billionaire was trying to make herself fit into ‘our world’ or attempting to become slightly relatable to average, lower or middle class society. Nope! It was an honest and humble approach where superficiality only seeped through every 25 pages.

Her writing style is fairly casual and that’s what kept me going, the use of language that we as humans use to SPEAK was a useful tool to keep me reading.

If I had to sum it up, it was an interesting read, to say the least. Helpful? We’ll see! Would I read I again? Some chapters; sure. Others – NOPE

 

Before I start Sometimes I Read;  let it be known that this series will not be a compilation of reviews. I am not at a level (YET) where I have the ability to review other pieces of writing, or books!

For lack of a better explanation; these musings are merely ‘diary entries’ of my reading experiences. Perhaps at some stage, it might also form part of an assignment for my Journalism and Media Studies class.

The focus of this (series) will be on non-fiction and a few pieces from worldly writers, columnist and even other bloggers. Whether they’re good or bad, exciting or confusing (and sometimes maybe even sad) it’s all about the adventure – A rollercoaster reading journal. Lets go!

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