The saying “if a public toilet has no writing behind the door or on its walls then it has never been used before” is applicable to many public toilets, including Wits.
Walls and doors of toilets around campus, especially those in Senate House, have been vandalised with layers of writing and drawings, of which some depict obscene imagery. It seems that with every flush, there is a guarantee that a new message or a reply to an existing one is added.
Some of the messages on the walls read: “F*** you if you are reading this!” and “P***y is too good to be gay.”
Prishani Naidoo, a staff member of the sociology department, said: “Vandalism at Wits occurs because students may feel that they are not given the platform to be vocal about issues or concerns they have, therefore the use of toilet space can be an option for students to exercise power because there often are no consequences.”
Godfrey Makharamedza, a Supercare worker responsible for cleaning the toilets in Central Block, said: “It’s offensive for me to have to clean such things off the walls and doors, and often management has to repaint the toilet walls because some of the writing cannot be scrubbed off.”
The attitude of most Wits students towards toilet graffiti is that it is “immoral”
Such views are shared by BA law 1st year student Lloyd Nxumalo, who said: “This goes against my Christian principles and I feel insulted having to find such graphic and obscene graffiti in toilets.
“University is supposed to prepare us for the seriousness of the work place, and what does this immaturity say about our values which employers often look for?”
For Sibusiso Mqikela, a 1st year bachelor of clinical and medical practice student, such “provocative” and “disturbing” things are never encountered at Wits Medical Campus.
“I have only seen such things at Main Campus and it is because students have too much time to waste,” he said.
“This represents the lack of respect stu
dents have for one another and it’s really disappointing.”