Sharing the pain of  “adulting”

Sharing the pain of “adulting”

I remember my mother sending me a text message late last year in December nonchalantly saying: “By the way you’re on your own for medical aid beginning next year…”

She was speaking of 2017.

The amount of sad and crying face emojis I sent her immediately tossed her into a laughing frenzy. This was her way of telling me, “Welcome to the world of adults.”

Shock! Horror! “Adulting” soon became a reality. One that still has me #shook.

I felt like I was being kicked while I was down and out. Ok, maybe not down and out. But in my eyes, having just moved back home as a graduate, after years of being away at varsity and being broke counted towards my struggle argument.

Do you remember your first day in first grade, high school and the dreaded first day of university? Well, none of these phases could have prepared you for the “adulting” world that social media has turned into a trend.

If you haven’t noticed, Twitter and Instagram have become abuzz with the #Adulting craze lately. These are mostly young adults who have taken to these platforms to share their daily struggles and victories of being an adult. Most, who are not of our generation, think of “adulting” as a vain manner in which we self-congratulate.

Writer Danielle Tullo in Cosmopolitan insists that the word “adulting” implies that being an adult is not a necessary part of growing up but rather a life choice you’re hesitant to fully buy into.

I beg to differ. The thing is,we are already in this “adulting” thing whether we like it or not. We are fully aware of it but we choose to share these “adulting” moments with friends, acquaintances and loved ones because of a simple need to feel like we are not alone in the struggle. Yeah sure, we get a couple of giggles and likes along the way. But it is the mere fact of knowing that I am not the only twenty-something-year-old stressed about bills, savings and responsibilities with my barely-enough-to-go-around salary – we’re in this together.

“Adulting” is having to deal with the fact that for the first time in your life you are expected to have it all together: career, finances and relationships, amongst other things. It is finding yourself sitting behind your work desk even when it is raining cats and dogs outside and you would honestly rather be at home in your pyjamas watching series. But you understand being here pays your salary and that will ultimately afford you that first car you’ve been dreaming of.

Now that I have my newfound freedom – including no curfews – you’d think I’d have more time to hangout and party with friends but hardly any of that is coming my way. See, with “adulting”, spontaneity is almost always a myth because now you resort to planning engagements with friends since everyone is always busy. Delayed gratification becomes the norm.

The reality of taking on adult responsibilities is no easy task. There are days when I’m able to get through the ups and downs. There are other mornings when the dread and constant feeling of being thrown into the deep end can be overwhelming, making me want to crawl into bed next to my mother and have her comfort me through it all.

The reality of “adulting” is having to make things work even when you don’t have it all figured out.

So, excuse me and the other young adults who want to self-celebrate and give ourselves a pat on the back every now and then for even the smallest achievements of this “adulting” life.

#FeesMustFall Infographic

#FeesMustFall Infographic

On Monday September 19 2016, Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande announced that university councils had to determine their own fee increases for 2017, however the increase should not be above 8%.

Students did not take well to his announcement. They felt that he did not address the real issue of free, decolonised education so they retaliated in protest. The following weeks became characterised by standoffs between students and police. There were multiple arrests made and a sense of confusion between various groups of people.

The protests have since ended. The majority of the deployed police officers have been removed from university campuses and things seem somewhat back to normal at most institutions. The infographic highlights a few issues that have fallen under the #FeesMustFall 2016 banner. What has happened since? How much are students paying now? What’s the update on the arrested students?


Related Articles:

Wits Vuvuzela, Another night in cells for #FeesMustFall leader, October 17, 2016

Wits Vuvuzela, “We are agitated due to comparison”: the students of #FeesMustFall,  October 17, 2016

Wits Vuvuzela, Day 4: FeesMustFall 2016 regains momentum, October 22, 2016

Cool kid on campus

Cool kid on campus


Meet your cool kid on campus who believes in acting for change.
Swankie Mafoko is an actress on the newest SABC2 telenovela Keeping Score and an “artist activist”.
The 23 year-old is a Kasi Durbanite who moved to Joburg to pursue her career in drama and performing arts. “It’s different when you studied something (drama) and when you go and work in the industry,” she says.
Her supporting actress role on Keeping Score is her first television gig. However, Swankie hasn’t been shy to perform on stage. “I’ve been doing theatre for years now, since 2008 from Durban,” says Swankie.
She completed her BA in Dramatic Arts in 2016. Swankie found herself having to juggle both her studies and work. Having had the opportunity to work for VowFM as a radio presenter, news compiler and recently contributed to the Wits #FeesMustFall book by Prof Susan Booysen. “I specifically spoke about documenting the revolution in relation to an art piece.
“What makes me cool? Besides me having a great personality and being fun, I can safely say that my voice and my laugh make me cool,” laughs Swankie.
“I describe myself as an artist activist who believes in community building and using my art as an act for change.”

Wits rolls out learnership for staff

Wits rolls out learnership for staff

Wits will be rolling out a basic education and training programme for staff members who have not reached the matric qualification level.

The programme is a National Certificate in Business Administration for National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 2 (Grade 10) and Level 3 (Grade 11).

The roll-out will be funded by the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP Seta) as the focus of the Discretionary Grant Funding allocation for 2016 and 2017.

Head of the Human Resources Development Unit (HRDU), Chantelle Murray, said the programme has space for approximately 73 individuals and, to date, they have received 55 applications.

”We have a lot of initiatives at other levels but the lower levels often get forgotten.”

When HRDU started talking with the university’s staff about the bursary scheme they realised that they had assumed that everyone had a matric qualification but that was not the case. Even more so, with the incoming insourced staff.

“We realised a lot of the workers being insourced barely have a NQF level 2 and 3 qualification, never mind a NQF level 4 or matric qualification. They can’t access all the cool benefits, such as bursaries, unless they have an NQF level 4 qualification,” said Murray.

The difference between this training programme and what was previously known as the Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) programme is that the ABET classes were to a large extent based on the school type of grounding that one needs. That includes literacy, numeracy and computer literacy. The criticism about this model is that it did not prepare the adults for the world of work.

“You do need to have numeracy in place in order to do calculations and look after your own budget at home, but if it’s not housed in a context, then it’s just numbers and words,” said Murray.
With the National Certificate in Business Administration offered at Wits, the idea is to teach numeracy, literacy and computer literacy within a context, such as putting together an agenda for a meeting and event management. These are things that they would come across while working at Wits.

Staff will be expected to complete a portfolio of work in order to receive a certificate of competence, said HRDU consultant, Megan Thulukanam.

Murray said Siyanqoba, which is part of the EOH Group would be the service provider for the programme’s first roll out, as it was nationally accredited and had corporate experience.

“It’s important to have a provider that understands the kinds of challenges the staff experience every day in terms of going home to environments where they can’t always do homework maybe because they don’t have electricity and so on.”

Part of the HRDU approach is communicating with the managers of the individuals on the final list so that they are on board and understand how best to support their staff and mentor them.