JONATHAN JANSEN | From Delft to Antarctica — yes, it can happen

You can come from one of the most derelict and dangerous areas of the Cape Flats and still travel five continents

24 March 2024 - 22:49

I invited about 130 grade 12 pupils from a Cape Flats school to spend time on a university campus last week. These young people were super-excited and so, I discovered, were their parents. Studying at Stellenbosch University, or any higher education institution, was not high on their agendas. The aspirational goals you set for yourself are circumscribed by your surrounding environment. In the case of many of these wonderful pupils that often means working class parents, absentee fathers, abusive step-parents, and sometimes a father in prison or a mother on drugs. Nobody you know went to university. “I sleep on the floor,” one troubled youngster told me, “so that my siblings can sleep on the bed.” Aspirations are low, understandably so...

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