being a Black Woman at the university of cape town

today i spoke a female friend of mine, from Lesotho – the beautiful mountain kingdom in the middle of South Africa. i told her i was going to university, where i am now writing this post. i said i wanted to access a private room to study in and she said maybe if i showed someone my student card they would let me in. we are talking about the all-mighty-and-oh-so-prestigious university of cape town, by the way.

i replied i don’t have a student card. she then asked how i got in to the university grounds in the first place, able to use the common rooms. i said i just walked in. she was shocked.

according to her, 90% of the time she has gone to campus or used the facilities, over the years that she was a student there, she was asked for identification.

over the last five years i have been asked once.

today, i walked freely in to two different campuses.

she was getting carded even though she was a student; i haven’t been one for almost a year and still walk in like its nobody’s business.

i have a lighter hue of skin and am a man. she is my elder and is far more educated than me, but she can’t get on the bus like i can.

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