Students and the Rhodes Statue
It started at the University of Cape Town on March 9, 2015, with the statue of Cecil John Rhodes, the mighty British Imperialist, founder of Rhodesia, and a man whose shadow looms large over all of southern Africa. A black student named Chumani Maxwele was at the forefront of it all, as he and a handful of other students doused the statue of Rhodes in human excrement. Yes, these “stool soldiers”, these brave “toilet revolutionaries”, these future leaders of South Africa (makes you shudder, doesn’t it?), spent time gathering together sufficient human dung (don’t even ask how), carried it from wherever they or others excreted it, and then threw it over the statue. “As black students we are disgusted by the fact that this statue still stands here today as it is a symbol of white supremacy,” said this water-closet wonder, giving his reason for this filthy act.
The parents of these students must be so proud. This is what they sacrificed to send their children to university for. To beat pigeons at their own game.
It should have ended there. Just a stupid protest by a few students who, with that kind of mentality, should not be taking up space at a university in the first place. But this was just the beginning. A spark had ignited a flame that would in a very short space of time engulf the entire country.
The university’s Student Representative Council started a movement called UCT Rhodes Must Fall. Its “mission statement” read as follows:
“The statue has great symbolic power – it is a glorifying monument to a man who was undeniably a racist, imperialist, colonialist, and misogynist. It stands at the centre of what supposedly is the ‘greatest university in Africa’. This presence, which represents South Africa’s history of dispossession and exploitation of black people, is an act of violence against black students, workers and staff. The statue is therefore the perfect embodiment of black alienation and disempowerment at the hands of UCT’s institutional culture, and was the natural starting point of this movement.”
Rhodes was many things, most of them bad – but the history of black Africa is hardly a history of good and decent men holding power, but rather of cruel, despotic tyrants. None more so than King Shaka Zulu, who was an imperialist in truth (he built a vast empire on extreme brutality), a mass murderer, a man who killed men, women and children indiscriminately, including his own children, and wiped out entire villages and families – yet there are monuments to him in South Africa, including an international airport named after him outside Durban. He was a far greater source of evil than Rhodes ever was. And then there is Nelson Mandela himself, whose statue stands in front of the Union Buildings in Pretoria now, but who was nothing like the wonderful demigod so much of the world believes him to be. He was a Communist, a terrorist, and more, and at the forefront of a revolution which resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of blacks.
As for the presence of the Rhodes statue being “an act of violence against blacks” at the university, well, this is just laughable. How a statue could commit acts of violence was something on which these students failed to enlighten us. Did it fall on anyone and crush them to death? Did it step off its plinth and punch someone in the face? Did students perhaps trip over it in the night after a drunken party? And let us not forget that these students first enrolled at this same university, were in fact quite happy to enrol there and go to lectures and supposedly were getting an education at this same university – and then started to fling human dung at a statue. How mature. How brave. How intelligent.
They thought they were heroes for throwing excrement on a statue. They were not heroes, they were just uncivilised thugs. All such people can do is damage and destroy. They have nothing to contribute to the country, so they break down the works of others.
Many black Africans constantly bemoan the fact that the rest of the world doesn’t take them seriously, and treats them as primitive and backward; yet this is how they continuously behave. They want the world to treat them as equals, yet so many behave like savages so often. Their actions make them the laughing stock of the world.