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 Alumni stories

Sam Beynon (NMMU - 2015)

From a unique perspective

I am a White African (South African) who identifies with and speaks IsiXhosa. I also live in an unequal and unjust South Africa, where economic and social exclusion on the basis of gender and race sadly still persist today. Essentially, this is now part of who I am. I, like any other human being, do not exist in isolation. As a social being, I co-exist with South Africans from all walks of life. The ABE Bailey Tour reminded me of the significance of three concepts - irrespective of place - history, context and culture and how each of these has the ability to shape one's personal circumstance and identity.

The ABE Bailey Tour helped me realise that I can and must use my personal story to have a positive impact in the lives of the economically and socially marginalised. It highlighted the importance of self-acceptance - in my case of one's unique personal identity... any one's story can be used to empower another; to, based on one's own difficult circumstances and lived experience, humanise another. It reminded me of the importance of antagonising untransformed spaces, spaces that do not allow for equality and social justice, spaces that reject the envisioned South Africa the majority of us want.

In fact, it saved me from adopting a 'single story' of what it means for Africans to be born into an unequal and unjust society and to make this their permanent reality. It re-emphasised the need for me, like others, to be part of a contemporary social movement that seeks to attain a more equal and just South Africa.

The ABE Bailey Tour has restored my determination and passion to restore South Africa and the rest of the African continent. I want to see people, from all walks of life, succeed for themselves and for their communities.

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Posted: 2015/12/01 (12:00:00)

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