Home » Opinion » It’s time for ex-Model C schools to stop focusing on rugby and start focusing on real issues
King Edward VII School via Facebook

It’s time for ex-Model C schools to stop focusing on rugby and start focusing on real issues

LAURENCE STEWART says that a tragedy continues to be played out in the name of tradition and value at the stubborn ex-Model C schools which continue to perpetuate violent sub-cultures that are racist, sexist, and promote white supremacy. 

These schools hinder the progress of decolonisation, whilst continuously oppressing and shaping individuals into dusty moulds incapacitated to exist in post-apartheid South Africa. In fact, the very schools stand as an ode to our colonial past, they exist throughout history and continue to bludgeon our present. King Edward VII School is a school that perpetuates culture, values, rules, ideas and ideals that are pervasive and unwanted in our present society.

As a white attendee of King Edwards and the recipient of academic colours, I was not an outcast at this school. However, today I realise that the school provides a miseducation of hundreds of students every year. The rules are petty and harshly punished. They are not in place to instil principle, value or responsibility- they are in place to maintain uniformity.

These rules aim to criminalise minor misdemeanours, placing focus on appearance, manners, mechanical courtesy, and pseudo respect. So when a young boy grows his hair or cuts a specific style, he is treated as a deviant. Rules are aimed at assimilation; a student is expected to conform aesthetically, ideologically – placing the school as the chief good.

I have a long list of instances such as hearing the word “kaffir” on more than one occasion; being afraid of taking a black woman to my matric dance and blatant and unpunished disrespect to black teachers. These issues went unaddressed, meanwhile the priority was for me to be churned out, like many, as a carbon copy of the young, conservative, British gentleman who opened doors and greeted you with Ma’am/Sir out of courtesy.

The annual First World War memorial parade at King Edward is an example of how colonial history and white history are sacredly remembered which simultaneously erases many other histories by omission. Immediately as one arrives at the school they are made aware of the fact that the school is an unbending authority and something that one must assimilate with. The excessive respect given to tradition and its military ideals as well as to older members of the school goes hand in hand with preserving the status quo.

Excessive value placed in the hyper masculine first rugby team forced us to war cry practices and to attend and cheer vociferously at their games. This taught us that we were supposed to become these “role models”. Making the first team rugby as the focus of the school means that the culture of first team rugby players becomes the dominant culture in the school. This school space generates pressure to take steroids, coerces students to grow into oversized aggressive male figures with white “jock” accents and in the end diverts the primary reason one attends school – to be educated.

King Edward is a school that provides a comparatively good education, and many parents send their children to similar schools because they equip students with good skills in job-related disciplines. What the school fundamentally fails to do is disrupt, recreate and reposition King Edward learners into having a critical and relevant post-apartheid mindset. How can we discuss race, colonialism, exclusion, homosexuality if we are focussed on the first team rugby as our primary means of enjoyment and meaning? We were never spoken to about rape, about respect for women, about racism, about assimilation – not because they were irrelevant, but more because they did not in any way contribute to the overall conformity needed in the school.

Much of the present white youth have conservative sentiments due to cultivation of such attitudes in schools like King Edward where racist, sexist, white supremacist attitudes and manners are instilled and ignored at the same time. Each child is moulded into a fervent, loyal, and unquestioning supporter and participator in a system that forces them to forget the culture from which they emerged. There are of course cries of brotherhood, a new culture that the boys take on, which knit them together. Of course, this brotherhood only extends to those who participate in and begin to embody the ideal King Edwards boy.

If anything King Edwards greatly lacked is any such brotherhood. One very distinct memory of mine was at a rugby game, cheering and part of the massive King Edward crowd, our attention was diverted to a fellow schoolmate walking past with what one may assume to be his girlfriend. The woman he was with did not match the crowd’s “beauty standards” (blond hair, clear skin, skinny legs, whatever) and the whole crowd jeered with disapproval. On another occasion, after a weekend out, people were “accused” of “Jungle Fever” or of “kissing a black chick” and tormented about it. The process of dehumanisation and undervaluation of black women is located in these closed, racist all-boys schools. This highlights the disgusting results of “brotherhood” centred on rugby, centred on white ideals… what is brotherhood if it excludes?

King Edwards is one school in many; I do not believe my experience is unique. A fundamental revision of well-funded schooling must be realised. Just because a student exits the school with the ability to do mathematics and a healthy Admission Point Score does not mean they are in any way ready to move our miserable society forward.

laurence stewartLaurence Stewart is an interested university student. He loves music and football, and above all he finds pleasure in history and how it shapes the present.

Featured image via King Edward VII School on Facebook

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57 comments

  1. Laurence, there are lots of individualists who do not fit into schools with a more traditional and “team pride” ethos. There are also lots of schools with a more casual and relaxed ethos that cater for individualists like you. You could have chosen to go to the latter instead of the former. There is consumer choice in the education market. Unless you were forced to stay on at the school because of your parents’ wishes, but then that’s a problem between you and your parents. Don’t let your misfortune ruin it for others.

    You admit that the above school has an excellent academic track record, but you will not credit its ethos of discipline, team ethic and pride as contributing factors to that record. That is your choice.

    • “Don’t let your misfortune ruin it for others.” lol that’s pretty much what white men have been saying to black women all along, in a meta-narrative kind of way. The problem is that white men are in fact the CAUSE of the misfortune (also in a meta-narrative, broad-historical-arc, kind of way). Also a statement like “There is consumer choice in the education market.” reveals all kinds of problematic assumptions – A) that everyone is rich and privileged enough to have a choice (which they don’t), and B) that consumer choice equates to actual freedom (which is patently absurd).

      • Mike, thank you for sharing your postmodernist critical theory claptrap here. Laurence had a choice, unless he actually enjoyed his school experience there, but now revises his own “meta-narrative, broad-historical-arc” wokeness and what-not because he has been caught up in all the “Fallist” hype at university OR he did regret his experience of school culture there all along, whilst making most use of its academic rigour. Selfishness and ingratitude at its best.

        Your “problematic assumptions” is straight from the stock standard Marxist analysis that all schools should be standardised and there should be no variety or choice. Are you for real? Your destructive solutions to society decry the few centres of excellence that we have left before central government mangles it into mediocrity.

        Choice equals freedom, unless you like being shackled to monopolised mediocrity

        • He could be forgiven for changing his views after the fact. opinions change as our understanding grows. As learners I think most of us are too swept up by the team spirit, school ethos bullshit-propaganda they shove down our throats everyday to really see the wood for the trees. I myself felt my own high school was pretty progressive, at the time. However as I learn and grow I become more aware of just how racist, backwards and UNtransformed it really was. Your “centres of excellence” are in fact the ivory towers of oppression, as Lawrence has courageously exposed, and they’ll inevitably come crashing down; even if those invested in a ‘whiteness as virtue’ mindset are too blind to see it. #Fall is not a hype. Decolonisation is not some fad. Nor is the world-wide feminist struggle against toxic masculinity (which institutions such as yours are certainly guily of ciltivating). It’s a simple sociological inevitability. Seems like some who benefited from the old order are unable to comprehend – let alone adapt to – this new reality.

          • No, you’re right there. None of this is a fad. I take that back. It’s all inevitable. We’re in for constant decline. Decline in standards, respect, pride, team ethic, work ethic and chivalry.

            I have no issue with the progressive fight against prejudices and the racial transformation of our institutions, but let us not throw out the baby with the bathwater, by decrying good old fashioned school discipline.

            Laurence admits that his school had academic excellence, so far from it being oppressive I put it to you that it has actually enabled him and other alumni to go out into the world with confidence and opportunity.

            His school is an example that we should imitate across the country, blighted by the legacy of the Apartheid regime’s Bantu Education policies. Unfortunately, in the spirit of progression, deprived schools are left behind with egalitarian and anti-competition standards where you can pass a subject with 30%, taking the pressure off from teachers to deliver excellent education. It’s all being sacrificed at the altar to serve your ideological mantras.

        • eish to white for bee

          You realise that these marxist ideologies, are a white mans ideas. Sorry for spelling product of new south african schooling system. I will go without money to closest pick n pay, to pay for food and cooldrink with my white privledge

  2. This article does have good points and I am someone who matriculated at the school but there are some points that are irrational and just nonsense. I never once heard one of teachers say kaffir. The whole white supremecy is a bit harsh as they do the war memoriums but that is something that has been done since ww2 but I do believe the school should add more where all cultures are seen and more conradi for the country is issued than just the Reds.

  3. Laurence, this article is a bit hypocritical to say at the least. If I remember correctly which I do, not only did you do warcrys, march in the memorial parade and join the “crowd” in commenting when other guys walked passed with their girlfriends but you were proud to do so.

    And before you can say the above mentioned school provides a “miseducation” to students, let’s discuss the fact that not only is the school a top feeder school to the top university, “wits”, but is also ranked among the top 10 best schools in Africa.

    As much you do feel that the school hinders on past principles, it has played a major role in making you the “man” you are today. So before you start listing all the negatives qualities of said school you need to first look at the positive qualities as no one forced you to attend the school, you did ultimately have a choice.

    And I would really like to inform everyone reading this that there is always two sides to a story and one cannot not look blindly when reading this article as many would argue differently.

    And lastly I would like tell Laurence that the weed you smoked before writing this article is of really high quality.😊

    • Hahaha! Fantastic!

      More! Tell us more about Mr Stewart’s impeccable and unblemished record which allows him such broad brush-strokes.

  4. Why is Laurence’s opinion so remarkable? Middle class kid did not enjoy his school experience and the rigidity it required… felt he needed a bit more freedom. Slagging off your school, your employer, your family etc. is so boring.

  5. What an absolute load of horse shit.Lay off the vim sniffing mf

  6. As a back matric at a boys school i will say lots of honesty on here but also a lot of crap.

    Yes white supremacy is prevalent but its more often than not its subliminally carried out “she’s hot for a black girl”,”you’re not ‘really’ black” ect all these are common expression and they illustrate best that the problem is a superiority complex and you can’t pin on any school.

    Boys’ school aren’t progressing fast enough racism, politics, colonisation, sexism, rape, sexuality and many other topics need to be tackled more aggressively because there’s a huge stigma, lack of knowledge and/or ignorance around such topics.

    This uniformity you speak of got you to varsity and has made world class athletes and academics out of many not just KES but in Jeppe, Parktown, Pretoria ect.
    Respect, value and responsibility are instilled in boys clearly your superiority complex got in the way of that in high school because the only accounts you give the absence of these values are racially tied. I’ll take pseudo respect over some of the blatant disrespect I’ve seen at other other non traditional co-ed schools.

    If you want special hair styles and no sports there’s plenty of other options, you knew what you were in for with regards that, that’s the appeal of a boys school.
    And even though non participants are frowned upon, because they could potentially represent lazy people in society one day but don’t be mistaken they are very much a part every of the fabric and fraternity of every boys’ school because all schools have them and the group will never be complete without them.

  7. Well there are loads of comments here which succinctly lay it out for you and they all written by people who have enjoyed the excellence of model-c schooling.

    I’ll be brief… As a gay student who matriculated from King Edward 4 whole years before you, can I just say that my experience of it was entirely different. In fact on numerous occasions my fellow classmates stood up for me when I was being bullied off the school premises for being effeminate.

    I don’t agree with any of your rhetoric and I think you MO for writing this needs to be examined more closely.

  8. Generic Adult Female

    “mechanical courtesy, and pseudo respect”

    I can so relate to this. I visit a lot of schools and find the homogeneous greeting quite creepy, as it’s obvious that this is a Pavlovian response with no meaning or intention behind it. At the schools where this isn’t drilled, the kids might not always greet me smartly but they often do and on a more personal level. When they address me, it’s because they genuinely want to engage. Give me a heartfelt “Hello, what are you here for?” to a robotic “Good morning Ma’am” any day.

  9. This post is ridiculous.
    The country needs more schools that has such strong tradition, its a school that teaches boys to stop being boys and become men.
    Its a school that teaches you values that you can carry out through out your life, discipline is needed more than ever these days the world has become to soft and people are to quick to quit and complain instead of slugging it out and making a difficult situation better. It’s people like you who would rather point fingers and blame all your problems and challenges on everyone and anything else. THIS COUNTRY is full of people blaming their own challenges on everything else. Going to a school with values, tradition teaches you to stop being that person amd man up.
    FIND YOURSELF BUDDY

    • Whaaat!?!?
      These school’s definition of Man® is a mindless automaton who sticks by his fellow inmates whether they are right or wrong, never questions authority and always renumbers to engage in old school tie nepotism when they hit the job market. Oh and don’t forget to spend your weekends watching grown men fight over a bag of air instead of using your time to question the existence of the oppressive edifice that spawned the entire idiotic circus in the first place! Methinks that findings oneself is the last thing that would happen in a place like that….

      • eish to white for bee

        I think best will be to decolonise. We tear down building, we plant a couple trees, then we have a more “african” education system we must then under the shade of these trees, teach only “african” subjects like beadweaving, hearding, juba making, we can teach the young ones to twaza and more traditional schooling. Ya baba

  10. Laurence, well done for having the courage to write this article. Your description is eerily reminiscent of the all-boys school I attended, in a different province, some 20-odd years ago. What this tells me is that the things you are describing are a) widespread, and b) haven’t changed much (if at all) over the past 20 years.

    I’m sure you would have anticipated when you wrote this that the haters would have their knives out for you in short order, so you probably won’t be surprised by some of the responses you have had. Ad hominem attacks are weak cover for weak arguments, and all the praise for schools like these just demonstrates the very same colonialist ideological mindset you wrote about. This kind of backward thinking, and not the progressive and critical perspective you have taken, is what is stopping this country from moving forward.

  11. Thank you Lawrence for your many insights. Ironically the sanctimonious schools with the ‘strongest traditions’ are the most effective at churning out homogeneous drones, and cultivating group-think, as the above choir of jocular comments will reveal. 🙂
    In my view the problem is deeper than model-C whitist hegemony. The ideologies of whiteness, of capitalism, the archaic urge to quash individuality and creativity, these are deeply embedded into our very notions of what education is. Time for a complete overhaul.

    • Mike, so presumably Laurence is an exception to the rule if there was such indoctrination, if the school with its “archaic” “conformism” churned out “homogeneous drones”? It didn’t take long for Laurence to find his “individuality and creativity”, rise above his circumstances and flaunt his narcissistic ‘wokeness’ here. Either it wasn’t very effective or the extent of brainwashing/indoctrination is highly exaggerated. Which is it to be?

  12. Where to start?

    Bryce Courtenay’s “Power of One” a book not so loosely based on his life at King Edward, where the students taught the black staff in their spare time how to read, and the teachers were punished by the fascist apardheid regime.

    Ronnie Kasrils, a proud memebr of the struggle who attended King Edward.

    Ali Bacher, who brought South African Cricket back on to the world stage, and was 1st team captain in1959.

    Gary Player, who was in the same first team, and today promotes equality, as he has his entire life.

    School is there to teach discipline and respect, and I respectfully suggest the fact that you heard the k-word so often at school is because you did not report it to the teachers, or better yet, tell your colleagues to grow a brain (because I, as an old boy know the rule, “Do not bust your buddies.”). The greatest evil is when the good man does nothing, something I learnt during my time at King Edward.

    School is not supposed to be a fashion parade. Your class time table is not there as a guideline, but is to be seen as a tool to teach you about the value of time, and the need to move from one building to the next quickly, being mindful of the fact that there are other learners are in the rooms trying to learn, next to where you’re screaming at your friends standing next to you.

    School is an opportunity to learn how to bond with your friends, and these friendships are the ones you will still have the day you die.

    School is an opportunity to shape the person you’re going to be, and unleash yourself upon the world around you, stress-testing your faults and strengths.

    School sports activities are there to release the pressure of classes as a break from the norm, and while I wasn’t particularly talented, I participated and never once felt ostracised for being less of an achiever.

    School war-cry practices are their to assimulate unity with your brethren, because when your 1st 15 runs out, they represent you in the same way that when the Springbok 15 run out, they represent you. It is there to mould you into being proud of where you come from, grateful for where you are, and excited by where you’re heading.

    I am sorry, but as a man who attended a great school, with many great alumni, and a proud history like many other schools like it, I find your opinion to be one-sided, and full of disappointment that you (yes you achieved) didn’t do more to honour the fact that you had not just a good education, but the chance at a great one, when so many South Africans aren’t afforded the same opportunity.

    Larry, respectfully, I suggest you harden the f*** up.

    • I couldn’t have said it any better myself, well said Sean.

    • Funny you should mention The power of One, you might have forgotten the bit where he earned the name PK by being urinated on by his fellow students because he didn’t fit in. This is the problem with these sorts of institutions. They encourage children to bully each other into submission, great if you fit in, pure hell if you don’t…..

      • This behavior is not only limited to Model C schools, stories of first team rugby players ‘tea bagging’ grade 8 boys at the most expensive school in KZN have been leaked.

      • Yes, So you have two options.

        I played Bag Pipes while I was there, not a very macho thing to do. I was bullied for doing this once.

        1x PK, problem solved. I didn’t whinge, I didn’t cry, I stood up for myself and earned the respect of my colleagues, and gained friends for life. This is something that all the traditional boy’s schools try to instill in their students. They un-ashamedly tell you that they are there to teach you to become a man. Learn this lesson, and life becomes easier. Fail this lesson, and you become a whinging millennial.

        PK, eventually did the same for himself, and found peace.

    • Well said Sean.

      One’s opinion eventually becomes one’s reality and opinions are shaped from experiences.

      Laurence obviously had a different experience at KES to what most of us did. He probably saw followers and conformist and felt the need to rebel. Not realising that we chose the tradition, we chose the brotherhood and thats why we belonged.

      Fact is, we were proud of what we were a part of and would protect and uphold it at all cost. It became our DNA,hence “losers and slackers” were outcast because they never represented what we stood for. Instead they were about rebeling, wanting to change and questioning our spirit.

      So Laurence’s view is his reality,he was a loser that never fitted in.That was probably spoilt,that wanted to do what he liked when he liked. But KES was not a place that provided him that leisure.

      Desciline comes hand in hand with strictness,it’s either you see its value or its irrelevance in todays society.

      You should have toughened up or left, simple.

      • What a jolly hockey sticks load of old bollocks. Bet you never left the school, the mindset or the institution in your head…
        Sori4you…

    • Here here Sean. I was at KES at the same time as you and in full agreement with everything you’ve said here.

  13. You can see the guy who wrote that post wasn’t a KES boy lol He may have attended KES but he wasn’t a KES boy. Didn’t he have Guidance as a subject? I personally have made many choices that have taught me a lot and many times I had to learn the hard way but I don’t blame anyone. I don’t have the time or energy to look to the past or negativity, I have to the best I can be and KES was a school that was challenging but that brought out the best in me!! We had amazing teachers and I formed a brotherhood and family there that can never be broken!! There is no school that is perfect I will admit that and social issues always make their way into that sort of an environment. There is a lot to learn from the past but today is what counts. What we do today and how we mould our future!! KES is not for the faint at heart and looking back there were things I didn’t agree with but overall we are a great school, the best of the best!! Honour, courage and love are at the forefront of what it is all about. Brotherhood is something that will always stand strong at KES and the education as well sports are of the highest quality. The initiation and history of the school is where things get tricky. Yes back in the day it was rough but there were positives to that too. By the time we matriculated that era was over though, we were probably the last group of the old school and many positives have come from the new school as well as negatives, everything has to be looked at from a holistic point of view. Let’s get this straight KES isn’t for everyone but for those that have red in their veins, it is forever!! For those of us that attended The Prep School, we were already part of the tradition and it obviously made it easier but like anything in life it is what you make of the situation, how bad you really want it that counts and KES gave us the platform to do succeed. We arrived as kids and left as bears!! History is going to conjure up a storm anywhere and yes we are dealing with important issues that need to be addressed in 2016. Within all parts of society including schools there have been and still exist ugly pockets that we as citizens and together as a nation need to weed out. It is also not as simple as to just throw people and their ideals to the curb, we need to have a peaceful, patient and understanding mindset and vision. People need to be educated and mentored, they need to be supported in a way that will allow them to fulfill their own dreams. Unfortunately many institutions don’t have those sort of support structures and many of the time the youth as well adults are so entrenched in a system that has brainwashed them completely and abondoned them. Me personally I am old school you all know that and I will always stand for what I believe in. I am grateful for all that KES showed me and ultimately you only have to look at the individuals that the school has produced to know the truth about KES. It is a school with another type of calibur that many wouldn’t understand. I think there is much that still needs to be worked on in schools across the globe such as what is really important and what the youth are taught. Our youth needs to know the truth about the system and how it has destroyed our planet and I feel as if schools are still very entrenched in that same very system. If we could all just stop for a moment and look at what is really happening we would see that we are far off track and that as humans we have become shallow portraits and misled souls, weak phantasms with no clue of our true power. Stand up people and stop following, be leaders and examples to the world so that one day we can stand in unity, together as one, giants and followers of peace and love!! I leave you with a quote from a giant – Where there is love there is life – Mahatma Ghandi

  14. Dude for real get the f@ck out of here with that bullshit I need like a 2 hour debate with you to deal with this shit but I’ll try some it up

    I heard the k word used once at kes and that was when Patrick (a black guy) called nick (a white guy)a k word

    Yes miss maghlgu can’t really remember how to spell her name did get alot of shit but so did miss shumyn miss le Grange and a bunch of other teachers our class never made a teacher of colour walk out but my god nearly every white teacher walked out on us.

    Chirping girls when they walked past the stands during a game dude be it megan fox, Rihanna, ruby rose, Beyoncé or Kim kardashian they would of got jeered we friken teenagers. I know you use to speak shit about girls so don’t be so high and mighty now.

    White jocks bro please most of the top jocks were black guys. Yes there is a strong focus on sports but that’s kes it’s what they known for but it didn’t make cultural or academic achievements any less important most if not all of the head boys had academic colours

    Yes white guy’s where teased but never insulted about hooking with black girls but so were black guys when they hooked up with white girls. Like I said teased never insulted there a difference it was in jest and meet to be harmless

    Black guys were never ostracised man I got f@cking bullied by black guys and white guys.

    And if you sitting there going yeah but you’re a white guy its easy for you to sit there and say this. I didn’t excel at academics in kes because I didn’t believe in that education system but that’s an argument for another day. I didn’t have any kind of social standing at kes, I got bullied quite a lot because of my then placid nature, all I had was that I was some what decent at water polo . I was constantly in trouble with the teachers for my appearance, marks or just straight up getting into mischief. My hair was alway to long or had a light dye to it. Yet as much as I didn’t fit in, got into trouble and hated the education I was getting I will not sit by and let you speak shit about that place. I made brotherly bonds with white guys, black guys, coloured guys, Indian guys and Chinese guy’s. We were all teenagers then people change we grow up it’s what KES helped us do.
    Bottom line just because you left school grew your hair dabbled in some drugs and became a hipster don’t forget you were a kes boy both good and bad

  15. These are all symptoms of a dysfunctional society. Dialogues need to be formed to straighten things out. And this article is an opening argument. The Educational system is just inherently flawed. It’s become more about creating the next generation to satisfy the political agendas and less about informing people in order for them to make their own decisions free of manipulation. I see comments about choice, we barely have a choice. Social structures make shape our choices. Well done Laurence. This needs to go viral.

  16. Mr Stuart

    if you were so unsettled by what you experienced at KES why didn’t you leave?

    • Because he probably actually enjoyed his time there, but now finding himself in the midst of the wokeness craze at varsity, it is convenient to revise that experience through the lenses of his Fallist analysis. ka-ching!

  17. Laurence that is 3 minutes of my life I will never get back after reading your diatribe.

    If you are so enlightened, why didn’t you convince your parents to send you to a school where you could grow your hair long, hang out with hipsters, smoke some doobie and generally act like a teenage prat?

    I’ll give you some advice that your hippie buddies won’t……life is hard,toughen up!

    • You didn’t happen to go to a model c school perhaps? The lack of self reflection you display is one of the major issues holding this country back from unity.

  18. When you are a perpetually offended professional victim and social justice warrior, you see racism,misogyny,sexism in soup. As a black/queer man, i reject your whining. You do not speak for me or many of my fellow blacks who went to similar schools. Playing rugby is now called “hyper masculine” really? i can only imagine what you’d say about those of us who take part in boxing,judo etc.Your failure to relate to basic forms of masculinity has lead you to embracing toxic feminist ideas about what males should and should be doing,learning. Boys require boundaries and discipline. pure and simple. Not liking the rules and culture does not make them wrong. You failed to adapt and now require the world to change to suite you. Some of this might have been valid if it wasn’t for the obviously leftist, socialist feminized lens through which you view the world. You’ll have a tough time out there.

    • Based black/queer man has spoken. Adolescent boys do actually need some kind of guidance in life. It would be great if we had an educational system that accommodated everyone, did not offend anyone and where everyone got a medal just for showing up (just like in real life). Its foolish to pretend schools are the same today as they were 20, or even 10 years ago. They ARE changing. It doesn’t help complaining for the entire article but not suggesting even one feasible plan to change things for the better.

      “Just because a student exits the school with the ability to do mathematics and a healthy Admission Point Score does not mean they are in any way ready to move our miserable society forward.”

      The reason why OP is also gay.

  19. This article hits home.. well done for writing it.. im an old boy and all those issues that pta girls high are fighting existed at kes when I was there or still exist. The black zulu teachers. Mrs malinga and Mrs ndlovu etc were disrespected to such a point that if a black student would do the same they woukd call him to the side and beg him not to do that and try behave and treat them like the white kids do.. we the blacks were not allowed to speak in vanac. The afrikaans teacher Mrs gorenwald or whatever her name is would scream at us for speaking such along the corridors. Shaving of hair was rebuked and we all know that this was aimed at black students as it is widely known that black people are ones that generally have cheesekops. When singing rhe national anthem in assembly on a Friday, the vanac part was sung luke warm at best and when that racist part of the anthem “die stem” came, the whites would sing loud and proud. (yes die stem is a racist song and I don’t recognise it and will never ever sing it, debate for another day). It has been over 15 years that I matriculated there and I hope things have changed cos these small racist under tones are the contributors to the belittling of blacks and our worth in society. Last but not least.. WE NEED THE LAND.. ASJIKI

    • Youre full of crap chief. Ms Malinga and Ndlovu were not disrespected because they were black, they were disrespected because they were weak teachers and boys will take advantage of that.We harassed an even weaker white female math teacher so badly that she resigned.By your weak SJW logic you’d say it was because she was a woman. We further harassed a white male biology teacher so badly( including killing his expensive fish) that he left for days and refused to teach us. We did all manner of things to every race of teacher that walked through those gates. the only ones that escaped were the ones that put their feet down and meeted out some discipline. Nothing to do with racism. I walked with miss Malinga almost everyday since she lived in the same neighborhood, not once did she ever talk of racism.If you’re going to claim racism then you that claim needs to be directed at the other teachers and the system. But that would require you to actually do some research and find out whether or not she felt racism towards her or felt unsupported by the system. You’re not going to do that because you’e not interested in learning anything or getting to the bottom of this. You are only interested in jumping onboard the fake outrage wave and crying victimhood. We shaved our heads all the time, nobody said a thing. mrs Groenewald screamed at everybody.Lastly, what exactly are you going to do with the land when you can’t farm? you want this you want that for free and you think youll get it nje kanjalo because you want? life doesn’t work life that chap.Youre not getting jack that you dont work for simple.

      • Young man. You are exactly what kes produces. A black boy who tries so hard to identify with the white milner school ideal. as you say you walked with malinga everyday then maybe when you see her one day ask her about racism ko kes. Dont Tey score points ka kes le bo ngamla. Clearly you are too junior cos in 98 to 2002 there was no cheesekop allowed and that’s a fact. And why you selective about answering me. Answer me about the national anthem? Did you know that even when selecting prefects ko kes it was a quota thing as to how many black can be prefects etc. Infact the first black head boy at kes. ( who is an uncle ruckus like you) was chosen on the centenary as legacy of some sort, groomed from keps all the way. The fact that you stand there for the military parade and honour some shity white people who went to a war that you and your people had been o thing to do with is the problem. Next time you go to kes, go to the hall, look at the pics and the names. You will see legends and what have you. From 1902 or whatever, history of a white kes. Yes today there are blacks but the way kes is run is still catering for that type of scholar.. and it has done a good job on you.. we would call you a house negro..

        • Jay echoes the point I raised about one’s experiences eventualy formulating one’s reality.

          To Kholofelo,I matriculated in 1998 meaning I joined KES in Form1 in 1994 amidst the change of the country’s political landscape.

          With this change came opportunities for the black population,this resulted in an influx of black students to a formely “white” institutions.

          We were introduced to traditions, descipline and spirit of our “oppressors”. This was a recipe for disaster as there was a “movement” of rebelling against anything that was “white” despite its values or what it represented. Same as our racist adversaries that only knew segregation.

          I was very fortunate to have made friends from the two extremes that were both fighting change and not embrassing it.

          You sir are an angry black man who will complain about any and everything. Instead of manning up and making the best of your situation instead of being a whiner.Which is why you were never KES fabric. If you read most comments from black and white who uphold KES values, you MIGHT see that our experience made us solid men and we are fortunate for the opportunity.

          You are still a whiner complaining about what happened to you more than 10 years ago.

          Racism will never go away, but that doesn’t mean life must stop. Don’t blame the school for the minority groups.

    • Dude please in my year Mr fenal called us in to the auditorium and we all decided as metrics that it was fair the black guys could shave there heads but the white guys couldn’t because a shaved head on a black guy look really neat but it looks trashy on white guys. Black guys always spoke there own language and nobody gave a shit. Guys are jumping on the band wagon here now why didn’t you leave then. And it was never just the black teachers that were given shit. stop making out as if they were targeted.

  20. You all make some rather good points. Many of you however have engaged in fallacies, straw men and all sorts of bullshit in order to try get your points across. We should have all realised one thing from reading each others comments:
    Perspective is everything. Almost every single one of you use your personal experiences as “proof” for why X is Y and never Z. Anecdotal evidence is weak bait at best.

    KEZ is guilty of emphasizing hyper masculine behaviour as the norm/ideal, there have been incidents of racism. These have been swept under the rug. They have been cultivated by remnants of the previous generation that we’re trying to be better than. There are incidents of sexism. There is a massive heard mentality. YES, this happens in ALL schools don’t tell me KEZ is the only school this happens. This is indicative of an underlying problem with society. We can’t expect schools to practice better societal values than society itself. Who would even teach these values?

    This doesn’t mean its ok. These “ex model C schools” are simply doing what they think is best. It’s different from one school to the next, and even then won’t work for every student. If you’re privileged enough to afford it go to another school. If you’re not then harden the fuck up. Life doesn’t get easier after high school.

    • I would just like to point out that perspective and anecdotal evidence also holds for both your comment and Stuart’s opinion piece.

  21. Dude i was in your class and you constantly gave teachers shit. Mostly a disrespectful attitude especially towards female teachers. You used to patronise students in our own class making them feel insecure and inferior. You took part in marching when you had the choice not to. One of the most ignorant articles i have read from somebody that contradicts himself

  22. This article writer is slightly unhinged. He now rejects the school in its entirety to score some points with his sociological babble and complete lack of balance. No constructive solutions. These little revolutionaries should do a bit of research on Pol Pot and the Year Zero.

    Are you going to be this disloyal to all the institutions you ever belong to? Good luck with that.

  23. Maybe Laurence is upset because he also wanted to wear his afro.

  24. I taught at KES from 2011 to 2013. I found most of the boys to be polite, well-rounded and respectful. As all kids will, as a young female teacher, I was tested but soon earned the boys’ respect.

    The boys even questioned my now husband about when he would marry me, as it was the right thing to do!

    As a debating coach, my debaters were some of the most well-liked boys in the school – even though they were “nerds”, they were part of a family. Never once was I sexually harassed or even nearly disrespected. In fact, as female teachers, we were protected from the more unsavoury characters by most of the boys- if this is patriarchal behaviour, then so be it.

    If ever I can, my sons will be sent to KES with pride.

  25. Tarquin Boscuitbarrel

    i didn’t go to kes, I went to another high profile private school and I agree with pretty much a lot of your points here. But it smacks of insincerity, and I’m finding this particular bandwagon especially irritating. That is to say – white people who have to say things like #checkypurprivilege to impress their black friends and to help them stand above their white friends. Lot of this going on. The worst part is they’re normally right; it’s the posturing and the egoism of the whole things that turns me off.

  26. Me, im black, but dis is non sense man come on!
    All dat i reed when i look at dis shit is:
    Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite Hypocrite

    u need to lay off da nyaope my man. if you wer too afrayd to take a black meddie to your matrick dance den dat is your fault for being a pussi.

  27. As someone who attended Crawford, probably the most prominent of individualistic schools in SA, let me just say that it is not all it is cracked up to be.

    A part of me would like to have seen more team spirit, discipline, respect and manners; because frankly, most of the time it was terrible. The school had no culture to speak of. I somehow doubt that is something you are looking for.

    Your experience might not be unique (and I doubt I would have fully enjoyed an all boys school either) but there are just as many people out there who enjoy and, dare I say it, thrive in that environment. There is no need to decry such schools (which everyone seems to be doing at the moment) for this; telling them they must now completely dismantle their entire makeup.

    Instead perhaps the better option is to rather expand the offering of schools which either a) cater towards the ‘African’ culture of schooling (I have yet to seen an explanation of what that is) or b) to offer schools with a more individualistic approach.

    There is more than enough demand and need in our education system for such a duplicity of models. That would offer freedom of choice. Your, and like minded decolonisers, crusade to rid the education system of such schools and replace them with a singular model; is not.

  28. Great article. Those who cry hypocracy fail to take into account the power of peer pressure and school conformity, which is what the writer speaks to. Kids at schools like this are like recruits in the army, they arrive, are initiated, intimidated to fit in and punished if they do not.
    It is schools like this in SA that hold white perspectives back in so many ways, in the same way that schools like Harrow and Eton shape the colonial, racist and now neo-colonial perspectives that pervade the British upper class – which of course KES and the other model c schools (and of course many private schools) are based upon.
    Instead of attacking the writer I think that those feeling affronted ought to engage in a bit of self reflection.

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