"The Weekend Read": Miseducation

By: Deonta Wortham

Foresight’s chief aim has been "highlighting developmental strides made across the African continent" - we love the thought of that notion so much that it is our tagline. However, despite the numerous progresses that have occurred across the African continent, there still are many flaws that African societies – in their entirety - have failed to overcome. Why Poverty?’s micro-documentary “Miseducation” explores the magnitude of one of these unfortunate flaws.

Kelina is eleven years old and lives outside Cape Town in an area known as “The Flats.” In describing the nature of her community she says:

“What goes through my mind is [that] I’m scared to walk alone” … “because they raped a woman on the street”

“You have no choice but to see these things.”

“You must not walk alone.”

“I’m scared to walk because a bullet doesn’t have an address.”

Rape, the fear of being kidnapped, and the inability to evade gun and gang violence. These are the issues plaguing the mind of an eleven year old girl living just outside the cosmopolitan center of Cape Town.  These are the issues that are shaping her formative adolescent years.

Addressing the concept of development without examining detrimental issues facing various African societies is pointless. Development – in its truest form – requires the transformation of the society in its entirety. It is the fulfillment of “change” with the hope of bettering the individual’s reality.

Development, also must viewed in the context of girls like Kalina. In furthering the “developmental cause,” we must ask ourselves:

 How can the development effort ensure that she feels safe in her own community?

-and-

How can the development effort provide the resources necessary to ensure that individuals living in impoverished areas are capable going to school without the fear of being hit by a stray bullet?

There is no concrete answer to either of these question. But a concentrated effort must be made to ensure that the broader development effort on the African continent takes note of the need to eliminate experiences like those of Kalina.

Quite frankly, the development effort needs address the concept of Miseducation