My name is Wanelis Xaba. I am a student at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. I am in my third year of my Master’s degree in Social Development. My research focuses on how Black students navigate their identity in institutions of higher learning here in Cape Town. Historically, education was segregated according to race in South Africa. Black students received very poor basic education and very few making into tertiary education. This was done to prepare Black people for slave labour. This legacy has a huge impact in who accesses education, relates to historically white university’s institutional culture and ultimately who gets to graduate. My research focuses on colonial and Apartheid legacies in education, institutional cultures, belonging, and academic/financial exclusion faced by young people in post-Apartheid South Africa. Ultimately, I seek to understand what meanings young people attach to Blackness, how universities shape their Black identity and what it means to be a young Black youth in South Africa.
I am a feminist and gender justice activist and I have also been involved in student activism for free education in South Africa. Because education is not free in South Africa, I have struggled with funding for my education for the last four years (this includes my previous post-grad qualification). I am in my third year and I have no funding in order to finish my Master’s thesis.
I am seeking to raise minimum USD 3000 in order to finish my qualification by December 2017. I feel that my research is an important contribution to the political climate and the recent activism by student movements like #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall.
I would appreciate any donation that would help me reach my goal.