Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 5.06.14 PM

Two decades after South Africa ended apartheid and voted Nelson Mandela into office, the country still struggles with race. While the country’s leadership looks like its majority-Black population, stark economic disparities exist.

According to the country’s 2011 census, Black South Africans made 60,613 rand ($8,700 at the time), just one-sixth the income of whites, and approximately a quarter of Asians. Mixed-raced (or “coloured”) South Africans had twice the income of Blacks.

In addition to the differing socioeconomic levels, South Africans still struggle with the scars of its past, and a recent video of university students only highlight the issues that still remain.

In Luister, students of color at Stellenbosch University shine on a light on how marginalized and discriminated against they feel at the institution which teaches in Afrikaans, the language of the ousted apartheid government (it’s also one of South Africa’s official languages).

According to the film’s YouTube page, Luister, which is the Afrikaans word for “listen,” is about “Afrikaans as a language and a culture. It is a film about the continuing racism that exists within a divided society. It is a film about a group of students whose stories have been ignored.”

Throughout the video students share painfully honest experiences of what’s happened to them at Stellenbosch University.

In one clip, a student said he feels like “it’s wrong to be Black” at the university, while another spoke about being kicked out of a party because of his race. In another instance, a young man spoke about being attacked by a group of white students and not being supported by the university or police.

One student, who’ been threatened for speaking out, said the university has a “culture of trying to silence Black voices” by continuing to celebrate Afrikaans. She concludes, “They’re willing to safeguard their language policy, but they’re not willing to safeguard Black students.”

Since Luister was published to YouTube at the end of August, it’s racked up over a quarter-of-a-million views, and sparked protests at the university.

Recently, hundreds of students demonstrated at Stellenbosch, claiming the formerly “whites only” university continues to uphold the spirit of apartheid.

“It isn’t simply about language as a teaching tool,” Mo Shabangu, a student activist, told Al Jazeera. “It’s about language and how it connects to the institutional culture that continues in this apartheid spirit unabated.”

Take a look at the eye-opening film.

Tags: , , , ,
Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter
  • First, I send great Kudos to Clutch for showing information on this important story.

    This documentary should be watched by people all over the world, especially by people of black African descent. This video shows that the evil of racism is an international problem. We are an international people, so we have to form solutions internationally. The vast majority of residents of South Africa are black, but black people are the victims of overt racism in Stellenbosch University. The victims of racism have every right to speak out against these injustices. This is my first time of me seeing this documentary and I have angry against the evil of prejudice, racism, and oppression. It is true that after the evil of apartheid existed in South Africa, the other evil of economic inequality (and other bad neoliberal policies) still exists in South Africa.

    I am in solidarity with these students and all progressive workers who want economic justice (as the Marikana Massacre was about workers being murdered by the police for just protesting for their economic rights in South Africa). Stellenbosch University is racist and should be reprimanded by the South African government for its actions. I have read on the internet about stories that many professors in the university are racists. Even the Vice-Chancellor of the University has admitted that racism is found in the institution. Many people now are demanding reform and are protesting. These black students paid money to go into this university and they should be treated justly and with respect. White racism should end.

    I salute the black students for their bravery in speaking truth to power.

    • Charles Johnson

      truth, i couldn’t have said it better

  • Sugar Love Designs

    This is so heart breaking, it’s interesting how some continue to carryon without being held accountable for their actions when they are morally and ethically wrong…even with proof people continue to deny the obvious or have an and so what attitude…….thank you for sharing and yes these are some brave souls but people get to a point where enough is enough and their money is the same color as everyone elses money they deserve respect and equal treatment.

  • CoolChic

    In the midst of a black majority government in black majority country, whites can still pull this racist ish. Jeez.

    • TT

      How is this possible though? That’s what I want to know. If white people can still be racist a-holes and get away within a country with majority black gov., what hope is there?