Mathabo Conquers Rhodes 2019 ???????? ????


Rhodes University Season 2: Help Mathabo Conquer in 2019!


”... we all have personal wars in life and this (academia) is yours...” - Mom (2015). 


6 years later I am back at Rhodes University wanting to complete a year in order to get my degree. In 2012 after witnessing an incredible academic decline spanning 2 years - I was diagnosed with depression and unfit to continue with my studies. I did not know what this meant. “Depression” sounded like an excuse and an elaborate sick note which would pardon me from not handing my Drama 3 final research paper on time. I was unfit to go back to school (when reading the psychologist note again this year I don’t get how this diagnosis had not bearing over my mind at the time to the point where I did not tell my mom about it at all!) but I tried again and stayed in 2013 still thriving with my imposter syndrome as I managed to fool myself with my extroverted personality that everything was okay meanwhile I could not stand being alone because I would be confronted by the feeling of failure even after putting in effort in all that I did. I was so scared of being alone. 


No one knew that I would get panic attacks during exams or when I had to write anything deemed “academic”. No one knew that I would sleep for crazy hours in a dark room and wake and dress up and face the world with the upbeat energy the world knows me to have. I was “lazy” and “not serious” kum and truly I was convinced that I was not smart but lucky enough to be around smart people. I gave up quietly on myself with a smile and my armour called humour and entertained myself with things and circles which bought into the mask and performance I put up as self-defense. 


My mom called me late 2013 saying that she feels that my energy is not the same and I’m not the same Mathabo, period: “Andinamntwana ozokufela eRhodes mna”

(I’m not having a child who’s going to die at Rhodes) not understanding what the heck she was talking about she hitch-hiked from KWT to fetch me the next day - dragged me by the hand with tears in her eyes and went back to Grahamstown the following week to pack my stuff from the accomodation I was staying. She would look at me crushed and would hold back her tears - I truly thought she was super dramatic. This was November and I was wearing a coat in 29 plus degrees (lol) and no this was not an “Iconic Mathabo Fashion Moment”- I was not okay shem.  She said she could not recognise me - I was “okay” mna and only had trouble sleeping for weeks on end qha. December of 2013 get that final transcript at the end of the year telling me that I have not only failed but I am academically excluded from the university. I was awake for the first time in a long time and broke down. 


I was acutely depressed and did not understand what this meant at the time. Everything fell apart and I thought it was me - the passed 6 years I have been able to confront the shame I have been carrying. Hardest 6 years because in me shon a light and talent which had to be affirmed by an academic institution - unlike at Rhodes, in the “real world” my suffering was visible and placed me in undesirable positions as I tried to survive with faux-confidence and baseless optimism. 


I am back at Rhodes University. I appealed against the academic exclusion and got accepted #Praise but now all of the financial avenues which were promising shut before me - the last door shut this afternoon and this only fueled my convictions to stay here and finish the work! I WANNA DO THIIIIIIIIIS GUUUUUYSS!


My mom once said ethetha about this turbulent academic journey: “Welcome to real life; this is real life (lol). As an adult each person has that one thing they will forever fight to overcome; we all have personal wars in life and this (academia) is yours...” 


Fam please pray and speak progressive things in the atmosphere on my behalf - please let us shift the intangible so that the tangible may happen. I need to finish my second major (Sociology) and 3.5 minors to get my degree. Only one year and I’m done! 


Please let me know of any financial channels available that you know of - I know that superficially investing in a grown- ass woman majoring in Drama and Sociology may not seem vibey and profitable BUT YA’LL, I’M AN INVESTMENT FA’REAL - I’M GOING PLACES FA’REA! TRUST! We need R110 000 to cover both university costs and accomodation, so the maths: 1000 people contribute R110 and boom, finish line! You are more than welcome to contribute what you can - any amount lesser or greater is so appreciated and will make a difference. 


Thank you so much for your You contribution and partnering with me on what is the fight of my life! I am keen to come back with one heck of a testimony and feel pretty chuffed to have you in it. 


Onward and upward! 


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