Manifesto by Matheus Lopes

In most of the articles that  I have written for my blog thus far, I have aimed to remain neutral and focused on seeing both sides of the story. But today, I find it nearly impossible to do so.


The behaviour of students at the different universities has become ridiculous. I struggle to see the bigger purpose of the #RhodesMustFall situation. It appears that most students take part in this campaign for personal gain and that they are not seeing the bigger picture. And I am saying this, because the removal of a statue of a man, that has died more than a century ago, is not going to influence, or change your degree and marks. It only has an influence on your attitude, which is something you have to change. The reality is: You can’t always have your way. That is what being a grown up is about; accepting that the world is not here to serve your needs.


A tertiary education is a privilege. It doesn’t fall into your lap. And I will question your work ethic and ability if you expect it to. You have to work hard for it and then, if you are anything like me, you have to work hard for a few years (after getting your degree) to pay back your student loan. Paying your own studies teaches you that you can’t fail a subject. Because if you do, you are just adding to your bill.


Some readers will probably argue that I am privileged. Hell, yes. I am privileged. I am privileged because I have great parents that taught me the value of money, and how to save up for something I want. They taught me that nothing comes easy, and if you want something, you must work hard to get it. You can’t throw a tantrum every time you don’t get your way. That is what a two-year-old child does because he/she doesn’t know any better. You have to accept that life isn’t easy. It’s tough. So, get over it. Removing a statue, that reminds you of something in the past, that you don’t like, is like deleting past life experiences – good or bad – that helped shape you into the person you are today.


For me, as a fellow millennial, you have two options. You can either take the past and learn from it, or you can throw a tantrum by destroying books and statues. The latter gives the world an opportunity to view you as the two-year-old – screaming at the till for that Kinderjoy treat – like you are. But I ask, that you will rather show us that you are educated, young adults, who know you cannot change the past, but learn from the mistakes. Giving you the opportunity to set great examples for our future generations. In other words, that you might understand better: #PleaseGrowUp

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