Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Ntokozo Zulu

Ntokozo Zulu
Ntokozo Zulu is a final year undergraduate student majoring in Geography at UKZN. She lives in KwaMashu Township near Durban, which she says tends to be stigmatised by outsiders as ‘a violent, corrupt, dirty poor and dangerous place to be.’ She says this is ‘far from the truth,’ that KwaMashu is ‘vibrant, buzzing and welcome.’ While she enjoys meeting people at University, she says she sometimes avoids telling people where she comes from ‘because of the comments that follow.’

In her chapter, Coming to a Foreign Country: adjusting to the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Ntokozo writes about the importance of being black to her as a student at UKZN. Coming from a black single-sex high school, she welcomes the opportunity to interact with students of other ‘races’, as well as males. Significantly, she writes about how little she knows about people in her classes from other ‘races’ despite being with them for two years. But she stresses the importance of lecturers encouraging ‘racial’ mixing in group work. Ntokozo also discusses the concerns of black students who come from relatively resource-poor high school backgrounds: struggles with varsity fees and problems of reading and writing with speed and fluency in English.

Zulu, Ntokozo. 'Coming to a Foreign Country: adjusting to the University of KwaZulu-Natal', in Rob Pattman and Sultan Khan (Eds.), Undressing Durban (Durban: Madiba Press, 2007), pp. 405-406.