The Wall Will Fall

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The second day of the Khanya College Winter School 2022 opened with a symbolic activity. Comrade Maria van Driel who was facilitating the session asked the participants to build a wall using boxes that differ in size, labelled according to social problems identified by the group the day before. Among others, these problems include trauma, substance abuse, capitalism, unemployment, gender-based violence (GBV), and other forms of discrimination. The symbolic activity was a challenge for participants to construct a wall of problems for the working class and then deliberate on strategies on how to break down the wall including the basement blocks of the wall in a non-violent way.

During the construction phase of the wall, the group agreed on some issues that had to be written on the big boxes to show that they are big problems facing working-class communities. There were signs of disagreement when it was suggested that trauma should be considered a huge social problem. Comrade Belita Andre who is a participant at the school and was for the motion told other participants that trauma is “big because if we are traumatised we cannot do other things”. A participant while making an observation referred to the lack of information among the working class as ignorance, Comrade Maria intervened, pointing out instead to the fact that dominated classes are often educated in ways that suit the needs of the dominating classes, in a name enslaving education.

Not all was smooth and one-sided because there were issues that divided the participants. When invited to share what the problems are in society, some participants felt that illegal migration, overpopulation and religion, were part of the problems the working class face today.

“In our organisations, we have different opinions, how do we keep the team together?” These issues were parked and banked for later discussion as they were classified as divisive.

After the exercise was officially completed, comrade Edgar Mokgola asked if it was advisable for movements to tell communities and even activists, that they would be campaigning against religion? He said the idea was not the best.

In the end, the wall was arranged with the bottom-most blocks being GBV and unemployment. Comrade Maria said that each of the smaller working groups would be invited to rearrange the wall according to how they see the issues.

This article was submitted as part of the Imbila Yesu publication produced daily for the duration of the Winter School in 2022 (17-22 July 2022). It appeared in Edition 1, released on 20 July 2022.

You may republish this article, so long as you credit the author and Karibu! Online (, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

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