By Sel Kute
To educate oneself is a task constantly in a state of flux, varying from the text book jitters of night-before’s to the intuitive gems of wisdom our forefathers pass down in the form of “Back in my day” tales. The purpose of this education is to apparently nurture the limitless sponge that is our minds and liberate our senses to create new and revolutionary ideas that would ideally have a lifespan far surpassing our own.
Okay, formalities aside – the above generic description may be true, but have we ever considered the nature our selfish relationship with education and mental nourishment? You see, what breaks my jargon-spewing heart is that the act of self-education has now been confined to the rigid constraints of academia; the concept of an educative arena has been inherently associated to the bricked walls and antiquity of University gates and dingy high school classrooms.
For what? For who?
Look, perhaps we could stimulate our minds and enrich our dormant imaginations through simplistic conversations with a crinkled street beggar or a fossil fuel reeking petrol attendant. Engage with the percentage-less quality of their lives, search within the depths of their maligned intellects and discover the diamond laden abyss that is their backstory and harboured ambitions.
Let’s dub it, The Royal College of Life, Yes? Yes.
There is something beautiful and organic about the art of an unconventional experience within the fragments of life that wonder under the flavoursome streetlights of a Jo’burg evening. More so, the off-the-cuff lectures one receives from street citizens and scar faced vegetable vendors concerned with the science of minimum wage economics, now this Gentleman and gentler ladies, is an education. I’ve realised the bustling cadence of rusty taxi hooters meshed with spontaneous street kid chitter-chatter mimics the melodic quality of the refined Jazz repertoire, just, well, in the more expressionist sense, feel me?. Screeching Train tracks for violins and Double Bass-like truck stops – a city scape music school, lurking between our blinding ignorance.
Like many an adolescent soul, the daytime mostly comprises of me attending bourgeoisie infested Wits University lecturer halls, within the secluded gates of academia’s safe haven – this age old academic routine may or may not provide a steady to substantial income well into the twilight of our lives but one thing remains fundamental. It’s simple really. We have for so long neglected the bursary we were graced with the moment we left our maternal wombs, a bursary that stipulates free tuition into the brain gymnasium that is ordinary life – a spiritual, mental and psychological encyclopaedia, tailor made for our unique interests and textured minds. A figurative book with an infinite amount of chapters in which to explore and absorb. So, where can one locate such a book? One conventional mouth might utter. Hmm… well, it resides in one mammoth library, the one with pigeons for wallpapers and street lamps for lights – on the opposite end of your front door.
How about it? An education in the juggernaut that is life? Lets.