Letter to the Editor 23 October 2017: An Open Letter to UP: why don’t you care about our mental health?

Kemelo Sehlapelo believes the University of Pretoria (UP) needs to do more to look after the mental wellbeing of its students.

On the 18th of October 2017, I had made my mind up that I was going to give up. I had decided that this was it, another suicide attempt. I say ‘attempt’ because I knew that deep down, I was hoping for a miracle; for someone to stop me and look at me and ask, “Hey, are you doing ok?” and I would collapse into their arms, saved once again from myself.

That day, a security guard was that miracle. And I cried and cried and cried. Tomorrow and for the rest of mylife I will have to continue seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist. I have medical aid. I am black. I am an artist and naturally melancholic, an old soul, says my mother. I was saved from myself. But what about the rest?

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Letter to the Editor Issue 18| Letter 1


I read this week’s issue of Perdeby, and what touched me is the article on suicide rates. The reason it touched me is because I was once depressed and had suicidal thoughts at some point last year first semester. What allowed to me get through such a period are the words I wrote and which have helped me during difficult times.

It is said that hard work pays off, but I’m sure that statement is forever doubted when one goes through life’s difficulties. Everything just falls apart and seems to be a never ending nightmare. You begin to question the worth of your efforts, whether or not you are good enough to do this, and some people get to the point of questioning their existence. The question is, should you give up just because trials and tribulations are pounding themselves on you? I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t throw in the towel on your dreams and goals…Why? Because God loves you. Keep at it. One day you will see the results

- Sean Nkomo

Letter to the editor Issue 3| Letter 1

I, Saa’if Essa the President of the Muslim Student Association at Tuks would like to raise the issue of Halaal food. On Main Campus there is no Halaal food place, only on South Campus. We have been buying food from there for many years. However since the bridge had been taken away, it has been difficult for Muslim Students. The kiosk at South Campus has great service and has good food. There is a shuttle service but it is every hour. One recommendation that I have thought of was that since the Kiosk had closed down, a Halaal food place could open up. Please consider this suggestion as it would help us and make our lives easier.

Thank you very much, Your help is much appreciated. Sincerely

Saa’if Essa President of MSA Tuks

Letter to the editor | Issue 4 | Letter 3

As a student at this institution I am highly offended at the option that Sepedi should be a language included in our curriculum. What about all the other African languages?

It is not all black people in Pretoria who are familiar and comfortable with that language. English should be the standard language for all students of all races, as it is the standard language of communication across the world.

The language policy should be the least of this institution’s concerns. Last year we all saw the rise of the #FeesMustFall movement. Nothing is being said about this. What will happen in October when we as students decide to cause commotion? It is definite. The reality is our fees are sky high and, fair enough, this is one the best institutions in South Africa, but what is this institution doing to combat this reality? What are political parties doing? Wits has raised over R3 million for their students, it is honestly sad to see that nothing is being said to UP students regarding a way forward by the institution as well as all political parties. Issues like residence placements, those are the policies that should be reviewed.

As a learner in this institution, I feel that we are focused on issues at hand and we are not looking at the chaos that could arise in a couple of months.

This process is taking a toll on us as students. It raises great concerns about our futures with this institution

Charmain Mathebula

Letter to the editor | Issue 4 | Letter 2

Good day

South Africa is a power battle between blacks and whites and this has been evident in the university. As an Indian I am not sure which category I fall in. According to the Constitution, we fall under previously disadvantaged, but from personal experiences that is not what happens.

Indians and coloureds seem to be disadvantaged in current times. I have not seen a bursary or a job advertisement for Indians only or coloureds only. Instead of being assessed on merit, we are being assessed on colour, mainly black and white, and if you’re not one of the above it seems you’re non-existent.

If things were done on merit, would we develop faster as a country, or will we hire incompetent people to fill in jobs they are not qualified for, or as in my case award bursaries to a student whose average is 52, compared to mine which is 74, because he is black and I’m Indian. This is just a story that I thought would be an interesting one that would cause a debate and interaction among students.

Azhar Farhad

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