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#PoeticLicence: Matric results reckoning will come in many forms

By Rabbie Serumula Time of article published Feb 21, 2021

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The fear of being brought to reckoning looms at the stroke of midnight on February 22 for the matric class of 2020.

This reckoning will come in many forms; as Jubilation, a reaping - harvest of fruits from your labour.

A weeping - tears of joy will trickle down your eyes, and those of self-disappointment glistening the stark face of your neighbour.

This reckoning will come as pride - it is your turn to attempt to turn your family ties.

Or it will come as trials and tribulations. Tentatively your results are tides - how they move through oceans in response to forces exerted by the moon and sun.

I saw a tweet that read, “you write matric exams alone, but the whole country is waiting for your results”.

Perhaps this is just a cruel, obscure, national initiation into adulthood.

Whatever it maybe, this ritual used to be worse, names of matriculants who later committed suicide have been printed in newspapers as they appear on their identity documents.

Perhaps your results are published for social inclusion. These results always show that we are not the same academically. Neither are we the same financially.

Newspapers are cheaper than cell phones and data has been falling into a bottomless pit.

For those learners who can barely afford to pay attention in class, whose abdomens are natural habitats for stomach rumblings, a newspaper is fine.

If you had been one of them, from hand washing your clothes, you would have learned that a newspaper can be fined down on the palms of your hands and knuckles of your fingers for a transformation into toilet paper.

If there was evidence that every single matriculant in the country has definitive access to a contactable cell phone number, perhaps then matric results would be sent privately.

But let us not forget the currently available online platforms to view results.

Peoples do not all move forward in tandem during a revolution. This fourth industrial one we are in is no different.

This reckoning of which I speak, however, is the suicides that could potentially emerge from a depression garnished by public embarrassment following the publication of results.

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) tells us that almost one in ten teen deaths in South Africa are caused by suicide. They say one of the triggers could be exam disappointment.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people aged 15 to 24.

There are many factors that may increase chances of depression, even later in life after you passed matric.

But storms make trees take deeper roots.

If you make it through this cruel, obscure, national initiation into adulthood, whether you passed or not, you are a tree!

Remember your strength - trees never hit cars, except in self defense.

Remember your grace - a tree’s purpose is photosynthesis, but look at how it masters dancing in the wind.

Dance is motion. Motion is relative. You are never really still. Like a tree.

Parents, you have planted these seeds. Water them with comfort and reassurance.

Remind them it is normal to feel disappointed, worried, or angry about their results.

Tell them to keep dancing!

The Saturday Star

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