Campus News

Cape Town Diary: August 27. By Laura Bilodeau, Colby College 03.

Story posted August 28, 2001

Deciding to spend a semester living in Cape Town is one of the best things I have done for myself. The experiences I am having here are invaluable to my education. Although I am realizing that my time here will be far too short for me to feel that I have learned a significant amount of what Cape Town has to teach. What I'm positive that I'll have gained from Cape Town is the knowledge of how little I know. But this does not discourage me because acknowledgement of how little you know is acknowledgement of how much out there there is to learn.

Although recognizing how much my education has been and still is lacking is not really half the battle, I do feel like it is at least a part of the battle. Cape Town has been an exciting place to be for me because the history and life here is all so new to me. I feel like the constant process of learning in Cape Town has turned up my hunger to learn and for me, that's the greatest feeling.

One of my favorite days that I have spent here was last Saturday when I spent the afternoon and night at the apartment of my University of Cape Town Professor, Dr. Kwenda. I am studying Religions in Africa qwith Dr. Kwenda. He is an amazing person who has seemingly endless knowledge on the religious practices in Africa as well as all of the historical and current relationships that they have with each other and with the world. The reason that I was lucky enough to spend so much time with him and his family last Saturday is because his eldest son, Mizchief, is a hip-hop artist who now lives in Jo'burg. Mizchief was scheduled to perform on Saturday night at the UCT residence hall where Dr. Kwenda and his family live (because Dr. Kwenda is the warden there).

Dr. Kwenda invited all the students in my Religions in Africa class to the performance and to the cultural celebration day before the performance. I decided that I wanted to go mainly just because I was really interested in the opportunity to see a South African hip-hop artist perform that I really enjoyed. (I bought Mizchief's CD called "Life From All Angles" after his father invited him in to class). But the show ended up getting cancelled because it had been poorly organized, and the hall did not have the equipment that Mizchief needed to perform. I definitely did not have a chance to be disappointed though, because I was having so much fun.

When I first arrived I stood around in a crowd watching some of the acts that were performed for the cultural celebration. There was comedy and dancing and poetry. But I didn't understand a lot of the spoken languages, so after a while I decided to go up to Dr. Kwenda's apartment to say hello. I thought I was just stopping in briefly, but I ended up sitting down for the rest of the afternoon with him, his wife and Mizchief's wife. Mizchief had gone back home to Jo'burg for the morning to shoot a weekly T.V. show that he is on. All of the younger children in the family were there as well. I was so interested in everything that Dr. Kwenda and Mrs. Kwenda were telling me about because they have traveled and studied a lot internationally, within Africa, and outside of Africa. It was nice to really hang out with a professor and his family, especially because they were so nice about sharing stories from their lives with me, and I was fascinated. Mrs. Kwenda cooked us two delicious meals. She used to cater African Traditional food, and she is so talented at cooking. She made a bunch of different dishes for me to try, and each dish was unbelievable. Eventually we all went to the airport to pick Mizchief up for the performance and since he ended up not performing we all spent the night just talking. Mizchief explained to me all about his hip-hop influences, which always interests me. All in all I had a blast and afterwards I thought, "wow, I was really in the right place at the right time!!" Being in Cape Town has been making me feel that way a lot, I can't complain.

Laura Bilodeau, Colby College 03

Additional information on the Cape Town program is at CBB Cape Town
Other Cape Town Diaries:
Cape Town Diary: July 3. By Julie McGee
Cape Town Diary: July 14. By Julie McGee
Cape Town Diary: July 27. By Kristen M. Heim
Cape Town Diary: July 27. By Rachel Meiklejohn
Cape Town Diary: August 6. By Paul Min
Cape Town Diary: August 6. By Heather Finn.
Cape Town Diary: August 10. By Chris Reigeluth.
Cape Town Diary: August 13. By Kathryn Spirer.
Cape Town Diary: August 15. By Philip Drake.
Cape Town Diary: August 20. By Dana Kramer.
Cape Town Diary: August 20. By Noah Lambie.
Cape Town Diary: August 24. By Brendan Ferriter.
Cape Town Diary: August 27. By Katie Spirer.

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