Ipi Ntombi

In 1974, two years before high school students in Soweto burst out of their classrooms and into the township streets in protest of a new law that made it compulsory for them to study in Afrikaans, Maggie asked my sister Pearl to tutor her sister Ellen’s child. Pearl and I were in the kitchen eating a late lunch, likely spaghetti and sweet corn. I’d waited for her to return from lectures because I enjoyed her stories about university, about how different it was from high school, about Professor Semple, her English lecturer, who, when a student complained she was teaching above his head, said, “No, Mister Benetar, I’m teaching where your head should be, so make the adjustment or this is not the place for you.”

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