The Fees Must Fall movement has become one of the most prominent movements of our time, with students calling for free, quality, decolonized education. Their efforts to have this demand taken seriously as a benefit to all in society has been met with the militarization of campuses and has seen students confronted by violence and arrests from police. However, students refuse to be intimidated by these state-sanctioned oppressive tactics put in place to try and dowse their fire. A group of artists in admiration of students’ dedication and in support of their call for free, quality, decolonized education have pulled resources to organize a fundraiser on Saturday 22 October in solidarity with Fees Must Fall. “As a group, our statement is that we’ve come together with #FMF, and students whose intellectual and cultural capital is not met with the means to continue giving, living and producing what our future needs and what their futures deserve,” explains Lindokuhle Nkosi.
Individual artists have combined their talents and efforts for the event, each organizing and mobilizing in their own capacity. The event will include DJ sets by blkjksoundsystem, Nomakhephu Nkrumah, Souldiablo, StraitJacketTailor and Greiispaces. Poets Nova and Makhafula Vilakazi will also be performing along with a live painting by Breeze Yoko. Lindokuhle explains that these artists are, “hoping to reach anyone who gives a damn, who wants to be on the right side of history, who is tired of ahistorical elitism. Or someone who wants to dance”. The event is being hosted from midday in Maboneng and those who want to attend the event are asked to bring food parcels, water, first aid kits, and any other kind of support students may need.
The artists involved believe that our elders have become too comfortable and are concerned with protecting their wallets, when they should be leading and supporting students. In this gap, this alliance of artists are hoping to get the message to students that they are not alone and that they have tangible support, beyond a hashtag and retweets.