It’s been almost 3 months since we, medical students, have started our boycott; and it hasn’t been easy on any of us, but since it started, I personally didn’t give much attention to what was going on, not for a lack of trust in our cause, but rather because I genuinely believed we would soon get back to our daily classes and exhaustive exams, because in my honest naïve mind I assumed good eventually always prevails. But I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought this way. Back then all we cared about was joking about how this boycott was in some ways similar to a vacation. To be honest, I believed it would be an easy battle, with the problem of contracted teachers occurring at the same time as ours, I thought that, as a united front, victory would be a sure thing….
Looking back at that time, I understand how foolish and childish it was for me to think of such a topic and unrealistic outcomes; comparing my ideas at that time with what we’ve been through ever since was like comparing a fairytale, a story out of a book, with a happy ending, where nothing is lost, where everyone and everything is supposed to fall according to plan for the heroes; to a tragedy, a story not for the faint of heart, a story where heroes, must endure a great deal of pain and suffering, and most times end up losing something or someone very dear to them. It was a terrible comparison; the fairytale’s outcomes didn’t even come close to depicting what unnerving plans the government had in store for us. After a while I accepted the fact that a tragedy would best illustrate our real life cause, it was more like a surrender to me. However, I realised later that the only thing that could make a difference, between our real life struggle and a tragedy, would be how the story ends.
We as caped heroes, dawning our iconic white colored blouses, had more than enough power to win this supposedly unwinnable battle, because when it all comes down to it, everything is just one big fat scripted story, most times, heroes don’t know who’s going to win and who’s going to lose, they don’t even know what their odds of winning are…. However, at this very moment, we could be masters of our own fate, we could choose how the story ends. Together.
Surely everyone aboard this movement knows already how much time and energy it takes to get what you want and what is rightfully yours…. How many times you must shout at the top of your lungs to get people to hear you and rally around you, even though it’s their battle too…. It takes a lot of sacrifices to find your way to victory, but the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph…. So rest assured that even though we may be oppressed and belittled all the time, we’re not just asking for our rights and demands to be given, but we’re unknowingly lighting a beacon of hope that will lead us and continue to lead countless other generations after us, they may be your brothers and sisters, they may be your sons and daughters , but one thing I’m sure of is that this beacon will always be guiding them, telling them that they’re not alone, reminding them that we once stood where they stand, that we too were once afraid and terrified of what might happen to us, but we kept on going, regardless of the outcome. But most importantly what it will teach them is that there will always be those who will go to unimaginable lengths to oppose them, and that’s just how life is. No one was born to be just a winner, you quite simply can’t win forever, we’re all winners AND losers at the same time. But what is more important than being triumphant…. is the experience as a whole… And knowing as an old man/woman in your deathbed, that you did the best you could and that you’ll forever be proud of the young man/woman you once were.
It’s as if all the future doctors, future dentists, future pharmacists, along with everyone who was backing them up and supporting them, came together in one single body, with every cell in that body being every single person supporting this cause…. And this body we have all wholeheartedly formed is sitting in a chair, writing a book about how we came together, not as mere colleagues or friends, but as a family. And while he’s writing this very chapter of our story, his hands are shaking…. he senses a terrible danger approaching, it’s something like he’s never felt before…. It was fear, fear of the unknown, he can’t shake the feeling that there’s someone right behind him with a gun pointed to his head… a higher power that no matter how much he tries, he cannot match it, not in brains nor brawn, all he can do is write, write and write…. He knows that he may never get to read his own book or get to hear a ‘’thank you for all your efforts’’ or any words of encouragement or appreciation for his work, and that, at any given moment, his life could flash before his eyes, before he even finishes this very pivotal chapter, but for unknown reasons, his hands keep moving on their own, he knowns deep down in his core that no matter the cost he MUST finish this chapter. WE MUST finish this chapter. And WE MUST WIN.
” the greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”Nelson Mandela