I studied mechanical engineering, which is historically a white and male dominated field. This means that many of us (black people) practicing in the field do not have fathers or grandfathers who practiced this, who understand these concepts or might even have companies. This is why we were “previous disadvantaged” when we got to varsity. I remember a time we were given a project to build a small object that can move itself from point A to B using any object or material at our disposal. On the day of presentation, groups that consisted of white males (about 65% of the class) produced items that had been welded together, used material that was cut by machines and some things I had never seen or could have even thought of.
Upon enquiry I realised that most of them had uncles and fathers who owned workshops or were engineers who assisted them with these projects. I did not even know where I would go to get materials welded together. We just did the best we could in that situation but they got better outcomes because of the quality of the work they produced. We had to work extra hard to catch up with the knowledge they had when starting varsity. It is the reality we live in – that who you have on your corner influences how you go through life.
The Bible tells us that in this world we (believers) will have many troubles just like unbelievers – but we should not be dismayed because He has overcome on our behalf. Like my classmates, we have a God who has gone before us and has conquered the world, and He tells us that He is with us as we go through the most. Many people who do not know God have gone through what you are going through today but some have buckled under pressure, some have been destroyed and some had their lives ended. Some walk with no hope but you have God as your advantage. God is our advantage. There is a Sesotho hymn which goes, “Empa nna ya ntsamaisang Ke Jeso ke mong’a tsela” which is the greatest advantage we have. He who leads us is the one who owns the path.