Women In the Student March To Parliament A Photo Essay By Cheryl Roberts

27 Oct

Student Power


‘Take Back The Night’, a woman’s demand, wasnt forgotten in the march. The activism also had its presence there

Women have always been involved in resistance and liberation struggles in South Africa. In post-apartheid South Africa, some twenty years after freedom of apartheid, women’s voices have raged and are still raging for the society women demand respectable and acceptable to women, on their terms.

During the critically awakening  student protests occurring throughout SA over the past 18 months, mostly young women students have ensured they are right there on the frontline of challenge and resistance.

They are there in the protest meetings, the night vigils, the de-colonisation, anti-rape and queer seminars and dialogues and they are there in the marches. Women have been arrested and detained and imprisoned; they have also been verbally, emotionally and sexually assaulted. But their resistance fervour hasn’t waned or died. They have grown stronger and fiercer.

On Wednesday, 26 October 2016 women were out in their thousands, mostly students and many social justice activists supporting the student march to parliament. This photo essay gives some insight, thru my black woman’s lens, to the women’s presence in the march.

They slayed. They styled. They were active on social media, giving on the spot accounts of their participation in the march They sang protest songs and carried their messages high above their heads. They represented various political affiliations and social; justice movements. They interacted with protestors and shared sisterhood. They were at the gates of parliament, demanding to be seen and heard. They were non-violent. They showed fearlessness as the police showed up with their weapons. They were bonded in their togetherness for students. And yes, they ran from the brutalisation of the police shootings.


My lens saw much of this…….


An older woman ally was on the street, greeting the students as they came marching up Roeland Street


Lady in red was sparkling in her red political affiliation



50 year old Lillian was very happy being an ally, supporting the students



Dean Hutton had a phenomenal presence, saying ‘black lives matter’, ‘decolonially queer’ and ‘fuck @#$%’


Anti-apartheid generational activists were not being left out of this march. Its for their children



Capturing the moments thru a black woman’s lens




Social justice activist Lucinda was determined to be with the, students for the students


These students know their demands…..


UWC school of public health was proudly in the march


Styling fabulously; marching confidently



Needed a little help and a push with the wheelchair and she was in the march


Right2Know’s Busi was there as an ally


Thumi, a mother of a toddler and herself a post-grad student and researcher got a seat on the street, under the hot African sun



Checking the social media information; making sure she’s in touch



1980’s anti-apartheid activist Judith Kennedy was giving her support


She votes ANC but she is challenging the ANC national government




She believes in free education; was in the march to support this demand




‘You’ve Failed Us’…….

(Text, photographs and captions by @Cheryl Roberts)


One Response to “Women In the Student March To Parliament A Photo Essay By Cheryl Roberts”

  1. africanwomanwarrior October 27, 2016 at 9:07 pm #

    Reblogged this on africanwomanwarriorcherylroberts.

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