Siya Phambili

By Mbulelo Maqungo
On September 11, 2020

Mbulelo Maqungo, Editor-in-Chief

 

At the time of me writing this, I, like many of you, could not even begin to imagine how the world ended up where it currently is. When the New Year’s countdown ended and ushered in the beginning of 2020, the last things I had on my mind were daily wellness checks, working out with a mask or second guessing myself every time I look for the directional arrows at the grocery store. Now I am wearing a mask, sitting in my highly sanitized office at the end of the first month of school while producing content for my second year with the Ram Page. 

To say it has been a long year would simultaneously be an understatement and an insult to the intelligence of everyone who has been paying attention. I mean c’mon, we lost Kobe Bryant, Peter Green, civil rights icons, and even the Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman, all within nine months. Not even mentioning the destruction caused by the wildfires in California and the multiple hurricanes battering Louisiana and Texas. All of these uncontrollable circumstances stacked on top of a global economic crisis complimented with both societal and political malevolence have made 2020 the most disturbing year in recent memory. The sheer volume of current affairs information we have access to on Facebook, Twitter and other sources can be beneficial but overwhelming. As taxing as this is, people like John Krasinski and his online show “Some Good News” are great examples of people actively looking for the good within all this negativity. Even though it may seem like every time we check our social media we are given another bleak reminder of how awful things can be, we have to fight that attraction to sensational news by actively promulgating good news moving forward.

In the Xhosa communities of South Africa, when we find ourselves in difficult times or at our lowest moments, we often remind each other that “siya phambili.” “Siya phambili” in English, translates to “we will move forward,” and acts as a constant reminder that our better days are always ahead of us. As I look at the world around me, I do see suffering and injustice, but I also see people showing love and making something out of little. ASU is doing incredibly well in regard to our COVID-19 cases compared to other universities, and our student organizations and faculty continue to provide opportunities and uniquely ASU experiences while still protecting our community with guidelines and sanitation protocols. We all have a part to play in this “new normal” world we see around us and what story we create with our actions and our character will be remembered as a momentous time in our history. 

I started writing for the Ram Page because I felt that there was nothing more impactful than sharing a good story, and along the way I’ve had the honor of working with some of the coolest people at ASU to tell stories and cover events that matter to people. Now as I start my first year as the editor-in-chief, I can’t help but zero in my focus on the great things my staff and I can accomplish moving forward.

 Travis Hunter, Ian Saint, Ashley Rodriguez, Jeremiah Devereaux, Nelly Ta, Madison Wallace, Adam Abramson, Kionna Brown, Luther Harris, Mason Hightower and Chad Miller Jr. … Each one of us could not be less alike, and yet we are the perfect team to make The Ram Page what it needs to be in 2020-2021. This unique combination of individuals is the reason I love coming to work every day. I'm so fortunate to see my returning coworkers and I’m enthusiastic to see what the many new faces are capable of. 

The opportunities ahead of not only us as a publication, but the entire ASU community, give me the encouragement to confidently move forward. 

Siya phambili everyone.

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