Friday, October 16, 2009

Bianca Warburton: A Life For A Masters Degree - Is It Worth It?

Related Article: Intern, Bianca Warburton, 'Didn't Deserve To Die'

I spent most of the day outraged at yet another senseless murder. I have put together a small video of pics, and a voice over, to give this tragic event a sense of perspective. As my fellow blogger says, "What is a Masters degree from South Africa worth anyway?". And he is right. Most of us laboured for years to get our qualifications, only to realise that they are pretty much worthless; especially not worth your life.

Bianca Warburton could have completed her internship at a private practice, but she chose a community-based mental healthcare centre because she wanted to help heal our "damaged" country.

And for a year, the 24-year-old psychology master's student from Durban worked towards her goal through the work she did with the Alexandra community in Joburg before her life was ended in a botched hijacking outside the Alex Clinic on Wednesday.

On Thursday her work colleagues at Ububele were still struggling to come to terms with the loss of the woman with "a big heart" and "lots of potential".

'Bianca was a very friendly person with a big heart'

Sitting around a table with a vase of pink roses and a white candle burning in memory of Warburton, Brenda Sephuma - an Ububele auxiliary social worker and friend - sat clutching a turquoise cushion.

"It was Bianca's. She used it to prop her back because she had back problems."
It was as though holding the cushion provided her with a sense of comfort as she started telling The Mercury how she was tasked with identifying Warburton's body at the scene.

"I saw her being taken out of the car, put on the street and paramedics trying to resuscitate her. I went over to look at her and it's when I lost myself, crying."

Sephuma sat next to Warburton, the woman she had called her "dearest sister", and started shaking her body, hoping she would stir, but she did not.

Warburton had been shot in the lower body.

"Bianca was a very friendly person with a big heart. Loving, warm and comfortable."

Sephuma was one of the last people Warburton SMSed before she died. She had asked that they meet at the office so she could accompany her to Alex FM where she was due to talk about child abuse.

Ububele co-founders Tony Hamburger and his wife, Hillary, said Warburton had initially been anxious about working in Alex, but insisted she'd work there because she was a "community person".

"It's come as an awful shock, but it's not indicative of the community. We've never had any issues," Tony said.

The young children of the Ububele pre-school were left traumatised by news of Warburton's death; a four-year-old boy refused to believe she was never coming back.

"No, she's not dead," he cried. "She's coming back."

Hillary said a fellow intern who saw Warburton slumped behind the wheel of her car shortly after she had been shot was too devastated by the tragedy to work on Thursday.

Warburton's family, from Durban, and her husband Clifford, still overcome with grief, declined to speak to the media.

While no arrests had yet been made, Constable Neria Malefetse on Thursday said the two men suspected of Warburton's murder were known to police.

9 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

Sad, so sad, good post VI and the words of her friend are quite upsetting. The answer is no, nothing is worth risking your life. All the money, fame, acclaim, whatever you think matters to you is not worth your life or that of a loved one.

As you know VI, we both gave up successful businesses, careers, took financial knocks, scrapped our degrees and endured great mental stress so we don't ever find ourselves in this situation. I say mental stress but a lot less stress then if a loved one was murdered and one had to live with regret.

I would rather sleep on a park bench in New York than live in a place where the next day would be my last. This is a tragedy and yet, there will be no outrage, Bianca Warburton will be a statistic and forgotten by next week.

South Africa is an abnormal society, not just because of the crime but because the people are not outraged and take to the streets when tragedies like this happen. Every death should be met by protest marches and boycotts, demands for answers and heads to roll but instead, we stick our heads in the sand and go about our insular lives, ignoring the pain and suffering around us.

Anonymous said...

The victim sounds like a very nice young lady. It is a shame that that the savage kaffir had to end her life.
It is the goal of the kaffirs to kill all the whites in South Africa - South Africa is turning into a lawless jungle.

Anonymous said...

The statement made by this biped simian that:"Bianca Warburton could have completed her internship at a private practice, but she chose a community-based mental healthcare centre because she wanted to help heal our "damaged" country" infuriates me!!

This is an outright lie! You CANNOT do your internship in a private practice. You MUST do it an a gubbamunt institution and you have ZERO choice as to where so invariably you end up in a black area and you WILL work in a squatter camp.

Anonymous said...

Correct and hence why many doctors are fleeing the country than be forced to serve in outlying township and squatter camp shitholes. Thanks for your input in the VI's post btw Doods.

Viking said...

South African medical students -who pay for their own degrees- still must complete internships in hellhole hospitals like Cecilia Makiwane.
It's just not worth it. A friend of mine was stabbed with an aids-filled syringe down there (luckily avoided the virus) - where the government that sent them there offers them no kind of support at all.

Anonymous said...

Why oh why must the blacks be their own worst enemy in South Africa? Eventually they will get their ultimate goal of ridding the country of all whites, and then they will turn on themselves.
So sad to see the downfall of the "rainbow nation"

Islandshark said...

I'm sorry - there never was a "Rainbow Nation".

Viking said...

Right, Anon.
One's whitey is out of the way, they'll start on the darkers colours, and then finally the minorities like Sothos will be the target..

Lee-Anne said...

I'd like to set the record straight. Bianca's placement was definitely her choice. Unlike other disciplines, Educational Psychology students can choose their internship sites. Bianca chose to work at Ububele, she was not forced. Bianca loved the work she was doing and was an inspiration at a time when so many people bemoan the state of our country and do nothing to make a difference. Bianca was making a difference on a daily basis and the response to her tragic death is testimony to this. She was an incredible person so instead of pointing fingers, mourn the loss to her family, friends, the community and SA as a whole!