There is an old African proverb that I know to be true: It takes a whole village to raise a child. Such has been my experience. But how very ironic that it should take a village so far removed from my own to help me come of age academically. For me, being mentored was not meeting one wise and trusted friend, rather it was the process of being held, tended, and thus allowed to grow free by many people. It has meant integrating with mine many lives, minds, pains, and joys. My undergraduate experience in South Africa left me feeling alienated and academically incompetent. At the Centre for Educational Guidance and Special Needs at Manchester University, I discovered that I was more than a "Baster of Rehoboth" or a "Coloured! girl"; I learned that I had a mind worthy of respect and that I was and am an intellectual.