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Get on the couch: the cheap way to travel

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What’s happening in your city this vac?

Wilder at the coast

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The Oppidan Press

Edition 9, 23 October 2012

Working holidays? Take the opportunity to travel abroad 8 Picture: ROBYN PERROS
Take the
to travel abroad

Societies on probation

2 SRC debt paid off


Picture: HOLLY SNELL Sexes battle it out 5
Sexes battle it out
Picture: HOLLY SNELL 15 Gravity: a diverse affair
Gravity: a diverse affair

2 The Oppidan Press

23 October 2012

News Features

Rhodes societies to be put on probation
Rhodes societies to
be put on probation

Societies will be put on probation next year in order to monitor their effectiveness. Picture:


By Jenna Lillie

R hodes University’s Student Representative

Council (SRC) has decided on a year-long

probation period, which all the Univer-

sity’s societies will endure, in order to determine their effectiveness and activeness in 2013. 2012 SRC Liaison Officer, Eric Ofei, stated, “The objective of such a drastic change is to identify which societies deserve to remain active due to their consistent hard work and participation, and which others will need to improve in order to meet SRC standards.” “Despite the fear of being unpopular, the newly elected SRC feels that regulations are important in sustaining active societies which will use their budgets wisely,” Ofei said. According to the 2012 SRC Societies Council- lor Mfundo Makana, societies will be given a one year probation in which they must supply sufficient evidence that they meet the SRC’s expectations. Makana explains that the intention of the year-long probation is to allow the Societies Council an op- portunity to monitor each society’s activities, which range from their community engagement work to internal management and conduct. The Council and the SRC will make their deci- sions using information provided by reports and feedback given every semester, financial statements and the general fulfilment of the objectives each society sets out to achieve. “I support the idea that societies should be held fully accountable for the proper use of their funds and should have to submit regular reports in this regard,” explains Dean of Students Dr Vivian de Klerk. “There is little purpose in sustaining ineffec- tive and ineffectual societies,” she said. The SRC hopes to keep society numbers constant in years to come. Makana said that the rules for accepting societies will be the same, with the maxi- mum number of societies limited to 60.

There is little purpose in sustaining ineffective and ineffectual societies

-DoS, Dr Vivian de Klerk

Despite the additional filtering system for next year’s body of societies, Makana still expressed some concern. “The lack of adequate supervision within previous societies hinders student faith in the management and quality of each society,” he said. He was also sceptical about some societies’ ability to rise up to the SRC’s standards. “Due to the number of societies, documentation presents a problem, as well as costs for maintenance. The SRC is in a deficit,” Makana said. The SRC has in fact closed this deficit (see page 3). Ofei, however, asserts that the multitude of socie- ties the University offers is reflective of the diversity of the student body. He believes this is something of which Rhodes can be extremely proud. However, the question of quality versus quantity has finally forced the SRC to examine the current societies, of which over 80 are supposedly currently active. Ofei adds that it is a privilege to be given the op- portunity to be part of a vast array of societies. “We want students to gain as much as they can from the societies they join. That is their purpose,” he said. Ofei praised the Law Society for providing an op- portunity for law students to gain work experience on vacations using the network created by their society. The society plays a sufficiently active role in their lives. The amended policy will be circulated and presented next year to the new student forum by Amanda Green, the SRC’s incoming Societies Councillor for 2013.

Behaviour at Fish River may lead to ban

By Alex Maggs

Reports incidents of violent alterca- tions between Rhodes University students and security guards at the Fish River Canoe Marathon, which took place in Cradock from 5 to 6 October, have been recieved by The Oppidan Press. Dean of Students Dr Vivian de Klerk has received complaints concerning the behaviour of Rhodes students, identifiable by their overalls, at the event. De Klerk apologised on behalf of the University. “Their concern was the impact of this sort of behaviour on all the families and young children who were there,” said De Klerk. “They indicated that they were thinking of banning the Rhodes students from participation in future which would be a great pity. Essentially, our spectators’ behaviour would prevent our students from playing sport,” she said. However, a number of students who attended the event hold a different opinion to that expressed in the com- plaints, claiming to have been aggres- sively manhandled by security guards. Student Luke Carlyle-Mitchell claimed to have witnessed a violent brawl involving ten security guards and four Rhodes students. The students had been attempting to jump over the fence into the main arena when they were turned away by the security guards. As they made their way back to the entrance to pay, one of the guards allegedly swung a fist at the student,

one of the guards allegedly swung a fist at the student, Students were arrested at Fish

Students were arrested at Fish River by local authorities. Picture: IVAN BLAZIC

which ultimately set off the clash. “An- other Rhodes student went to see what was happening and was immediately assaulted with a punch to the nose and had a knife pulled on him,” said Carlyle-Mitchell. “One of the boys involved in the first incident has just got out of facial surgery as a result of the assault by the guards,” he said. He was unsure about whether legal action would be taken. The security company in question declined to comment. Captain Stefanie Smith of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Cra- dock, who was on duty the weekend of the race, explained the reason behind the arrests made at the event: “Cradock has quite a high crime rate in terms of muggings and assaults, so when we arrest drunk students it is often

for their own safety and in most cases not because they are doing something against the law. We would rather keep them safe than have something happen to them,” Smith said. De Klerk had not yet heard any reports of students being assaulted by security. In response to the complaints, De Klerk said that the University would be happy to work with students in the future to prevent this behaviour from occurring and promised to follow up on any disciplinary issues. “There is going to be a meeting with the management team of the canoe marathon organisers next week where they will discuss the problem and revert to me with a written report. Our university management will then consider the problem and respond,” De Klerk said.

For the record

In the September 25 edition of The Oppidan Press, an article enti- tled ‘Shifts, tips and hours’ was published, in which a guideline to finding student jobs in Grahamstown was provided. To supplement this article, a graph was compiled comparing various businesses that frequently employ university students. In response to the article, a number of concerns were raised about the accuracy of this information and the resultant repre- sentation of the establishments included. The problems brought to the attention of The Oppidan Press are summarised as follows:

- Adequate effort to contact each establishment for information was not made.

- The information for the graphic reflected was converted to

wage-rates per hour, which is not the pay structure used by all the establishments.

- The number of people sampled was not big enough to support

the average tipping rates reflected in the graph.

- Wage-rates for bartenders and waiters were both included in

the graph, but were not clearly labelled as such.

- Other relevant factors relating to job satisfaction were not included, such as incentive bonuses and perks.

The combination of these factors resulted in some misrep- resentation. The Oppidan Press regrets any adverse effects this might have had. The Oppidan Press is a news organisation that prioritises responsible and reliable reporting. Regrettably, there are cases in which such errors slip through editorial control. It is our duty to recognise these faults and take appropriate action, and to com- mit ourselves to preventing similar errors. In the future. The Oppidan Press is at its base a training ground for student journalists, and as such we welcome criticism from our reader- ship and the general public as a means to improve upon our team’s editorial understandings and journalistic practice.

Benjamin Katz, incumbent Editor

23 October 2012

The Oppidan Press


News Features

SRC debt wiped clean despite 2011 deficit

Tight budgets, careful management and cautious spending put SRC back in the green

By Alex Maggs

D espite administrative diffi- culties and Rhodes Univer- sity’s Student Representative

Council (SRC) claims to have paid the massive deficit left behind by previous SRC bodies off all their debt during 2012. “The SRC 2012 has underspent by approximately R250 000 this year. However this could not be seen due to the large deficit of approximately R350 000 that we adopted when coming into office,” said 2012 SRC Treasurer Simone Starkey. The SRC’s improved financial position can be attributed to a variety of factors. “We started the year off with major deficits in very important accounts. SRC councillors were put under tight budgets and had to write a budget request for their portfolios for all the funding that they required,” said Starkey. This allowed for stricter con- trol over SRC spending and ensured their constant awareness of the cash flow. “The SRC 2012 council should be proud of this achievement,” she said. “It has to do with rationalisation in a big way. We don’t have a complete understanding that all the debt has been paid off yet but I think that the outcome has a lot to do with the fact that there were good individuals in charge who made good decisions,” said Deputy Dean of Students Roger Adams. Speaking about their travel and entertainment expenses he noted, “They did good work managing expenses in these areas and they spent significantly less on O-week than in previous years and still produced an outstanding event.” “In 2009 there was a deficit and in 2010 the council ended with a surplus. In 2011, however, the SRC left a huge deficit,” said the SRC Liaison Officer Eric Ofei. The SRC’s debt was due to the poor management of funds by previous councils which, on occasion, as in 2011, happened unwittingly, and is carried over to the succeeding body. Instability in the administration and management of finances in the staff office of the SRC were the overriding factors. “The finance officer was sick for most of the year and then unfortu- nately passed away towards the end of that year, which left the offices, which were already understaffed, to deal with the SRC and its 80-odd societies, with a lot of backlog. This impacted particularly on the 2010 SRC who had

Every councillor will have an impact on the financial position of the SRC, so every member needs to ensure that they are financially conscious

- 2012 SRC Treasurer, Simone Starkey

a Centenary year to run with a num- ber of extraordinary events. This they had to do without much controls and up-to-date reporting in place. They effectively worked blind,” explained Adams. Consequently, it took the SRC of- fice quite a while, with help from the finance office, to gain control of the situation. According to Adams, the SRC’s greatest expenses throughout the year were events. These included Orien- tation Week and the Inter-Varsity concert. Moreover, “The SRC shuttle service sucks up quite a lot of money and of course there are the grants to societies. That’s a big one,” he said. Despite the finances’ appearing to be under control, the Dean of Students (DoS) office is still anticipating a finalised report that will give them all of the facts and figures, as well as a plan to manage the SRC’s finances in the future. Ofei acknowledged the positive effect of the SRC’s cautious spending throughout this year. “They monitored how much they were spending and there was no unnecessary and extrava- gant expenditure,” he said. The DoS office hopes to make the SRC’s financial situation more trans- parent in future. “I can understand that it wouldn’t have made sense to open any information up to the public these past few months as it would not have been accurate,” said Adams. “We’re getting to a point now where there would be more accuracy so I’m sure the finances will be open for public consumption by the end of this year,” he said. He further indicated that the SRC’s administrative and financial strucu- tres bode well for the future, as the university has recently approved the establishment of a new post for an Admin and Finance assistant after the

of a new post for an Admin and Finance assistant after the The SRC has underspent

The SRC has underspent this year to get rid of the debt left by previous SRCs. Picture: JOSH OATES

SRC was bench marked with a number of other universities. It is hoped that the 2013 SRC will enter into office with a thorough understanding of how the SRC funds are managed. “It’s about understanding the com- plex finance system that they operate on,” explained Adams. “Accounts are

very differentiated and are located in different areas, which makes it difficult to get an idea of the bigger picture at a glance,” he said. Starkey cautioned the 2013 SRC about unnecessary spending and encouraged them to provide only what the students need, instead of what the students want.

“Every councillor will have an impact on the financial position of the SRC, so every member needs to ensure that they are financially con- scious,” said Starkey. “It is up to you to continue the cautious spending of the SRC. Keep the boat afloat by spending with a purpose, and ensure that you always remain transparent.”

>>MAYHEM Floods rage across the Eastern Cape >>THEATRE IN MOTION A moving performance from RU


Floods rage across the Eastern Cape


A moving performance from RU Drama

Check it out at:

the Eastern Cape >>THEATRE IN MOTION A moving performance from RU Drama Check it out at:

4 The Oppidan Press

23 October 2012

News Features

SRC presidents funded by Leadership Bursary

DoS Office offer a means to facilitate the academic and administrative roles of the SRC president

By Amanda Xulu Politics

I t was recently reported that there

is a bursary available exclusively

to the President of the Student

Representative Council (SRC). It seems that the majority of students are entirely unaware of the bursary’s existence, or if they are, they are not entirely sure what it entails. The Leadership Bursary is open to the student who is selected as the President. They are permitted to apply for an extension of their academic

programme, to fall over two years. This

is done with the intention of ensuring

that the student maintains high aca-

demic standards during their year in office whilst simultaneously being able to carry out their duties on the SRC to the best of their ability. The bursary, administered by the Dean of Students office, is awarded for

a single term of office and covers the

tuition fees for that year. The President

has the option to accept or decline the bursary. According to the Dean of Stu- dents, Dr Vivian de Klerk, incumbent SRC President Matthieu Maralack is the first president to have taken up the bursary. Previous presidents Allan Ma- gubane and Eric Ofei elected to take on both their academic and adminis- trative duties as SRC President.

Students appear to consider the Leadership Bursary good initiative by the University, with the understanding that academics are the most important

aspect of any student’s participation at university. However, some note that a greater effort to share this information on a widespread basis should be made, as many Rhodes University students are notoriously unaware of how the internal structures of the SRC actually work. This leadership bursary is no exception. Student, Sarah Roberts was unaware that the Leadership Bursary was available to SRC Presidents. “I think the bursary should be accorded in level with the difficulty and the

number of subjects you are studying. In the same breath, if you are running for SRC President you need to be pre- pared to balance both academics and your administrative duties adequately,” she said. That being said, however, it

is understandably impractical for the

Dean of Students’ office to apply this

notion universally. However, other students have ap- plauded the University for taking the President’s academics into consid- eration and making them a priority. Student David Brown was optimistic about the bursary’s aims. “I think the bursary is needed. It will give them far more time to devote to running the SRC, instead of having to try fitting it into their busy schedule. Having more time to devote to leading

Illustration: AMY SLATEM
Illustration: AMY SLATEM

the SRC will obviously make for a bet- ter leader,” he said. Fellow student Sinenhlanhla Nene said, “Since there is a mountain-load of work that the President has to do, besides dealing with administrative issues, it is better that they do extend

their stay at Rhodes”. Nene noted that, at the end of the day, the President is still a student working for a degree. Consequently, external factors should not influence their academics. “I don’t think the quality of leadership matters in this context,”

commented student Mlamuli Hlat- shwayo. “If the amount of hard work

that is required of the President makes

it impossible for him or her to juggle

both academics and studies, then to be fair they must be awarded the bursary,” he said.

Thinking of becoming a franchise owner - stop, collaborate and listen

of becoming a franchise owner - stop, collaborate and listen Franchising has taken off in Grahamstown,

Franchising has taken off in Grahamstown, with new opportunities for local business owners to make a quick buck. Picture: IVAN BLAZIC

By Raymond Ndhlovu Business

Are you looking to become an en- trepreneur in Grahamstown? Or do you just simply wish to know about the franchises present in our Settler City? Being students, we tend to have an interest in food franchises. Every so often we feel we have to ‘treat ourselves’ to some fast food, whether it is because you are an Oppidan, and just feel too lazy to cook, or whether you are in resi- dence, and do not feel like eating in

the dining hall. The main food franchises in Grahamstown are Steers, Fishaways,

Debonairs, Scooters, Wimpy and KFC. Most of these brands belong to

a publicly listed company, Famous

Brands. Of these, two of them, namely Steers and Fishaways, are run by the same management in Grahamstown. The owner Pierre Pienaar gave some insight on what it takes to start a franchise, what it takes to run a suc- cessful franchise in Grahamstown, and possible plans for the future. The process of opening a franchise

starts with an application to the head office of the brand one wishes to join. According to Pienaar, “the franchisor does a background check through a bank to see if you have the money to proceed with the venture. This is fol- lowed by an assessment of the site on which the outlet is to go and training once approval has been done”. When the issue of fast food is brought up, some students hasten to add the fact that they think Grahams- town is incomplete without a McDon- ald’s franchise. A handful of students do certainly believe that a McDonald’s is necessary. They feel that, despite having places such as KFC, Steers and Scooter outlets, this is not enough “Everybody loves McDonald’s! They would make such a killing in this place,” said student Uzoma Odera. It may be argued, however, that McDonald’s would not do as well in Grahamstown, despite the demand from students . Like KFC, McDonald’s would probably require a large floor space - an expensive prospect. Another

fact to consider is that for about 2 to 3 months of the year the students are on holiday, which means the busi- ness would have extensive periods of extremely low sales. For a franchise the size of McDonald’s , whose expenses are bound to be high, return on invest- ment may not. Having the business in a central and accessible location, particularly to the students, may also

prove to be difficult. Operating in a small community such as Grahamstown can prove to be tough. “One of the big mistakes that people make when opening up a busi- ness or franchise is that they think the name of the brand ensures success. The brand name can only go so far” said Pienaar. Indeed, running a franchise is like operating any other business:

there needs to be convenience, good customer service, value for money, and transparency For local franchises, the availability of delivery services is a major selling point, and local food franchises are working hard to meet the challenge. “We have a fleet of about 20 bikes be- tween the two shops, and that way we can handle deliveries more efficiently. We had to upgrade our fleet because we noticed how vital delivery is to us. We make about 10000 deliveries per month, and as you can see, that’s a lot”, said Pienaar. As someone who operates a fran- chise, it is important that you keep your customers happy, so that they come back. Whether it is through promotions, such as the ‘Everyday Awesome Meal’, the Streetwise 5 from KFC, The Pizza Tower from Debonairs or the Pensioners Monday at Pick n Pay, where all citizens who are above 65 get a 5% discount on all goods pur- chased on a Monday. Having a way of luring customers back is the backbone

- Pierre Pienaar

They think

the name

of the brand

ensures success.

The brand name

can only go so far,

of business survival. Partnerships with platforms such as Qbsta, which advertises in-store specials and promotions also helps with enhancing the performance of

franchises. It is interesting to note that Steers was offering Qbsta subscribers

a free Goodguy burger and chips with

every purchase of a King Steers burger earlier in October. Grahasmtown’s future franchise prospects look bright. Though it re- mains to be seen if a McDonald’s will indeed be opened in Grahamstown, Pienaar did say that they are look- ing to open another set of Steers and Fishaways outlets on Bathurst Street, opposite the bus stop. Franchises are one way of getting into business for yourself and learning

how to run a business. The choice then


whether you believe you have what


takes to please customers, make a

profit and grow in Grahamstown.

23 October 2012

The Oppidan Press


News Features

23 October 2012 The Oppidan Press 5 News Features Participants of the Johannesburg Gay and Lesbian

Participants of the Johannesburg Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade revel in the festivities in Rosebank on 6 October 2012 . The march, which creates awareness for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people, instead resulted in a scuffle between activists and participants. Picture: ALAISTER RUSSELL

Where is the pride in that

By Tarryn de Kock Politics

I t was a scene that provoked

international outcry: a parade

celebrating gay pride reduced to

a scuffle between activists, organisers and participants. Racial slurs were thrown and activists were assaulted in broad daylight. Participants of the parade verbally abused members of the 1in9 cam- paign, while one of the organisers, Tanya Harford, was seen aggressively pushing one of the activists to the ground as the crowd looked on. This all took place at the recently held Johannesburg Gay & Lesbian Pride Parade, the largest of the three held in Gauteng every year. Con- centrated mainly in the suburb of Rosebank, Johannesburg Pride has come under fire in recent years for the manner in which it has changed from a political march to a light-hearted celebratory parade which seems to enforce stereotypes of homosexuality, rather than challenge them. Activists from the 1in9 Campaign blockaded a road that Parade partici- pants would be accessing by laying themselves on the tarmac. Others held banners that said ‘No Cause for Celebration’ and ‘Stop the War on Women’s Bodies’. They handed out fli- ers to explain their slogans and called for a momentary stop in the Pride parade. 1in9’s protest was a call for a minute of silence in commemoration of the countless black lesbians and transsexuals who have been victims of crimes such as corrective rape and murder in townships across the

country. However, they were ignored by the crowd, many of whom stepped over or even on the activists, while others engaged in a brawl. One of the 1in9 activists was headbutted and suf- fered facial swelling and broken teeth. It is uncertain why 1in9 did not

seek to legitimately involve itself in the parade by approaching the organisers beforehand, but by the same token, Pride’s political history means that the organisers should not be unfamiliar with guerrilla protest action. “It is clear that both the Pride organ- isers and the 1in9 protesters resorted to violence while both claimed to be working towards a freer, more just society, highlighting that even the most righteous of causes can be delegitimised by poor planning, a lack of consultation and transparency and

a failure to maintain discipline among

supporters,” said OUTRhodes Activ- ism representative for 2013, Charlene Donald. “Jo’burg Pride has been more or less devoid of meaningful political content for more than a decade and this apolitical stance is reinforced by the fact that it takes place in one of the most gay-friendly areas in Africa,” she added.

Donald indicated that while, as a society, OUTRhodes has not released

a statement that reflects the views of

all its members, the 2013 OUTRhodes president, Alia Jenkins, has agreed with her statement. This sentiment is echoed in countless editorials applaud- ing the 1in9 campaigners but also deploring the methods used to convey their point The Gender Action Project (GAP)

has issued a statement on the incident. They stated that the depoliticisation and commodification of Pride is a matter of urgency in a political climate where gay rights have faced attack from many influential people, includ- ing the chairman of the Constitutional Review Committee. GAP remains firm in its stance that activism is no longer an optional extra to an event such as Pride and has come out in support of 1in9 for attempting to “reclaim Pride as a political space”. Arguably, the protest highlights several significant points about the LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans- sexual and Intersex) community in South Africa. The protest served to give a voice to the marginalised black LGBTI people living mainly in South Africa’s townships, many of whom are

victims of hate crimes perpetuated by traditional ideas of gender identity and sexual expression. The fact that these same hate crimes rarely occur in predominately white, middle-class ur- ban spaces such as Rosebank was not lost on the 1in9 campaigners. Their attempt to bring the grim reality into a space like Rosebank, which was met with violent opposition, speaks vol- umes about the lack of unity present within the LGBTI community. “The spatial logic of privilege and

race is played out in the response the Pride participants had to the activists,” said Richard Pithouse, lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations. “Hosting an event like Pride in a space like Rosebank normalises a class position which is not the reality of most South Africans,” he added.

Hard questions face South Africa’s LGBTI community at large as its very unity as a body of marginalised people is threatened. The events at Johannes- burg Pride exhibit the amount of work that has to be done to establish all LGBTI people as meaningful citizens, regardless of their socio-economic status. Pride’s political roots have been done away with in favour of a com- mercialised party which neglects the issues facing those it claims to support, especially those who need it most and are not given a voice. “Pride should not need to be lobbied to take a minute of silence to remem- ber those among our ranks lost to hate crimes; they should have built it into the programme of their own accord,” said Donald. “This is an issue that affects every- one – an issue of basic decency,” said Pithouse. “Everyone should be con- cerned with the regression highlighted in the video. Students should take a position on this, and on the ability to be able to live freely.” A link to this video can be found at

Jo’burg Pride has been more or less devoid of meaningful political content for more than a decade.

-Charlene Donald

Gender issues PAYD a visit

By Hlumela Mkabile

Building a part of a greater initiative entitled ‘Gender Dia- logues’, the Pan African Youth Dialogue (PAYD) has created a new survey tackling gender- related issues among Rhodes University students. To kick-start the Gender Dia- logues project, PAYD is conduct- ing a survey on RUConnected in which gender equality is the main focus. The survey is part of a series of open forum discussions in which men and women can talk about the inter-relationship between masculinity and feminin- ity. Lihle Mancoba, the 2012 co- ordinator of the Young Women’s Dialogues (YWD), a sub-division of PAYD, said that the survey provides a platform for research and investigation for the larger Gender Dialogues initiative. Incoming campus co-ordinator of YWD, Patronella Ngaba, stated that the survey’s purpose is to guide the topics that will be dis- cussed in the Gender Dialogues’ forums. “Gender discussions need to be inclusive of all people, all gender roles as well as the pow- er relations inherent in gender. In order to involve everyone a survey needs to be run,” she added. Universities are meant to encourage critical debate. The Gender Dialogues initiative is a great starting point from which to discuss matters pertinent to young students. “Too often these [gender] con- versations are held with women only,” Nqaba said Effort has been made to broaden the scope of the project’s research. PAYD has piloted a focus group with a number of stu- dents and has also made use of the university’s Psychology depart- ment to gain as much knowledge concerning gender matters on campus as possible. “[Gender Dialogues] is a collective effort influenced by a large group of diverse people,” Nqaba said. According to Nqaba, the survey has been successful so far. She noted that responses indicated that some feel gender issues are spoken of far too much, while many others feel it needs more attention. “Questions and topics about gender roles and violence in gay and lesbian relationships were also brought up and these are issues that a lot of people possibly do not pay attention to,” she said. PAYD has plans to further the investigations of the Gender Dia- logues project with the anticipated release of the survey’s results. De- pending on the various responses, categories will eventually be cre- ated from the different discussion topics for forums which are to be held at a later stage.

6 The Oppidan Press

23 October 2012

News Features

Local produce: delicious and good for the soul

By Jordan du Toit Environment

S ometimes it’s hard to support the environment. Whaling ships are tricky to climb aboard for

sabotage, climate change goes over our heads and chaining yourself to a tree to save the Amazon rainforest, while noble, will only get you sworn at. However, finding opportunities to support going green is easier than you think. Grahamstown is home to a wide range of local produce, which is increasing in number and diversifying at an astonishing rate. From the locally-adored Lungi’s Fresh Farm Stall to the newly established Cheese Source, local businesses are here to help residents shop more greenly, while still providing delicious food. With these stores around town, in addition to the buzzing Saturday morning market, run by Lungi Reed at the Old Gaol, buying local is looking better than ever. “There are wonderful products coming out of South Africa,” said Virgina David-Engelbrecht; one of the owners of Cheese Source. David- Engelbrecht studied organic farming in Germany, where the local produce market is markedly more advanced than in South Africa. According to David-Engelbrecht organic, or “green farming”, is about what is put into the soil, how it is processed, how the animals are treated and how much energy goes into the whole cycle. Large retail chains truck their goods from distribution points in the major cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town. By the time the food gets to Grahamstown, it may be days old and will have been treated in order to preserve it. However, local stores like Cheese Source get their products on the day they are ordered. Much of their cheese is sourced from the Eastern Cape, particularly the ‘Simply Natural’ range from a farm in Bedford.

“We love that farm because the cows are milked in the morning and for the rest of the day the calf gets the rest of the milk. It’s a beautiful balance,” said David-Engelbrecht, demonstrating her knowledge on farming and cheeses. The Tafel Deli on De Kleine Maastrom Farm is another example of a business based on skill and expertise. Dave Robbins and Frans Mulder’s luscious strawberries are a big attraction on market day and fill Lungi’s shelves during the week. “A large amount of our products come from our farm. This is what we want to eat with as little intervention as possible and this is what we hope our clients will like as well,” said Robbins. “Quality costs, so that is why our prices may be up – but you can’t compare what you will pay at McDonald’s against what you pay at a 3-star Michelin Restaurant; they are operating in different worlds and to different clients.” Robbins and Mulder understand what consumers are looking for: a choice. “We want our products to reflect our lifestyle – and natural foods are a good seller because people are more conscious of health issues,” said Robbins. An added bonus to buying local produce is the feel-good factor of supporting the community. “Supporting local keeps the local economy running. You are creating livelihoods,” said David-Engelbrecht. Ros Davies, who sells her home- grown plants at the Saturday market, echoed David-Engelbrecht’s sentiment:

“There is a good vibe at the market. We can provide plants that are acclimatised to the Grahamstown climate so you will be getting better quality,” said David-Engelbrecht. “Come and learn to cook and appreciate what food really means. You’re young – be courageous and adventurous!” she said, adding that the fondue sets coming into Cheese Source are sure to be a great addition to any

into Cheese Source are sure to be a great addition to any digs event. The new

digs event. The new stores are giving locals some fresh and long-awaited choices, with both the Cheese Source and Haricot’s Deli’s Facebook pages buzzing with excited comments. Residents seem to be relishing the well-made and at times unusual food. There are many more businesses doing their bit for the community. Grahamstown Seafood shares a shop with Cheese Source and sources much of their fresh fish from the Eastern Cape coast, often from local fisherman. Haricot’s aims to give back to the community with their skills-training programme. In addition to this, Home Industries is providing home-cooked meals for many students working on a tight budget. The time to buy local produce has never been brighter in Grahamstown. The farmers’ market runs every Saturday from 9am-1pm at the Old Gaol on Somerset Street.

Saturday from 9am-1pm at the Old Gaol on Somerset Street. Every Saturday morning, local farmers sell

Every Saturday morning, local farmers sell their produce outside the Old Gaol on Somerset Street. Picture: IVAN BLAZIC

the Old Gaol on Somerset Street. Picture: IVAN BLAZIC check us out online at CHRISTMAS

check us out online at


Ulwazi reach community through technology

By Tsitsi Mashingaidze

Ulwazi Outreach is the Depart- ment of Information Systems’s (IS) answer to assisting the growth and use of technology in the Graham- stown community. Co-founded by Nondumiso Fengu, an IS Honors student and Nonhlanhla Mabuza, a third-year majoring in IS, Ulwazi is a student-run outreach programme that strives to expose locals to the capabilities of technology. Fengu and Mabuza’s vision came into focus at the end of April this year after they noticed that there were peo- ple who struggled to use technology to find information in libraries. The community had to be reviewed by the team to gain a better under- standing of the structure, how and where to best help and the most feasible method through which implement the idea. This led to the development of an automated system

called the Ntsika library system by the Department of Information Systems. With assistance from the printing department and volunteers, a system was implemented which encouraged self-sustainability through the sharing and imparting of knowledge. Another initiative intends to work with the local librarians at the Makana Municipality Library, in an effort to assist them with their library cataloguing system, as well as to help students from local schools to develop general computer literacy skills. This goes hand-in-hand with the aim of raising awareness about the Information Systems career path and the many opportunities that exist in the field. There are currently eight active volunteers, consisting of third-year and Honours students, but anyone is welcome to join. Volunteers can choose to assist on any day during the week as long as they help out at least one hour per week.

Tsungai Makoni, an Informa- tion Systems student who joined the programme at the beginning of the second semester has found the experience enriching. She noted that was her passion for the community that inspired her to join. “There are so many little things people can do to help; it just takes a bit of initiative and proactivity,” she said. Fengu feels that the project was well worth undertaking. “Being a part of something like this motivates you to carry on doing even more,” she said. There has been positive feedback and appreciation from the public for the effort put in by Ulwazi Outreach. Having come such a long way since April, there is only room to grow and expand. More information on how to get involved can be found on the Department of Information System’s web page or by emailing

send an email to f you’d like to tell us about your travel experiences
send an email to
f you’d like to tell us about your travel experiences

Nights spent on the couch

As a cost-effective alternative Kyla Hazell explores CouchSurfing as a means to revolutionise the way we travel

T he screen before me is sparse and bare and looking very little like the flashy profiles

I have recently browsed. I feel con- fused. All the other CouchSurfers seem so spontaneous and intriguing, with their photographs on mountain peaks and their quirky little descrip- tions. By contrast, online-me is look- ing rather more like an unwritten postcard: a pretty average picture on the front and not much else of inter- est on the back. “Where to now?” I wonder, follow- ing my recent registration as a dot-com CouchSurfer. After first reading about the online networking site in a novel called On the Couch, I have decided it is time that I join the ranks of the adventurous, the philanthropic and the just down-right cheap in a move to revolutionise the way people travel. The website,, seeks to connect would-be travellers from around the world with hosts who are willing to have them crash for a night or two on the family sofa. Describing itself as a global network

of travellers, adventure seekers and lifelong learners, the site aims to make the world smaller and friendlier, “one life-changing CouchSurfing experience at a time”. Sounds very jolly indeed, I think, but how does blank-postcard-Kyla transform herself into Kyla-of-the-


elling-friends? The answer, it seems, must lie in exploration. It is one of those wonderful websites that avails itself to the eager reader with incredible ease. Clearly labelled tabs direct me from informational graphics depicting the history of CouchSurfing to videos explaining how I can start searching for hosts, to an inbox where messages from travel- lers looking to be hosted are already starting to trickle in. Essentially, the site offers three ways to get involved: one can come on-board as someone looking to host, someone looking to surf, or someone simply looking to meet up for coffee with some interesting travellers. Get- ting in touch with hosts is easy and there is no shortage of open couches out there but, after numerous polite refusals, I soon found that one does not simply stand up on one’s first day on the board. Like a surfer wading out into the wa- ter at a new beach, a couch surfer look- ing to catch a wave must first ingratiate

themselves with the locals. This is where the upcoming sum- mer vacation comes into the picture. Although quite a few Grahamstown residents (including more than a cou- ple of lecturers) are registered on the

site, little seems to be happening in the town by way of events. The CouchSurf- ing trend, however, has caught on in

a pretty big way in some of the larger

South African cities, with hikes up Table Mountain and coffee dates in Sandton happening fairly regularly. The beauty in this is that one gets to meet fellow CouchSurfers, who can in turn become friends on the site and give reference to the fact that you are not a raging crazy. Understandably, many hosts require a little surety when accepting strangers into their homes and so having good references is essen- tial to getting your foot in the door. So take the opportunity! Join CouchSurfing now and while you are at home and bored this December, use the time to explore a bit more of your city, meet some interesting people and make a few connections that might come in handy one day. Once Febru- ary rolls around again, let’s bring that experience back to this fine old town. Hosting is obviously a great way to keep involved and, having slept on a

fair few Oppidan couches myself, I can attest to the suitability of the Gra- hamstown digs for this purpose. For those who are in residence or still a bit unsure, there is always the option of organising a local event. Let’s meet at the Rat or on the Drostdy lawns. Like naughty children, I’ll reference your page if you reference mine. CouchSurfing is committed to travel as a state of mind in which one is open to new people, experiences and les- sons. Try to approach being part of the online community with this attitude from the outset. Create a profile that

is open and honest and that shows

something of yourself to the strangers you might shortly call your friends. As often as you can, embrace the

welcoming spirit that makes this

network successful. Invite yourself to groups, join chat rooms and jump at opportunities to meet the CouchSurf- ers in your area, especially if you’re in

a big city this vacation. Then come on

home to Rhodes and organise a few activities of your own. Let’s put Grahamstown on the CouchSurfing map. After all, it seems a travesty that the world should miss out on our potholes and donkeys.

The ABCs of Working Holidays Words by Kyla Hazell Journalism student Robyn Perros explores Cambodia
The ABCs of Working Holidays Words by Kyla Hazell
The ABCs of
Words by Kyla Hazell

Journalism student Robyn Perros explores Cambodia while working as a teacher. Below: Perros meets a Cambodian elephant. RIGHT: She is pictured with students from her class in Luang Prabang. Pictures provided by ROBYN PERROS

class in Luang Prabang. Pictures provided by ROBYN PERROS I ncreasingly, students with a passion for

I ncreasingly, students with a passion for travel are looking for ways to explore the globe that

take them beyond the disposable cameras and ticket stubs of ‘regular’ tourism and give them a real sense of life in a host country or area. Faced with three months of sum- mer holiday, many are wondering how best to use that time construc- tively with whatever meagre funds they have saved throughout the year. A few Rhodes students have managed to make it work by, quite literally, making it work. Their expe- riences reveal how working holidays allow students to see the world, explore their interests and support sustainable tourism on a reasonable budget and in a meaningful way. One of these intrepid students is third-year journalism student Robyn Perros, who made a promise to her inner travel enthusiast two years ago that she would save to send herself

somewhere in the world each year while completing her studies. Thus far, she has kept to this and last December spent a month volunteering as a teach- er in Laos, Central Asia. Responsible for morning, afternoon and evening classes each day, Perros was involved in providing basic English education to a number of children and novice monks in Luang Prabang, a UNESCO world heritage town in the North of Laos. “My day consisted of planning les- sons for my classes on that day or the following morning,” Perros said, “and weekends were reserved for adventur- ing and sightseeing.” Perros became involved through an online volunteer and sustainable tour- ism organisation called Global Vision International (GVI). According to Perros, GVI connects volunteers with

a range of programs worldwide, from

saving leopards in Kenya to building houses in Fiji. “I love working with children and

I like the idea of sustainable and

responsible tourism,” Perros explained. “Often we just skim the surface of a place and it’s rare that, as tourists, we go much deeper. Volunteering in a foreign country enables you to give something back,” she said. “It gives

you a rare and genuine insight into a culture and way of life and allows you to contribute to positive change.” It is not uncommon for “volunteer” organisations to require a payment

of over R20 000 before an individual can be placed in a project, but Perros was able to do her entire trip on under R12000. R5000 went to flight costs while R5000 went to GVI and R2000 constituted spending money. Perros explained that the payment to GVI covered her accommodation in a small backpacker’s hostel for the duration of her stay, a TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) course and region-specific orientation and teaching course, transport to and from the airport, an orientation tour of where she would be working, and

a food allowance of R500 a week.

Given that a huge bowl of noodles and a quart of local beer cost her only

R10 each, this was a fairly substantial amount. Perros said that she felt the payment to GVI was worth it. “This may seem like a lot of money to pay when you are volunteering your time and energy five days a week, but you are receiving

a very rare opportunity to work closely with the Buddhist monks and gain

insight into a culture that is not always possible for a foreigner to gain in such

a short time,” she said. “Rather than leaving with my backpack full of key rings and t-shirts with the word ‘Laos’ on them, I left having made some sort of impact and some sort of real connection,” Perros continued. She said that she would definitely recommend this type of working holiday to other students. There are plenty of opportunities for students who want to travel and gain a little life experience at the same time. Those hoping to take up the advice

might want to consider their options for the upcoming vacation. If it looks like it is a bit too late to get involved with a formal program

such as GVI, try checking out websites such as, and, which offer a variety of short-term opportunities for people to do volunteer work. Your labour can often be exchanged for food and accommodation.

opportunities for people to do volunteer work. Your labour can often be exchanged for food and
send an email to if you’d like to tell us about your travel experiences
send an email to if you’d like to tell us about your travel experiences

send an email to

if you’d like to tell us about your travel experiences

if you’d like to tell us about your travel experiences Words by Kate-Lyn Moore and Ashleigh

Words by Kate-Lyn Moore and Ashleigh Brown

experiences Words by Kate-Lyn Moore and Ashleigh Brown The Ruins Thousands of party-goers are set to

The Ruins

Thousands of party-goers are set to descend on St Francis Bay this year- end when New Year’s Eve concert ‘The Ruins’ takes place. Last year, crowds were thrilled by Zebra & Giraffe and the Graeme Watkins Project. 2012 is set to be equally awesome.


The Cape Town summer is characterised by mornings at the market, afternoons on the beach and evenings at one of the city’s many cafés or bars. A city that truly comes alive in the summer season, the classic favourites like the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts have been supplemented by a range of festivals, some interesting new events and even a few international acts. Here are a couple of our recommendations in case you find yourself in the Mother City this holiday.

Holi Open Air Festival

The Hindu festival of colours Holi will be celebrated en masse in Cape Town this December, with music and dance acts forming part of the event. Originating in India, the Holi festival has recently become something of a global phenomenon, with cities around the world hosting their own large-scale festivities. The main attraction of the festival will be the traditional throwing of Indian ‘Gulal’, a brightly coloured powder, all over fellow festival-goers. Dates for the festival have yet to be confirmed.

Synergy Live

The annual festival, ‘Synergy Live’, is taking place at Theewaterskloof Dam this year. Festival-goers will be able to camp while enjoying music from Desmond and the Tutus, Jack Parrow and Van Coke Kartel, amongst others. The dates are set for 30 November until 2 December.

Lady Gaga

3 December will see Lady Gaga bringing her ‘Born This Way’ concert to the Cape Town Green Point Stadium. Being a huge and often controversial international star, Gaga is guaranteed to get people talking. Whether you think she is spectacular, or just a spectacle, this is bound to be an interesting show, especially with rock band The Darkness opening the event.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

For those of you who are ‘addicted to the shindig’, Cape Town is gearing up to host international act Red Hot Chili Peppers for the very first time. For those lucky enough to have tickets, the concert is really something worth attending. With Die Antwoord having been named as their supporting act, fans should get ready because life is about to get more than ordinary.


If you find yourself in the City of Gold this holiday season, be sure to grab tickets to some of South Africa’s biggest concerts this year. These are no doubt going to be real crowd-pleasers.

year. These are no doubt going to be real crowd-pleasers. Chris Brown Chris Brown will be

Chris Brown

Chris Brown will be wooing the crowds with his ‘Carpe Diem’ South African tour. This once-fallen star is back to reclaim his popularity and party it up with the people of South Africa. Depending on how close you aim to get to the man, tickets range from R490 to R890.

Swedish House Mafia

After fervent speculation, and the crossed fingers and toes of many an avid fan, Swedish House Mafia are coming to South Africa this January. The group has been punting a global viral campaign for their “One Last Tour”, which featured numerous im- ages from cities around the world, in- cluding Johannesburg and Cape Town. They will be in Johannesburg on 25 and 26 January, before they head down to the Mother City on the 27th.


Are you heading up the Wild Coast this holiday? Well, maybe you would like to stop off in Durban for some fun in the sun. Durban will be hosting a variety of holiday activities designed to tickle all fancies. Here is a list of what to expect:

Umhlanga Summer Carnival

The Umhlanga Summer Carnival is 14 days of beach activities, stalls and sporting events. The first day will kick off with the Lizzard Summer Surf Session organized by the KZN Surfing

Association that takes place from 10 – 12 December. For the more active and adventurous among us, there is the Umhlanga Summer Carnival 16km Trail Run on 19 December - a first of its kind in Durban. This Carnival promises to have a host of activities for all age groups.

Ballito Prawn and Jazz Festival

The Ballito Prawn and Jazz Festival will run from 15 - 17 December. The Festival programme will comprise of sports, music, food, a moonlight craft fair, a farmers market offering home-made treats, interior design exhibits and outdoor living and, of course, live jazz. However, as the event name suggests, the main star of the show will be the prawns. The dozens of different prawn flavours on offer are enough to make any mouth water – from peri-peri, to lemon butter, garlic or perhaps you like them plain. Stop by Seaton Delaval Salt Rock to enjoy the best of what Durban has to offer.

North Coast Festival

The North Coast Festival will be starting on 6 January and ending on 8 January. The main aim of the festival is to raise funds for the NEDA's social and enterprise development initiatives on the Dolphin Coast in KwaZulu Natal. Some of the acts that will be performing are Changing Face, Louise Carver and Just Jinger.


If you are planning on staying in, or

coming back to, the Eastern Cape for vacation, there are some exciting annual events taking place. There are always plenty of markets, stalls and beach parties to keep even the busiest of souls occupied during the Christ-

mas period. But come New Year, it is

a whole other story. You are bound to

find a party somewhere. Here are three annual December favourites that hap-

pen in the Eastern Cape:

Ox Braai

Just as the name suggests, ox is in fact braaied at Ox Braai, although that is not what draws the mishmash of raucous folk to a field outside Bathurst’s Agricultural Museum every year. Look for the man in the Borat costume - there is always one. There will also be a truck filled with bubbles and water. Multiple dance floors playing a range of music are there to keep you entertained - or just try people-watching. You won’t be disappointed.

Kenton Music Fest

Every year Kenton hosts a day-long concert to help music lovers beckon in the new year. The festival takes place on a farm overlooking the Kariega River. Previous years have celebrated acts such as Seether’s Shaun Morgan and Fokoffpolisiekar. This year the line-up includes the likes of: Evolver One, Flash Republic, Hog Hoggity Hog, Wrestlerish, Southern Gypsy Queen and Prime Circle.

Wonders of the Wild Coast Words by Amy Ebdon Heading up the East Coast from
Wonders of the Wild Coast
Words by Amy Ebdon
Heading up the East Coast from Grahamstown to Durban at the
end of term, I always travel through the popular Wild Coast. Im-
patient to see friends and family and therefore wanting to reach
my destination as quickly as possible, I very often fail to notice
the areas I pass through. However, this past holiday I decided to
take the time to explore what the Eastern Cape coastline had to
offer and stayed over for a few nights at the Coffee Shack Back-
packers in Coffee Bay.
A few hours away near Mthatha is the sign directing one to
Coffee Bay. On the winding road that leads off the N2, lanes seem
to merge into one, as cars swerve to miss countless potholes and
the occasional cow. Barely manageable during the day, the drive
can become stressful at night or in cloudy weather. Feeling that the
road might never end, one rounds the final hairpin bend and bursts
upon the strikingly beautiful picture of Coffee Bay, nestled among
the cliffs of the gorgeous South African coastline. The dirt road
leading into town might pose some challenges for smaller cars, but
my Hyundai Getz managed to make it through without problem.
Coffee Bay is relatively small, but that does not detract from all
that it has to offer its domestic and international guests. The back-
packers’ hostel where we stayed offered reasonable rates per night,
home-cooked food and entertaining day trips around the area,
always led by locals. The great thing about the Coffee Shack is that
everything you buy or eat and every adventure you go on can be
put on a tab to be settled at the end of your trip. The only concern
is that you may become a little too liberal with the phrase, “just put
it on my tab”.
Perhaps best of all, the people you will meet at this diverse
little enclave on the sea are so culturally enriching that you feel
as though you have taken a quick trip around the world in just a
few hours. Nights are filled with the sound of laughter, music and
drums circles which reverberate across the sand and Indian Ocean.
Over warm, home-cooked meals, wary travellers share their often
hilarious experiences and one comes to realise how much there
is to see so close to home. Listening to these foreigners speak and
experiencing this small town, I realised how often I have simply
overlooked the way the scenery moving up the coast line changes
from the hills of the Transkei to the soft, green sugar-cane fields
that lie closer to the KwaZulu-Natal border.
Tales of Chintsa in the Eastern Cape, where one can join Game
Drives, surf the Wild Coast, and ride horses along the beach,
blurred into stories about Port St John’s, closer to Kwazulu-Natal
and offering canoeing, forest hikes and whale-watching. Enticed
by the stories I was told, I quickly put both places at the top of my
‘places to see before I die’ list. The Wild Coast adventure is an exhil-
arating way to spend the first few days of your holiday.

10 The Oppidan Press

23 October 2012



Looking back:

SRC 2012

1. Silvanus Welcome and Nicolain Shabangu make their marks on the wall during International Week. 2. Student Representative Councillors and Hall Representatives dance enthusiastically at the International Parade Concert. 3. Student Representative Councillor Induction Ceremony, held this year. 4. The unveiling of Rhodie, the University’s 5. Student Representative Councillors during this year’s successful


23 October 2012

The Oppidan Press


News Features

FACEing animal abuse in Grahamstown

By Hana Kelly Environment

Donkeys have become the face of animal abuse in Grahamstown. From the strays that huddle on bare fields at night, to the stead- fast workers seen pulling carts in all weather, donkey abuse seems particularly prevalent in Graham- stown. However, they are just a symptom of the broader mistreat- ment of animals in Grahamstown. In light of the recent drag-racing incident in which five donkeys were killed, the need for an organisation aimed at protecting the Eastern Cape’s animals appears more crucial than ever. The Farm Animal Centre for Education (FACE) is looking to take on that responsibility. FACE is a non-profit organisation dedicated to educating farmers and animal owners about the humane treatment of animals. Through educating the community, FACE aims to demonstrate alternatives to animal exploitation. The project was founded in 2005 by Jenny Copley-Forster in the North West Province. It closed when Copley-Foster moved to Gra- hamstown in 2006. “The need for an organisation of this nature in the Eastern Cape has become increas- ingly evident and so I tentatively began again in 2010,” she said. In addition to education, FACE aims to empower farm animal owners to properly care for their animals using natural, renewable and economically viable means to prevent and treat common ail- ments. FACE also rehabilitates and re-homes abandoned, ill-treated or

wounded animals when necessary. They are intensely focused in and around Grahamstown, but also run some operations further afield within the Eastern Cape. Another important focus for FACE is the creation of plant and mineral-based medicines. FACE also encourages a plant-based diet for community members as an al- ternative to farmed meat and dairy, for reasons relating to the environ- ment and animal welfare. Thus far, FACE has not had any problems regarding the running of the organisation. “As we envisage working closely with local com- munities, we don’t anticipate any difficulties, other than perhaps ob- taining full co-operation from the municipality,” said Copley-Foster. Currently, their team consists of six unpaid volunteers. They have already established a clinic in the township where mistreated donkeys can receive care. The clinic is run by residents from the area who have been specifically trained. Patrick Tiye is one such example. He works from a clinic based at his home where he grooms donkeys and treats their wounds. “I fix their cuts and sometimes their stab wounds. I clean them and help them become healthy,” he said. Stab wounds, while horrific, are just one of the many injuries often inflicted on donkeys and it is this violence that FACE hopes to address. FACE is hoping to partner with the Rhodes Organisation for Ani- mal Rights (ROAR) next year, once the newly-appointed ROAR com- mittee is up and functioning.

the newly-appointed ROAR com- mittee is up and functioning. Smartphones: The battle rages on By Mudiwa
Smartphones: The battle rages on By Mudiwa Gavaza Business A war is going on in
The battle rages on
By Mudiwa Gavaza
A war is going on in the world of technology
maintenance in terms of airtime and data bundles
seems to make up a large part of student budgets
every month.
These are the issues that concern students most.
The main reason for this in most cases is data usage.
Certain applications on these phones, especially
that is akin to the territorial wars fought
in Medieval times, with companies such
as Apple, Samsung, Google, Nokia and Blackberry
fighting to get the biggest share of the market.
The main rivalry is between Apple and Samsung.
Apple, makers of both the iPhone and iPad, have
been involved in litigation against Samsung, makers
of the popular Galaxy phone and tablet range pow-
ered by Google’s Android operating system.
It would seem that choosing sides is a matter of
preference for the Rhodes and Grahamstown com-
munity. “Sales of Android and Apple products are
relatively even. People enjoy the cheaper price points
and variety offered by Android-powered products,
while at the same time, Apple products have a huge
following and customer base,” said Manager at
Insight Technologies, James Stewart.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the
relationship between Apple and Samsung is that
they actually rely on each other for certain parts of
their business. Some of the components such as the
displays for Apple’s iPhone and iPad are actually
made by Samsung.
Despite this fact, the companies are fierce com-
petitors using sales, the market and court system as
those that give some sort of notification, are often al-
ways working in the background even when it seems
nothing is going on. News alerts, weather updates
and Facebook notifications are just a few examples.
“I love the iPhone 4. It’s very convenient, there
are so many apps to choose from and it’s so easy to
use. I would definitely buy the iPhone 5 if I got the
chance to,” says student Millicent Nhepera, who uses
data bundles to manage costs on her device.
Information Systems Honours students, Chiao-
Ping Fu and Matthew Bouffe, agree that Android
is the way to go, citing that “most of the applica-
a battleground. They are currently engaged in court
proceedings in 10 countries. The most recent verdict
saw Samsung being made to pay US$1.05 billion to
Apple for design patent infringement. Samsung has
since responded by suing Apple for the iPhone 5
under the same patent laws.
Phone makers Nokia and Research in Motion,
which makes Blackberry, have certainly felt the
tions they have are free and Android allows you to
integrate with other devices without hassle. Using
data bundles or Wi-Fi and switching off unnecessary
applications is the best way to keep costs down for
everyday use.”
With retailers, advertisers, mobile operators and
Internet service providers all dependent on the
sales of mobile products, the business landscape is
set to continue being affected in many ways by the
smartphone industry. As young people, students are
affected by the trends, and are a large target market
for manufacturers.
James Stewart advises that people should do their
research before buying a smartphone or tablet.
Android offers a wider range of free applications,
whereas Apple offers the widest range of mobile ap-
plications in general.
To keep costs down, he advises that people should
know what applications they actually use and those
effects of this battle for ‘smart-supremacy’. Nokia,
once the biggest phone maker by sales volume and
revenue is struggling to keep up with the momen-
tum created in the smartphone industry.
The phone maker recently released a range
of phones offering Microsoft’s latest Windows 8
Mobile operating system, hoping that this will help
it to significantly turn its fortunes around. Despite
having one of the best internet plans in the market,
Blackberry has also seen its market share dwindle in
recent times.
From a maintenance point of view, cost is one
of the biggest areas of controversy or contention
for smartphone owners. With the exception of
Blackberry Internet Service users, smartphone
they do not use. Unused applications should be
turned off and it is advisable to switch the data usage
on and off according to use.
As Christmas approaches and gift ideas start
being thrown around, it may be worthwhile to
decide where you stand. Smartphones and tablets
have become very popular gifts in recent years.
With Apple recently releasing its iPhone 5, an iPad
Mini coming soon, Samsung’s new Galaxy S3 Mini
and the Google Nexus 7 tablet already selling well,
the market is ripe and devices will continue being
The issues to consider are that of, ease of use,
convenience, downloading applications and getting
a good data plan together to manage the costs.

12 The Oppidan Press

23 October 2012


send your letters to

- - The SRC’s decision is set to be a controversial one. The word “proba-

- - The SRC’s decision is set to be a controversial one. The word “proba- - - - - -

The Oppidan Press staff and contact details

Editor: Kate-Lyn Moore. Deputy Editor: Kirsten Makin. Managing Editor:

Jamie Bezuidenhout. Assistant Managing Editor: Matthew Barbosa. Online Editor: Tyson Ngubeni. Assistant Online Editor: Stuart Lewis. Webmaster:

Thandile Pambuka. News Features Editor: Tegan Scales. Environment Edi- tor: Jordan du Toit. Politics Editor: Binwe Adebayo. Assistant Politics Edi- tor: Emily Corke. Arts & Entertainment Editor: Tee Mesani. Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editors: Jessica van Tonder and Dirk Steynburg. Business Editor: Mudiwa Gavaza. SciTech Editor: Lethabo Ntshundisane. Sports Editor: Andrew Tombs. Chief Photo Editor: Joshua Oates. Assistant Photo Editor: Michelle Cunliffe. Online Photo Editor: Robynne Peatfield. Chief Sub-Editor: Matthew de Klerk. Sub-Editor: Kaitlin Cunningham. Online Chief Sub-Editor: Lucy Holford-Walker. Chief Designer: Chevawn Blum. Senior Designers: Jehan Ara Khonat, Aimee De La Harpe, Dale Anne Scogings.

Letters to the Editor: Advertising details: Distribution queries:

The Oppidan Press publishes letter that are bona fide expressions of opinion as long as they are not clearly libellous, defamatory, racist or sexist. We publish anonymous letters, but as an act of good faith in your part, we require your full name. We reserve the right to shorten letters due to space constraints and to edit them for grammatical inaccuracies. Letters that do not make it into our print edition will be published on our website.

it into our print edition will be published on our website. Illustration: Amy Slatem Teaching: the
it into our print edition will be published on our website. Illustration: Amy Slatem Teaching: the

Illustration: Amy Slatem

Teaching: the power of literature to change lives

L iterature happens to us. One of the first things a first- year student in the English

Department learns is that, when writing about literature, the aca- demic convention is always to speak about it in the present tense. This is because every time we read a literary text it happens to us all over again, regardless of the number of times we have read it before. It is never quite the same experience because we are never quite the same person when we re-read. The relationships between the author, the reader and the text are fluid and always in flux – open to new pos- sibilities. But literature only happens to us when we happen to literature. In order for this to occur we have to be open. This is the tough bit. As a teacher I ask myself how best to motivate for a book or a set of poems so that my students will feel that they are prepared to open themselves up to the experience of the text before them. I seek to motivate them to leave be- hind their preconceptions, the need to conform, to need to remain untouched and cool, so that they might momen- tarily suspend judgment and feel. The literature I teach asks the reader to face emotionally challenging or difficult ex- periences: colonialism, slavery, racism,

familial oppression, torture, trauma, the insecurities of the lover, the horror of those marginalised by their own society because of their race, gender or sexual preference. In order to discuss these experi- ences in a form and register recognised within the discipline one must be enabled to feel deeply and seriously. I get excited in my classes when I sense my students are becoming enabled to

look at an experience closely, to feel it and not look away, in horror, disgust, or confusion. In my teaching I try to remain true to the real emotions that texts evoke in readers, this experience

is just as important as the students’

intellectual response and must always precede it. If the teaching of literature is to have an ethical component then emo- tion must be accorded a proper place within the teaching environment. I

also believe that when I teach, if I offer

a complete and articulate reading of

a literary text this will shut down the experience my students could have if

they open themselves to the experience of the text. I strive therefore to prompt my students towards making the books that I teach into unique works of art for themselves. The smallness of Rhodes University

is very conducive to teaching literature

because of the emphasis in the English Department on small group teach- ing – the ways in which lectures are complemented with weekly tutorials. This means that I come to know my students as individual people and creates an environment where I am

a learner amongst learners – I often

learn as much from my students as they learn from me. One of my greatest joys in my work are in those learning moments, which strike a chord, when a student articulates their own experience of a text with such insight that all the oth- ers learn with them as they speak in a tutorial. This is my first post as a lecturer. I love what I do and I can’t imagine do- ing anything else. I still haven’t really got over the fact that someone actually pays me to wake up in the morning

that someone actually pays me to wake up in the morning and sit in a classroom

and sit in a classroom with a group of young people and debate what we make of a novel or a poem. I teach because I believe in the

power of literature to transform our lives, to bring us together in better understandings of each other and our different worlds. I teach because I wish my students to become independent critical thinkers, articulate writers, and informed, educated young people capable of making a difference in a

country that needs them in order to heal. I teach to make experiences of collective understanding possible in their lives and because of what they make possible in mine.

Dr Deborah Seddon is a lecturer in the English Department. She recently gave a talk entitled, ‘At Play in the House of Fiction: Some Thoughts on Teaching and Literature in South Af- rica.’ In April 2012 she received the Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching award.

23 October 2012

The Oppidan Press



Radio Astronomy at Rhodes: a rich history

As leaders in their field, Rhodes Alumni have built South African Radio Astronomy into what it is today

By Andrew Tudhope

P rofessor Justin Jonas revisited the inspiring accomplish- ments made by the Rhodes

University Physics Department in years gone by, in a talk entitled ‘Ra- dio Astronomy for Africa, In Africa’. Prof Jonas is generally recognized for his massive contribution both to radio astronomy in the country and for his role in South Africa’s winning the bid to host the Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope (SKA). This talk was more than a mere dissertation on the workings of the- admittedly fascinating- SKA. Jonas began by tracing the development of radio astronomy in the country, a sci- ence which he stated, “but for Rhodes, would not exist in South Africa today”. Radio Astronomy began its career at Rhodes with a small antenna set up on what is now the site of the Barratt Lecture building. It intended merely to search for radio waves in order to try and build a basic picture of what was ‘out there’. From these modest beginnings, the department decided to extend the program somewhat and set up an antenna at the university to study Jupiter in the late 1960s. NASA removed itself from South Africa during the 1970s in opposi- tion to the apartheid state and left a 26 metre dish at a the observatory they built near Hartebeespoort Dam in the North West Province. This site was taken over and given the technical knowledge already developed in the Rhodes Physics Department, was run by an essentially all Rhodes team, including Jonas himself. This fact reflected impressively on the Rhodes Physics Department. HartRAO, as this observatory is known, is capable of producing far more precise data than anything to which Rhodes academics previously had access. Jonas went on to become involved with the development and building of the two radio telescopes KAT-7 and Meerkat, that are in the Karoo already as precursors to the SKA. This is not the full story though, for Jonas is not the only incredibly successful radio astronomer or physicist who calls Rhodes his/her alma mater. Oliver King and Charles Copley both did their Masters with Jonas at Rhodes. King went on to do a doctorate at Oxford and now teaches at Caltech in the USA. Copley is completing his PhD on the C-BASS telescope, also through Oxford, and has, like Jonas and King, played a major role in the SKA proposal and

project. Other highly prominent radio astronomers from Rhodes include highly respected electrical engineer, Dr Mike Inggs, world expert in anten- nae, Dr Dirk Baker, current director of HartRAO, Dr Mike Gaylard, the founding director of HartRAO, Dr George Nicholson (who received an honorary doctorate from Rho- des) as well as Lindsay Magnus and Paul Manners who have both done

numerous projects which will be used as foundational knowledge for the SKA. It is not only physicists that seem to be pouring out of our university. Dr Alex Fortescue did his MSc in Geog- raphy at Rhodes and is now an expert working on the SKA and its environ- mental elements. Dr Simon Radcliffe did his MSc in Computer Science at Rhodes and is also on the SKA work- ing on the monumental data process- ing challenges the project faces. Given such an esteemed history, one might note with great disappointment the somewhat lacklustre nature of the current department. Administrational issues and lack of skilled lecturers has led to Stellenbosch and UCT taking the lead in radio astronomy research. Nevertheless, Rhodes has played, and continues to play, a major role in such research. The list of world experts that this university has produced in just one field is testament to the punch this small university can pack. With the new research chair in the department being filled by Dr Oleg Smirnov, an internationally-acclaimed astronomer, the future does indeed look bright. This future is not limited to science though. The SKA brings to South Africa data processing capabilities and bandwidth unheard of in first world countries. Furthermore, it draws mas- sive investment in multiple different spheres, from business, to science, to culture and tourism. If ever, now is the time to take ad- vantage of the unique position we find ourselves in as South Africans literally leading the world in some of the most important technologies which are to be developed in the near future. It is my sincerest hope that this generation of Rhodes students will not allow the apathy which seems to infect our campus at almost every turn to stop us becoming as successful as our predecessors. These individuals lead the world in their chosen field; hope- fully our peers will too someday.

their chosen field; hope- fully our peers will too someday. Left-to-right, taken at HartRAO: Prof Mike
their chosen field; hope- fully our peers will too someday. Left-to-right, taken at HartRAO: Prof Mike

Left-to-right, taken at HartRAO: Prof Mike Inggs - now at UCT Electrical & Electronic engineering, Dr, Dirk Baker - Grintek Antennas, Prof Justin Jonas, Dr Mike Gaylard - Director of HartRAO, Dr George Nicolson (Rhodes honorary doctorate) - founding director of HartRAO, Paul Manners - no longer with SKA, but did a lot of the RFI survey work, Dr Adrian Tiplady - SKA SA, Alex Fortescue - MSc in Geography, GIS expert (Southern Mapping) Source (for both): PROF JUSTIN JONAS.

Tiplady - SKA SA, Alex Fortescue - MSc in Geography, GIS expert (Southern Mapping) Source (for

14 The Oppidan Press

23 October 2012

Arts & Entertainment

Bowler singing her last goodbyes
Bowler singing
her last

Danielle Bowler performed for the last time on 17 October October in a night filled with acoustic artistry to celebrate her contribution to the Grahamstown music scene. Picture: ROBYNNE PEATFIELD

By Tee Mesani

A rtists and music lovers flocked to Olde 65 on Wednesday 17 October for

Danielle Bowler’s final performance in Grahamstown. The Bad Hands, Wordsuntame, Jae Braun and Oz were some of the musicians who took to the stage to perform at Bowler’s farewell event. Bowler said that the people she asked to perform on the evening were those she believes have contributed to

the Grahamstown music scene, as well as performers with whom she shared the stage during her time here. Bowler opened with a cover of Emeli Sande’s song, ‘Heaven’. Before continuing with her set she asked the audience not to feel sad about her leaving Grahamstown. “This event

is to celebrate the times we’ve shared

together,” she said. Her plans for the future are vast and with a few routes to choose from, Bowler plans to launch her album abroad, rather than in South Africa. “The South African music scene is wonderful but my sound won’t fit

perfectly into the market,” Bowler said, explaining that her music is influenced by British sounds. “It’s sad, she’s such a talented person. I know it’s good for her career that she’s leaving but it’s sad for us supporters”, said Ameera Mills, who attended the event.

Beatboxer Oz Mzwali said that Bowler has been one of the people that he enjoyed performing alongside the most. “She’s a lovely, down to earth person. Her absence in Grahamstown will be felt.”

Rhodes drama student breaks UCT’s winning streak

By Tee Mesani

This year’s Moira Lister Theatre Award was won by Rhodes Drama Masters student, Madele Vermaak, for her outstanding contribution to theatre production. This is a first ever win for Rhodes University. Previ- ously this award has only ever been won by students at the University of Cape Town. Vermaak received this prestigious award on Saturday 13 October at a special ceremony held at the Rhodes Main Theatre. Still in disbelief, Vermaak said that she felt honoured and privileged to be recognised as one of South Africa’s most talented young theatre mak- ers. Without the help of the Rhodes Drama department, she said she does not think she would have been able to produce the excellent work that led to her winning the award. The award was presented by multi-award-winning actor, Jeremy Crutchley. Congratulating Vermaak on her achievement, he expressed his confidence in the future caretakers of South African theatre. “I was really excited when I heard the news that Madele is the recipient of this year’s award,” said Andrew Buck- land, Head of the Drama department. He expressed his overwhelming pride for this recognition of the dedication of one of his department’s students, adding that this award means a great deal to Rhodes University. “The Uni- versity is in an isolated area,” he said, “news like this will get people talking

and it is good publicity for both the University and the Drama depart- ment.” According to Buckland, the Moira Lister Theatre Award previously fo- cused on actors, rather than other aspects of theatre-making such as directing and writing. This year the organisers decided to recognise Ver- maak, who is a director. Vermaak has been involved in a number of theatre productions. This year she directed ‘Tender’, a produc- tion created specifically for the Nation- al Arts Festival, where it received rave reviews and attention from industry experts. Michele Ellis, who was a cast mem- ber in ‘Tender’, said she thoroughly enjoyed working with Vermaak. “Madele was great. She allowed us to be creative, she guided us and made us grow so much as artists,” said Ellis. “I am happy to have worked with her. I learned a lot.” “I am still trying to figure out the weight of the award. I am sure it will open a lot of doors for me. It’s a push I really needed to get ahead,” said Ver- maak, speaking about what the award will mean for her future. She plans on relocating to Cape Town where she wants to find herself an agent. Vermaak’s future plans also include her band, The Footnotes. She intends to continue being part of the group and wants to take her musical career seriously. She believes Cape Town will provide her with the platform to do this. She also plans to take ‘Tender’ on tour to major festivals across the country.

A Physical Movement ends

First Physical Theatre performer leaves on a high note

By Alex Maggs

‘The Story Begins’ is a celebration of South African life. Beginning with a township scene depicting a variety of characters going about everyday activities, the piece combined physi- cal theatre, traditional dance and contemporary movements to show- case the talent of performers from both the Rhodes Drama department and the Amaphiko Township Dance Project. “Dancing is just discovery, dis- covery, discovery.” This quote, by American choreographer Martha Graham welcomed the audience to Siya Mabambaza’s final production of ‘The Story Begins.’ The production was choreographed and conceptualised by the former First Physical Theatre performer Mabamba- za, his last piece before he begins new projects. Mabambaza also appeared in the piece performing a contemporary trio.

“This year was a hectic year for the company because we struggled with funding,” said Mabambaza. “I felt it was necessary for me to move onto a new job and start afresh.” The production used multimedia techniques, with a slideshow of images and narrative helping the audience to understand the story. The second half of the piece took on

a more personal feel as a contempo-

rary trio, which included Mabambaza, told the story of a love triangle and betrayal. “It was amazing to work with some- one who is such a talented mover,” said Drama student Magdalena De Beer, who danced with Mabambaza in the trio. “Siya has taught me so much this year in terms of movement and choreography.” Mabambaza was pleased with the show but disappointed when a techni- cal glitch prevented him from doing his solo. “It’s hectic hey, because the show was supposed to be 45 minutes long, but I didn’t get to do my solo because they forgot to press play. That’s

to do my solo because they forgot to press play. That’s Amaphiko township dancers pose after

Amaphiko township dancers pose after one of their final rehearsals for The Story Begins. The show was on at the Rhodes Theatre on Friday 12 October. Picture: ROBYNNE PEATFIELD

why I’m not so happy with this perfor- mance,” he said. “I feel great though, because it’s my last show in Grahams- town and I’m happy that the kids were there and so many people were able to

make it. I’m grateful for the support I received from the department”. Mabambaza plans to return to his hometown of Port Elizabeth and start working with a different company, or

perhaps even start his own. “There are many groups in PE that would like me to work with them, but I felt I had to finish my contract here first,” he said.

23 October 2012

The Oppidan Press


Arts & Entertainment

Hell’s rejects welcomed on earth

The Devil Sent Me Back return to claim the title of Battle of the Bands champions for 2012

to claim the title of Battle of the Bands champions for 2012 The Devil Sent Me
to claim the title of Battle of the Bands champions for 2012 The Devil Sent Me

The Devil Sent Me Back performs in Battle of the Bands. Pictures: STEFAN VAN RENSBURG

By David Williams

H ow does a metal band cel-

ebrate after winning a Battle?

Despite the fevered fantasies

of fans, it is sadly not with a feast of wild boars roasted on pentagram spits. Fortunately for us here in Gra- hamstown, we do have Black Label, Champs Action Bar and The Oppidan Press to interview any award-winning champions. They’re called The Devil Sent Me Back and they showed no signs of diminishing returns when they won this year’s Live Music Society’s (LMS) Battle of the Bands. On a Sunday afternoon, with the sounds of Elvis Presley’s ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ in the background, the 5-piece metalcore band spilled some facts and explained what it felt like being confirmed as bona fide rockers by the judges of this nail-biting three- round competition. They describe their sound as heavy with upbeat breakdowns, melodic guitar lines and snarling vocals. The band is comprised of Colin Nass (vocals), Ross Ford (bass & vocals), Jason Brits (drums), Craig Albers and Cheyne Weddell (guitar), the band formed in early 2011 with the intention of playing the music they love and the desire to inject ‘mosh’ into the town. Despite this admirable vision and mission statement, this was not what gained the public’s attention. While studying English in first year, Nass and Brits met at Gold Fields residence and discovered their mutual affection for metal, which was the seed that sprouted their humble beginnings. These two metal aficionados met Albers and Weddell, who were in another band

called Kill the Witness. Weddell, while laughing, explained it best: “When I saw The Devil Sent Me Back, I was like, ‘man, that band is so cool, I want to jam with them’.” The band became official when one of their first fans, Ford, became the bass- ist – a rather noteworthy and humble addition, considering the fact that he’s actually a guitarist. Their first real chance came with last year’s LMS Battle of the Bands, but they were disappoint- ed to have ended up at the bottom of the competitors list. So how did they crack it this time? “I don’t know what happened,” said growling frontman Nass. “I think we just tried to have fun.” It may also have helped that their debut EP, ‘Animals’, was released for free (it can be down- loaded from Facebook) and received online airplay in America and Russia. Eventually, fan videos made it all the way to Paraguay. So what now? They have a two-week tour to Cape Town this January and an application lying on the desks of the RAMFest 2013 organisers. All in all, they have their sweep-picking fingers crossed.

When I saw The Devil Sent Me Back, I was like, ‘man, that band is so cool, I want to jam with them

-Guitarist, Cheyne Weddel

I want to jam with them -Guitarist, Cheyne Weddel ” Bass guitarist, Ross Ford, for The

Bass guitarist, Ross Ford, for The Devil Sent Me Back, crowned champions after a three- week battle. Picture: STEFAN VAN RENSBURG

Durban trio reveals their true habits

By Joni Lindes

Following the release of their latest album, Boomerang, Habit To visited Grahamstown as part of their coun- trywide tour. Their performance at Slipstream Sports Bar was an irresistible mixture of pulverising vocals, shattering guitar solos and pulsating drum beats, ensuring that the band rocked the party. It has been nine years since Habit To formed and they have come a long way in terms of gaining followers around South Africa. Since their formation, they have played at most major festivals around the country including Splashy Fen and have performed with bands such as Prime Circle, Goldfish, The Parlotones and The Arrows. Vocalist and lead guitarist, Michelle “Chillie” Stent, spiced up the stage with great solos and a hearty voice, while bassist Andy Stent gave a solid performance with major

head-banging fits throughout the gig. To the band, a high-energy set is imperative. “We make sure we have a good time and if the people watch- ing us have half as much of a good time as we do, then that is great,” said Stent. He added that the three band members try to transfer the energy to the crowd. “You have to show eve- ryone what you have,” said drummer Dale “Dang” Wardell, minutes before they were about to perform their hits for the small but excited crowd. One of the standouts of the night’s performance was their own sin- gle, ‘Cast in Stone’, and the crowd was later stunned by a cover of the popular rock song, ‘Enter Sandman’ by Metallica. The band made a point of pulling through with a great performance. “We enjoy the music side of it and we like to think we take it seriously, but when we are up there, you know we are going to put on a good show,” said Stent.

Gravity pulls in something new

By Hana Kelly

An eclectic mix of Grahamstown’s most popular music acts shared the stage at Prime on Friday, 12 Octo- ber 2012. As the first of its kind, the Gravity party brought together the distinctive sounds of Lu Fuki, DJs@ Play and AwehWolf. “It was exciting to see music acts of such different genres performing in the same event. It was fresh and new,” said Ameera Mills. The event was a long time coming. “It’s time for something new. If you want to make something big in terms of music, you need to cater for a num- ber of different people,” said Seneliso Dladla, who hosted the event. The night opened with a perfor- mance by Shackles and Bones that set the audiences head-banging, followed by an equally entertaining perfor- mance by Lu Fuki. The crowd changed as the DJs took the stage, with the rock fans dispersing and a new crowd of fanatics sweeping

onto the dance floor to enjoy the sounds of AwehWolf and DJs@Play. The variety of music was by far the most appealing part of the evening but several DJs agreed that the acoustics of the venue were a setback. “The venue needs more bass busters to reduce that bathroom sound,” said Glover. “I don’t think the venue was great for this particular gig.” “I don’t really dig the acoustics in Prime. Live music always sounds bad in there,” said Nkuli Nhlabathi of DJs@ Play. The lack of appeal of Prime as a live music venue did not escape the audi- ence, either. “They could do something to give it more character,” said specta- tor Ian Currie. Despite the criticisms, the overall event was successful. “I thought it was very well organized and the crowd was enthusiastic,” he said.

Not the usual scene at Prime- the gravity event on Friday 12 October hosted a diverse array of music including live acts as well as Dj’s. Picture: AMEERA MILLS

event on Friday 12 October hosted a diverse array of music including live acts as well
No pride at JHB brawl Is your society safe? see page 5 see page 2
No pride at JHB brawl
Is your society safe?
see page 5
see page 2

A good workout and a great cause – DanceSport held ‘Dance For a Cure’ to raise money for bone marrow donors.


Rhodes DanceSport show they CAIR

Rhodes DanceSport team-up with the Cancer Awareness Initiative to raise money for cancer patients

By Andrew Tombs

I t was a good day for cancer awareness as Rhodes

DanceSport and the Cancer Awareness Initia-

tive at Rhodes (CAIR) hosted the ‘Dance for a

Cure’ event in the Rhodes University Aerobics Hall on Saturday 13 October. Following National Bandana Day, the event (themed ‘casual with something pink’) was sponsored by Red Bull, who supplied energy drinks to all the

participants. Even with only R5 entry per person,

almost R1000 was raised for CAIR. The money that was raised is to go mainly towards the testing of a bone marrow donor, with the remainder going to cancer patients in Grahamstown. Numerous spot prizes were handed out to the win- ners of the different categories. These ranged from ‘most stamina’, ‘most flexible’ and ‘most push-ups in a row’ to ‘best Latin pose and pout’, ‘best dressed’ and ‘for wearing a sunflower (leukaemia) bandana’. A raffle was also held for the prize of a two-night stay for two people, including a full body massage each, at Chappy’s Cushion Lodge and Spa.

The fundraiser seemed to be a success, if the amount of positive feedback that was posted to the Facebook event is anything to go by. “The event went very well and the turnout was great,” said President of DanceSport, Candice Ryan. She hopes to make ‘Dance for a Cure’ an annual event on the calendar and to make it even bigger and better in years to come.

A gallery of photos and a video of the event, can be found at The Oppidan Press Online

To Hell and back

see page 15

A knight, a pawn and a bishop walk into a bar

By Andrew Tombs and Benjamin Katz

In an attempt to introduce what is a common feature in towns and cities the world over, the Rhodes University Chess Club (RUCC) is making efforts to work the sport back into Grahamstown’s local scene by hosting a knockout tournament on 10 October, the first of what the club hopes will become a monthly event. The tournament was hosted at Champs Action Bar and was open to both the university’s and the town’s best – or worst – chess minds. The mini-knockout was de- signed for 16 players, with each round running for half an hour, 15 minutes designated to each player’s clock. Prize money would be pooled from the R10 entry fee and allocated to the first and second place winners offering first place a R100 prize and second place the remaining R60. Although the first tournament only saw 8 interested players coming to the tables (reducing the final prize money), RUCC presi- dent, Garth Dwyer, is hoping that word will spread so that the even- ing can become a fixed feature on the Grahamstown calendar. Dywer hopes that next year the event can be hosted monthly or fortnightly with enough support. While the prize money on offer is meant as an incentive for players, club coach Andrew Martin said that the events are designed to bring chess players from the university together with similar competitive minds in the Grahamstown community. The winner of the inaugural tournament, Ross Adams, a previ- ous member of RUCC, said the tournament turned out to be an enjoyable evening. He made sure to mention the challenge that met him across the table from Saskia Fourie in the final game of the night. Dwyer said that while the tour- nament didn’t receive the turnout that was hoped for he still thought it to be successful. “It went very well and had a nice atmosphere,” he said. Dwyer explained that depend- ing on the tournaments’ popular- ity, hopes are for the evenings to allow for money to be raised and donated to the community. RUCC has been very busy. On Saturday 13 October the team represented Rhodes in Alice to play in a tournament against the University of Fort Hare (UFH) and Walter Sisulu University. RUCC pulled in enough wins to place second place, just after UFH’s East London campus team.