Sie sind auf Seite 1von 12

Who is really keeping us safe?


The intervisiting issue


Varsity Cup challenge for RU hockey


The Oppidan Press


Edition 5, 14 May 2014

South Africa’s creative capital


challenge for RU hockey 5 The Oppidan Press Photo: JASON COOPER Edition 5, 14 May 2014


The Oppidan Press

14 May 2014

News Features

2 The Oppidan Press 14 May 2014 News Features Activist Simphiwe Msizi (pictured) has involved himself

Activist Simphiwe Msizi (pictured) has involved himself with key Rhodes groups in an effort to memorialise the legacy of Steve Biko. Photo:


Biko’s story continued

Simphiwe Msizi

The second in a series seeking to relay the life of Bantu Stephen Biko by herit- age activist Simphiwe Msizi, aiming to share the legacy of Biko’s leadership at Rhodes. In a biography about the Black Consiousness activist, Dr Xolela Mangcu said, “Steve Biko spoke primarily to black South Africans – but he also spoke to white South Africans. He spoke widely to white students in the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS).” Though the Student Representative Council (SRC) at Rhodes distanced itself from the Univer- sity when non-white students were not allowed to stay or eat on campus during the 1967 NUSAS conference, Rhodes’ decision to abide by national requirements in this regard changed Biko’s focus on multiracialism. The above issues, amongst others, resulted in the formation of the South African Students Organisation (SASO), the all-black student’s body that broke away from NUSAS after the 1967 conference. The primary aim of SASO was to raise black consciousness in South Africa through lectures and community activities. Biko preached black solidarity to “break the chains of oppression”. In 1972, he was one of the founders of the Black People’s Convention (BPC), which focused on social upliftment projects around Durban. Biko was elected the first president of BPC and was promptly expelled from medical school. Thereafter he started working full-time for the Black Community Programme (BCP) in Durban, which he also helped to found. Biko’s political activities eventually drew the attention of the South Afri- can government, resulting in his being banned from membership of politi- cal organisations and restricted to the magisterial district of King Williams Town in 1973. During this time, Biko was often harassed, arrested, and detained by the South African police. Between August 1975 and September 1977, he was detained and interrogated four times under apartheid anti- terrorism legislation. On 18 August 1977, Biko was arrested by the police near Grahamstown and brought to Port Elizabeth to be detained under Section Six of the Ter- rorism Act. The law then permitted the police to hold Biko in jail indefi- nitely. As it turned out, he was held in prison for 24 days, where he was interrogated, starved, and brutally beaten. On 7 September, Biko sustained a head injury during an interrogation, after which he acted strangely and became uncooperative. The doctors who examined him while he lay naked on a mat and manacled to a metal grille initially disregarded signs of neurological injury. By 11 September, Biko had slipped into a continual, semi-conscious state and police physicians recommended a transfer to hospital. Biko was instead transported 1200km to Pretoria – a 12 hour journey which he made lying naked in the back of a Land Rover. A few hours later, on 12 September, alone and still naked, Biko died from brain damage while lying on the floor of a cell in the Pretoria Central Prison. The South African government claimed that Biko died of a hunger strike and proclaimed their innocence. The hunger strike story was eventually dropped after local and international media pressure, especially that of Donald Woods, the editor of the Daily Dispatch, and Helen Zille, then a young journalist from the Rand Daily Mail.

Look out for articles from The Oppidan Press interns placed in this week’s edition to mark the recent Community Engagement week. We are extremely proud of these learners and thank CE Officer Abigail Butcher, our Managerial and Editorial teams, and the interns themselves for their commitment to making the internship programme a success.

commitment to making the internship programme a success. Many Grahamstown residents and businesses now employ the

Many Grahamstown residents and businesses now employ the services of private security companies, such as Hi-Tec, to protect their properties. Photo: DANIELLA PALLOTTA

Watching over Grahamstown

Leila Stein

M arch 2014 saw Grahams- town’s Police Force open a second station in Joza

Township Extension 6. The construc- tion of the large police station makes the police more accessible for many, but there are concerns that the new station has not been adequately resourced and could place extra pres- sure on Grahamstown’s already small police force. “After the Minister of Safety came in 2005 to an Imbizo, an outreach to the community, they said they wanted another police station in Joza,” said SAPS media spokesperson Captain Mali Govender. “The idea is to bring the services to the poor.” Previously, residents in Joza had to travel to the SAPS on Beaufort Street for assistance from the police, which was an inconvenience and a threat to their safety. The town’s police force has now been split between these two stations, but only a few more vehicles have been added to each station. “You used to have to report in town but now we can just walk to the police station,” said Joza resident Mluleki Zono. “They don’t take a long time so everything is better now.” Businesses in Joza had previously turned to private security companies for protection, with perhaps the most visible company being Hi-Tec. A new Hi-Tec branch in Joza opened on 27 March 2013 after receiving requests to boost security from schools and busi- nesses in the area.

“Being based only in town was a disadvantage,” said Hi-Tec manager Andre Wille. “Having to drive all the way to these offices and back to Joza takes too much time.” Wille added that the need for Hi-Tec is influenced by the deterioration of the police service. “[The police] are not as efficient. We rely on them for transporting those we have arrested and sometimes the po- lice aren’t available to bring transport,” Wille said. Govender responded to this claim by stating that in the past there have been transport issues but in the last year she was not aware of any. “We urge the community and security companies to notify us if they have any complaints,” she added. Although they are often not formally put forward, complaints about the police are a common occurrence among students and residents of Grahamstown. A common concern is the apparent apathy and lack of results from the police. Grahamstown resident Matthew de Klerk had a laptop and other posses- sions stolen from his house earlier this year. He states that although the police were helpful, they seemed resigned to the fact that it was just another break- in. In the same week as his case, five other break-ins on his street alone had already been reported to the police. The burden on a small police force is deemed part of the problem by de Klerk. “[The police] are underfunded and overwhelmed by the number of cases every day,” he said. “A warrant

We urge the community and security companies to notify us if they have any complaints

- SAPS spokesperson Captain Mali Govender

officer told me that some 400 plus laptops had been stolen since January this year.” Currently, none of his items have been recovered and he has not received any news about the case since the beginning of April. “I would say that in Grahamstown

I feel resigned to the fact that even if

I lock up with multiple locks, alarm

the house and make sure it’s all secure,

it will probably get hit again,” said de

Klerk. “I feel that the police will not be able to prevent or solve that crime.”

With regard to Hi-Tec, de Klerk feels that they help but that in his experi- ence, they are rough and demeaning to those they apprehend. Govender disclosed that the Joza police station has seen an equal number of cases to that of the station in town. Although there is activity at both of these stations, the efficiency of the work being carried out remains to be seen.

14 May 2014

The Oppidan Press


News Features

Feeding association optimistic despite obstacles

Caleb Aaron Lloyd

C hair of the Grahamstown

Feeding Association (GFA)

Joan Kaye has dismissed per-

ceptions that the organisation faces financial difficulties after its feeding stations were broken into. The GFA’s funding is steady, but a panic-button has been installed at their soup kitchen off Knight Street because of repeated break-in attempts and threats to the safety of their staff. The GFA prepares soup at its premises behind the Grahamstown City Hall before driving out to Joza and Vukani locations every weekday. Free meals are distributed from the B.B Zondani community hall in Fingo Village and an empty plot in Joza to anybody who queues. In 2013, the GFA gave out a total of 158,000 meals. These meals consisted of soup and four pieces of bread – oc- casionally with peanut butter. While their primary source of fund- ing comes from the Rhodes University staff, the GFA also receives funds from

private donors. Despite not being gov- ernment subsidised, Kaye insists that the GFA’s funds were “very healthy” and that the committee was discussing plans for expansion. Recently, however, the GFA has experienced break-in attempts and problems with aggressive patrons, prompting the installation of the panic-button. “[The vandals] broke in again, and ruined the garage door. They’ve actu- ally managed to roll [it] up with brute force,” explained Kaye, in reference to a previous incident of vandalism. While Kaye blames vandals for the cause of GFA’s troubles, some of those who rely on feeding associations sus- pect the staff of theft. “Sometimes we get a feeling that they [the serving staff] just took those drums of peanut butter, because you won’t see it the next day,” said Eddie Royi, who runs an informal carwash on New Street. Kaye refuted this claim by stating that “young thugs” in the crowd had apparently spilled soup and demanded

Eager minds but empty tummies

Thembani Buko Oppidan Press Intern

Learners in Joza and much of Grahamstown East go to school without breakfast more often than not. While they are eager to learn, their grumbling stomachs often lead to them dropping out of school because they cannot concentrate. Empty stomachs are a very big issue for South African school students. Some teenagers tend to forget about their future roles and that each one of them is given a cer- tain talent. They do things without knowing the consequences. Learners who arrive at school with no food or without a full school uniform are often ridiculed by others. Although dropping out of school is not

only caused by lack of food, I feel it is

a main reason for them dropping out.

Some of these learners who drop out of school have parents that don’t care about them. Dropping out of school is not an option, people. Don’t waste your time. Although it has become better, this is very painful because I have been through the situation myself. Sometimes I go to school hungry and it affects my academics because concentration levels drop. When I am hungry I tend to feel dizzy and weak. I keep quiet and everything feels like it is unreal. Despite this struggle, I am surviving because I told myself I will get there one day if I focus on what is best for me. I believe that nothing is impossible until the moment I stop trying. Seeing learners who buy snacks during break makes me sad. But I believe that you must love yourself and love other people. Some parents spoil their children by buying them new shoes, cellphones and clothes. The teachers cannot see improvement in the academics of these students at school. That is just useless. Life is short: whatever chance you have now, live it

to the fullest.

short: whatever chance you have now, live it to the fullest. Thembani Buko writes about his

Thembani Buko writes about his experience at a Grahamstown East School. Photo: GABRIELLA FREGONA

I think there must be a meeting for the youth to begin solving this issue.

The community can also perhaps plan to give food parcels to those who don’t receive food. We are lucky though, because the government provides func- tional feeding schemes in our schools. It is not necessary to drop out of school because of lack of food. Yes, you go to school hungry but at least the feeding schemes are available during break time. It is not vital how much money we have or do not have but


own. Life is about taking risks, if not you are missing out on what’s ahead of you. Start now!

is important to not be negative. Follow your heart and stand strong on your

cool drink. These incidents prompted the GFA to close until the issues could be resolved. In its 14-year history, the GFA has always operated with a cook, general cleaner, a driver and two serv- ing staff. This has resulted in a system where- by people in the queue have begun helping with the distribution of meals. Although it has been effective in the past, this has recently chnaged. “Lately, they’ve been saying they need payment for helping,” Kaye said. Subsequently, a well-respected community leader was called upon by the GFA to settle the situation. The community leader, who preferred to remain anonymous so as not to affect his work in the community, said a compassionate approach for dealing with violent youths was more effective than just handing out meals. “We need to find out from them what has put them in that position,” he said. “If you’re getting food for free, it [doesn’t] encourage you to uplift yourself.”

free, it [doesn’t] encourage you to uplift yourself.” There are a number of nutritional programmes being

There are a number of nutritional programmes being implemented in Joza, both in schools and in the greater community. Photo: GABRIELLA FREGONA

and in the greater community. Photo: GABRIELLA FREGONA The Farm Animal Centre for Education (FACE) has

The Farm Animal Centre for Education (FACE) has entered into discussions with the Rhodes Organisation for Animal Rights (ROAR) to help spread awareness for the rights of Grahamstown’s donkeys. Photo: SHEILA DAVID

FACE and ROAR fight for donkey rights

Khanyi Mlaba

Donkeys, already a common sight in Grahamstown, are now becoming popular nightlife features as late-night donkey cart rides help students to get home after a night out. Though many are pleased about this new service, the Farm Animal Centre for Education (FACE) has entered into discussions with Rhodes Organisation for Animal Rights (ROAR) to stop students from accepting donkey rides and to make them aware of the donkeys’ rights. FACE founder Jenny Copley-Forster stresses that al- though the donkey carts taking students home at night are doing the Rhodes community a service, the rights of the animals also need to be taken into consideration. According to Copley-Forster, students unwittingly choose between the rights of the donkey and expanding the liveli- hood of the donkey carter. “I know that it’s extra money for the young carters,” Copley-Forster said, “but we need to find an alternative. The donkeys also need their rest. Unlicensed, unlighted vehicles shouldn’t be on the road after dark at all.” When asked whether they knew it was against the ani- mals’ rights to make them work late at night, three young carters said that other factors play into their decision. “We only have time to think about making enough money to go home and taking care of the people there,” said one

of the carters. “And if taking the donkeys out for an extra hour gets us what we need, then we will do it.” The carters requested to remain anonymous. The carters , who asked to remain anonymous, also stated that they have never been informed that they are not al- lowed to take the donkeys out at night. “It’s never been a problem when I take the donkeys home late,” one carter explained. “As long as they are fed.” The carters also had no idea that students ill-treat the donkeys. Copley-Forster believes that the problem is that there is no way to regulate the treatment of the donkeys after hours, especially in the presence of alcohol. Students have allegedly been seen frightening the donkeys by jumping on them from behind and slapping them. ROAR member Lerato Mohale witnessed such an event. “The donkey did nothing to him,” Mohale said. “He was just looking for food in the dark and was really scared. Then some idiot just goes and slaps him.” Another student, Chanelle Oakes, also stated that she had seen some students mistreating donkeys. “I’ve seen people our age and at our university jumping onto the donkeys,” she commented. While such treatment of the donkeys is undeniably prob- lematic, it is unclear whether such instances are the excep- tion or the rule and whether or not the discussions between FACE and ROAR will be able to have any effect.


The Oppidan Press

14 May 2014

Security Feature

Scanning Rhodes University security

Duncan Pike and Heather Dixon

T he recent shooting at Cullen Bowles has left many students wary of the safety measures in

their residences and on campus. In

light of this, The Oppidan Press con- ducted a survey of general residence security by having an internal re- search team examine each individual residence on campus. A research team of six journalists went to each residence on campus and, either by observation or speaking to

a warden or sub-warden, established

security standards. These included the number of locked and unlocked doors at each residence, how many fire escapes each residence has, how access

into the building is gained, and if these security measures work or not. This survey was conducted on over 50 residences and annexes in all 10 halls, with the exception of Celeste which is comprised of flats rather than traditional residence rooms. Cullen Bowles residence, where the tragic incident took place on 26 April consists of three sections, which are labelled Red, Green and Yellow. Each section consists of a number of rooms. The shooting took place in

a room in the Red section. The Red

and Yellow sections are considered the most secure, with only the front door and a ground floor fire escape labelled as potential points of entry. The Green section however, has four potential entry points. Out of all the residences, Cullen Bowles was the only one that, at the time of the survey, had an open fire escape door.

at the time of the survey, had an open fire escape door. Each residence has a

Each residence has a finger scanner which is a step towards increasing security on campus, however in light of recent events this has come into question. Photo: VICKY PATRICK

In terms of the safety in residences, the incident seems to have been an

unfortunate exception to the generally high standards of residence security. The incident which took place at Cul- len Bowles seems to have been due to isolated issues within the residence, rather than a deficiency in campus- wide security. However, it does appear that some security features at Rhodes are being retroactively addressed. According to

Drostdy Hall and Allan Gray House Warden Dr Rosa Klein, burglar bars are to be installed on the second floor windows of Allan Gray residence after the recent theft of a laptop. Klein confirms that there is a ‘mini- mum standards’ document in place, but she states that this was only in effect after the building of Rosa Parks residence in 2009. Due to the fact that this minimum standards document was only implemented after much

of upper campus had already been developed, the document is only now starting to be applied in the newer residences, where crime seems to be more prevalent. “Most security issues at Rhodes are up the hill due to the bush surroundings,” Klein explained, despite issues in her own, lower-cam- pus residence. Other factors which could com- promise residence security include residents failing to sign guests in,

It does appear that some security features at Rhodes are being retroactively addressed

fingerprint scanners not working when there is no electricity, or the propping open of a door with a brick. Due to the perceived risks, there are examples of residences bolstering their security in times of need. For example, when the fingerprint scanner at Lillian Britten was not working for a few days, sub-warden Krupa Samji stated that the residence got a member of the Campus Protection Unit (CPU) to stand outside the door to ensure their security until it was fixed. Our research has shown that all 50 residences and annexes have adequate security in place. Minor problems, much like the fact that many resi- dences’ fingerprint scanners do not work after a power outage, can easily be addressed. Larger issues, such as vulner- able doors and windows, need to be reported and remedied by the relevant authorities. It is only through the consistent management of security systems by the appointed authorities that Rhodes residence students can continue to feel safe.

The inter-visiting rule has yet to be effective

Leila Stein and Paige Muller

As of this year, new rules regarding fair and equal inter-visiting in residences on campus have come into effect. These new rules were meant to remedy the bias seen to be present between male and female residences, but have come under scrutiny as a result of the recent shooting of Amanda Tweyi, who was found dead in a male residence in the early hours of 26 April 2014. The rules were changed after an investigation revealed a large disparity between the implemen- tation of rules in male and female residences. A considerably larger number of females received disciplinary action for breaking the inter-visiting rules. “It was found that the male visitors were also not necessarily prosecuted with their host,” said Swantje Zschernack, Warden of Margaret Smith residence and Hall Warden of Desmond Tutu Hall. Director of Special Projects at Rhodes Sue Smailes felt that the main motivation behind the inter-visiting rule was a matter of safety for all students. “The revised inter-visiting rule now ensures consistency and substantive fairness be- tween male and female residences,” she added. However, the recent incident at Cullen Bowles residence points to the fact that the rules are often still being broken, although the exact extent to which this happens remains unclear. “There is currently not much I can say about the inter-visiting rule as it is too early yet to say [if] it is effective or not effective,” said Cullen

The revised inter-visting rule now ensures consistency and substantive fairness between male and female residences.

- Sue Smailes

Bowles warden Johan Botha. “I have not had any reported incidents of the breach of this rule in my residence [excluding the most recent].” Zschernack commented that rules will be broken no matter how many are put in place. “Safety is always something that is a probability,” she said. “We need to instil a culture where we respect the rules of the community; we need to work towards an understanding that the rules are for protection.” Many students acknowledge the fact that inter-visiting rules can be effective but some are unsettled about the lack of strict maintenance. “The inter-visiting rules are important but they are extremely meticulous,” said student Jena Meyer. “At my residence the rules are enforced but there are slip-ups: the front door is left wide open for large parts of the day, sometimes due to maintenance but it’s still a concern.”

sometimes due to maintenance but it’s still a concern.” Following the death of Amanda Tweyi, measures

Following the death of Amanda Tweyi, measures have been put into place to ensure that there are equal security measures enforced amongst men and women’s reses. Photo: VICKY PATRICK

Some male students understood why the rule had been implemented in the women’s residences but were frustrated that it had been applied to male residences too. They found it aggravating to have to sign their guests in and out and, of the 50 men that were surveyed by The Oppidan Press, all of them stated that the presence of women and men in their residences did not make them feel uncomfortable or at risk As a result, they sometimes ignore the rule and know many friends who have done the same. “A lot of the guys get away with sneaking girls out in the morning,” said student Kayleigh Pereira.

In contrast, many female students are grateful for the added protection that the visiting hours rule provides. “I would like to feel safe and know I’m not going to run into anyone I don’t know after hours,” said sub-warden of New House Palmira Pio. Despite this, Zschernack felt that as much as the University can set rules and create conse- quences, it is up to the students to ensure that their own environment is a safe one. “We are not the police,” said Zschernack. “We cannot sit at the door and enforce the rules constantly - we would not be a residence but a prison.”

14 May 2014

The Oppidan Press



Slut-shaming and victim-blaming

Daniella Pallotta, Dylan Green and Andrea Nevay

T he Rhodes Confessions Facebook page often re-

ceives intimate confessions from people divulging

their sexual experiences. Concerningly, men are

commonly seen as being praised by the commenters for their sexual encounters, while women are more often than not shamed or condemned for theirs. This phenomenon is often referred to as slut-shaming. According to organiser of the Silent Protest Kim Barker, “Slut-shaming also draws on particular systems of think-

ing… where women are seen as objects or possessions that need to be kept somehow pure or intact until selected by

a particular man, and that sexual experience prior to this

selection somehow decreases their value.” At a university that is considered quite liberal, one would think that negative attitudes towards sex are rare. However, Wellness Leader Chardoné May stated that, “Although people are educated about sex, it still doesn’t allow people to be comfortable talking about their experiences. “Because people aren’t comfortable talking about sexual issues, some women don’t know to make choices that benefit themselves.” According to May, slut-shaming has resulted in such a stigma towards sex and personal sexuality that some women do not even access birth control out of embarrassment or shame. Dr Rose Boswell, Head of Anthropology and Deputy Dean of Humanities, discussed the issues surrounding the concept of slut-shaming, saying that “it is a form of control” of female sexuality. She went on to ask why a similar point is not made about men. Boswell also brought up the related issue of ‘seal-club- bing’, in which older, often male, students sexually ‘prey’ on the new students that arrive every year. However, Boswell made a point of stating that terms such as ‘seal-clubbing’

and ‘slut-shaming’ are harmful as they “amplify the sexual binary” - the idea that there are two sets of genders and that each one should act or behave in a certain way. Men and women both contribute to the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases equally, although women are more vulnerable. However, women are shamed for the expression of sexuality because of the fear of them possibly spreading disease, which is in contrast to the validation of male promiscuity as a form of masculinity. Barker suggests that the idea is widely held in our society that “men have overwhelming sexual urges which they find difficult to control once aroused, whilst women are respon- sible for arousing and then managing those urges.” In this vein, once a man is sexually ‘provoked’ he is not responsible for his actions whereas the woman is, whether she intended to contribute to this arousal or not. Barker also goes on to say that victim-blaming may in part be as a result of our inherent need as humans to feel safe and at ease. “If the victim did something which in some way invited or caused their attack and we don’t do that same thing, then we are safe.” She added, however, that this way of thinking “plays a significant role in keeping women silent about their rape.” This is where the Silent Protest hopes to be beneficial in opening up the dialogue to discuss issues like slut-shaming and victim-blaming, consequently allowing many to take a stand against both the subtle and overt sexism that is still prevalent in our society today. With initiatives like the Silent Protest aiming to shed greater light on these gender issues, there is hope that awareness and sensitivity about sexual violence towards women, and the factors that contribute to it, will be better understood. Boswell concluded that, “An individual’s sexu- ality is for him or her to control. It has nothing to do with anyone else.”

or her to control. It has nothing to do with anyone else.” An example of ‘victim-blaming’

An example of ‘victim-blaming’ from the anonymous Rhodes Confessions Facebook page. Photo: SUPPLIED/RHODES CONFESSIONS FACEBOOK PAGE

Tallying the many costs of Rhodes University life

Heather Dixon

Life at Rhodes University is one which centres not only around academic excellence and sporting commitment, but also largely around social interaction. Whether it is drinking at The Rat and Parrot or having coffee under the Arch, social activities often require spending money. A considerable number of students at Rhodes are supported by financial aid and may be unable to afford these luxuries. These students are, arguably, denied access to various social experi- ences which contribute to Rhodes life, based on their socioeconomic status. Given this, that Rhodes is so strongly associated with this culture of fun-for-all is problematic when in reality there is a large portion of the student population without any access to that life. Psychologist Vicky Timms said, “Whilst it depends on whether a student is introverted or extroverted, fitting in socially is extremely impor- tant to university students. Usually, this would come from going out and making friends.” Rhodes is a place where social life

is important and furthermore, a lack

of funds for socialising could easily lead to isolation, demotivation and be a trigger for depression, explained Timms. Acting Deputy Dean of Students Dr Colleen Vassiliou explains that the University is concerned about students who do not have pocket money and

is concerned about students who do not have pocket money and The cost of many social

The cost of many social activities excludes many students from the full ‘Rhodes Experience’. Photo: VICKY PATRICK

Rhodes is so strongly associated with this

culture of fun-for-all is problematic when in reality there is a large portion of the student population without any access to that life


that this was the reason behind the creation of the Pocket Money Fund. “The fund is able to support approxi-

mately 150 students and is currently supporting approximately 135,” she said. Students who are on financial aid and find themselves without any extra spending money can apply through the Dean of Students office to become part of this fund. The Pocket Money Fund has now been taken over by the

Alumni Division of the University and relies primarily on donations. This year the Give5 campaign, which also raises money for the Pocket Mon- ey Fund, raised a total of R94,295.80. This was made up of R84,295.80 com- ing from students’ fundraising efforts and a further R10,000 donated by GBS Mutual Bank, in acknowledgement of the amount raised by the student body. Head of the Alumni Division Terryl McCarthy attributes this to students’

character at Rhodes. “The students have taken the cause to their hearts. Rhodes students have become aware of the plight of their fellow students and I think [the student body] should be commended because of what they do to actually help their fellow students.” The fact of the matter remains that even though 135 students are receiving spending money of R170 per month, this money often goes towards es- sentials such as basic toiletries and stationery which are seen as first priorities.

So students who do find themselves on the outside financially may still largely lack the funds to enjoy the entire Rhodes experience. Some of the options for address- ing this issue include, in addition to the Pocket Money Fund, approaching the Student Representative Council for help with joining societies (which can be a great way to get involved) and seeking employment through the University, for example by applying to work in the Library or as a Sub- Warden in residence.

employment through the University, for example by applying to work in the Library or as a


The Oppidan Press

14 May 2014

Check it out at:


14 May 2014 Check it out at: Opinion A national election is a moment to

A national election is a moment to contemplate change: what we hope to see, what is promised and what we cannot afford to do without. Watching the ruling party retain their major-

ity these past few days has resulted in some feeling uncertain about what realistic change will be seen in the next five years, while others celebrated that governance remained the same. What is undeniable to all, however, is that much requires revision if we are to walk in to the 2019 general election as a more just South Africa, regardless of who constitutes Parliament until then. We would like to suggest that amendment of the sort demanded by the current South African socio-economic space cannot come from Parlia- ment alone. As the University marked Community Engagement Week, our attention needs to be turned to how students can contribute to the kind of change which creates, contests, and builds capacities. Transforma- tion is a process – not a policy – and often requires painful work beyond simply participating in party politics. Whether or not you voted in last week’s election, this is work you can be part of. During his farewell address delivered to Student Forum on Thursday 8 May, Vice-Chancellor Dr Saleem Badat reflected on the transformation that Rhodes itself has undergone during his eight-year tenure and looked ahead to what he hopes is yet to come. He emphasised the pursuit of greater equity in higher education, highlighting the University’s signifi- cantly increased investment in financial aid and commitment to Com- munity Engagement. Part of Badat’s message was that despite a few upcoming departures and new appointments in senior positions within the University’s leader- ship, Rhodes’ overall aims are clear and will be sustained. In addition to this, he suggested that there is a lot students themselves can do to see their University transform. Citing the failed attempt to garner support amoung academics for implimenting a common course when he arrived at Rhodes, Badat said that he now realises such projects might be more successful if requested by the students themselves. And indeed there is much that students do currently do to change things in their various areas of interest. As a student media society, one such initiative which has caught our attention is new publication The Progressive, which burst onto campus amidst contention last week. As the third student publication at a very small university, the fact that The Progressive’s editorial team felt a new voice was needed suggests the belief that something was missing in existing student journalism. We had hoped to interview Editor Mark Woodland about this, but our request has been declined until a later stage. In the interim, we eagerly await their next edition and look forward to seeing how this newcomer wishes to transform campus media.

The Oppidan Press staff and contact details

Editor: Kyla Hazell. Deputy Editor: Amanda Xulu. Executive Consultant:

Binwe Adebayo. Managing Editor: Sindisa Mfenqe. Financial Manager:

Lorna Sibanda. Advertising Managers: Chiedza Guvava, Tariro Bhunu. Marketing Manager: Sarah Taylor. Community Engagement Officer:

Abigail Butcher. Online Editor: Stuart Lewis. Assistant Online Editor:

Chelsea Haith. News Features Editor: Emily Corke. Assistant News Features Editor: Mila Kakaza. Politics Editor: Tarryn de Kock. Assistant Politics Editor: Mitchell Parker. Opinion Editor: Ben Rule. Arts & Entertainment Editor: Jenna Lillie. Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor: Matthew Field. Business Editor: Christopher Fisher. Scitech Editor: Bracken Lee-Rudolph. Environment Editor: Mikaela Erskog. Sports Editor: Douglas Smith. Assistant Sports Editor: Kimara Singh. Chief Photo Editor: Gabriella Fregona. Assistant Chief Photo Editor: Kellan Botha. Chief Online Photo Editor: Alexa Sedgwick. Assistant Online Photo Editor: Ivan Blažić. Chief Sub-Editor: Kaitlin Cunningham. Chief Online Sub-Editor: Melian Dott. Sub-Editors: Kate Jennings, Danica Kreusch, Leila Stein, Jessica Trappe, Amy Wilkes. Chief Designer: Madien van der Merwe. Assistant Chief Designer: Hannah McDonald. Advert Designers: Amber-Leigh Davies, Amy Davidson. Junior Designers: Alex Maggs, Amy Ebdon, Amy-Jane Harkess. External Content Advisors: Tope Adebola, Ndapwa Alweendo, Lucy Holford- Walker. OppiTV: Chief Editor: Natalie Austin. Content Editor: Vimbai Midzi. Output Editor: Lilian Magari. Webcast Producer: Marc Davies.

Letters to the Editor: Advertising details: @oppidanpress

The Oppidan Press publishes letters which are bona fide expres- sions of opinion provided that they are not clearly libellous, defamatory, racist or sexist. We publish anonymous letters, but as an act of good faith on 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.

Illustration: KYLA HAZELL

Illustration: KYLA HAZELL

From the Horse’s Mouth

The segment where the Opinion Editor sits down with a horse’s mouth and gets a few answers. This week’s horse: The animal rights movement. This week’s mouth: Gemma Barkhuizen. Gemma Barkhuizen is the current chairperson of Rhodes Organisation for Animal Rights (ROAR).

Ben Rule

O pinion Editor: Because we currently understand

the idea of rights as clearly defined, enforceable

things, animal rights don’t seem to fit into this

picture. How is it that a global movement can be based upon something which, as an idea in terms of our current framework, seems not to make sense? Barkhuizen: Basic rights in a legal sense, in an enforce- able sense, do not exist for animals. However, when one considers the notion of rights as something entailing recognition of a creature’s direct or intrinsic moral value – its value for its own sake, not its value based on what it can provide instrumentally – then the notion of animal rights does make sense in our current framework. This is what the animal rights movement seeks to call attention to. When people care for their dogs and cats, they are recognis- ing these creatures as being directly morally valuable. This recognition, for whatever reason, often does not extend to other animals. The animal rights movement aims to bring about this extension, this consistency. Most vegetarians I’ve met cite ethical reasons for their lifestyle choices, but these issues in our society are so broad and pervasive that they seem beyond fixing by just an individual not eating meat. Therefore, are people who are vegetarians, by not actively furthering any awareness of the issues, being inconsistent and just serving their own consciences rather than helping? If you recognise that cruelty towards animals is wrong, and you therefore decide to stop eating meat or animal products so as to boycott industries that facilitate animal cruelty, it would be inconsistent for you to not attempt to further awareness surrounding issues of animal abuse. Be- ing a vegetarian who, for example, buys meat for his or her

significant other involves profound inconsistency. I imagine that you’re right in saying that personal conscience-clearing is at work in cases such as those. However, I should add that being inconsistent in your attempts to prevent animal abuse is better than not attempting to do so at all. Vegetarians come in many different denominations – vegans, vegetarian, pesceterian, Presbyterian and Epis- copalian. Since all of these are citing ethical reasons for their faiths, does that mean that they all think the others are wrong? Is this a sliding spectrum of ethics? Or is this all just convenience? All of these groups that you have mentioned are indeed following their particular lifestyles based on ethical com- mitments. These ethical commitments are broadly the same – an obligation to not harm other sentient creatures, an obligation to be environmentally responsible, etcetera – but the difference lies in their implementation. Each group, I think, claims to be doing as much as they personally can to make a difference. Vegans recognise that it is both possible and reasonable to avoid participation in the purchase of all animal-based food products (meat, dairy, eggs) as well as animal-tested cosmetics. Vegetarians and pescetarians are willing to make concessions with regard to participation in animal cruelty. In many cases this is, I think, based on personal convenience. Some animal rights activists cite their love of cheese as their reason for why they “cannot” be vegan. I think that a recognition of animal suffering should trump any consistent animal rights activist’s fleeting culinary pleasure – defences like the love of cheese or other foods are therefore both annoying and unreasonable. How- ever, I think that people should just try to do as much as they can in this regard. If giving up red meat is all that you feel you can do, then at least you’re still making a very small difference.

then at least you’re still making a very small difference. >> Battle of the Acoustics coverage

>> Battle of the Acoustics coverage and gallery >> Red Bull Campus Clash coverage featuring Rhodes’ top DJs >> Alcohol dependency study findings

>> ‘Chemical warfare’ in Algoa Bay according to Prof Mike Davies-Coleman

14 May 2014

The Oppidan Press



14 May 2014 The Oppidan Press 7 Opinion With the recent closure of MonAstery, bars like

With the recent closure of MonAstery, bars like Champs find themselves bustling with more patrons. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA

Rhodes should be building bars instead of residences

A satirical look at financial management on campus and exercise in the illogical reasoning of stereotypes.

Ben Rule

Rhodes is spending preposterous amounts of money building residences for new students. What good are more students if none of them are socialising with each other? We should be focusing on the one thing that this institution does best: drinking. The recent closure of The MonAstery has resulted in a crisis of faith for a portion of Grahamstown’s nightlife. It’s quite clear that there is a demographic which simply won’t go out if MonAstery isn’t open (for convenience I shall term these ‘MonAstery people’. There are also ‘Prime people’ and ‘Friar’s people’). By the end of the article, I think we will all agree that, in order

to transform, Rhodes University should definitely be funding the opening of a number of additional drinking establishments in town. It is well-documented and generally accepted by society that “everybody at Rhodes drinks.” The various bars in town are integral to our identities. If you like to pretend that you live the excessive materialism of hip hop music videos, you party at Prime. If you shout at the sports teams on the televi- sion, drink with your parents and sing the songs from their generations, you drink at The Rat. If you prefer drugs to alcohol, have no sense of time and are convinced that society can’t possibly ac- cept you, you spaz out at Mon. If you have Prime sensibilities, but a smaller

budget and a better taste in music, you go to Oldes. If you breathe smoke clouds, try to be intellectual when drunk and wouldn’t look out of place on a motorbike, you jam at Champs. If you don’t fit into any of the above, you sort of float between them depending on where your friends are, but this means that you are hardly out and therefore unlikely to engage with the various peoples who inhabit these spaces. The beauty of having a number of bars in town is that they bring people together. If you pop into the Rat, you’ll meet the Rat people. You might also meet some Friars people and Champs people. You’ll meet a number of people who are sitting on the fence between the bars. But if you go to The Rat this weekend, there

are too many people who you won’t meet. This

is because they are not out. The reason some of

them are not out is that MonAstery is closed. The reason most of them aren’t out is because there isn’t a bar which complements their identity. Now it is clearly in the interest of the Universi-

ty and its social transformation that the different groups in the student body integrate. They will better integrate if more of them are out. More of them will be out if there are more bars in town. Therefore, the University should fund the es- tablishment of more bars in town. This would be

a much better use of funds than building lecture

theatres or residences. After all, drinking is what Rhodes University is all about.

When the bandwagon brigade rolled in

Emily Corke

It has been two weeks since the death of a second-year student at Rhodes University and the community is still trying to come to grips with the incident. We were still attempting to adjust after hearing the news when the bandwagon brigade rolled in. While members of Amanda Tweyi’s fam- ily mourned the sudden loss of their daughter, sister, granddaughter and mother, speculation as to what the al- leged murder-suicide meant for us and society trended on nearly every social network.

Too many people were so quick to jump onto the broader issues that they neglected the humanity of Tweyi and those close to her.

On social media, there were broadly three responses to the shooting:

‘gender-based violence is a scourge with Tweyi being its latest victim’; ‘gun violence in South Africa is outrageous’; and ‘Rhodes University should take responsibility for her death’. Upon the opening of an inquest docket to establish what happened, the incident was termed a murder-suicide.

what happened, the incident was termed a murder-suicide. Emily Corke explores the media hype surrounding the

Emily Corke explores the media hype surrounding the death of Amanda Tweyi. Photo: SUPPLIED

Soon after, Vice-Chancellor Dr Saleem Badat, the Student Representative Council (SRC) and gender activist groups like the Gender Action Project (GAP) called it “another incident of gender-based violence”. After that, some students and commentators speculated that the fact Tweyi was found in another man’s room meant that she was cheating on Nkosinathi Nqabisa and that this was why he allegedly murdered her. This only added fuel to the fire from gender activists, who accused people of victim-blaming. I should mention here that I have no dispute with the possibility of gender- based violence; I myself have a history of working with the GAP at Rhodes.

I just find it hard to believe that any

person can condemn an incident and charge a person as guilty of gender- based violence before the facts have surfaced. Even worse were those who claimed that Tweyi was responsible for her own death. No facts were established, so surely both individuals should be presumed innocent until

proven guilty? Such is the law of South Africa. Rhodes is a small community, but it struck me that Tweyi was never men- tioned as a human, a person who had

a smile and a son rather than someone

who was just a symbol of another hor- rific crime, another incident of gender- based violence, another reason why the gun laws in South Africa are lax and another reason to ‘beef up’ security at Rhodes. Too many people were so quick to jump onto these broader is- sues that they neglected the humanity and the all-too-real suffering of Tweyi and those close to her. Before the facts of the incident even surfaced, Tweyi’s death was immediately appropriated into a set of existing controversial agendas, drawing the conversation away from Tweyi’s untimely death and her family’s undue suffering and giving all of us the opportunity to further prove the arguments for our own causes.What is left is that Tweyi is remembered as a representation or a set of symbols, not as a person. Our reactions to her death seemed to explore every possible side of the story except her own. A longer version of this article first appeared on Saturday 3 May for Eye- witness News and can be found on their website.

Imagine the end of the world

Amanda Kepe

The Oppidan Press Intern

It is said that “strong walls shake but never collapse.” It is often the case that if a young person addresses a serious issue to the youth, it is more likely that they will respond more positively and engage with the issue more strongly. Young people listen to their peers more than they do their elders. I am a teenager, pregnant and finishing Grade 12. On that note, I wanted to address the issue of teen-

age pregnancy to bring to light the fact that pregnancy changes your life completely: whether for better or for worse. Before you know it, you will be living your life according to a schedule different from the one you planned for yourself, as you now have another life to think of. The effects of teenage pregnancy differ from one person to the next. Some may suffer from depression due to the pressure that the schedule of pregnancy demands. As teenag- ers, we are meant to be living life to the fullest, not jumping into par- enthood. If we make this jump too soon, in the long run we will have a problem. Mentally and emotionally, teenage pregnancy robs one of peace and stability. It disrupts the develop- ment of the body – it rushes sensitive processes. Why can’t we seemingly control ourselves despite constant warning from our elders? I don’t know what went wrong – if it was alcohol, igno- rance or the arrogance that comes with the attitude that I know it all and have everything under control.

that I know it all and have everything under control. Amanda Kepe on her experiences as

Amanda Kepe on her experiences as a pregnant teenager in Grahamstown. Photo: GABRIELLA FREGONA

I have seen and heard of how teen- age pregnancy comes about; how it destroys one’s life. Most of all I have heard of how to prevent it. Not once or twice, but many times over. But here I am, pregnant. Despite this, I have decided to ac- cept it and work my way back to the plan I had for myself and live up to my ambitions for my future life. I will not let pregnancy determine my fu- ture or who I am. Know this: we take actions, make decisions and it is dif- ficult to live up to their consequences. We can accept the situation and take responsibility and by doing so, we are taking control of our lives. I am a woman, and women are thought of as strong. They never let the hardships of life get to them and they go on to accomplish what they want. For those of you who have not had to face this issue, be careful. It is not about knowledge or pride but rather an awareness of reality. To those of you facing the issue, I encourage you to be resilient. Get up and go about your life as you always do, no matter the situation. Take action before you end up like I did – but know that even if you do, it is not the end of the world.


The Oppidan Press

14 May 2014

Arts & Entertainment

8 The Oppidan Press 14 May 2014 Arts & Entertainment First Physical Theatre (pictured: Maipelo Gabang)

First Physical Theatre (pictured: Maipelo Gabang) has come back in full force after financial difficulties kept them relatively inactive in 2013. Photo:


Physical Theatre is back on the scene

Pumla Kalipa Arts and Entertainment

F irst Physical Theatre has re- opened its doors this year after financial difficulties kept them

silent during 2013. The company re-opened with an impressive line-up and plans on continuing to showcase both new and seasoned choreograph- ic talents alike. Performer and company mem- ber Maipelo Gabang explained how the company did not close but was rather in a dormant state. “In 2013 the company did not have enough funding but continued to hold their training classes, ‘Bodyforms’, for the public,” she said. Thanks to the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund, this year the company has been able to re-establish a small performing company pres- ently consisting of three performers:

Nomcebisi Moyikwa, Thalia Laric and Maipelo Gabang. In May, two of the company’s performers will be performing a duet called Caught, choreographed by Moyikwa at the Detours Dance Festi- val in Johannesburg. The company will also welcome back Hong Kong-born,

South African-raised choreographer, dancer, physical theatre performer and Rhodes University Alumni Acty Tang with his choreographed collaborative piece Hunger. As the winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award in 2007 for cho- reography, Tang has made a name for himself in the performing arts for his captivating performance style which is inspired by the Japanese performance

style of Butoh. He is now a dancer, choreographer and teacher at the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts. After being away for so long, Tang appreciates working with First Physical Theatre again. “South African per- formers are so remarkably energetic and are always willing to take risks:

they just throw it out there,” he said. Tang’s piece Hunger explores the concept of physical and mental hunger in the South African context and ques- tions what makes individuals in soci- ety physically and mentally hungry. “Could it be the pressures that society places on you to go higher in terms of status or to climb ahead? What is this hunger?” asked Tang. “I’m coming back to South Africa and using this opportunity to think about where I am in my life and also where South Africa is,” explained Tang. “A lot of things have happened in politics and society and this is a chance to think about these things and talk about them.” A small excerpt of the production will be performed in First Physical Theatre’s production Six For Gold, a triple bill of Acty Tang’s Hunger, Athi- na Vahla’s Deadringer and Nomcebisi Moyikwa’s Caught which will take place during the National Arts Festival. The full showcase of Hunger will be performed on 22 to 24 May. Having performed in Thailand, Hong Kong, Beijing and Taiwan, Tang plans on going to Japan for a tour after this production. As for First Physical Theatre, we can only wait in anticipa- tion to see what they will be offering the public in the future.

Repurposing: changing our consumer culture

Lili Barras-Hargan and Mikaela Erskog Environment

Kisma & Co., a handmade gifts and accessories store next to Mad Hatters Coffee Shop, provides a useful, quirky and environmentally- conscious way for people to dispose of old clothes, jewellery and even food wrappers. By repurposing and upcycling second-hand materials for the creation of new merchandise, Kisma & Co. is promoting the re-use of unwanted commercial products. Kisma & Co. owner Tracy Jeffery first began her crafting career in 2001 with Kisma Kreative. However, after a few years she and a few other contributors started a craft market. “There wasn’t really anywhere for local people to display their products,” she explained. Ten years later, she was able to open Kisma & Co. According to Jeffery, “A large number of products sold in Kisma & Co. are made from materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.” Products such as denim teddy bears, jewellery stands made of records and food-wrapper purses are but some of the innovative creations. This repurposing prevents potentially harmful waste from accumulating in landfill sites. Furthermore, through creating a platform for the people of Grahamstown to showcase and sell their creations, a sustainable talent is also being encouraged in the town. In 2002, Kwandwe Private Game Reserve created the Angus Gillis Foundation which has a programme

created the Angus Gillis Foundation which has a programme Materials are repurposed by Kisma & Co.

Materials are repurposed by Kisma & Co. as a means of being environmentally aware of commercial products. Photo: LILI BARRAS-HAGAN

that seeks to educate the communities within or bordering game reserves about sustainable ways of living. One of their projects, which co-ordinates very closely with Kisma & Co., is the production of Uthando Dolls. These dolls, whose name comes from the Zulu word for love, are produced by a number of women from various communities involved with the foundation. A percentage of the profits from the sale of each doll is donated and used for the ongoing establishment of self- help-facilitated income. Through repurposing and com- munal ownership over the produc- tion process, Kisma & Co. and other Makana artisans encourage a more sustainable consumptive culture. Their

means of production helps to mitigate the environmental problems related to mass production and even recycling. Many environmentally-minded people argue that it is more important to reduce your consumption and reuse your products than to recycle. Director at the Environmental Research and Learning Centre, Rob O’Donoghue advocates that recycling should be avoided because it main- tains the commercial status quo and consumes high amounts of energy. “If we buy into recycling, we buy into buying,” commented O’Donoghue. The likes of Kisma & Co. are part of a larger consciousness that is moving towards greener production by provid- ing more options for those interested in preserving their environment.

Fringe festival debuts in Mother City

Lauren Buckle Arts and Entertainment

The Cape Town Fringe - a spin-off of the Grahamstown Fringe Festival - is a new, week-long festival which has been created by National Arts Festival (NAF) organis- ers to diversify their business and showcase the talents of performing artists. The Cape Town Fringe will be held between 25 September and 5 October 2014 with a programme expected to include jazz, cabaret, theatre, dance and comedy. Cape Town, known for presenting excellent theatre and attracting large audiences, will provide more opportuni- ties for performers to access new markets which Graham- stown may not necessarily provide. The bigger city will provide a larger playground for the performances to take place as well as provide theatre-goers with more transport and accommodation options, allowing a variety of people to attend the festival. “The Grahamstown National Arts Festival is our flag- ship project - we’re very proud of what we’ve built there over the last 40 years and the city is our home. So, no, we aren’t planning on leaving Grahamstown any time soon. We’re just extending our brand in new and exciting direc- tions,” said CEO of the NAF Tony Lancaster. A Fringe Festival is made up of small performances, ordinarily by independent practitioners. It typically uses small and unconventional spaces for the performances in which the practitioners aim to have between six and eight performances a day per venue, which makes it cheaper for everyone who participates. The concept of such a festival was created just after World War 2 in Edinburgh, by a group of independ- ent artists who were barred from joining the Edinburgh Festival. In protest they created their own festival, which

South Africa [still] only has one true Fringe Festival and that is in Grahamstown each year

- CEO of NAF Tony Lancaster

has now become one of the biggest and most well-known in the world. “South Africa only has one true Fringe Festival and that is in Grahamstown each year. It is an open-access Fringe which means that anyone can perform; they just have to fill in a form and arrive. Cape Town’s Fringe will be structured slightly differently as it is modelled on Fringe Festivals in New York, Prague and Amsterdam,” explained Lancaster. The Cape Town Fringe will be a much smaller event than the NAF, although the organisers are hoping to increase the size of the event in future years. They have defined the NAF and Cape Town Fringe as two separate events. The Drama Department at Rhodes University will not necessarily be taking the acts from the NAF to the Cape Town Fringe. Prarochna Rama, Theatre adminis- trator at Rhodes University, commented, “We [Rhodes Theatre] only have shows in the Grahamstown National Arts Festival.” One of the venues for the Fringe includes the Gal- loway Theatre at the Waterfront Theatre School. Kim- berley Buckle, a student at the school commented, “The students are thrilled to be hosting the Cape Town Fringe at the Waterfront Theatre School, even though we are not performing for the event. [We are] hoping to perform next year.”

14 May 2014

The Oppidan Press


Arts & Entertainment Making Grahamstown the Creative City

Jade le Roux

I n March this year, the National Arts Festival (NAF) launched the Creative City project with the aim of making Grahamstown known as the creative capital of the country

by 2020. The project aims to use the Arts to increase economic growth, create employment and boost tourism in Grahams- town by holding festivals throughout the year, instead of just hosting the NAF once a year. Last year, the 11-day NAF contributed R90 million to Graham- stown’s economy. Last month the NAF announced their partner- ship with the European Union, which has led to R6 million being invested in the Creative City project. Project Manager Caroline Stevenson explained that this money is going towards setting up an Arts Academy that will equip people with skills in dance, drama, music and fine art. The project’s first event was the Masicule Concert, which featured over 500 singers of all ethnicities. The concert, described

by Stevenson as “bringing together people who have never had the opportunity” enabled the project managers to identify voices to train and use in the future. For now, however, training has been put on hold until the team can recruit staff who can provide proper training for the others. One of the most significant purposes of this project is to gener- ate programmes that stimulate creative entrepreneurship, which involves training people to make art and crafts for a craft shop endorsing ‘Created in Makana’ merchandise. The NAF has taken over the lease of Fiddlers’ Green, where it plans to host day and night markets for these entrepreneurs to show off their wares. According to Makana Tourism, the Executive Mayor of Gra- hamstown Councillor Zamoxolo Peter hopes that the Munici- pality will contribute by making the city conducive to creative industries needing a platform to thrive on. Peter explained that this would mean a huge economic boost for the creative sec- tor and allow Grahamstown to maintain its reputation as the “festival-friendly” city.

However, due to the lack of specialised staff and trainers, it remains uncertain that the project will be able to construct the proposed open-air Amphitheatre in the Fiddler’s Green. This

would go a long way towards nurturing artistic talent in the poor- est areas of Grahamstown by encouraging public participation in creating art. The project is hoping to give back to the community through the cultivation of talent in Grahamstown. As far as upcoming events are concerned, Stevenson comment- ed that there are many projects scheduled for later in the year.

A Gala Concert will be held on Saturday 17 May at the Settlers’

Monument as part of the Diocesan School for Girls (DSG) and

St Andrews Festival. The Gala will be in collaboration with the

Eastern Cape Eisteddfod, allowing the Johannesburg Youth Wind Orchestra the opportunity to perform in Grahamstown. While the Creative City project is only in its beginning stages, it promises to have a great impact on Grahamstown. “The biggest challenge is to set people on their feet,” said Stevenson.

The Creative City project aims to make Grahamstown the Arts capital of South Africa by 2020 through the empowerment of local artists and performance groups. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA

Back to our musical roots with ethnomusicology course

Lili Barras-Hargan

The International Library of African Music (ILAM), which can be found at the Rhodes University Department of Music and Musicology, functions as a research centre, archive and library for African indigenous music and instruments. The ILAM, first founded by Hugh Tracey in 1954, has been instrumental in the creation of the ethnomusicology course now offered at Rhodes. Tracey’s passion for indigenous instruments was taken one step further when he established the African Musi- cal Instruments company (AMI). The AMI aims to produce high-quality kalimbas, (an instrument that dates back 3000 years and originates in Sub- Saharan Africa) as well as popularise the djembe drums and marimba. Tracey also managed to integrate Af- rican music into schools through AMI, as kalimbas are regarded as a useful introductory musical instrument for younger children. The kalimba is also known as the thumb piano, referring to the arrange- ment of keys on a hollow piece of wood. Although the keys were origi- nally crafted from bamboo, nowadays metal is more commonly used. The kalimba translates to an indig- enous name for ‘the thing that makes walking easier’ because it was used to entertain communities on their jour- neys by foot and it was also used for

singing songs and sharing stories. One of the largest collections of kalimbas in Sub-Saharan Africa is displayed on the wall in the ILAM. What is most impressive about these instruments is the variety of shapes and sizes that exist, which is relatively rare in terms of more modern instru- ments such as the harmonica. According to Director of the ILAM Diane Thram, “First and second year ethnomusicology students are encouraged to learn the kalimba, as it is so significant in terms of its background.” However, first-year students often begin their ethnomusicology course, an option for those studying BMus at Rhodes University, by playing the djembe drum. This goblet-shaped drum is usually played with the hands as opposed to some drumming techniques involving sticks and is often used during drum ensembles because it is loud enough to be heard over the other instruments. The name ‘djembe’ originates from a saying meaning ‘everyone gather together in peace’. “The djembe allows you to practice hand coordination, as well as [to] relieve stress once you master a dif- ficult rhythm,” explained BMus student Megan Kingon. Another part of the ethnomusicolo- gy course includes travelling to under- resourced areas and introducing the local people to music documentation,

and introducing the local people to music documentation, Elijah Madiba, sound technician at the ILAM, plays

Elijah Madiba, sound technician at the ILAM, plays the traditional Amadindi, which is one of the many instruments found in the library. Photo: SARAH WARD

with which people can learn to record and archive the history and evolution of music. Thram commented, “An essential part of studying ethnomusicology is field work, as it is a fantastic way for

students to give back to the com- munity.” Ethnomusicology Masters student Elijah Madiba also explained that it was essential for people to docu- ment their music so that their lives and cultures can be remembered.

In light of the recent Commu- nity Engagement week, circulating knowledge of indigenous instruments is a brilliant way to spark enthusiasm for musical heritage and to pass on a useful skill.


The Oppidan Press

14 May 2014


Biodiversity training changing lives

Lauren Buckle

S outh Africa is currently suffering from

a shortage of skills in the biodiversity

sector. The Groen Sebenza Jobs Fund

Partnership Project aims to address this prob- lem by providing unemployed graduates and matriculants with skills that will enable them to contribute to the biodiversity sector. Started by the South African National Biodi- versity Institute in association with Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (CREW), the project seeks to display how environmental work goes hand-in-hand with socioeconomic equity. The project aims to provide 800 South African citizens with sustainable job opportunities at the end of their two and a half year training. The can- didates, referred to as para-ecologists, are selected from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and are then trained by professionals in the biodiver- sity field. Rhodes University’s Inkcubeko Nendalo project is working in association with CREW to implement Groen Sebenza in the Eastern Cape. Mentoring the para-ecologists are Curator of the Selmar Schonland Herbarium Tony Dold, member of the Institute for Social and Economic

Research (ISER) at Rhodes University Dr Mi- chelle Cocks and Albany Museum Entomologist John Midgley. “The bottom line is that millions of South Africans only understand the natural environ- ment to be a resource for free and indiscriminate plunder,” commented Dold. “Although this is just a drop in the ocean, we have already seen that our young para-ecologists have come to under- stand that these resources are finite and that they need to be used sensibly and sustainably.” Groen Sebenza para-ecologist Mzukisi Beja elaborated:

“I used to harvest sea food illegally and hunt animals, but through the Groen Sebenza project I know now that these play a role in the ecosystem and that we might run short of these resources in the near future.” Other para-ecologists being educated through Groen Sebenza in Grahamstown include Landiso Mila, Siphosethu Moshani and Someleze Mgcu- wa. The students are from Ngqinisa and Pirie Mission, two rural areas rich in biodiversity. The para-ecologists are encouraged to help educate the people in their communities on nature conservation. “The project has shown me the importance of studying,” commented Moshani. “I now know

importance of studying,” commented Moshani. “I now know The Groen Sebenza job fund partnership project trains

The Groen Sebenza job fund partnership project trains and educates “para-ecologists“ in Grahamstown to promote environmental sustainability and socioeconomic equity. L-R: Vathiswa Zilushe, Landiso Mila, Siphosethu Mashani, Mzulisa Beja and Jamelea Mngcuwa. PHOTO: SARAH MIDDLETON.

the importance of the environment and how to take care of it. Now I know what to do and how to teach the people in my community how to protect the environment.” Although there are currently only four partici- pants in Groen Sebenza Grahamstown, Dold said

that, “We have to start somewhere and hopefully

it will have a ripple effect on their own local com-

munities – already they are young role-models in the villages.” “When the Groen Sebenza project came into

my life everything changed for me. I can now put

a plate of food on the table for my family. The

project taught me to appreciate nature, because nature is life,” explained Mgcuwa. “I plan on teaching my children and my community what I have learnt from the Groen Sebenza project.” Groen Sebenza exhibits a sustainable, practical and thoughtful means by which to tackle youth unemployment and socio-economic inequality through the promotion of environmental educa- tion. It shows how environmental sustainability programmes can facilitate social empowerment. After the first stage of the training Mila said, “This opportunity has inspired me to dream again.”

said, “This opportunity has inspired me to dream again.” Rhodes Organisation for Animal Rights (ROAR) is

Rhodes Organisation for Animal Rights (ROAR) is attempting to introduce vegan meals to residence kitchens. Photo: DANIELLA PALLOTTA

Vegan voices are heard through Animal Rights Week

Tamryn Iyer

The dietry needs for vegans are of- ten not catered for. in the residence dining halls at Rhodes University. However, in recent years, Rhodes Organisation for Animal Rights (ROAR) has been campaigning for a more vegan-friendly campus and, although they have not convinced Rhodes’ food planners to fully im- plement a vegan meal plan, their promotion of Animal Rights Week (11-16 May) and the global Meat Free Monday campaign may be a foot in the door. Acting Manager of Food Services Simon Wright stated that vegans are currently able to choose from the vegetarian option or discuss plans with the relevant caterer. If it is with- in the food cost, they are prepared to accommodate the students. Rhodes offers a variety of meal options on the current menu but it is arguable that more can be done to accommo- date the vegans on campus. Chairperson of ROAR Gemma Barkhuizen said that introducing a vegan meal option will be a long and bureaucratic process. Although ROAR has attempted this in the past without success, they are trying again now. “We need to get statistics indicating precisely how many students per dining hall would be

interested in the option, so we are putting surveys in dining halls for people to fill out. Once we have that info, we need to work with catering to work out a meal plan that will fit into the existing budget,” Barkhui- zen stated. “If there are not enough stu- dents per dining hall who want it,” continued Barkhuizen, “then we have to make incremental changes by making more of the vegetar- ian options vegan or modifiable to vegan, or by setting up a system whereby vegan students can order special meals based on their ethical commitments.” Although there are few choices for vegans and the process of remedying this may take some time, Meat Free Mondays and week-long campaigns such as Animal Rights Week may prove to be a means of speeding up the process. ROAR invites students to attend a range of talks and events that are creating awareness about what veganism means in the bigger picture. If you are not convinced to go meatless, check out the vegan treats that ROAR has to offer at the Kaif on Thursday 15 May between 1pm and 2pm. As a student, one should be taking the opportunity to see how one can support the organic integration of vegan lifestyles at Rhodes University.

Painting the whole town green

Elisa Edmondson and Mikaela Erskog

Rhodes University’s Environmental Sciences Department recognises the need for greater environmental respon- sibility in urban planning and construction. Like many urban-situated environmentalists, it continues to pro- mote the need to move towards greener cities and is doing so by encouraging participation in an Urban Forestry and Greening course which will take place in August. The course is meant to provide an overview of global and local urban forestry, and will aim to promote understanding of the ecological, social, and economic benefits that urban forestry and greening can have for environmental sustain- ability. According to project administrator Kate Benyon, the course will involve participants studying some of the methods for assessing urban forestry in Southern Africa and working with the latest data. They will also embark on field trips to collect further data. The importance of this work is stressed by the World Health Organisation’s Global Health Observatory, which states that, since 2010, there have been more urban than rural-based people in the world. A popular text by urban theorist Mike Davis, Planet of the Slums, exhibits how urban spaces are becoming increasingly detrimental to human society and the environment as urban life increases. “Almost every large Third World city (or at least those with some industrial base) has a Dantesque district of slums shrouded in pollution and located next to pipelines, chemical plants, and refineries,” wrote Davies. Urban architecture is central to the issue of slum cities and environmentally-unfriendly urban spaces because the way that urban spaces are set up contributes to the poor health of the surrounding environmental resources. Respon- sible urban planning includes considering how all aspects of city life can be more sustainable in the long term. Urban planning covers a range of areas such as energy, waste, and transport and cities need to better consider how all these aspects function in relation to environmental stability. With regard to South African cities, Professor of Envi- ronmental Science Charlie Shackleton explained that, “The importance of urban forestry is not recognised by urban planners and managers.” This attitude is attributed to the idea that making a city green is costly and impractical due to the close proximity of urban buildings and houses. However, the most highly urbanised areas can become green through small-scale means such as roof gardens, ver- tical gardens and through conscientious planning. In addi- tion, there needs to be a reorganisation and re-imagination of what should be considered protected environments. Professor in the Department of Computer Science and

Professor in the Department of Computer Science and An Urban Forestry and Greening course due to

An Urban Forestry and Greening course due to take place in August aims to promote environmental sustainability in urban areas. Photo: CHRIS KEYWOOD

supporter of green politics Philip Machanick advocated the importance of expanding the popular conception of con- servation to include urban spaces. “Preservation should not simply focus on untouched, beautiful land that still prospers in nature,” he commented. Arguing that urban poverty is a more pressing issue is a skewed logic, Machanick explained. “Greener planning will lead to physical and psychological liberation in community members,” he said. Machanick further stated that communal and urban cohesion and upliftment go hand-in-hand with environmental upliftment, as both need to be sustainable in order to be effective. The ideas behind this course indicate how important it is to tackle the very locus of shallow environmental practices. “Urban sustainability is one of the most pressing environ- mental issues of our time,” said Shackleton. Any interested persons are encouraged to apply for the course through the Environmental Sciences Department.


May 2014

The Oppidan Press



South African eSports: A view from the inside

Bracken Lee-Rudolph

E Sports, or competitive video gaming, is an occupa- tion which confounds many

people. However, this fast-growing industry is one of the most acces- sible sports in terms of experience required - especially in South Africa. To get some perspective we asked Mo James, a competitive gamer, to give us some insight into his experience with eSports and how he copes with the dual pressures of university and professional gaming. Mo James plays DotA 2: Defence of the Ancients competitively for Bravado Blue in the Premier Division of the Do Gaming League (DGL). James has flirted with the competitive scene since 2011, when he encountered the origi- nal DotA as well as local tournaments such as the Organised Chaos LAN (lo- cal area network-based gaming events) in Cape Town. “I really enjoy sport, and in competi- tive gaming I saw similar qualities,” said James. Since then, eSports has changed to

a more online-centric model. This has meant that games such as DotA 2 and League of Legends have been trans- formed into massive spectator sports which can generate a lot of money.

massive spectator sports which can generate a lot of money. Mo James (far-right) and his team

Mo James (far-right) and his team playing Dota 2 for Bravado Blue at LibertyLAN in Johannesburg. Photo: SUPPLIED/ Bravado Gaming.

“Companies started investing a lot of money into establishing servers,” James

explained. “Sponsors began to see the potential of such a profession.” Playing at such a high level is a daunting experience and James still has to juggle his coursework with his

gaming. This is something he has done with relative ease. “I didn’t play much last year, but university has ironically meant that I’ve spent a lot of time play- ing,” he explained. “I’m satisfied with my performance. I do well in the subjects I chose, but I

think I’ve got a reasonable balance.” When asked about local tourna- ments and their level of organisation, he emphasised that most local events bear no relation to Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA), South Africa’s official eSports representative body which

I do well in the subjects I chose, But I think I’ve got a reasonable balance.

- Mo James

has recently received much criticism. James cited a lack of competent leader- ship as one of the many reasons why the organisation failed to adequately

provide for the needs of gamers locally. However, James was quite impressed by Telkom’s DGL organisation. “There’s

a lot of past tournament formats

around the world to take note of,” he

said. “The DGL have done this, and it’s

a reasonably efficient system.” With eSports becoming more popu- lar, we may see more competitors play- ing from their residence rooms and travelling to tournaments. Mo James is certainly a good example of how this pressure and that of university can be handled simultaneously. Additionally, he is a prime example of how accessible competitive gaming is to the online masses and of a new breed of sportsperson - one whose battlefields exist in pixels and animations.

Mobile technology dissected

Bradley Prior

Cellphones are a crucial part of 21st century life and many would feel completely disconnected from the outside world without one. Despite cellphones being deemed so important, very few people actually know how their cellphone work.

Speed Arguably the most important part of your phone is its microprocessor. Every little bit of work that technology does in order to fulfill your requests is done by this component. A micro- processor is simply a small processor, built to fit mobile phones. Without it, a cellphone is nothing more than a lump of weight inside your pocket. Processor speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz). One hertz is the measure of one action done per one second and a gigahertz is equivalent to a million hertz. The more actions that can be done per second, the faster your device runs and the more capably it can handle multitasking. There are also dual-core and quad-core proces-

sors. This refers to the connecting of two (or four) separate processors to form one, more powerful, processing unit. The idea is that with two proces- sors, tasks can be done twice as quickly. Although

a doubled level of speed is not usually attained, the speed is still significantly increased. Space Storage space is hardware on which data, such as music and photos, is stored. Most popular smartphones currently come with between four and 64 gigabytes of memory available to the user, but some cellphones have expandable memory. This means that it is possible to add your own memory to the existing amount - generally with the use of MicroSD cards. Usually these cellphones have less memory to start with but once memory

is expanded they often exceed their non-expanda-

ble counterparts. Obviously, the potential to have more storage space makes expandable memory an attractive option. However, expandable memory slots are

somewhat unreliable, and the memory cards can dislodge themselves. This can mean that data gets corrupted, or that you have to keep restarting your cellphone to fix it. Selfies With regard to cameras, we primarily judge cellphone camera quality by the number of meg- apixels the camera has. The term megapixel refers to the number of little dots which make up the picture. The more megapixels, the more accurate a photograph’s details will be.

Without a microprocessor, a cellphone is nothing more than a lump of weight inside your pocket.

However, sometimes two different cameras of the same megapixel rating can produce very different quality photographs. This is because they use different software to process the photo- graphs. This software reduces the resolution of the photographs, making each individual pixel clearer. While buying a cellphone, the advertised megapixel rating may make for appealing reading, but a quick online comparison of a phone’s camera against that of its competitors can often tell you a lot that statistics cannot. Much of this information may seem useless when phones can seem like glorified WhatsApp and Twitter devices, but having a general overview of these attributes can make buying a phone so much simpler. Knowing the differences between phones can be the difference between buying a phone which can handle everything but your emotional baggage and buying a phone which contributes to your emotional baggage.

which can handle everything but your emotional baggage and buying a phone which contributes to your

A theatre reawakening


Green city is slicker


Cellphones: how they work



Green city is slicker 10 Cellphones: how they work 11 Sports Matt Stapleton took his place

Matt Stapleton took his place in the u21 Eastern Province water polo team last year and is continuing with his off- season training. Photo: PENNY MADDOCKS

A well-shaped column: our water polo prodigy

Douglas Smith

Anyone who has ever attempted to play water polo will know that it is one of the most physically challenging sports out there. Whether you are a proud couch-potato or fit enough to run a marathon, treading water for longer than five minutes is exhausting. Matt Stapleton however, mastered the skill when he was just 11 years old. Stapleton, a first-year BCom Law student, started playing water polo when he was in Grade 5 at Grey High School in Port Elizabeth. He moved to Grahamstown’s Kingswood College in Grade 7 and played for the school’s water polo first team from Grade 8. Stapleton has represented Eastern Province (EP) water polo since he was 13. Last year he earned his place in the EP u21A side which competed at the Currie Cup water polo tournament. His move to Rhodes was an academic one, but his water polo achievements were recognised before he even arrived. The Rhodes first team contacted him in January to invite him to training, and he has since helped them win the Port Elizabeth Water Polo League this past season. However, he now wants to put his studies first. “In first and second year I want to take a backseat, but I love polo – it’s my dream sport,” he said. Although his water polo career currently comes second to his studies, Stapleton has hopes of pursuing it in the future. He has been training with Zolt Desi, a Hungarian coach who is involved with the South African water polo side. Desi believes that Stapleton has the potential to one day make the national squad.

A call-up for the South African 2020 Olympics team would be a dream come true for Stapleton, but in order to perform at the level that he hopes to reach he will have to be in top physical condition. “Before a tournament I change my diet,” he explained. “I eat high carb suppers, things like pasta, and then protein at lunch. Fruits and vegetables are good as well.” Aside from the dietary requirements, it takes a serious training programme to get into water polo shape. “Water polo fitness has got a lot to do with swimming technique and stop-start fitness,” explained Stapleton. “You only have possession of the ball for 30 seconds at a time, so you are always attacking and then defending.” Stapleton is currently progressing with his off-season training, which involves running in the mornings and going to gym in the afternoons, in order to maintain both the cardiovascular fitness and strength that his sport requires. Stapleton emphasised that the most important technique for aspiring water polo players to master is the ability to push themselves out of the water, which increases shot power and is useful in defence. The technique involves a combination of upper-body and core strength. However, he says that water polo players should avoid do- ing weighted leg exercises, because “it messes with your treading”. Treading is not for everyone. Stapleton himself admits that it is just something that you either can or cannot do. For those who can, water polo is a highly satisfying sport - for those of us who cannot, we will have to be satisfied with watching from the side-lines.

Take two: Rhodes hockey ready for Varsity Cup

Muhammad Hussain

A fter a less than perfect

start to their first Varsity

Cup Hockey Tournament

campaign, the Rhodes First XI believe that they can only get better. In the opening weekend, starting Friday 2 May at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Rhodes lost two games and drew one. In their debut game the men in purple crashed to a 7-1 defeat against current University Sports South Africa (USSA) Champions, the University of Johannesburg (UJ). Daniel Jackman scored Rhodes’ first goal of the tournament, but by that time UJ had already taken a commanding 4-0 lead. The team sought to redeem themselves in their second game and Jeremy Hart scored the opener against the University of Cape Town (UCT). However, the boys had their hearts broken in the last 20 seconds as UCT equalised. SA u19 player Cody van Wyk was the standout performer for

Rhodes and earned himself the Super Striker award. Captain Brendon Smith said that the game was the highlight of the tournament because it showed that Rhodes has the pedigree to hold their own against an opposition like UCT. In the third and final game of the weekend Rhodes faced off against old rivals Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), but were comprehensively beaten 5-0. Defender Greg Keyter received the Super Saver award for a magnificent clearance off the line. Preparations for the next leg of the tournament are well under way. “We have video analysis of our previous games and have set a game plan for each of the teams. We just have to keep the positives in mind,” said Smith. Leg two began on 10 May at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, and the final leg is scheduled to take place at UJ on the weekend of 17 May.

Respect lacking for soccer referees

Gabi Bellairs-Lombard

During any soccer match, the referee plays a pivotal role in the outcome of the game. Yet players in the Premier League and La Liga are often seen throwing tan- trums on the field and verbally abusing referees. It seems that even players at university level

engage in this ill treatment of match officials. Mandla Hebron Nkondo, a Rhodes first team player and vice-president of the Rhodes Soccer Club, is a referee for the internal league. Nkondo recalls an occasion when he was sworn at by a player who he then yellow-carded. “The team that is losing the match tends to become desperate to turn the match around and, unfortunately, this frustration is taken out on the ref,” he went on to explain. However, referees sometimes become equally frustrated with players. Brynmor Hemro, who coaches both the Rhodes Ladies first team and Spurs soccer sides, says that referees are often treated harshly by players for making terrible calls. “In turn the refs lose their objectivity and give cards out as a means of revenge and a power trip,” said Hemro. Tholo Lerotholi, a student completing his final year Bachelor of Econom- ics degree, has been refereeing internal league matches since 2012. Lerotholi is friendly with a number of the internal league players and has had more positive experiences as a referee. “There is a certain level of mutual respect. I am very firm when it comes to decision-making during the match, and I think this discourages players from being rude or disrespectful,” he said. Aside from the attitudes of the players, there have been issues for Rhodes Soccer at an administrative level. Internal league referees are supposed to be

paid a set amount per match, which they receive as a lump sum at the end of each month. Nkondo, however, claimed that he has heard a few referees complain that they were not paid what was owed to them from last year. Lerotholi was one of the referees who was not paid timeously last year. “In 2012, we were paid R50 per match, and last year the fee was reduced to R40 per game without the referees’ knowledge,” he said. “The agreement for this year is that each referee will be paid at the end of every quarter, but whether this will be fulfilled remains to be seen.” However Lerotholi added, “The Rhodes Soccer Committee this year has been impressive, and the lines of communication between the committee and the referees has improved.”

The team that is losing tends to become desperate this frustration is taken out on the ref

- Mandla Hebron Nkondo