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Liquor by-laws here to stay


Facing sexism at Rhodes


VC’s inauguration in pictures


The Oppidan Press

Edition 2, 11 March 2015

Islam in Africa



7 VC’s inauguration in pictures 9 The Oppidan Press Edition 2, 11 March 2015 Islam in


The Oppidan Press

11 March 2015

News Features International students struggle to return

Thandi Bombi

T his year many international students struggled to obtain their study and work visas before the start of the academic

term at Rhodes. For those who were unsuccess- ful, extra fees and a mountain of paperwork had to be dealt with when they eventually man- aged to return. One of the reasons for this chaos was changes to visa laws, which created panic among interna- tional students. Currently, international students have to complete the BI-1738 application form at their regional office of the Department of Home Affairs. These study permits are valid for either the length of the course being studied or for 24 months. Often, however, students face difficulties in the application process for their study and work permits because of time constraints. “The closest place to Grahamstown that I could renew my permit is Port Elizabeth,” said Andile Moyo, an international student. “If that wasn’t bad enough, there is such a backlog of applicants, that the delay means a person has to wait three months before they can schedule their appoint- ment,” he added. Delays aside, this setup means that students need access to transport and free time during the

students need access to transport and free time during the A change in visa laws and

A change in visa laws and various delays have caused problems for many international students, who are faced with additional paperwork and financial charges. Photo: BRONWYN PRETORIUS

year to schedule their appointment. Rhodes University’s International Office has been working overtime to help as many students as possible. “The International Office has assisted with applications as well as [the] courier of docu- mentation such as police clearances, that need to be collected in Pretoria,” said Moyo. “They allow provisional registration so that the study permit

application delay does not affect the students’ standing to learn.” Those students who were unable to get their study permits over the festive season, have been given allowances that ensure they do not miss out on too much academic work. “There are some students who came here using just their pass- ports,” said Tatenda Goredema, a post-graduate

accounting student from Zimbabwe. “They are allowed to study for three months, then during [the] April vac they have to return and get study and work permits.” Rhodes University went a step further by extending the registration deadline this year. “Luckily the deadline for registration was ex- tended [to] the 27th of February 2015,” Gorede- ma explained. “The SRC said they would help the other students get out of paying [late registration fees] as it was out of our control.” While this will be of great assistance to those students who had little or no control over their late arrival, the process will not be an easy one. Each student would have to go to the administra- tion to present their case. “The Registrar is going to deal with late reg- istration fees on a case by case basis,” said SRC International Councillor Tessa Ware. “In the meantime, I have been emailing faculty deans to assist in catching people up and advising students on who to talk to.” Ware went on to explain that those students who have not come back should stay proactive and email her at as well as liaise further with the International Office. “The best way to avoid these situations is to re- new permits before they expire because we never know what will change,” said Ware.

expire because we never know what will change,” said Ware. Rhodes dining halls have been adding
expire because we never know what will change,” said Ware. Rhodes dining halls have been adding
expire because we never know what will change,” said Ware. Rhodes dining halls have been adding
expire because we never know what will change,” said Ware. Rhodes dining halls have been adding

Rhodes dining halls have been adding sugar and salt to meals in order to better flavour the food, even though there are claims that this practice is detrimental to student health. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA

Sweet and salty: res food and its problems

Leila Stein and Gemma Middleton

Rhodes Food Services, in charge of the meals made in the respective dining halls, states that they provide a variety of meals for students to enjoy. However, according to second year student and trained cardio- vascular nurse Colleen Wagner, the high salt and sugar content in most meals could be detrimental to stu- dents’ health. “Most of the Rhodes students are young but after spending three, four or more years at Rhodes, eating the food in the dining hall can have a sig- nificant impact on their future health and food choices,” explained Wagner. She has particular issues with the vegetables, which contain added sugar, as well as the oatmeal which has salt added to it. In addition, the availability of salt and sugar

for students to add to their meals themselves allows for a serious – and unwitting – abuse of these known contributors to heart disease. In accounting for the addition of salt and sugar to food, Food Services and dining hall staff said that it was necessary to add these condiments in order to add flavour to the dishes. Rhodes Food Service Manager, Simon Wright, explained that the amount of salt and sugar added is carefully measured and observed. “Everybody needs salt in their diet,” explained Wright. “We haven’t received any complaints from other halls about this [issue].” While adding these condiments is considered unhealthy, a dieti- cian’s report commissioned in 2014 stated that the Rhodes meals meet the minimum nutritional requirements of a moderately active 18-25 year old.

These calculations were said to be representative of at least 75% of the student’s nutritional requirements. “It has been acknowledged for many years by the world medical community, that foods naturally contain enough salt to meet the daily requirements,” said Wagner. “There are many other ways to flavour [food] without salt and sugar.” Sugar is also added to residence meals by cooking staff in an effort to stop students from adding their own significant amounts of sugar to food. Salt, however, is readily avail- able to the students. “I add extra salt to my food most of the time,” said Michaela Bowker, a second-year student in Hobson Hall. “I mostly do it out of habit now, but I started off doing it because salt makes the food taste better and brings out the flavours.”

11 March 2015

The Oppidan Press


11 March 2015 The Oppidan Press 3 Increased reinforcement of pre-existing by-laws pertaining to the sale

Increased reinforcement of pre-existing by-laws pertaining to the sale of alcohol has been met with opposition by many in and around Rhodes, despite the actions of authorities already showing a drop in late-night crimes towards students. Photo: LIAM VAN ROOYEN

Makana liquor by-laws explained

Leila Stein

S ince the beginning of 2015, the liquor by-law set down by the Makana Municipality has been

fully implemented. The law, which covers the conditions under which alcohol may be sold, has upset and confused many students. This specific by-law is not a new one, and has, in fact, been in effect since 2009 under the larger Eastern Cape Liquor Act of 2003. The by-law stipu- lates that trading hours allowed for the sale of liquor consumed on prem- ises are as follows: 11:00–24:00 (Mon- day – Thursday), 11:00–02:00 (Friday – Saturday) and 11:00–22:00 on Sundays. These laws have always been in place, but have not been enforced, which has left many Rhodes students annoyed and outraged by the by-law’s sudden implementation. “In the beginning I thought these laws were very irritating and not needed,” explained Rhodes student

Rory Boon. “After being told [the law’s purpose] I think that the laws do curb violence and late night drinking incidents among students because they are no longer drinking until the early hours of the morning at a bar.” The reasoning behind the introduc- tion of the law is the claim that earlier closing times reduce the number of alcohol aggravated crimes in the CBD. “Very generally it is proven that it (alcohol) is connected to crime,” said Mynhardt Van Dyk, owner of the Rat and Parrot. “What the police are trying to do is shut down pubs early so stu- dents aren’t walking on the streets and in theory that makes sense.” It appears, then, that rather than try- ing to police the streets, law enforce- ment officials are encouraging students and locals to monitor their own behaviour, thus reducing the necessity of police street patrols. Not everyone agrees with this tactic. “As citizens we have a right to expect them to keep our streets safe,” said Van

Dyk. “They are turning it around and saying we must look at our behaviour.” It does, however, appear that the implementation of these by-laws may have had an effect on the crime rate. There have so far been fewer incidents involving students this year from the beginning of O-week to the second week of the academic year. “This year it has been a minimum, a minor collision, but one of the students was allegedly under the influence of alcohol,” said the Manager of Campus Protection Unit, Towers Naidu. While the by-laws have enabled police to manage the stores that sell liquor in the CBD area, administrating the shebeens which can sell liquor out- side the stipulated pub trading hours is more difficult. As a result, these establishments still contribute to what is perceived as aggravated crime in Grahamstown, which causes more work for the police. This puts the police’s argument that the by-law helps lower crime in Grahams- town on shaky ground.

News Features

Rhodes Student Defence

Council: here for you

Phelokazi Mbude

R hodes University offers

students legal expertise

in the form of the Student

Defence Council (SDC). Although the SDC was established eight years ago, many students remain unaware of its existence. The SDC’s purpose is to ensure a fair trial and increase students’ understanding of their constitutional rights by providing legal representation to students facing internal hearings. The SDC is comprised of the defence board and five members drawn from the student body. While these representatives are usually all LLB students, this year the fifth member is a fourth-year law student. This year has also seen the SDC draw its highest number of members, prompting it to provide more in-depth training for members in 2015. Prosecutor in student disciplinary affairs, Professor Gordon Barker, is involved in training SDC represent- atives. He emphasised that although it is called a ‘council’ the members reach decisions as individuals and not as a committee. The SDC complies with the Rhodes University Student Discipli- nary Code which recognizes lower and higher disciplinary authorities. According to the Disciplinary Code, the lower disciplinary authority has power over minor offences which are handled by the Disciplinary Board. The higher disciplinary authority has jurisdiction over all offences which violate the rules set out in the Code and are handled by the University. S’fisokuhle Xulu, a third year student, experienced discrimination

There are


which are

put in place to fight for our rights [ ] which work only if we utilise them.

– S’fisokuhle Xulu, third year student

and was verbally and physically assaulted late last year. Xulu’s case falls under the higher disciplinary authority in the student disciplinary code and as such it was handled by the University. Xulu said that his main hope was for the perpetrator to acknowledge his wrongdoing rather than for him to be punished. He did, however, encourage students to speak out and not bottle up their issues. “There are structures which are put in place to fight for our rights. We have effective structures which work only if we utilise them,” Xulu further added. SRC Secretary General, Abigail Butcher, said that should a student feel they need representation they can email the SRC Vice President or the Secretary General, and they will be put in contact with the representatives. Contact details are also provided on every charge sheet and students should contact a SDC member of their choice.

Alternative venues set up for study in case of load shedding

Nkcubeko Balani

Eskom has sent out several warnings that have made it clear to South Africans that load shed- ding, often without warning, will be a constant feature for the foreseeable future. This lack of electricity could negatively affect Rhodes stu- dents, as no light in the evenings can hamper their academic studies. In order to mitigate the effects of load shedding the University has set up generators at more than 15 locations on campus for emergency use during power cuts. Ten of these venues, which include both Eden Grove lecture theatres as well as the Eden Grove Seminar rooms and Alec Mullins Hall, will be available to students as study venues in the event of extended power outages between 19:00 and 23:00 at night. At present the best known and most widely used space with a generator is the main Rhodes Library. In the past, the venue has often been used by students as an alternative place to work during power cuts. However, while the library may have 1 200 workstations to accommodate enough students, the frequency of the power

to accommodate enough students, the frequency of the power Although the University has installed several generators

Although the University has installed several generators around campus, the constant threat of load-shedding remains a severe hindrance to students who need to study outside of class-times, often at night. Photo: VICKY PATRICK

outages presents a cost problem with regard to the diesel that is used to run the generator. “We allocate a certain amount on a per an- num basis, but if [the load shedding] is going

to become as regular as it is now becoming, the budget allocation will fast run out,” explained Rhodes University Library Services Director, Ujala Satgoor.

While students may be affected when trying to do work in the evenings, the load shedding schedule also stipulates power cuts during the day when lectures are taking place. Simon Pamphilon, lecturer at the School of Journal- ism and Media Studies, maintains that while load shedding might affect preparations for lectures as well as those lectures that take place in venues without backup power, the situation is a tolerable one. “From a teaching perspective, it’s manageable,” he said. Pamphilon explained that for him the issue really lies with students working outside of lecture times. “It has a major impact on students who are required to do a lot of their own work in the labs,” he said. “In third year, [Journalism students’] contact time is about five hours and students are expected to do another ten hours on their own. And they are working in times when load shedding happens,” he explained. While the University has adequately planned for load shedding at the current time, the implementation of Stage 3 load shedding or unexpected power cuts could seriously jeop- ardise these preparations as well as those made independently by students.


The Oppidan Press

11 March 2015


Businesses struggling to turn a profit when Eskom switches off

Nathi Mzileni


A nother bout of load shedding is looming, according to the latest announcement

by Eskom’s spokesman Khulu Phasiwe. While the state parastatal is trying to prevent a power supply meltdown, businesses are not impressed as further rolling blackouts could cause substantial loss in revenue. Manager of Grahamstown’s Red- wood Spur, Wendy Brand, explained that when a blackout hits during the evening rush, usually from 18:00 onwards, the restaurant can lose as much as R10 000. This loss sometimes constitues up to a third of Spur’s aver- age daily turnover, she added. During load shedding, the res- taurant is powered by a generator

provided by the Graham Hotel which owns the property that Spur rents. However, Brand explained that the generator cannot power the entire hotel as well as Spur. This leaves the restaurant’s front section in darkness which results in problems for custom- ers and staff alike. “We have to get candles… usually people think we are closed because it’s so dark in the front,” Brand said. She added that the restaurant has to place signs outside to let customers know that it is open for business. Even with candles, however, some customers

choose not to eat at Spur, saying that it

is “too dark”.

In addition to losing money, power cuts mean that the steakhouse’s staff are left trying to collect orders from 40 tables with only one functioning computer. Furthermore, the com- puter takes 20 minutes to boot after

a blackout which means that it takes longer to process the backlog of orders. Adding to these complications is the possibility of the generator failing, something which occurred during the last power outage that Grahamstown experienced. Food items such as chips and onion rings could not be prepared, leading to orders having to be adjusted or even cancelled, and leaving many customers unhappy. While Spur and other businesses are struggling to turn a profit during load shedding, Eskom said the power system remains strained. “One could say there is a 50/50 chance of imple-

menting load shedding,” said Phasiwe. Even a 50 percent chance of keeping their lights on will do little to allay the concerns of businesses across South Africa as they have to deal with a reduction in profits as customers walk out of their establishments.

UK electricity producers paid millions to switch off

While South Africa’s load shedding continues, wind farms across the United Kingdom (UK) are paid to temporarily halt their electricity production. Last year, wind farms were paid the equivalent of R957 million to turn off their wind turbines as

they are producing more electricity than the country’s electricity grid can manage. Market data shows that payments made to wind farms to temporarily stop production have increased significantly in recent years - from R3.1 million in 2010 to R108 million in 2012.

Farms are made to reduce electricity production because their wind turbines can cause unpredictable spikes in electrical output. This places strain on the country’s electrical infra- structure and can result in damage to power cables and electricity transformers.

To date, the UK has poured more than R559 billion into its renewable energy sector. As Eskom fails to keep the lights on, perhaps the South African power utility can learn something from the UK and expand its methods of generating electricity.

the UK and expand its methods of generating electricity. The United Kingdom’s electrical grid is experiencing

The United Kingdom’s electrical grid is experiencing the opposite issue to South Africa’s – too much wind electricity is being produced which is placing a strain on the electrical infrastucture, resulting in Scottish wind farms being shut down. Photo: GINA BEZUIDENHOUT

Changing the perspective on Africa

Millions pumped into our pipes

Kim Nyajeka and Kathryn Cleary Politics

Africa has constantly been depicted as a ‘work-in-progress’, its potential stifled by corrupt governments and poor judicial administration. This illustration is troublesome as it cre- ates the notion that Africa is a single entity in a stagnant position, unable to realise its potential. Dr Robert Oprisko, from the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University, commented on the fact that Africa is not well understood

in the United States. “It is unfairly dis- missed by most of the world because

it hasn’t posed a significant military

threat or economic equal,” he stated. Senior lecturer in the Rhodes Uni- versity’s Politics department, Dr Sally Matthews, noted that reports of the

events at South Africa’s recent State of the Nation Address could bring about

a shift in global African perspective,

particularly for South Africa. “South Africa’s international image could move beyond the idealised portrait of post-apartheid reconciliation led by a smiling Nelson Mandela,” she said. This could occur as a result of the global audience’s exposure to a version of democracy that is different to that which exists in the West. Matthews said that we should move away from constructing a Western-style democ- racy in Africa and instead try to find a space in which ordinary Africans are

instead try to find a space in which ordinary Africans are African politics in 2015 has

African politics in 2015 has been a cause for international concern,

despite much of the continent being both stable and democratic. Photo: SOURCED

able to actively and meaningfully par-

ticipate in various political processes. She added that this should be done in

a way that will bring about a system of

governance that empowers all citizens. Comparatively, Oprisko stated that “To move forward, Africa needs peace, both in the negation of violent conflict and in positive steps forward against exploitation by outside interests.”

Both Matthews and Oprisko pro- vided perspectives that take the focus off of Africa as a political puzzle, and instead acknowledge each individual country’s progress. African leaders tend to be incor- rectly placed at the root of all African problems, usually being depicted as flamboyant, power-hungry caricatures. Matthews stated that the response to the ‘Mugabe Falls’ episode forms part of the stereotype that portrays most African leaders as “ridiculous, stupid and dictatorial”. Matthews further added, “We need to recognise that some lead- ers who manage to stay in power for great lengths [of time] are wily, astute political players rather than ridiculous baboons”. Oprisko, however, cautioned that “[Africa is] still suffering from the arbitrary division of sovereign territory irrespective of nationalist geolocation.” This highlights the fact that the outside perspective of African politics is not solely based on political leadership. The economic and social potential perceived to exist in Africa cannot simply be realised by the removal of corrupt leadership and the implemen-

tation of a ‘functioning’ democracy. Each country is at a different phase in progress and must be recognised accordingly; the probability of a continental economic breakthrough is not certain, nor will every state benefit from the prosperity of one.


Nathi Mzileni

been tasked with the upgrading of the bulk water supply system, ac- cording to the University’s Commu- nication and Marketing division. Grahamstown was also given a R75 million grant by the Eastern Cape government in January 2014 in response to the unsteady water supply, according to a Grocott’s Mail report last year. While the water crisis is obviously disastrous for businesses, it also causes many potential students to decide against coming to Rhodes. Faced with this decrease in student numbers, the University’s Communication and Marketing division said in a statement: “Since the water outages during 2013 and earlier [last] year, a great deal has been done to ensure that Grahams- town and the University has a reli- able supply of municipal water” Makana’s new administrator Pam Yako was appointed to fix the town’s water crisis by Minister of Coopera- tive Governance and Traditional Af- fair Pravin Gordin. Yako’s challenge is to ensure constant water supplies to both Rhodes and its surround- ings, but also to places such as Joza, where the lack of water has often not been remarked upon. It remains to be seen whether or not Yako can bring an end to Grahamstown’s water crisis, however.


It is not something you will find in the Rhodes prospectus or on the municipality’s website as a wel- come message, but Grahamstown has a water crisis that has grown worse over the years. The municipality’s long-neglected water infrastructure has been show- ing its age since 2013 when major water outages led students and townspeople alike to stage a protest outside the town’s municipal offices. After last year’s nine-day water outage, Makana Municipality an- nounced it was to spend some R100 million on upgrading its outdated water infrastructure. Rhodes University, a major stakeholder in the municipality’s business, pays about R30 million in rates a year. The University has been providing the municipality with expert knowledge in an effort to deal with the water crisis. Rhodes has also been working in collaboration with the municipality’s contracted companies to find solutions to the long-standing problem. Amatola Water is the latest company that has been brought in to alleviate the crisis. The state-owned business, which operates eleven water plants across the country, has

11 March 2015

The Oppidan Press



“He said, she said”: multilingualism at Rhodes

Kathryn Cleary

D r Nomalanga Mkhize, a lecturer in the Rhodes University History Depart-

ment, has been the subject of much debate, after a picture detailing her actions in a History 101 lecture was posted on the Rhodes SRC Facebook group. Mkhize had been describing an African historical event when she switched to the isiXhosa vernacular in an attempt to fully explain the event’s greater meaning. Several students took issue with this, prompting Mkhize to scold them for wanting to learn the history of this province, but not the languages it was

recorded in. The picture, which details

a second-hand account of these events,

subsequently catalysed a flurry of com- ments centered around the concept of multilingualism, as well as the Rhodes language policy. However, the full discussion of multilingualism and language preservation at Rhodes goes much deeper than a single History 101 lecture. In the Eastern Cape, approximately 80 percent of the population use isiX- hosa as their home language. While the language environment surround- ing most academic spaces of Rhodes

is predominantly English, second-year

BA student Sanelisiwe Jantjies says this

is not true of the majority of Grahams-

town. “This is the Eastern Cape, [isiX- hosa] is what people speak here,” she said. She further explained that while her home language is isiXhosa, she is one of many South Africans who has always done her academics in English. In March this year, Mkhize pub- lished a personal response article to the initial incident on The Con Mag titled “On Language and Disruptive Pedagogy”. In the article, Mkhize discussed the concept of “disrup- tive pedagogy”, or in other words,

The aim was to make the

students aware of how tricky

it is to write

history when one has no

sense or feel for

a language.

– Dr Nomalanga Mkhize, History Department lecturer

alternative teaching methods. Mkhize’s use of isiXhosa in her lectures was part of this concept. “It is not unusual for lecturers to go off in a bit of Latin, Greek, French or German. Mostly, we launch into other languages with a hint of mischievous- ness, to shake undergraduates up a bit, to make them squirm a little so that after the lecture, they head for the library or to the nearest third year student to find out how much they need to do, or what they need to know. This is how independent learning is

provoked,” Mkhize explained. Mkhize further commented, “Not

being a first-language isiXhosa speaker myself, the aim was to make the stu- dents aware of how tricky it is to write history when one has no sense or feel for a language.” Dr Russell Kaschula, head of the Rhodes Language Committee, has an approach to teaching isiXhosa 1 that differs from that of other lecturers. Kaschula creates a learning environ- ment where he allows for both isiXhosa and non-isiXhosa speakers to ask questions, and academically en- gage in their home languages, further

creating a welcoming space and a mul- tilingual environment. Kaschula noted that using this teaching technique has motivated students who would not normally participate to thoroughly engage with the coursework.

“You think best in a language you understand best, and ordinarily that’s your home language,” he said. Further- more, he believes that multilingualism needs to be seen as a “resource rather than a problem”. Kaschula believes

that we should let students engage in whatever language they wish to engage in. That being said, however, language cannot be used to exclude students. “It needs to be a multilingual inclusive environment,” Kaschula explained. Dr Jeanne du Toit of the School of Journalism and Media Studies argued that language is not only an instru- ment of power in South Africa, it is something that should be celebrated, rather than serving as a source of conflict. With regards to the use of multilingualism in an academic setting she explained that “part of the trick is how do [we] do that in a way that stu- dents can engage with.” Relating more directly to Mkhize, du Toit stated:

“[We] think of pedagogical strategies that allow for that transformation of communication to happen.” Although officially an English- speaking institution, Rhodes has recently reviewed its language policy with an eye on seeking linguistic transformation. Kaschula points out that the new language policy has a trilingual feel to it, in that it promotes isiXhosa and Afrikaans, the other two most widely spoken languages in the Eastern Cape. While lecturers like Mkhize contin- ue to push the envelope with multiple language use in their curriculum, it is unlikely that the University will move away from English as the dominant language of academics altogether.

English as the dominant language of academics altogether. History lecturer Dr Nomalanga Mkhize sparked a debate

History lecturer Dr Nomalanga Mkhize sparked a debate on multilingualism at Rhodes after it was posted on the SRC Facebook page that she had insisted on using isiXhosa phrases which would not translate accurately into English as part of her course on the history of the Eastern Cape. Photo: SOURCED

Islam’s contribution to the development of Africa

Kim Nyajeka

Since the 2012 “Arab Spring” erupted, the world has witnessed Islamic fundamentalist groups replace seemingly democratic governments in several African countries. Dictatorships were replaced with systems of Shar’ia law – the legislative code derived from an interpretation of the Qur’an and the teachings of Mohammed. This increase in radical political activity and the resultant growth of Islamic fundamentalist movements in Africa has increased discussions around Islam’s role within the continent. Islam is often othered by Western media, with the ‘strict’ nature of Islamic systems being contrasted with the ‘liberal’ nature of democracy. Islamic fundamentalists are viewed as the enemy of Western notions of freedom and equality, a role formerly occupied by the Soviet Union dur- ing the Cold War. Just as being Russian in the late 20th century was viewed as synonymous with being a Com- munist, being Muslim has come to be perceived as synonymous with being a fundamentalist. However, there are differences between a follower of the Islamic faith and an Islamic fundamental- ist. The latter is an individual who opposes the in- filtration of secular and Westernizing influences

the in- filtration of secular and Westernizing influences Due to the stereotyping of Muslims as fundamentalists,

Due to the stereotyping of Muslims as fundamentalists, the positive impacts that the Islamic com- munity has had on Africa has generally gone unnoticed. Photo: NITA PALLETT

whilst seeking to institute strict Islamic law. Although the heinous acts of fundamentalist groups like Boko Haram and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) perpetrated in parts of Africa cannot be ignored, the positive influence Islam has had on the African continent must also be acknowledged. Political analyst Abubakr Ben Ishmael Sala- huddin has described the impact of the Islamic

faith on Africa during the Arabic world’s 15th century ‘voyages of discovery’. During this time, Muslim traders brought advice on health, diet, and community building.“The Islamic faith be- came a part of Africa because of the tremendous trade relations built with the Africans,” Sala- huddin said. To date, roughly 45 percent of the African population is Muslim, with 1.5 percent of South Africans practising Islam.

The positive role Islamic groups have played in South Africa is largely underrated. Political parties such as the African Muslim Party and the Islamic Party actively supported the anti- apartheid movement and even contested the first democratic elections. While neither party was able to secure a seat in the national legisla- ture, their acceptance and support of a demo- cratic state had defied misguided stereotypes of Muslim behaviour. Rhodes University has always encouraged interactions between students with different religious backgrounds. In her online opinion piece “Me and my Islamic ID”, published in Voice of Cape Town, former journalism student Ra- eesa Mohamed highlighted how the University had become her platform to prove that a balance between Islam and the West is possible. “I found myself in social circles where discuss- ing Islam became the most popular topic, because non-Muslims found nothing but beauty within the religion,” she said. “It puzzled me that I had to see the purity and sincerity of my own religion through the eyes of others.” While the effects of Islam on continental Africa will continue to be debated, engaging with both the positive and negative aspects of Islam in Af- rica will hopefully lead to a more tolerant future for the African continent.


The Oppidan Press

11 March 2015


The Oppidan Press

The inauguration of a new Vice-Chancellor is always a momentous event for any university. The VC must act as both the public face of the institution and must oversee its daily running. Essentially, the office of the VC is where the proverbial buck stops. Dr Sizwe Mabizela’s inauguration as the first black African VC of Rhodes was one of the most prestigious events students are likely to ever go to during their university career. Attended by members of provincial government, the families of struggle veterans and hundreds of students and staff, it was Mabi- zela’s opportunity to state his vision for the future of Rhodes. And he did just that. Over the course of his speech, he highlighted the mul- tiple challenges facing Rhodes and the Makana municipality. Mabizela pulled no punches, laying the troubles Makana finds itself in at the feet of “poor man- agement and poor leadership” even with Makana’s Executive Mayor Zamuxolo Peter seated directly behind him. Mabizela also set out an ambitious vision of the future of Rhodes within Makana, including making the entire city of Grahamstown WiFi-enabled for the use of all its citizens. Mabizela also promised a significant portion of his salary towards helping financially needy students at Rhodes, an action that he also took in his previous position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor. You can find a list of the 12 most important points to take away from Mabi- zela’s speech on along with the full text of the speech itself. We also have a photo story in this edition on Mabizela’s inauguration. Look out for it on page nine. With all the fanfare surrounding his speech and inauguration, it is easy to think that Mabizela is a nigh saint-like figure. However, if you were present at his Welcome Address to the first-years and their parents during O-Week, you would see this is not true. Among the list of seven important messages he wanted to give to the first- years was a reminder that Rhodes does not “tolerate racist, sexist, homopho- bic, xenophobic or … chauvinistic behaviour”. Two points later, Mabizela reminds students to avoid excessive alcohol consumption, as it “will make you vulnerable to crime including rape”. This kind of victim-shaming rhetoric is dangerous. It holds that the be- haviour of the victim is to blame for the rape, as opposed to the actions and in- tentions of their rapists. It informs the societal instruction of victims to avoid being raped, rather than teaching rapists not to rape. According to studies by the United States Bureau of Justice, there is a correlation between alcohol and drug use, and rape. However, alcohol is not a cause of rape: rapists are. Confusing correlation and causation in statistics is the same logical fallacy that allows people to claim that the rise of vaccinations caused the rise in the diagnosis of autism as opposed to the rise in our ability to diagnose autism. Rhetoric of this kind is simply not acceptable from leaders of Mabizela’s capacity, especially at an institution like Rhodes, and we at The Oppidan Press will strive to continue holding leaders like him to account at this university.

The Oppidan Press staff and contact details

Editor-in-Chief: Stuart Lewis. Executive Consultant: Amanda Xulu. Financial Manager: Likho Sithole. Advertising Manager: Smangaliso Simelane. Marketing Manager: Leila Kidson. Online Editor: Liam Stout. News Features Editor: Leila Stein. Assistant News Features Editor:

Phelokazi Mbude. Politics Editor: Kim Nyajeka. Assistant Politics Editor:

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it into our print edition will be published on our website. This edition’s ‘buzzword’ considers the

This edition’s ‘buzzword’ considers the word ‘Warden’ and how the association with being an authoritarian may not necessarily reflect reality. Photo: KAYLIN VAN ASWEGEN

The Lingo Review: Warden

Jordan Stier

I n view of the fact that we live in a

country where name-changes to

anything from roads to whole cit-

ies are more regular than a costume change at a Lady Gaga concert, The Oppidan Press will feature a ‘Buz- zword’ series in each edition. This series will debate a potential change to a name or term in university, local, national or international lingo. This edition’s Buzzword: “Warden”. I was not really one of those overeager first-years. I did not join any Rhodes Facebook groups before arriving. I didn’t check out my residence and academic departments in the days before O-Week. In fact, I hadn’t even seen the campus before arriving from Johannesburg. However, there was one thing that scared me enough to look it up before getting here: my warden. Using the name I had been given, I found a pho- tograph of him online. He was smiling

in a very relaxed, approachable way, and I remember thinking to myself,

“That photo is a lie. There is no way a warden could ever be so nice.” Upon meeting the man, I realised that I could not have been further from the truth. The warden’s role was not that which the term had im- mediately suggested to me – that of

a hard-arsed disciplinarian, a baton

wielding patrol officer with a large

bunch of keys strapped to his belt, or

a terrifying ogre who ground bones

for jelly. Rather, the warden of my residence was a facilitator, a counsellor, an invaluable guidance-giver and an excellent friend. Having been appointed as a sub- warden this year, though, I have experienced the problem with the term from the opposite perspective. The title carries such a strong disciplinary con- notation that it seriously diminishes the opportunity for being a guidance- giver and helping hand, and can sometimes make building important

relationships with residents a challenging process. In short, the words “warden” and “sub-warden” imply residence leaders are the bad cops, which is definitely not the idea of these positions. As a university, we have been allow- ing our titles to play bad cop for far too long. It is time for them to start playing

good cop. “Dean of Students”, which has become a historical term for simi- lar reasons, has recently become “Di-

rector of Student Affairs”. This shows that Rhodes is continuing a tradition of engaging with names that carry specific meanings and have histories attached to them. I think “warden” and “sub-warden” should face the same chopping block.

What do you think? Tweet your thoughts to @oppidanpress

Who really needs another transformation talk?

Jordan Stier

of fishing by the presenters – that the University is more racially diverse than ever before. What does this say about Rhodes’ newest students? That they are so socially ignorant that they have not recognised the considerable changes in South Africa over the last 20

O-Week has always been a manic time for first years. The list of compulsory presentations seems endless: the warden’s welcome, sex and drugs talks, academic talks, disciplinary talks, the Vice-Chancellor’s address, faculty addresses, The Amazing Other Show, and the introduc- tory lectures for various subjects, not to mention the fire and safety talk that happens in the following weeks. This year Rhodes somehow managed to squeeze in yet another event: the transformation talk. While appreciating the value of the aforementioned presentations, the first-years I have spoken to all showed a serious disdain for the latest addition (the adjective “pointless” was used more times than I’d like to admit). When I attended the talk, the reason for this reaction was immediately clear. The first-years had no idea what the presenters from the University’s transformation office were talking about. After being asked repeatedly what the differ- ence is between Rhodes University now and Rhodes Univer- sity 20 years ago, the responses from the approximately 150 assembled first-years varied from changes in technology and infrastructure, to the increasing number of students and the cost of tertiary education. However, not one member of the audience could give the desired answer after fifteen minutes

years? Not necessarily. Despite the majority of the g15s hav- ing been born after 1994, it would be ridiculous to say that they do not recognise the changes that have occurred in the country in that space of time. Rather, I would suggest that the born frees do not see any reason for a compulsory lecture to be given on the subject. By this logic, it is understandable that the thought that this transformation is what the presenters were driving at did not cross their minds. Of course, I am speaking generally. Many of those in attendance who were not active participants may have been thinking precisely what the presenters wanted them to think. This speaks volumes for the mindset of the g15s as


group, showing that transformation and diversity are not

new ideas to them, meaning that I disagree with the neces-

sity of this talk. For Rhodes’ new students, transformation


not something that they need to be told about. Rather, it


an essential part of the world in which they have grown

up, precisely because it has been a world grappling with transformation at all levels.

11 March 2015

The Oppidan Press



11 March 2015 The Oppidan Press 7 Opinion Inequality, sexism and sexual harassment are only a

Inequality, sexism and sexual harassment are only a few issues that Rhodes faces and are made worse by the fact that many of the perpetrators hold notable leadership positions within the institution. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA

Where leaders learn what, exactly?

Grace Moyo

I n her first year in 2012, a girl I know was pushed against a wall by a then Centenary House Committee member as he tried to

come onto her even as she said “no”. In 2013, she was sexually assaulted in Jan Smuts House. In 2014, a then Graham House sub-warden told her she should have texted him when she was drunk because he would have “loved to take advantage of a girl like [her]”. And in 2015, the first person she spoke to about it, a former SRC member, over-stepped her personal space boundaries and made her feel physically un- comfortable and vulnerable. Four incidents of harassment and assault. Four strokes of pure bad luck. Four different leaders. During my time at Rhodes, and more particu- larly, my time in various leadership structures at this institution, I have been appalled by some of the things I have borne witness to. From head students, to sub-wardens, to society chairs, to members of the SRC – there are sexist statements

callously being thrown around and incorrigible behaviour being displayed. This is supposed to be the institution “where leaders learn” and yet these are some of the lead- ers coming through the system. We are getting something very wrong. I use the word ‘we’ very inclusively because, despite the fact that there are many commendable students in leadership posi- tions, it is our collective responsibility to reshape the ideals of the bad ones. When we fail to do this, we fail each other and we fail this commu- nity that we lead. There is something very wrong with the fact that the scenarios described above are neither uncommon nor isolated. What is even worse is the fact that many of these students never face any kind of consequence for their actions, be it through peer reprimanding or through a formal university procedure. There is something wrong with the fact that a university-appointed sub-warden can poke fun at the Bring Back Our Girls campaign on Facebook, asking, “What if the girls don’t want to come

back?” There is something wrong with the fact that a peer-elected head student can publicly state that “women cannot handle the equality they ask for”. Somehow both of these people are

still allowed to retain their leadership positions. There is something wrong with the fact that when I, and countless others, call this behaviour out, we are dismissed as “angry feminists”. Yes, maybe I am an angry feminist, but I am not angry at nothing.

I am angry at the fact that I have come across

so-called student ‘leaders’, inside and outside this university, that speak of and treat women in the most abominable ways. I am angry at the fact that there are men that will look at women’s bodies longer than they look at their faces, that my intel- ligence is sometimes questioned because I am female, and that every person I have told this to does not believe that being female has anything to do with it.

I am angry at the fact that I, and countless

other women, are objectified and harassed so fre- quently. I am angry at the fact that I have people

roll their eyes at me when I call a man out for saying something sexist. I am angry at inequality. I am angry at injustice. But perhaps I am most angry about the fact that there are people that re- fuse to even acknowledge that these things exist. This behaviour is deplorable in general, but even more so when it is being exhibited by people who are selected and elected to lead this institu- tion. When you consider that power dynam- ics, first year impressionability and a culture of apathy are also active factors, you have a toxic environment that is detrimental to us all. At some point we need to call our leaders to task. We need to stop shying away from the dif- ficult conversations and unpopular statements. We need to find our agency and put an end to the pervasive behaviour and way of thinking that is destroying the lives of far too many young women in our immediate environment. We need to do all this because, until we proactively seek to eliminate the bad fruit, we are allowing mediocrity to be our standard and chauvinistic bigotry to lead us.

Impressions: arriving at a new home

Ashton du Toit

This article is the first in the Impressions series that will be published in a number of editions throughout the year. The series will focus on keeping in touch with first year students, and understanding how their perceptions of Rhodes might have changed as they have settled in to Grahamstown and Rhodes living. The weather was warm and clear that morning as I conducted my usual human-thermometer check, which essentially entails a quick stretch out of the nearest window, followed by the briefest of glances at the sky’s general colour. Then, without warning, midway through my lonesome trucker-like drive from Port Elizabeth to Grahamstown, the heavens were suddenly covered with apocalyptic-type storm clouds. The race between the elements eager to soak my car seats and my ability to wind up the manual windows was on. Spinning the winder to the point of

blurriness, I managed to save my upholstery from a thorough drenching. That was when it came up on the horizon. The picturesque town which would become the backdrop of many memorable life experiences. The weather, seemingly realising the sense of occasion, cleared giving this jewel of the Eastern Cape the glow of a biblical promised land. Upon arriving outside my res, which also hap- pens to be at the summit of the Rhodes campus and thus ideally situated for a Sherpa training camp, I proceeded to park my car and gather my thoughts. After giving myself a pep talk that Coach Carter would have been proud of, I exited the vehicle ready to make my mark. As I gazed into my now open boot admiring my masterful Tetris-like packing skills, two people approached from the house’s main entrance. No sooner had I said hello than they began grabbing my bags and welcoming me to Calata House. I couldn’t help but feel like I was in a Hilton

bellhop demonstration video: every aspect of the welcome, from the polite greeting to the luggage

handling and guided tour were of five star quality. I was soon bewildered, however, for in the first house meeting these assumed lackeys were introduced to me as sub-wardens, a title which

I soon came to understand carries great weight

and privilege. As I lay in bed that first night, I couldn’t help but think back on the selfless actions of my house seniors, particularly the way in which they ensured that I, a perfect stranger, immediately felt welcomed and part of the residence. This I would learn after a few weeks at Rhodes was not a unique residence attitude, but a common denominator found in the majority of the staff and students at Rhodes University. As far as first impressions go, Rhodes certainly put its best foot forward, leaving an imprint on me that I will hopefully leave on others during my time here.

that I will hopefully leave on others during my time here. Ashton du Toit starts the

Ashton du Toit starts the Impressions series by describing his expectations of coming to Rhodes as a 2015 first year student. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA


The Oppidan Press

11 March 2015


Piracy: How Rhodes University is clamping down

Bracken Lee-Rudolph

P iracy in the form of downloaded movies, music and other content is incredibly widespread, especially among internet-

competent demographics. In recent years, Rhodes University has had its own problems with student piracy, but it now seems that the University is clamping down on these issues. According to Rhodes University’s Systems Manager, Guy Halse, this has only led to a change in how the rules are implemented and not a change in the rules themselves. Halse explained that, “[The] law and policy framework under which the University operates has not changed for many years. The only changes within the last year are operational; there was clarification of which disciplinary authority holds jurisdiction and some formal sentencing guidelines were introduced by the Disciplinary Committee.” Effectively this will not affect the students adhering to the University’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), but it will mean the University will be more rigorous in dealing with piracy on the University’s internet connection. “These two changes were primarily to more

connection. “These two changes were primarily to more While none of Rhodes’ anti-piracy rules have been

While none of Rhodes’ anti-piracy rules have been altered in recent years, changes in the ways those regulations are enforced means students can expect a stricter response to the download of copyrighted material via the University’s internet network. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA

efficiently deal with the growing number of notices we receive. They don’t really reflect a sub- stantive change in the underlying “restrictions”, which are, quite simply, that you comply with

South African law,” explained Halse. These restrictions fall in line with The Copy- right Act No 98 of 1978, and the more recent updating of legislation, preventing the download

of copyrighted content via peer-to-peer file shar- ing or torrenting. Craig Marais, a PhD Computer Science student discussed the implications of piracy and Rhodes’ approach to it: “These strategies of being strict on piracy will inevitably lead to less students using torrents (or similar means) to download series and movies, but this will, in my opinion, have almost no effect on the will of students to commit acts of piracy,” Marais said. ”Piracy is illegal. A lot of people seem to neglect that entirely.” Marais went on to explain that there are preventative measures students can take, but that they would need to consider their priorities before doing so. “I am knowledgeable enough to know how to circumvent detection, but as a student my education is far too important to me,” Marais explained. “I personally do not [and would not] do any torrenting (or similar) on campus/resnet.” The absence of conventional content distri- bution methods may cause you to miss some content for a few weeks or have to find alternate methods of getting it, but piracy is certainly not the route to take. A movie or album is not worth disconnection from the network or exclusion.

is not worth disconnection from the network or exclusion. After two executive committee members left the

After two executive committee members left the Rhodes University Computer Users’ Society (RUCUS), the society has ceased to exist and been subsumed into GameSoc. Photo: CAMERON SEEGERS

Game over for RUCUS

Bracken Lee-Rudolph

Everyone who has joined GameSoc or the Rhodes University Computer Users’ Society (RUCUS) and has been an active member, might have noticed the spillover of members between the two societies. Although close-knit, they have always been separate societies until they merged this year, following the departure of two of RUCUS’ executive committee members. Gregory Linklater, former RUCUS Chairman, and new GameSoc Head of Technology discussed the motives for this: “The suggestion [for RUCUS to become a part of GameSoc] from a number of sources has always been present. However, after the loss of two members of our executive committee, the remaining committee put forward the idea to me, once again, which I accepted as a last resort”. While this move will definitely bring changes in the way RUCUS op- erates, Linklater insists that GameSoc’s new Technology division would not

operate all that differently from the now-defunct computer society. Linklater explained that the previ- ously collapsed game development team was to be revived, and that RUCUS was looking to expand into mobile development and web develop- ment. He added that, since RUCUS’ operations were already closely tied to gaming, the former society would still retain its operational independence after its merge with GameSoc. Linklater appears to be content with the move, although he admits that it has its drawbacks. However, he be- lieves the positives outweigh the nega- tives for both RUCUS and GameSoc. “GameSoc gains the benefits that they have always enjoyed from RUCUS, including, but not limited to, technical expertise and equipment and RUCUS gains the benefit of be- ing able to act largely independently while not having to constantly worry about meeting membership quotas or society paperwork”. GameSoc chairperson Graeme Faul explained how the introduction of

the Technology portfolio will affect the society: “All RUCUS assets have been transferred under GameSoc’s jurisdiction. For transparency’s sake, this is currently a server within the Rhodes IT division and sundry pieces of hardware. The society as a whole will now have more to offer in terms of computer- related gaming like game servers, TeamSpeak servers and hosting of some online services,” he said. In terms of how this would affect the society’s hierarchy, Faul said that the RUCUS administrative commit- tee members were no longer afforded positions within GameSoc, but that the former system administrators would retain their roles, albeit under the Technology sub-hierarchy. So while RUCUS as a society has gone under and will not be re-estab- lishing itself anytime soon, its practi- cal hierarchy and function still exist under a new name. If nothing else, the merging of these two societies will lead to the more coherent operation of both.

societies will lead to the more coherent operation of both. Although students may become frustrated at

Although students may become frustrated at having their passwords reset every year, it is simply a security precaution designed to protect the privacy of their online accounts. Image: HANNAH MCDONALD

Why has my password changed?

Bracken Lee-Rudolph

When you register for your respective year of study, you are given a sheet of paper stating your new credentials for logging onto important student account services like RUConnected and Rhodes Online Student Services. While your student number re- mains the same, your password will change, even if you have left it as the generic one provided to you in the previous year. Craig Marais, a PhD student in Computer Science, said that while changing your password may be frustrating, it is simply standard security practice. “Most big businesses would require employees to change passwords once a month,” Marais explained. “Once a year is really not that often; it’s really the bare minimum that the university can do in this regard.” What Marais referred to as “standard operating procedure for large networks” is found in many corporations whose IT departments require their employees to change passwords sometimes as regularly as once a month, so maybe once a year is not as tedious as it seems.

The University, however, would clearly prefer students to change their passwords more frequently. Rhodes University’s Acceptable Use Policy states that users should, to a reasonable effort, ensure that their passwords remain secure. The frequently asked questions (FAQ) section states that passwords should preferably be changed if they have been the same for six months. The FAQ also states that users should preferably not keep their assigned passwords from registration, but should change them as soon as possible. Students should try to set passwords that would in no way link to them i.e. use their name or surname. Security is difficult to ensure, especially in an environment which is accessible to anyone with a computer and internet connec- tion. While the university deals with bigger threats like large-scale hacks and data leaks, students should also take responsibility for their online security. Being proactive about the security of your personal accounts reduces some of the burden on the university to ensure that students are not subjected to online attacks.

11 March 2015

The Oppidan Press


Photo Story

Mabizela inaugurated as new VC

Oppidan Press 9 Photo Story Mabizela inaugurated as new VC Guests file into the 1820 Settlers

Guests file into the 1820 Settlers Monument before the Vice-Chancellor’s inauguration ceremony at the Grahamstown landmark. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA

Kellan Botha

R hodes University welcomed its new Vice-Chancellor Dr Sizwe Ma- bizela with open arms on Friday 27 February. Mabizela’s inaugura- tion followed an unanimous vote to install him as the successor to

the previous VC Dr Saleem Badat. Mabizela is an experienced administrator and mathematician, having received his Masters in Mathematics in 1985. In 1986, he lectured briefly at the University of Zululand before pursuing his doctoral studies in Applied Mathematics at Pennsylvania State University. After spending time as an educator at the University of Cape Town, Mabi- zela was offered the Chair and Headship of the Department of Mathematics at Rhodes University in 2004, and rose through the ranks of the institution to Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs until the resigna- tion of Badat last year. His inauguration ceremony was well attended, with the family of the late Steve Biko among the honoured guests. Mabizela is the first black Afri- can Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University, and thanked the leaders of the anti-apartheid struggle for their sacrifices, dedicating his inaugural speech to them. During the speech he highlighted the many challenges still facing post-apartheid Rhodes, outlining his plans and hopes for the University and the town.

his plans and hopes for the University and the town. Mabizela spoke at length of the

Mabizela spoke at length of the challenges currently facing the University and country, highlighting issues around transformation within Rhodes, academic output, and the development of Grahamstown. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA

and the development of Grahamstown. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA Traditional singing and dancing outside the 1820 Settlers

Traditional singing and dancing outside the 1820 Settlers Monument precedes the inauguration, livening the atmosphere as invited guests, journalists and ticket holders file in. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA

journalists and ticket holders file in. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA Academics sit on stage behind invited speakers,

Academics sit on stage behind invited speakers, displaying their varied and colourful robes at the auspicious occasion. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA

robes at the auspicious occasion. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA Distinguished Professor Tebello Nyokong embraces Mabizela

Distinguished Professor Tebello Nyokong embraces Mabizela after her impassioned speech in which she declared him not the first black Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes, but the “first best” instead. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA


The Oppidan Press

11 March 2015

Arts & Entertainment

What you should be reading

Sam van Heerden

A s most Rhodes students have no doubt been told time and again, reading is an integral part of the university experi-

ence. Because of this, The Oppidan Press will feature a series of articles throughout the year in which we ask lecturers for their recommen- dations on what students should be reading. Featured in this edition is History lecturer Dr Nomalanga Mkhize, whose recommendations

centre around the search for African identity and history in the 21st century. Her list includes:

A Life’s Mosaic: The Autobiography of Phyllis Ntantala (Phyllis Ntantala):

A political and feminist narrative, Ntantala’s book

focuses on the author’s life in both early 20th century Transkei and 1960s America. In doing so, Ntantala examines her search for identity as a privileged black South African woman. “This book changed my undergraduate out- look,” Dr Mkhize said. “I realised there and then that I wanted to be a scholar because of the way Ntantala engaged [with] ideas and her place in the world.”

Ntantala engaged [with] ideas and her place in the world.” In a featured series, The Oppidan

In a featured series, The Oppidan Press will reveal book recommendations from lecturers through- out the year. Dr Nomalanga Mkhize gives her suggestions this edition. Photo: ASHLIEGH MEY

Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Lan- guage in African Literature (Ngugi wa Thiong’o):

In this collection of non-fiction essays, Ngugi wa Thiong’o investigates the use of language in a post-colonial setting. The collection examines

the use of language in constructing histories, identities and cultures. He addresses the question of whether African writers should write in the vernacular or in languages like English or French. Mkhize described the novel as a “Must read for

Rhodes students from all backgrounds.” Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe):

Set against the backdrop of British colonialism

in the 1890s, Achebe’s post-colonial narrative

chronicles the life of Okonkwo as he helps lead a

Nigerian village. The novel examines the cultural clash between the indigenous Igbo people and Nigeria’s white colonisers. Diamonds, Gold and War: The British, The Boers and the Making of South Africa (Martin Meredith):

A humorous and engaging take on how Cecil

John Rhodes built up his fortunes, Meredith’s book explains how the discovery of gold and diamonds shifted the dynamics of colonial South Africa between 1871 and 1910. “I love how Mar- tin Meredith writes popular African history. It’s unputdownable,” Mkhize said. Olive Schreiner Diaries – 1871-1899 (Olive Schreiner):

This is a collection of diary entries by the renowned Eastern Cape writer. “She writes in a

powerful feminist, anti-racist and anti-capitalist perspective that just resonates with me. She was

so ahead of her time,” commented Mkhize.

Visual art in Grahamstown

Ellen Heydenrych

In a country with a difficult history of colonialism and apartheid, art has become a medium through which people can fight battles and capture beauty in hostility. With exhibitions that include the mingling of rock art and local and global art forms, Gra- hamstown’s vibrant art scene contin- ues to play an important role in the use of art as social commentary. Although the town boasts many art centres, the galleries featured here best represent the evolution of artistic innovation and exemplify Grahams- town’s contribution to South Africa’s artistic scene. Albany History Museum:

Part of the Albany Museum Com- plex on Somerset Street, the History Museum is home to a collection that showcases the evolution of art in Grahamstown. Not solely focused on visual art, the museum’s exhibitions make use of various artifacts and a di-

verse array of art forms to illustrate the evolution of art, clothing, civilisation, language and religion in the Graham- stown area. The art collections boast a multitude of different art forms ranging from copies of cave drawings, to ancient African beadwork and calabashes and 19th century oil paintings and contem- porary artworks. Students are charged

a modest entrance fee of R5 to view

the art works on display. The Johan Carinus Art Centre:

The Johan Carinus Art Centre is an art school that provides Visual Art and Design education to scholars from grades 10 to 12. The centre was estab- lished in 1948 at a time when none of the government schools in Graham- stown had qualified art teachers. The centre filled a gap in the education of Grahamstown’s youth by setting up art classes for students. The centre has since grown and now

art classes for students. The centre has since grown and now Grahamstown is well known for

Grahamstown is well known for its artistic community, with a wide variety of artists and galleries displaying work of every artistic medium to be found all over town. Photo: ELLEN HEYDENRYCH

teaches Visual Art and Design educa- tion on a National Senior Certificate level to students at Victoria Girls High School, Graeme College and PJ Olivier

Hoërskool. The Johan Carinus Centre exhibits the work of its students two or three times a year, including a large exhibition that takes place annually in September. The centre also hosts various artists during the National Arts Festival in July. Those interested in viewing the art on display can visit the centre’s two buildings in Beaufort Street and Donkin Street. The Grahamstown Arts Studio:

The Grahamstown Arts Studio is home to approximately 800 artworks.

The set exhibition comprises multiple mediums such as sculpting, painting, printmaking, photography and ceram- ics. The artworks exhibited by the Studio vary from African art forms to more Western-inspired arts. The Grahamstown Arts Studio is situated at 49 Market Street and is set- tled between old historical houses. The studio’s exhibitions can only be viewed by appointment. To book an appoint- ment call (046) 622-3712. Visual art in Grahamstown and Rhodes University is ever-present and ever-evolving. The town’s many art galleries play an important role in recording the country’s history as well as uniting a formerly divided society.

history as well as uniting a formerly divided society. Rap duo Sonz of Law use their

Rap duo Sonz of Law use their conscious rap music to raise awareness of the hardships in society. Photo: XOLILE MADINDA/SOURCED

Conscious vs mainstream

Nkosazana Hlalethwa

Around Hip Hop is a company that aims to dismantle the stereotypes surrounding hip hop in local Gra- hamstown communities. Company representative Xolile Madinda de- scribed the initiative as a collabora- tion that seeks to create dialogue around hip hop. One way in which the company does this is by hosting discussions for the general public. One such discus- sion, focusing on the state of rap music in the Eastern Cape, with regards to lyrical content and the general public’s sentiments towards the genre, was hosted at Rhodes University and led by the conscious rap duo Sonz of Law. Conscious rap seeks to raise aware- ness around social ills by challenging cultural, political and economic norms through its lyrical content. Sonz of Law is a Port Elizabeth-based rap duo that belongs to the African Hebrew Israelites Community. The duo - who refer to their music as “truth music” – believe that music influences the mood, visions and aspirations of those listening to it. This belief has led the duo’s

members, Yahav Ben Sar Ahmadiel and Adon Geel, to use conscious rap as a tool to challenge the problems they believe are harming society. “Some of the social ills have not always been there,” said the duo’s lyricist Ahmadiel. “Until we do something about it, noth- ing will change.” While conscious rap is widely avail- able and considered a part of the main- stream music scene abroad thanks to artists like Common, KRS-One and Mos Def, most of South Africa’s artists remain underground due to poor mar- keting of their work. Nonetheless, Sonz of Law see South African conscious rap becoming a mainstream sub-genre of rap music in the future. “If music is sellable, it’s because the artist stood for its music,” said Ahmadiel. “We have absolute confidence in our music.” While Sonz of Law would like to distribute their music freely, producer Geel acknowledges that they need money for recording equipment, packaging and marketing their album. However their main intent is not to make a profit off of their music, but rather to instigate thoughts and con- versations that challenge South Africa’s social status.

11 March 2015

The Oppidan Press


11 March 2015 The Oppidan Press 11 Having survived a brutal attack by poachers, Thandi the

Having survived a brutal attack by poachers, Thandi the white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) stands beside her newborn calf, Thembi, in one of South African conservation’s success stories. Photo: SOURCED

Baby ‘Hope’ survives after rhino poaching tragedy

Dylan Green

Three years ago, on 2 March 2012,

a brutal incident of rhino poach-

ing left three rhinos in critical condition. Two of them, both male, ultimately passed away. The third rhino – a female – embodies

a story of perseverance. She recov-

ered and gave birth to a healthy calf, Thembi (meaning “hope” in isiXhosa). Enduring the perpetual threat of rhino poaching, Thembi represents all that we have to fight for and shines a light on the issues we face. Following the incident, blood tests showed that Thembi’s mother, Thandi, was pregnant. Thandi’s recovery process has touched many people around the world, driving an extremely successful awareness campaign and touching many lives. One of these people is Dr Wil- liam Fowlds, the lead veterinarian on Thandi’s case. When naming Thandi’s calf, the BBC quoted Dr Fowlds as saying “‘Thembi’ seemed to fit best, given that this little calf has brought fresh hope and energy to those who struggle to secure the future of our rhino”. For Rhino in a Shrinking World is an anthology of rhino-inspired poetry, driven largely by Harry Owen. Owen is specifically outspo- ken against rhino poaching, but also concerned about general animal abuse.“Rhino poaching (and the indiscriminate slaughter of whole

species of our wildlife, including ele- phant, lion and pangolin) is a matter for anyone with a social conscience to be concerned with. It affects each one of us and will affect our children even more,” he said. Besides being an ecological issue, rhino poaching has a deep social and cultural impact. Explaining the economic effects of rhino poaching, Owen said, “It is not true that rhino

Rhino poaching is a matter for anyone with a social conscience to be concerned with.

– Harry Owen, editor of For Rhino in a Shrinking World

poaching is somehow less pressing

a problem than other social ills.

Without this country’s magnificent wildlife and the landscape that sup- ports it, there can be no future for commerce, no reason for visitors to come here and spend their pounds, dollars or euros. No jobs in socially sustainable practices. No culture. No wealth”. He added that this loss of wealth is a threat to everyone united by rhinos, from local communities to policy-makers. Owen also emphasised the im- portance of academic research and interest in the rhino poaching crisis:

“If more Rhodes students could be persuaded that poaching is a funda- mental social evil, self-destructive in the worst way, perhaps more would involve themselves in, for example, researching its social and societal ramifications or in educating those

most at risk of losing all they have - often the poachers themselves.” A problem with both environ- mental and social consequences, Thandi and Thembi’s survival is

a powerful story of perseverance

against grave odds. Just south of Grahamstown both rhinos roam Ka- riega Private Game Reserve, the site of the incident, as healthy survivors of a brutal ordeal.

Environment What do students think about the ‘veg craze’?

Nita Pallett

I n recent years, vegetarianism has gained popular-

ity on a global scale. Whether for health reasons or

simply to challenge animal cruelty, there is a vast

number of vegetarians at Rhodes University. However, it can prove to be quite a difficult adjustment when the stress of campus living and dining hall food come into play. Generally speaking, the choice is more often than not a personal one. Choosing the food you eat should be at your own discretion, whatever your reason and deci- sion may be.

own discretion, whatever your reason and deci- sion may be. Pierre Durandt, Vegetarian “My decision to

Pierre Durandt, Vegetarian “My decision to be a vegetarian is partly health- related and largely for ethical reasons. I’ve had experience working with animals and don’t like most farming techniques. I also feel that the quantity of meat consumed today is completely unnatural given the way we’ve evolved. If I’m not comfort- able [enough] to kill the animal myself I’d rather not eat it.”

to kill the animal myself I’d rather not eat it.” Babalwa Ndabangaye, Ex-Vegetarian “It’s okay for

Babalwa Ndabangaye, Ex-Vegetarian “It’s okay for people to choose what they eat. I went veg- etarian once to lose weight because of the unhealthy fats in meat. People who are vegetarian – I don’t want to say they are missing out – but I feel we need those proteins. As much as soya and the other choices have specific proteins that are needed.”

Jo Paredis, Meat-eater “I am not a vegetarian. I understand it as a lifestyle choice, but personally am not going for it myself,

especially since I live in res. I tried it here, but the vegetarian meals in the dining hall aren’t that great.”

vegetarian meals in the dining hall aren’t that great.” Asande Majola, Pescatarian “It all started when
vegetarian meals in the dining hall aren’t that great.” Asande Majola, Pescatarian “It all started when

Asande Majola, Pescatarian “It all started when I wanted to lose weight. I lost the weight and it just carried on. Now my reason is I want to save animals. I do not think eat- ing animals is wrong, it’s just not in me anymore.”

Thato Dlamini, Meat-eater

“I am not a vegetarian, but feel

it is a good lifestyle generally

because the human body needs good nutrients and it is in the interest of your health. Needing meat as a staple food depends on the person. An athlete needs bulk, so then meat will be a huge part of the diet.”

needs bulk, so then meat will be a huge part of the diet.” Nosipho Dlamini, Meat-eater
needs bulk, so then meat will be a huge part of the diet.” Nosipho Dlamini, Meat-eater

Nosipho Dlamini, Meat-eater “I respect vegetarians – they are doing a good thing. They inspire me, and I sometimes feel I want to be one myself. I feel they’re really doing their part to change their lifestyles. Animals also have a life and are obliged to live it – so why murder them? Why kill them in the quantities we do just for our own selfish needs?”

Donna de Jongh, Vegetarian

“Animals are being treated inhumanely for mass consumption – they are force-fed food with hormones, all to be ‘bigger and better’ and with no consideration for them. I saw

a YouTube video of chickens on

a farm, a battery. The cages were

so tiny and there were so many of them in each cage, and they were only fed the whole time… it was re- ally heart wrenching. It made me think of humanity and how we treat the earth and its other inhabitants, and I decided I was not going to sup- port [mass production of meat for human consumption].”

and its other inhabitants, and I decided I was not going to sup- port [mass production

Harsher anti-piracy rules for Rhodes

8 Mkhize’s book list for top students



Rhodes 8 Mkhize’s book list for top students Sports 10 The Rhodes rugby team have big

The Rhodes rugby team have big plans to improve this year in hope that they will become eligible to participate in the 2016 Varsity Shield. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA

Rhodes rugby hope for stronger season

Armand Mukenge

A fter a disappointing season last year, students interested in playing rugby for Rhodes should be assured that there is still hope for the game at the University. Acting head of Rhodes

Sport, Siya Magopeni, stated that the University Sport South Africa tournament should be a good run for Rhodes Rugby as plans to improve the sport are under way. Head coach of Rhodes Rugby, Qondakele Sompondo, who joined the managerial team in 2012, said: “The rugby team is on a five year plan which started in 2012 – the idea is that by 2016 we would qualify for the

Varsity Shield.” Sompondo, who is very pleased with the team’s results in 2014, said that the way to achieve their goal is to incorporate 2015 intakes with players from last year to create a stronger side. However, Sompondo explained that first-years would not be given the opportunity to play immediately for the University’s first team. According to the Rhodes Sports Code u/19 players are not allowed to compete at university rugby

level yet as they are underage. Sompondo appears to be supported in his plans by Magopeni, who has ensured that last year’s administrative issues were dealt with at the annual strategic planning workshop. Magopeni further stated that the emphasis of this year is to improve the service within rugby and other sports at Rhodes by ensuring that the systems in place are more user-friendly. Despite showing his full support, Magopeni has also put pressure on the rugby committee by voicing his hopes to see an increase in both sign-ups and consistency in the league. Therefore plans to reach a new level of competition have already started being implemented. With Intervarsity scheduled to take place at Rhodes University this year, it will provide the University’s sports department as well as the rugby team with an opportunity to assess whether or not their strategic planning has begun to yield results. Rhodes is expected to face Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Walter Sisulu University and the University of Fort Hare at the annual Intervarsity event.

Former Springbok champions athletic supplements

Leonard Solms

According to SuperSport presenter and former Springbok rugby player Warren Brosnihan, natural-based supplements and omega-3 vitamins are important tools for athletes seeking to maintain their physical health. Speaking at Rhodes University last month, Brosnihan also warned against the younger generation’s tendency to take short- cuts in their search for quick fixes. While Brosnihan used his speech as a platform to promote the products distributed by the nutritional supplement company that he works for, he also took the opportunity to encourage athletes to face challenges in life and sport with a positive attitude. Brosnihan has enjoyed a successful career in professional rugby that included playing for the Sharks and the Blue Bulls as well as earning six Springbok test caps. However, he is now using his extensive knowledge of nutri- tion to educate fellow athletes on the best ways to sustain a healthy sporting lifestyle.

While Brosnihan did not condemn the use of supplements in sports, he came out strongly against the modern culture of loading supplements with chemicals. Instead, Brosnihan urged athletes to use products that are “based in nature and backed by science”. Brosnihan also cited omega-3 as the most important and underrated nutrient for athletes. Personal trainer at the Rhodes gym, Dusty Zeisberger, concurred with Brosnihan’s claim, saying that omega-3 is essential for the body’s recovery from inflammation. However, while Brosnihan emphasised the importance of omega-3 for young sports stars, there are alternative aspects to a healthy athletic career. Rhodes student Litha Nqolo, who represented the South-Western Districts in u/18 hockey last year, claimed that his coaches instead emphasised energy drinks and a healthy sleep routine. Brosnihan also came out strongly against the use of steroids by athletes, saying: “If the road you are taking is a shortcut, then there

are going to be potholes in it.” Clearly not one to sympathise with lazi- ness, Brosnihan also slammed the impact of modern technology on South African youth. “We’re living in a world where the younger generation wants instantaneous results. It’s almost ‘Push a button; get a result’. We’ve got so much social media that when a kid dresses up to play soccer, he ends up in front of the television,” he said. He did add, however, that athletes need not avoid all modern habits. He said, for example, that occasionally indulging in junk food is not entirely bad for one’s health, adding that play- ers’ fitness depends on routine habits, rather than what they do every once in a while. Brosnihan generally emphasised the importance of healthy living supported by a sufficient nutrient intake, condemning the use of steroids as a shortcut. The former Springbok flank also strongly asserted that hard work and positivity are also important elements in the lifestyle of any seri- ous athlete.

Rhino’s survival spreads hope


of any seri- ous athlete. Rhino’s survival spreads hope 11 Many students have formed their own

Many students have formed their own informal soccer leagues as a way to socialise with other resi- dences and build spirit. Photo: CAMERON SEEGERS

The formalities of informal leagues

Ntuthuko Mlondo and Gabi Bellairs-Lombard

While Rhodes offers an existing soccer league, more and more players are forming their own informal leagues on campus, particularly between residences. Since the start of term, residences have already played several games against each other that they have organised themselves. Sergio De Souza and Jackey Molaba, two play- ers from Cory House taking part in these informal

matches, said that these games are not being set up to rebel against any existing regulations, but are simply

a means of gathering together a group of players and

enjoying the game they love. They added that the games were a way for players to bond socially. De Souza and Molaba further explained that these games serve as warm-ups prior to the new season. According to Molaba, there has been a recent change in the management of the residence team, in- cluding the acquisition of a new coach who has con- nections to the local soccer scene. These connections have resulted in the coach setting up games between local teams and various Rhodes residence teams. Molaba also explained that games organised outside of the Rhodes structure are usually booked by the captains of the respective teams and that they have reached an agreement to book the field well in advance so as to avoid any interferences with games that operate within the existing structure. Manager of the Rhodes First XI soccer team, Kudzi Nzombe, further added that it is good for Rhodes residences to socialize and form a sense of unity. However, he said that it is hard to prepare games due to a lack of fields and their availability, especially since there are other sporting activities happening

all the time. Nzombe said that the organisation of these infor- mal soccer games “is a double-edged sword”: while they are good for bonding, there is a chance that they could deviate from the set structure as they do not necessarily follow protocol. Overall, the informal soccer matches organised by campus residences will see Internal League partici- pants benefiting from team-bonding prior to official games, providing the sense of strength and unity that

is always necessary on the field.