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Student transport woes



Grahamstown airport grounded


It’s a (wo)man’s world


The Oppidan Press

Edition 3, 25 March 2015

Rhodes here to stay?

airport grounded 5 It’s a (wo)man’s world 6 The Oppidan Press Edition 3, 25 March 2015


The Oppidan Press

25 March 2015

News Features

Students fight for space on Oppidan Bus

Nkcubeko Balani

L ast year the SRC put forward a plan to improve and then sustain the Oppidan transport system. However, the SRC is

currently attempting to deal with mounting complaints from the student body about the service, which was due to end at the beginning of this year. SRC Oppidan Councillor Siyanda Tyobashe, who served in the SRC-elected task team to pur- sue the matter of the cancellation of the service, explained that one of the reasons the transport system was to be ended was due to concerns over the legality of the operation of the service. “There is… legislation… in which it states that a higher education institution may [only] provide transport if it is for cultural, sport and academic reasons,” Tyobashe explained. However, she disagrees with the argument that the shuttle service is in contravention of this legislation and notes the importance of the service for the student body. “Students study at the library until late and they need to get home safely after that,” she said. “And at times there are sport tournaments or matches that Oppidan students take part in and they need this transport [then] too.” Following discussions with staff and consultants, the University management and SRC President, it was concluded that the Oppi

management and SRC President, it was concluded that the Oppi The Oppidan Bus is a necessary

The Oppidan Bus is a necessary mode of transport for students, but a lack of funds means that students will continue to struggle for space in the small vans. Photo: BRONWYN PRETORIUS

Bus would not operate indefinitely but would be available until a permanent solution to the transport issue could be found. “The Oppidan bus… will be running for the rest of the year unless the University finds other reasons for it to stop, but we [the SRC] will not take that decision sitting down if it so happens,” Tyobashe stated.

The current vehicles used for the transport system also face issues from their users. Pamela Rheleni and Phumelela Mantwana complained that due to the size of the two 16-seater vans, there are squabbles over seating. “Sometimes we leave almost 10 people behind, then they will have to wait for another hour [to get home],” Mantwana explained.

Rheleni, meanwhile, aired her grievances on the Rhodes SRC page earlier this month:

“[I] had to walk home so late on Monday as I really didn’t wanna fight to get in the bus… But big up to Hitec for giving me a lift home halfway,” she wrote. Oppidan sub-warden Sisesakhe Ntlabenzo responded to Rheleni’s post, explaining that any upgrades on the current vans need money. “The running of the Oppi Bus occurs at relatively high expense, and that expense is comprised of fuel, driver salaries and maintenance costs,” he said. Ntlabenzo further explained that upgrading to larger vehicles would mean increasing these costs. In an attempt to improve the situation, the Oppidan Committee has raised funds to replace the older of the two buses and hopes that this replacement will likely occur at the beginning of the second term. A suggestion was put forward by the 2014 SRC that transportation be outsourced from a com- pany such as Blunden Tours as a solution to most issues currently of concern. The current SRC was, however, unable to implement this plan, citing costs and disagreements with the University. Currently, the situation regarding the bus is at a standstill with the SRC and University disagree- ing about possible solution and location of funds. Students will continue to be at a loss for transport until such time as an agreement and sufficient plan can be put in place.

as an agreement and sufficient plan can be put in place. Despite the good-natured aim of

Despite the good-natured aim of Give5, some question the sincerity of the campaign. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA

Tensions over Give5 fundraising methods

Phelokazi Mbude

Although the money raised in this year’s Give5 campaign (R72 145) is less than that raised last year, Alumni Relations and Annual Fund Officer, Terryl McCarthy deemed 2015 the most successful effort in terms of student involvement. However, what she regards as creative participation was seen by some as problematic. One such person is Miriam Makeba Hall warden Michael Naidoo, who feels the campaign, which raises funds for students with no pocket money, is over-commercialised. “While walking around campus almost on every turn I was asked by people to buy something for Give5. But some of the people were taking it too far. Charity is not about song and dance; charity is not about impressing people and outdoing each other. In fact it shouldn’t be a competi- tion at all,” he said. McCarthy, however, applauded the different methods of fundraising

saying, “This year was amazing. I mean, there were students everywhere. With all the students participating I think everybody should just be proud of Rhodes students.” “We’re dealing with intelligent Rho- des students; why wouldn’t they go out [and] commercialise their products to fundraise. I don’t see it as a problem at all,” she added. While Naidoo acknowledges that Give5 is a great initiative, he added that the campaign seems like people throwing money at the poor to make themselves feel better. “What is sad is that we are making it part of our insti- tutional culture. For me that’s wrong,” he explained. “People who are poor are embar- rassed about being poor so it is undignified jumping around shouting give five, give five, give five! Because imagine how the poor guy ‘getting five’ feels like? I’m opposed to the concept of winning being associated with char- ity,” he elaborated further.

SRC community engagement councillor and Chairperson of Give5 2015, Gift Sandi, explained the essence of Give5. He says the campaign is a charity, not community engagement:

“We are learning a culture of giving, so students giving for other students.” “We are raising money for the other students so let’s make it interesting. Let’s just go out, jump around, auction! Whatever you want to do, do it because we are trying to raise funds,” he added. Naidoo suggested that rather than pursuing commercial ventures, students could find other ways to support Give5’s fundraising. These could include buying one less packet of cigarettes or one less beer, or unbooking a meal in the dining hall once a month and donating that money to fundraising initiatives. Naidoo’s concerns stem from the idea of rewarding people [for being charitable]. “If you think about charity where does the reward come from? It’s a spiritual reward,” he explained.

Rhodes venues awash with public bookings

Leila Stein

Recently, controversy was sparked on the SRC page when Rhodes student Julia Fish posted about baptisms being performed in the Rhodes swimming pool. The issue of whether or not this is sanctioned by the university on its private property was raised and dealt with. Fish’s post raised questions around religious practices and the use of Rhodes’ private property for events unrelated to the university. Personal booking of facilities and venues at Rhodes is allowed, as long as the proper procedures are followed. “Any person can book a venue at Rhodes,” explained the Facilities Assistant at the Rhodes Facilities office, Juanita Fourie. However there are clear stipulations regarding who can book venues. Rhodes students are allowed to book venues for society events but are more restricted when it comes to venues for personal use. “If the event is in the student’s private capacity (not society linked) they have to book through Conferencing Centre,” said Fourie. This ensures it can be paid for if the need arises and that Rhodes has control over the kinds of events and who has priority for the use of venues. Such private events would include religious ceremonies and gatherings not linked to a religious society at Rhodes, but rather an outside church. Although venues for private events are usually booked through the Conferencing Centre, this stipulation does not apply to venues booked by

external religious organisations. “If the SRC approves such gatherings, I don’t have a problem to book accordingly,” explained Fourie. This kind of negotiation makes it possible for private property to be used for a more public purpose. For Teyla de Ricquebourg, a simple understanding with her residence and permission from her warden allowed her to use the common room, a public space within a private entity, for her bible study group. “It was a convenient meeting place for people coming from off-campus and those coming from campus as it was pretty central,” de Ricquebourg explained. While it is not usually the case, such agreements can be beneficial as it saves the effort of having to continuously book areas for students to meet up. “We luckily never had an issue booking this venue as we could have a set time booked for the entire year,” de Ricquebourg said. With regard to the baptisms, the Sports Administration could not confirm whether this had been approved. It has been confirmed that the church performing the baptisms in the pool is linked to His People campus society. However, personal or societal use of sporting facilities are allowed. “Our sporting facilities are mainly used for sporting purposes,” said Siyabulela Magopeni, “[However] there are cases we can rent for non-sports, there is no policy that prevents this.” The only stipulations given by Magopeni were that the event does not clash with sporting activities and no damage is done to the venue.

25 March 2015

The Oppidan Press


25 March 2015 The Oppidan Press 3 The emergency Student Forum held last Thursday allowed students

The emergency Student Forum held last Thursday allowed students to voice their concerns and opinions about various issues, including changing Rhodes’ name. Photo: BRONWYN PRETORIUS

Rhodes name to remain the same

Despite continued student activism, Rhodes University is still unlikely to rebrand.

Leila Stein and Liam Stout

R hodes University’s name has

always been contentious.

Since the end of apartheid,

disputed, but no change has occurred.

As a result of protests on UCT’s cam- pus regarding the Cecil John Rhodes statue, the name change discussion took over social media and culminated

debates have sprung up every year


the emergency Student Forum,

about the necessity of a name change or lack thereof. This year’s discus- sion moved away from the forums of student newspapers and took centre stage in student discourse. Rhodes University was named as such because the capital for its devel- opment was provided by the Rhodes Trust back in 1904. With the fall of apartheid came the removal of honou- rifics to those who committed crimes against people within South Africa.

hosted by the SRC last week Thursday. The meeting began with a call by former SRC president Allan Magubane for the proceeding to carry on in a thoughtful and respectful manner. While this was largely adhered to, sections of the crowd were particularly restless and responded to opposition opinions by booing. Current SRC President Siyanda Makhubo agreed wholeheartedly that, “The statue of Cecil John Rhodes must

Thus begun the debate of changing the

fall.” He contextualised this with regard

University’s name.


the matter being a national issue


be addressed rather than solely a

“In 1994 there was a motion put before the University Senate to change

the name,” Professor Emeritus Paul Maylam explained in a recent inter- view with OppiTV. “The motion was referred to an ad hoc committee and the committee recommended that the

Rhodes concern. Rhodes Vice-Chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela was in attendance and applauded the efforts of students in

coming together. He insisted that “we must deal with uncomfortable issues.”

name be retained.”


significant point raised by Mabi-

The reasons behind this were not that Rhodes was a great hero, but that

zela was the concern for the lack of diversity within the academic staff. He

the name had brand value. Since then many reasons for alter- ing the name have come up and been

stated that “many black academics find the institutional culture alienating”. Speakers from within the University

We must

deal with



– Dr Sizwe Mabizela, Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor

also voiced their opinion with one speaker stating that “the brand of Rho- des must come from its education, not its name.” Such comments were met by wild applause from the crowd.

However, no mention was made by

anyone in the crowd or by Mabizela about the financial cost that a name change would incur for the University. While it currently looks as though there will be no action taken to change the name, Mabizela acknowledged the anger underpinning the recent debates

and suggested that similar discussion be held every semester. The SRC has drafted a mandate that is set to be released today which aims to encompass the varied viewpoints of the student body on this issue.

News Features

Rhodes scrambling to fill student funding gap

Aviva Lerer

Recent cutbacks on NSFAS loans resulted in approximately 130 students being turned away from Rhodes because they had not received funding from the agency. But as tertiary institutions seek alternative funding solutions, Rhodes already has some answers. The loss of this funding did not only affect students who were turned away, but also those who managed to register for this year despite their lack of funds. Those who found alternative funding were forced into off-campus accommodation as their inability to pay their Minimum Initial Payment at registration meant they were barred from residences. “Students are the future of the country. It’s a pity that so many faced disappointment because they didn’t get government funding. NSFAS needs to realize the future harm they are causing,” commented Rhodes student Tyler Naumann. Several different funding avenues exist within Rhodes University, including a bursary fund. To date, the bursary fund has paid over R30 million in bursaries since 2007. These are now being relied on more than in previous years, placing a significant strain on the fund. In addition, Vice-Chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela’s has promised to reallocate part of his salary towards this fund. The announcement formed part of Mabizela’s promise that no academically strong student will be turned away by Rhodes because of financial constraints. New House Community Engagement Representative, Anelisiwe Zumana, said that Mabizela had exhibited humility. She also commented that another initiative for funding, Give5, is a truly remarkable campaign but it does not serve the same purpose as NSFAS.

“Give5 isn’t the same as NSFAS because NSFAS covers fees and books. Give5 raises funds for students already enrolled at the university and gives them pocket money throughout the year,” she explained. Zumana went on to add that the power to make a difference lies with the student body. “There’s more things we could do if we all had to try. Anyone can sit down, come up with an idea and just try it,” she said. SRC Academic Councillor Tapuwa Majongwe stated that Rhodes University is constantly looking for additional funds. “As the SRC, we are also always looking into what can be done in terms of funding. There is something called the Ubuntu Fund which is being worked on at the moment,” he explained. The Ubuntu Education Fund, a PE-based organisation, entered into an agreement with Rhodes University in 2013. The partnership involves the foundation identifying underprivileged South African youths with academic skill and providing them with the finances to study at Rhodes. Majongwe also emphasised the need for involvement by the student body in projects such as Give5. “More can always be done, there’s always room for improvement. It’s all about participation – if we all could participate more, we could definitely help more people,” he said. Initiatives like Rhodes’ bursary fund and the Ubuntu Fund show that there are alternatives to NSFAS for students in need, and even campaigns like Give5 play their role in providing a financial support system to Rhodes students. In addition, the actions of the SRC and Give5 participants show that the student body does have a certain amount of power when it comes to providing economic assistance for their peers.

that the student body does have a certain amount of power when it comes to providing


The Oppidan Press

25 March 2015


Free education changes varsity standards

Kathryn Cleary

W ith progressive countries

such as Germany and

Sweden taking a load

off students’ bank accounts with

the recent implementation of “free education”, students around the globe are wondering whether or not

it is possible for their own countries

to grant them the same fiscal break. This question is particularly relevant at Rhodes where students pay in excess of R100 000 each year to con- tinue with their studies, making it one of the most expensive universi- ties in South Africa. In Germany, education fees were completely eradicated in October 2014. This was not just for those students who call Germany home – international students are also entitled to this huge discount on their higher education fees. But before dropping all of your courses and heading to the nearest German 1 lecture, it is worth noting

heading to the nearest German 1 lecture, it is worth noting Although university fees may be

Although university fees may be exorbitant, Germany and Sweden prove free education does not equate to low-cost living. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA

this comment from an article in the Slate online journal: “German universities consist almost entirely of classroom buildings and libraries – no palatial gyms with rock walls and wa- ter parks; no team sports facilities.” This shows that a German higher education would be just that – an edu- cation. Before ridding their country of all fees in total, students in Germany paid no more than R7 000 a year for

fees, an amount considerably lower than what Rhodes students pay. Similarly in Sweden, education is also free. However, Sweden is a country with incredibly high living expenses. Paying R2 500 per month for a flat is pocket change compared to the R70 000 a month which a student living in Stockholm would typically pay. Added to this is the fact that “new

Swedish graduates have the highest debt-to-income ratios of any group of students in the developed world, somewhere in the neighbourhood of 80%” according to an online article for The Atlantic. Although Swedish students may have a break from fees, there is no break from living expenses. “College in Sweden is free, but rent and food are not. Neither is the beer that fuels the relatively infrequent, yet legend- ary, binges in which some Swedes partake. Costs of living in Sweden are high, especially in cities such as Stock- holm, which regularly ranks among the world’s most expensive places to live,” according to the The Atlantic article. A Rhodes University education may not be free, but Grahamstown is a student-friendly town, with student- friendly prices. Looking at the quality of free educa- tion in both Germany and Sweden as examples, it is clear that there is more to an education than the education itself. As a student, you must account

for living expenses, travel expenses, and any incidentals you may incur. Outside corporations and govern- ment organisations offer bursaries, scholarships and grants to students who want to continue their education. “Third-party payments can decrease academic quality. Students, less sensi- tive to costs, are less likely to hold a university accountable for an educa- tion that they aren’t paying for,” wrote Forbes magazine. So instead of students becoming an- gry with the university for the quality of education they are receiving, they become angry with the organisation that is funding their education for not giving them more funds. With the South African economy in its current state, it does not seem likely that students will be granted the free education that other countries enjoy. But if you take into account the higher living costs of countries like Germany and Sweden, it becomes clear that stu- dents in these countries face financial burdens of their own.

Striking a balance: potential gender capping at Rhodes?

Kim Nyajeka


terms of access to better systems of education

obtain a Bachelor’s pass are female.


the country in the past”. However, with the

Although the current female majority is

2015 marks the centenary of Courtenay-

shift in gender dynamics, Dugmore stated that

not necessarily problematic, if the percentage

Latimer Hall, the first all female dining hall to be opened at Rhodes University. Since then, the university has radically changed. However,

he would not be surprised if, in the next 20 years, we would struggle to find a male chancellor at any one of the 21 universities in South Africa.

continues to increase it could compromise the social aspect of the university experience, and potentially result in the implementation of a cap


steady increase in the number of female

Globally, there exists a social phenomenon

on the number of female students admitted.

students over the years, has led to speculation


female students performing better academi-

Dugmore commented that, “the benefits of

on the likelihood of Rhodes implementing a capping quota on female student admissions. While Rhodes prides itself on having one of

cally than males. A recent article in The Econo- mist credits this to the fact that most teachers worldwide are women “who find it easier to

diversity are so strong and so powerful that a university should always have the right to play with their numbers and make sure things don’t

the most diverse students nationwide, according to Veronica Moodley, Hall Warden of Courte- nay-Latimer and Student Services Manager in the Division of Student Affairs, there is currently

spot ability in their own likeness”. This tendency gives female students a slight advantage over their male peers. Moodley explained that, in her experience

go in one direction”. Moodley however added that instituting a capping quota on the number of female students being accepted into Rhodes will not come into

a 3:1 ratio of women to men in the student


an all-female hall, female students are more

effect anytime soon. She argued that Rhodes

population. Although this has not been a cause for immediate concern, it is interesting to note the shift in gender dynamics that has affected the levels of diversity in the institution since the end

academically focused. However, Rhodes does not accept students based on academic merit alone. According to Dugmore, the institution is conscious of the

ultimately wants to strike a balance and get transformation ‘right’. Moodley went on to say that, to limit this transformation to the number of students admit-

of the apartheid era. Professor Harry Dugmore, a lecturer in the

“inequalities and inequities of the past”. As such, Rhodes appreciates the fact that an 80% average

ted to Rhodes would be inconclusive, because the transformation process needs to include

Rhodes School of Journalism and Media Studies,


considerably harder to achieve at a govern-

more aspects in order to advance the university’s

explained the way in which the gender ratio of the academic staff echoes the inequalities of the past.

ment school than it is at a private school. Of the 500 000 students who write matric exams, 75.8% pass and only half of this figure earn the Bach-

transformation agenda. Although opinions vary on the benefits of im- plementing a capping quota for female students

With the increase in the number of females being admitted to Rhodes over time, a capping quota may eventually be implemented to

“Most academics at Rhodes are white males,”

elor’s pass required for entrance into a university.

at Rhodes, it would seem that, for now at least,

ensure balance is kept. Photo: KAYLIN VAN

he noted, “this demographic had the advantage


significant proportion of those students who

no such move will take place.


had the advantage A significant proportion of those students who no such move will take place.

25 March 2015

The Oppidan Press



Airport deal not yet ready for take-off

Nathi Mzileni

T he planes, pilots and cabin crew are

ready for the maiden flight of CemAir

to take off, but that could take up to a

year to happen, according to a CemAir official. The privately owned local charter announced in November last year that it was planning to start flying between Grahamstown and Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport before the end of March. However, delayed service level agreements between the company and Makana municipality have seen its plans slowed down. “The plan was to sign [the airport service] agreement with the municipality during the course of December which unfortunately didn’t materialise,” said CemAir’s Nicolene Myburgh. The proposed agreement has already been received by the municipality but has yet to be approved by the Municipal Council. Myburgh confirmed that the proposed agreement would be discussed at the Council’s next meeting, but a date has not yet been set for the meeting, which

but a date has not yet been set for the meeting, which Between CemAir and Makana

Between CemAir and Makana Municipality, flights from Grahamstown will not be happening any time soon, despite previous agreements and plans. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA

means it could occur any time between a month or even a year from now. CemAir will continue holding talks with the municipality to speed up the airport deal but even when the lease is signed it will be a while

before the first flights take off. CemAir has to meet the country’s civil aviation laws, one of which requires that Grahamstown airport be up to standard. This process is also dependent at the date at which both CemAir and Makana

Municipality put pen to paper. Although the Grahamstown airport is and will remain municipal property, CemAir will be footing the bill, which could be as large as R1 million, to bring it to civil aviation standards. Myburgh said discussions are still underway around whether CemAir is going to refurbish the existing airport building or put a temporary structure in place. “We need to put up facilities, and build facilities and buy certain things to bring it up to speed and in line with [the civil aviation regulations]. There’s a lot of regulations we need to comply with in terms of the civil aviation. It’s all about safety,” she explained. The process of setting up a temporary structure or revamping the existing building will on its own take time, and the longer the agreement with the municipality is in limbo, the longer it will take to finally finish everything. Until that important agreement between Makana and CemAir is announced as official, the possibility of flying direct to Johannesburg from Grahamstown is still a distant realisation.

from Grahamstown is still a distant realisation. Owner of Relish, Lauren Lawlor, is a businesswoman by

Owner of Relish, Lauren Lawlor, is a businesswoman by heart and has ambitious future plans for her restaurant. Photo: BRONWYN PRETORIUS

The businesswoman on a mission

Nathi Mzileni

Time magazine once ran a cover featuring tech executive Sheryl Sandberg with the words, “Don’t Hate Her Because She’s Successful.” The same quote can be applied to Rhodes alumna Lauren Lawlor. She plays hard but works harder, has a honours degree in management, runs several successful businesses and even though she has only been in the game for a couple of years she is already thriving as a businesswoman. The beginning of Lawlor’s academic career saw her wanting to choose the path of either doctor or lawyer before a Rhodes aptitude test helped her discover where her true passions lie. “I had lots of different interests and then, eventually, when I got to Rhodes I went to get an aptitude test done and the lady said to me, ‘You have to go to business’ and I was like ‘Alright’.” Her first ambitions are not wholly abandoned, however, as two of the businesses she runs, Fitcamp 300 and 300 Wellness, are centred on wellness and fitness, enabling her to tap into the medicinal side of business. Lawlor is also well-versed in how much business requires sacrifice, as it is something running three businesses simultaneously demands of her often. She spends a full eight hours a day at her restaurant Relish, and after closing up at 5pm spends an hour running Fitcamp 300. From there

300 Wellness takes another three hours of her evening, and Relish’s bookkeeping takes the rest of the time before bed. Sacrifice is not a new motto for Lawlor to follow, however. During the time she was completing her honours, Lawlor was simultaneously running her fitness and wellness businesses. The method she used to get through this dual responsibility is one enriched in age-old wisdom – time management and balancing. “When I do something I focus on it and try get as much in one go as possible. With my honours research for example I finished really early on in the year because I didn’t linger it which made my schedule better,” Lawlor said. Despite being just a stone’s throw away from fast-food franchise giants Debonairs and KFC, Relish has secured love from young students through its exceptional appeal. “Our product is quite unique,” Lawlor said. She explained that their products are inspired by art and only organic vegetables and locally sourced cheeses are used in their artisanal sandwiches. At only 24 years old, Lawlor says she is proud of going after her dreams and being able to use them to also provide employment to the people working in her businesses. “It’s quite nice when you can impact other people’s life in a positive way,” Lawlor said. She hopes that the recommendation by a customer to expand Relish to other cities will become a reality one day in the future.

Grahamstown’s most wanted

Nathi Mzileni

Although Grahamstown is classified as a city, in terms of businesses it is not very cosmopolitan. The Oppidan Press asked some Grahamstonians what businesses they would like to see in Grahamstown. From cinemas to department stores and McDonalds to Mugg & Bean, here is a list of some of the most wanted business in our little city.

list of some of the most wanted business in our little city. Hannah Munro “A cinema.

Hannah Munro “A cinema. We would be able to do something more on weekends and it would be really would be fun to go for movies on weekends.”

be really would be fun to go for movies on weekends.” Laven du Plessis “Mugg &

Laven du Plessis “Mugg & Bean. I am coffee lover and only a few places in Grahamstown can serve good quality coffee. It would be great to have Mugg & Bean coffee with a light meal on the side.”

Mugg & Bean coffee with a light meal on the side.” Arlene Ramokolo “McDonalds. It is

Arlene Ramokolo “McDonalds. It is cheap, delicious and I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t like it. They always have free WiFi which is awesome.”

like it. They always have free WiFi which is awesome.” Nosipho Dlamini “It would be really

Nosipho Dlamini “It would be really cool if we had a local cinema so that we can watch the latest movies and maybe they can have some kind of discount for students.”

Karlien van der Wielen “A cinema, Ster-kinekor maybe. It is a healthy form of entertainment. Woolworths [Food] would also be great business to have. It provides a variety in terms of food options. That would be really wonderful.”

in terms of food options. That would be really wonderful.” Gift Mnukwa “Next should [come to
in terms of food options. That would be really wonderful.” Gift Mnukwa “Next should [come to

Gift Mnukwa “Next should [come to Grahamstown]. I think it should come because… What can I say? I need a store that can improve my swagger. I’m just joking! It is a good store with great quality brands.”

P h o t o s : N a t h i M z i

Moeketsi Lerotholi “McDonalds. I think everyone wants McDonalds to come. They are good at what they do. Besides I have eaten every meal on the KFC and Steers menu: I could do with something new. Imagine

if it came here and it was 24 hours; bye bye Steers

and Debonairs.”


The Oppidan Press

25 March 2015


The Oppidan Press

With calls for the removal of the statue of colonial mastermind Cecil John Rhodes from its central location on the Jammie Steps on UCT’s campus and demands that our own university change its name to distance itself from his legacy, the past two weeks have been a tumultuous time for stu- dents in South Africa, particularly at Rhodes and UCT. After 21 years of democracy, it appears that the South African youth are finally fed up with the lack of effective transformation policies at institutions of higher learning in this country. In our parents’ generation, university campuses were hotbeds for political debate and action and it appears that we may be beginning to reclaim that legacy. The time has come for young people at institutions like Rhodes to take politics into their own hands and this requires strong, nuanced and savvy leadership. The first problem, of course, is finding those leaders. When it comes to student leadership, normally the first port of call is our elected SRC representatives. We voted them into office for the express pur- pose of representing our interests at an institutional level. However, there is a difference between leading and representing. Repre- senting requires consistently bowing to the most populist position on an issue. Leading requires sometimes realising that you have to go against the wishes of your electorate because they quite simply got it wrong. SRCs are also intimately tied into institutional practices and culture. They must liaise and engage with university management and must follow due process. This can lead to them becoming bogged down in red tape and com- mittee meetings. While we still need SRCs to represent us to the institution, perhaps it is now time to look elsewhere for a much more radical brand of leadership. Organisations like UCT: Rhodes Must Fall and the Black Students Move- ment at Rhodes have sprung up organically from the turmoil surrounding the statue and Rhodes’s name. They are horizontally led and free to take radi- cal action beyond institutional practices. While their demands and actions can potentially be dismissed by universi- ties for this same reason, it is encouraging to see South African students taking their leadership into their own hands. If we invest our collective agency as student bodies into organic movements like these, university management cannot dismiss them for they will then be represent of the collective will of at least a portion of the student population. In the age of social media, where small-scale movements can do terrific damage to institutional reputations in the public eye, this is doubly true. Universities cannot afford to ignore them even if it is only out of self-interest. For this reason, we hope to see more movements of their kind, grouped around diverse interest groups, spring up from the student populace of this country. It is good and fitting that we are finally living up to the proud legacy of student protest in South Africa.

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:

Kathryn Cleary. Opinion Editor: Deane Lindhorst. Assistant Opinion Editor: Jordan Stier. Arts & Entertainment Editor: Nkosazana Hlalethwa. Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor: Ellen Heydenrych. Scitech Editor: Bracken Lee-Rudolph. Environment Editor: Lili Barras-Hargan. Business Editor: Nathi Mzileni. Sports Editor: Gabriella Bellairs-Lombard. Assistant Sports Editor: Armand Mukenge. Chief Photo Editor: Kellan Botha. Assistant Chief Photo Editor: Bronwyn Pretorius. Chief Online Photo Editor: Jamie Tucker. Chief Sub-Editor: Kate Jennings. Senior Sub- Editor: Danica Kreusch. Sub-Editors: Emily Stander, Lebogang Mashigo, Wynona Latham, Nokwanda Dlamini. Chief Designer: Hannah McDonald. Assistant Chief Designer: Amy-Jane Harkess. Junior Designers: Lauren Dixon-Paver, Lara Unsworth, Matt Swaile, Brontë Moeti, Tevin Tobias. External Content Advisor: Sian Ferguson. OppiTV Chief Editor: Welcome Lishivha. OppiTV Managing Editor: Sarah Middleton. OppiTV Content Editor: Carey Moraladi. OppiTV Deputy Content Editor: Khanyi Mlaba. Ombudsperson: Professor Anthea Garman.

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 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.

From the horses’s mouth

The segment where the Assistant Opinion Editor sits down with a horse’s mouth and gets a few answers. This week’s horse: Females in male-dominated industries. This week’s mouth: Gabi Bellairs-Lombard.

Jordan Stier

S econd-year journalism student

Gabi Bellairs-Lombard is The

Oppidan Press Sports Editor.

She is also striker and vice captain for the Rhodes soccer team. Jordan: How did you get into sports? Gabi: I’ve been playing sport my entire life. I was a big swimmer, but soccer was and always will be my main sport. My parents did the whole, sort of, trying to get me to wear dresses, and I did ballet for quite a long time as well, but I was like, “No, stuff this, I want to play soccer. I want to do a boys’ sport.” They will still refuse to watch a soccer match with me because they find it so boring, but they are very supportive of me playing, and they’ll come to watch my matches if they can. When did you decide on sports journalism as a career? I always wanted to be a writer. Then, two years ago, I did an internship at Al Jazeera, at the sports desk, and the ex- ecutive producer who I was shadowing suggested that I start a blog. He sug- gested that I just write about anything that comes to mind; anything that’s topical at the time, ongoing issues, stuff like that. So I sort of wrote about my experi- ence as a female soccer player, and then all of these other ideas came to me while working in the news room, like steroid use for example, because they were covering the whole Lance Armstrong thing at the time. And then the more I wrote, the more I realised that I could channel my love for sports and my love for writing into one by becoming a sports journalist. Have you worked with any other

female sports writers that have in- spired you at all? Not necessarily writers, but there are lots of other females that are pas- sionate about sports like me. I worked with one lady who runs this organisa- tion called “Girls and Football South Africa”. She is very passionate about empowering women through sport, not just so that they can have a place to play, but also if they are victims of rape or sexual abuse and stuff like that, they can feel empowered and safe on a soccer field. Have you ever experienced any prejudice as a female writer? There is always an underlying surprise when I say that “I am a sports writer and I’m here to cover your soccer match”. At first they seem very surprised, especially soccer players, but then they soon become very eager to engage with me because I have the same interests as them. Actually, today when I had a meet- ing with my sports writers, they told me that there was a little rumour going around about how the only reason why I could’ve gotten the position of sports editor is because my boyfriend was the last editor. I said to them, “I applied for it. I did the interview. I got the job. That’s why I got it.” There is always going to be an underlying attitude towards any female sports writer, and I do feel that. Despite the prejudice, would you like to keep going on with it? Definitely. I don’t know if it comes from me wanting to fight the stereo- type and tear it apart and whatever, but I’m really passionate about sports and I do want to continue working in this field.

sports and I do want to continue working in this field. The Oppidan Press Sports Editor,

The Oppidan Press Sports Editor, Gabi Bellairs-Lombard, is both an enthusiastic sportsperson and aspiring journalist at Rhodes University, and speaks about her experiences as a female in two male- dominated environments. Photo: JOE GAUCI

When two wrongs make a right

Rory Usher

What constitutes a human right? No, I’m not talking about one’s perceived factual correctness. I’m talking about the category of moral rights that we all have by virtue of our shared humanity. In order to determine what constitutes a human right in modern times, one would assume that the global population’s first port of call would be a philosophical bigwig or the charitable and philanthropic – the love child of John Locke and Oprah Winfrey, if you will. But no, we dismissed the people who provided the back- bone of the first all-encompassing human rights and instead turned to those who flaunt them knowingly and arrogantly on a daily basis – our politicians. Recently, Tony Blair was awarded the ‘Global Legacy Award’ from the charity Save the Children and this one glitzy ceremony single-handedly highlights the problem at the core of modern human rights. We are simply unable to separate the political rhetoric from that which would move our species on as a whole. Through his merciless destruction of societies in Iraq and Afghanistan, and subsequent reward for it, Tony Blair has broken the quintessential ethical idiom:

now two wrongs DO make a right. Consequently, if a human right is simply willed into exist- ence from the mouth of some slack-jawed politician, why do we afford them such ethical superiority? For 90% of a politician’s life, their political rhetoric differs little from the forthcomings of any other of their orifices – both are treated with similar disdain – and yet these are the people to whom

…if a human right is simply willed into existence from the mouth of some slack-jawed politician, why do we afford them such ethical superiority?

we defer to tell us how to treat one another. It is like forming

a framework for animal rights and asking Rainbow Chicken

to front the discussion. And yet, if we must be discouraged from letting politi-

cians use human rights as a thin veil for their manifesto

– and human rights organisations themselves glorify those

who work against them – who do we turn to? Surely a discourse can exist outside of these subjective influences; a space where the world can deliberate on what it means to be

human, and humane, especially in a world where technol- ogy has brought us close and cultural difference has been used to push us apart.

25 March 2015

The Oppidan Press



Thinking the impossible through stories

Deane Lindhorst

M uch has already been writ- ten after the recent passing of Sir Terry Pratchett.

His novels have been praised and his genius inscribed in the lore of fantasy writing. His wit has been fondly remembered and some of his most memorable characters have been brought back to life. All of these things have been done in the act of remembering and celebrating the life of an incredible storyteller and human being. Pratchett was perhaps not incred- ible in the sense of having changed the world in a grand way, but incredible in the way he was able to create remarka- ble imaginary settings while also mak- ing sense of and reinventing fragments of our world in the written stories he gave us. And he did not do this with only the exciting and interesting, but also reinvented the mundane and the miserable. Pratchett, along with other storytellers, continues to be influential in helping us make sense of the world we live in, often through well-crafted and insightful metaphors. Pratchett’s characters encounter, sometimes make sense of, and more often than not learn to laugh in the face of life’s absurdities. It is through their fumblings and mishaps that readers laugh, cry, develop empathy, and possibly come to look at themselves and the world differently. Sometimes this means trying to understand an imaginary world that rests on four elephants who in turn straddle a giant turtle. Other times it means being unsettled by the wretchedness of sexism and racism in imagined characters. While this attempt to write about, and often parody, both real and imagined histories was often riddled with problematic depictions (*cough*

was often riddled with problematic depictions (*cough* Fictional storytellers such as the late Terry Pratchett have

Fictional storytellers such as the late Terry Pratchett have a way of making readers view their world in a captivating and original light. Illustration: AMY-JANE HARKESS

women) in his earlier writing, his later work became complex, subtle, and provocative, with its characteristic humour intact, showing a continual engagement with the world and the self through writing stories. He not only reflected on, but pushed the limits of what is imaginable through continu- ously creating and recreating imagi- nary worlds and their inhabitants. By playing around with ideas,

characters, and the limits of possibil- ity in these worlds, storytellers like Pratchett are able to push boundaries. These fictional worlds become spaces where contestation can happen in unu- sual ways. Reading about the racism of trolls and dwarves, or despotic leaders who are also benevolent, gives us new ways of thinking through problems. Those of us thinking seriously about how to change the world we

live in need to be telling stories – narratives that are thought-provoking and richly crafted. When we read Pratchett and other fantasy writers, we are forced to think imaginatively or to think outside of what we take to be normal. Fantasy stories are often said to be irrelevant and meaningless because they are divorced from the context of the ‘real’ world. I disagree wholeheartedly. They

are completely relevant and meaning- ful because they are made up of their own context. In order for readers to fully understand these stories and their importance, they are involuntarily thrown into understanding an intricate imagined context. Readers encounter new worlds with different cultures, creatures, religions, myths, people and politics. With all of this complexity, stories often inspire a deep curiosity that leads to readers becoming hooked on this world and to fervently seek to better understand it. For some this becomes an obsession that turns to dedication; a hunger that is only sated by a deeper understand- ing. If this enthusiasm and curiosity for diversity was kindled in more peo- ple, the world would be better off. Out of this effort also comes novel ways of thinking about and engaging with the world, both real and imag- ined. These stories are not just made up of meaningless words; they are sometimes truths that hit home with the reader, and at other times they are uncomfortable reminders to not see the world routinely. Gifted story- tellers provide us with rich worlds and subtly shaped details that leave us profoundly changed. It is precisely because stories are able to do this that they are deeply meaningful and necessary. Stories have the ability to help us fully see and understand the world we live in, even if this is done by relating to characters and situations in an imaginary world. Stories have the ability to inspire and spark the imagination. It is through the characters and worlds of storytellers like Sir Terry Pratchett that many people have fallen in love with a non-existent place that has shaped them in a profound way. For some this love is fleeting, for oth- ers it will last a lifetime.

My impressions of the Rhodes academic jungle

Catherine Roland

This is the second article in the Impressions Series which focuses 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. After watching Mean Girls for probably the 11th time, I thought I’d give my own wildlife description of the academic lifestyle at Rhodes University. It’s been little over a month since I migrated to the Rhodes jun- gle, a place tiny in comparison to the land of the Cape I previously thrived in. This jungle took me by surprise – despite its regular blackouts and shortage of water, it has proved to be filled with unexpected escapades. My adaptation to the academic wilderness, a prominent area of the jungle, has been one safari ride that only the mountain goats who trek up the hill can fully understand. The referencing sheepdogs seem to yelp at the first year lambs in the jungle, guiding us to the Gates of DP, where we will eventually be sheared by the jungle’s examinations. Until then, each animal in the academic wilderness tries to face the kingdom’s terrors and survive academic exclusion. Rhodes has a diverse atmosphere, catering for all kinds of vibrant animals. I’m one of the Journalism plovers. We are those birds who try to pick up all the dirty bits between the other animals’ teeth. We attempt to clean the meaty information from their mouths, picking up on every word they say. However, it’s already becoming clear that most of the animals like to lock their jaws so as not to let us in. We keep picking determinedly.

In the mornings you get the rare opportunity to watch the BPharm moles scurry out of their res holes to be at the dining hall at 7am. Their tight digging schedule has them darting for their daily dawnies. Other than spotting them at every mealtime, it’s seldom that you will see them surfacing above ground. The law owls, on the other hand, are everywhere, flapping their wings as they choke on the pages of the reading material that has polluted their desks. They hunt in the library at night time: others beware! However, of all the animals in the academic wilderness, the Kaif sloths are my favourites. Time seems to pass by too quickly during Kaifenomics and the sloths don’t seem able to keep up. With every lecture that is missed they reassure themselves, “We are close to the library, ‘ey,”– then they pause to eat some chips, and another hour goes by – “so, like, in a way we are learning.” Once the weekday hustle of academics comes to an end, the animals reward themselves in one of two ways. The first option is for the animals to quench their thirst. You can spot these animals in one of the jungle’s five watering holes: Prime, Champs, Olde 65, Friars or the river of the Rat and Parrot. For others it’s hibernation time. You’ll often see them stocking up on Debonairs or Steers de- livery packages on the days when their hunt in the dining hall only catches Default ‘tenderised’ steak. Little over a month has gone by and I am already a proud Rhodent, hitting the books because reading them takes too long. Each day in the academic wilderness proves to be one of new challenges; I’m climbing up the tree of knowledge, circling the lawns of dreams and running from the wrath of tutors. I hope that I, along with my fellow G15s, will survive.

I hope that I, along with my fellow G15s, will survive. First-year student Catherine Roland writes

First-year student Catherine Roland writes about her experiences in the Grahamstown ‘jungle’. Photo: BRONWYN PRETORIUS


The Oppidan Press

25 March 2015
























Eskom shedding more than lights

Kathryn Cleary


Eskom shedding more than lights Kathryn Cleary Politics Tamara Mpati, Babalwa Manyati, 3rd year(s) BSS: “I

Tamara Mpati, Babalwa Manyati, 3rd year(s) BSS:

“I think it’s a good initiative. Because it’s trying to redress the imbalances of the past. It’s not fair, if they knew they would want to implement this policy, they shouldn’t have hired the white engineers to begin with. But it is still relevant be- cause South Africa has a long way to go, in terms of redressing the imbalances of the past, [and] of fairness and equality in the workplace.”

past, [and] of fairness and equality in the workplace.” E skom recently released a statement forecasting

E skom recently released a statement forecasting the reduction of the number of white engineers it employs by 1 081 by the year 2020. This decision is in compli-

ance with requirements outlined in the 1998 “Employment Equity Act” (EEA) which was put into motion as part of the government’s affirmative action schemes. Eskom’s drastic meas- ures will not only result in a severe loss in jobs, but also calls for a deeper look at South Africa’s post-apartheid legislation. When The Oppidan Press asked Rhodes students what they think of Eskom’s actions, this is what they had to say.

think of Eskom’s actions, this is what they had to say. Chelsea Ogilvie, 2nd year BJourn:

Chelsea Ogilvie, 2nd year BJourn:

“I think it’s in place for a reason; it wasn’t put in power for nothing. You’re trying to justify bullsh*t, by trying to push up the one and push down the other and call it equality, and it doesn’t make sense at all. I’m scared for my fellow white friends, because, yes it’s trying to remove the damage from apartheid era, but not like this.”

Richard Baker, Honours in Economics:

“I don’t think it is [fair] because currently, South Africa is definitely in a place where we need as many skilled people as we can. We need to reward these guys, not fire them. So by all means get the demographic right, by get- ting more people on board. Obviously it’s tricky with the finances but, firing is not going to solve very much.”

the finances but, firing is not going to solve very much.” Dumisani Mupfurutsa, 4th year LLB:

Dumisani Mupfurutsa, 4th year LLB:

“This is a step back; taking away people’s jobs is not a solution. You are just switching who is now being oppressed and who is doing the oppressing. If you’re going to address issues [about] inequity, you can’t address them by creat- ing new inequity; it defeats the purpose when aiming to create a better South Africa.”

Hariska Naidu, 3rd year Pharmacy; Shamikan Naidu, 1st year BSc:

“I completely disagree with it. I don’t think it’s fair at all and I don’t see why they should implement it. People are actually moving overseas, because there are no job opportunities for them here. This is like apartheid but it’s just not termed apartheid. Everyone should be given the same opportunities.”

Rhodes sports clubs chase glory in 2015

Leonard Solms


Although the Rhodes rugby and soccer teams remain well below the hallowed Varsity Cup level, other sports clubs on campus have consistently competed at the top levels of university sports. In- cluded in the list of Rhodes sports clubs performing successfully at inter-varsity events are the archery, rowing, and field and underwater hockey teams. These clubs are looking to carry last year’s success into 2015. Archery coach Lance Ho is hop- ing to build on last year’s momen- tum which saw Rhodes’ archers lead the Eastern Cape to a bronze medal at the men’s National Champion- ships. With the Archery Club at an all-time peak in terms of the num- ber of members, Ho is confident of another impressive performance at this year’s National Championships in Johannesburg. “The top ten South African [arch- ers] are amongst the 50 best archers in the world,” Ho stated. He added that the Rhodes team has a good chance of winning medals in the mixed team events which involve a single man and woman. Rowing Coach Scott Walraven is also optimistic about his club’s chances of having another fruitful year. “Besides the Universities of Pretoria and Cape Town, Rhodes has the best rowing squad in the country,” he said. “We have more depth in the club than last year when we finished 3rd in the 2014 Boat Race. This time, we are going for silver!” One sports club that has enjoyed recent Varsity Cup action is the Hockey Club, with the Rhodes men’s first team placing 8th in last

Besides the Universities of Pretoria and Cape Town, Rhodes has the best rowing squad in the country

– Scott Walraven, Rhodes Rowing coach

year’s tournament. At the end of last year, the men’s and women’s first hockey teams were placed 4th and 6th respectively in the Eastern Cape’s rankings. This year, however, Hockey Chairperson Michelle du Toit is aiming even higher. “Our goals for the season include improvement in the leagues, a suc- cessful tri-varsity and continued success in terms of community engagement,” said du Toit. Another sport in which Rhodes continues to excel is underwa- ter hockey. “We won silver at the Inter-Club Championships in Stel-

lenbosch last year,” stated Terrence Bellingan – the longest-standing member of the Rhodes team and

a member of the Calata House

inter-residence tournament winning team. “We also thrash Nelson Man-

dela Metropolitan University every year,” he added. As these sporting codes show, Rhodes University has an abun- dance of sports clubs finding success at the highest levels of university sport. In the archery, rowing and field and underwater hockey camps, confidence of repeating and improv- ing on past achievements this year

is high.


and improv- ing on past achievements this year is high. : Missing an important notice from

Missing an important notice from a lecturer can be stressful enough, but struggling to link your Rhodes email to your phone can be equally nerve-wracking. Photo: ROBYN BARNES

Getting your email on the go – Android

Bracken Lee-Rudolph Scitech

This article deals specifically with Android phones sending and receiving student account emails. Though most details should also be applicable to other smartphones, this universality will be confirmed in our next edition. Your email is an ever-updating, vitally important communications channel for you to keep track of at Rhodes University. It is constantly updated with any changes to assign-

ments and lectures, informs you of events happening for societies and sports clubs and confirms your hand- ins on TurnItIn and RUConnected. Keeping yourself constantly near your email, however, is sometimes dif- ficult. It is not always possible to carry a laptop around with you or visit one of the computer labs. Luckily, there is a way around it – your Android phone. While there is no app specifically designed to cater for student emails yet, most Android phones come with a

generic email application which can be

configured to receive student account emails. The first thing most apps will ask for is your login details. In this case these are your student email address (including the “ suf- fix) and password. Ideally, the app will auto-detect the outgoing and incoming settings for mail retrieval and sending, but certain apps will not, meaning users will need to manually input the settings. For those details, check the sidebar. Once this is done, your next options should be those surrounding the synchronisation settings, or how often your mail is synchronised to your phone. The more frequently emails are downloaded to your Android, the more data will be used in a given day. Emails with larger attachments will also increase data usage. Your email is a valuable resource to have at hand wherever possible. Synchronising it to your smartphone, and making sure it updates constantly is a good way to keep on top of your commitments, both in and outside of the university.

Incoming settings:

Username: (student account) Password: (student account password) Authentication: IMAP IMAP server: Port: 993 Security type: SSL/TTS

Outgoing settings:

SMTP Server: Port: 465 Security type: SSL/TTS Require sign-in: Yes (or checked box) Username: (student account) Password: (student account password)

type: SSL/TTS Require sign-in: Yes (or checked box) Username: (student account) Password: (student account password)

25 March 2015

The Oppidan Press



A quirky app-roach to your devices

Bradley Prior

T he advances in the internet and social

media platforms in the past ten years

have deposited us, as mobile fanatics, in

the age of the mobile app, where mobile phones have become a one-stop platform for almost every service imaginable. That said, having a collection of standard, humourless apps can get incredibly boring. But have no fear: there are fun, quirky alternatives to almost any popular app that you can imagine. Authentic Weather Most devices come with built-in weather apps. These are purely informative, and despite their clear value, they become dull and unimpressive quickly. Authentic Weather is an alternative weather app that will never leave you in such a situation. With more profanity than your average South Park episode and the sarcasm of a cranky Twitter user, checking the weather becomes a whole new experience with the Authentic Weather app. While some might find the language distasteful, over one hundred thousand people clearly have no problem with the app spewing out advice, such as “Get your f*cking umbrella” and “It’s like a f*cking sweatbox”. Despite its comical nature, Authentic Weather is an effective weather app, providing

the user with a three day forecast, the current temperature, rain predictions, humidity levels and an “actual feel” temperature. Bristlr As the latest Tinder craze has shown, online matchmaking has finally been accepted into the mainstream. This has led to the release of a variety of quirky matchmaking apps. My personal favourite is Bristlr. Its slogan says it all: “Connecting those with beards to those who want to stroke beards.” Upon sign-up you either upload a picture of you sporting your glorious facial hair and tick “I have a beard,” or upload your beardless profile picture and do not tick “I have a beard.” If you do not tick “I have a beard,” the presumption is that you are looking for a bearded partner. Currently there are only ten thousand people using Bristlr, but if you are a fan of beards, this may just be the matchmaking site for you. The Odd News App Even before the internet was mainstream, people would read the news. Now that the internet is a crucial part of everyday life, however, we have access to much more news than ever before. While most people catch up on the news through well-known news publications, there are other ways for those who are interested in more particular, offbeat news. The Odd News App is an app that collates

wacky news from around the globe, giving users access to hilarious, creepy and disturbing news stories. At the time of writing this article, the app hosted headlines such as “Koala’s get down and dirty in wrestling matchup” and “Woman charged with killing hunter’s falcon to save duck.” GymShamer Many gym-goers and fitness fanatics use apps to track their progress or to find effective workout plans. GymShamer, however, goes about this in different ways as it synchronises with popular social media sites and Foursquare, an app that allows you to check in to places. If the user does not check into their gym when they are meant to, GymShamer posts to their social media accounts, shaming them publicly. An example tweet by GymShamer reads “I failed at going to the gym 1 time this week. Ouch! /via @GymShamer.” Founder Tal Flanchraych explains, “The problem with most fitness apps is that they’re wholly reliant on your existing level of motivation.” This is what sets GymShamer apart from other fitness apps, as it actually imposes consequences for slacking off. These are not the only weird apps around, of course. For every novel idea, there is usually a parody or humorous equivalent to it, and finding them will make your mobile experience just a little more enjoyable.

make your mobile experience just a little more enjoyable. Various humorous mobile applications exist that provide
make your mobile experience just a little more enjoyable. Various humorous mobile applications exist that provide

Various humorous mobile applications exist that provide fun and unconventional alternatives to traditional applications. Image:


Gaming conference creates opportunities for developers

Bracken Lee-Rudolph

The Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) is an annual event for budding developers in the industry. As a conference, the GDC has grown over the past 27 years from a small meeting of developers to a full event with over 23 000 par- ticipants from the gaming industry presenting their work and discussing game design in over 400 conference sessions. These sessions are presented by industry experts, from large companies to independent de- velopers. This means that there is plenty to learn from these talks, as GameSoc’s current Head of Technology Gregory Linklater told us. “GDC and similar events that pool large amounts of knowledge in game development are often all someone needs in order to give them a final push into making their own game,” Linklater said. He further explained that the passion of these big developers can have an astounding

Have your say!

At this year’s Graduation Ceremony, Rhodes University is giving Honorary Doctorates to former Vice-Chancellor Dr Saleem Badat, Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela and musician Hugh Masekela. Have a question you’d like to ask them? Rhodes students will have the opportunity to ask recipients questions. Submit your questions via Facebook, Twitter or the link below. If your question is chosen, you will be given the opportunity to sit in a room with the Honorary Doctorate recipient and ask them your question on OppiTV.

Find out more here:

room with the Honorary Doctorate recipient and ask them your question on OppiTV. Find out more
on OppiTV. Find out more here: The 2015 Game Developer’s Conference announced that
on OppiTV. Find out more here: The 2015 Game Developer’s Conference announced that
on OppiTV. Find out more here: The 2015 Game Developer’s Conference announced that

The 2015 Game Developer’s Conference announced that game-creation frameworks will be available for free to developers, ensuring high-quality new games. Image: SOURCED

effect on aspiring game creators. “The point is not only to gain relevant and useful knowledge on how to plan, build and market games but also to provide an environment full of people who are very passionate about the subject which can push a self-doubting prospective game developer into actually putting

their ideas to code,” said Linklater. One big announcement to come from GDC 2015 was that three of the big engines – frame- works used by developers to create games – would be released for free to be used by develop- ers in the creation of games or in the process of learning how to do so. These engines – namely

the Source 2, Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 5 engines – are fully-featured game production engines and will likely be used for some of this generation’s best games. Seeing these go free to all developers is highly significant, said Linklater, saying that being able to work on the same platform as large-scale de- velopers would allow users (particularly students) to learn a lot about the development choices made in those studios. With the skill barrier for game creation lowering every year, being able to strive for a higher standard in development can only be beneficial, both to prospective developers making games and to the end user playing them. In a world where solo development and self-publication are active parts of the gaming industry, learning to make high standard games is essential. If you can take lessons from them – as GameSoc’s Technology division plans to – then you have, at the very least, a chance to succeed in the corporate world.

GameSoc’s Technology division plans to – then you have, at the very least, a chance to


The Oppidan Press

25 March 2015


10 The Oppidan Press 25 March 2015 Environment Despite assurances by Boswell Circus that performing animals

Despite assurances by Boswell Circus that performing animals are treated fairly, animal lovers unsatisfied with the use of animals in any performance protested outside. Photo: BRONWYN PRETORIUS

Circus protests come full circle

Lauren Buckle and Demi Drew

T he Brian Boswell Circus has been tour-

ing South Africa since it was established

in 1982. The circus visits between 90 and

100 venues a year, and has even ventured into neighbouring countries. The performers like to keep their audience entertained with local and foreign acts, but the most notable acts are those of the various animals that perform. The fact that animals are used in Boswell’s circus has been the subject of much debate among animal rights activists in Grahamstown, especially since the circus’ arrival. Protesters have gathered outside of the circus gates to protest

against using animals for entertainment purpos- es, and there have been silent protests every day since the circus arrived in town. On the circus’ website, they state that these animals are an integral part of the circus and that their well-being is of the utmost importance. While this may be true, it does not satisfy those animal lovers and activists who still strongly believe that animals should not be used as enter- tainment in any kind of performance. The protesters have been taping their mouths shut and handing out pamphlets to everyone who enters the circus grounds. “The primary aim of our protest is to stand in silent solidarity with the circus animals who have no voice,” commented

Director of the Farm Animal Centre for Educa- tion (FACE) Jenny Copley-Forster. The circus does not have any wild animals such as lions, tigers, or elephants travelling or performing with them, although they have done in the past. Currently, however, the circus only features horses and they are all in good condition. In a statement on Facebook, the Grahamstown SPCA said, “We will be closely monitoring the welfare of the animals while the circus is in our town. Although we are opposed to ANY animal in captivity or being used for entertainment pur- poses, the SPCA will not be part of the protest on Tuesday. We will be inspecting the animals on the day of their arrival and also during their stay and

ALL performances.” It is important to understand that circuses can be successful without the use of animals, and that some of the most famous circuses (such as Cirque Du Soleil) focus on entertaining audiences with human actors only. This proves that a circus does not need animal performances in order to excel. The Brian Boswell website says that they do not condone the abuse or mistreatment of animals, and the Grahamstown SPCA has taken precau- tions to ensure that this is the case. While many audiences will still attend and sup- port establishments like the circus, animal rights activists will continue to ensure that the enter- tainers without a voice have the last say.

‘Think Twice’: When to draw the line

Nita Pallett

During the recent Rhodes Environmental Week, students had the opportunity to attend talks and become more educated about how to preserve their surroundings. Encouraging sustainable fishing through awareness is just one step that residents as well as business owners can take towards a more healthy environment. According to the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI), the major problem in South Africa lies in inshore resources. In an attempt to end the decline in num- bers of targeted species, SASSI has compiled a list of most of the fish consumed and fished in South Africa, and done this according to a sustainability-status:

‘Best Choice’

‘Think Twice’

‘Don’t Buy’

We asked a few restaurants in Grahamstown what their approach was to the fish they serve. Haricot’s Deli and Bistro:

According to the manager Mongezi Plank, there is no campaign that they support directly regarding sustainable fishing, but they do purchase their fish from a reputable company in East London – “we hope they do what they are supposed to be doing”. The fish they serve most often is line fish – either hake or carpenter. The manager was not aware that both of these fish have an ‘orange’ status, but did say that if information regarding sustainable fishing was made more available, they would change their menus accordingly if and where possible. Saint’s Bistro & Inn:

Fish is purchased from Fusion speciality food store, which they believe guarantees sustainability. They are aware that some species (carpenter for instance) are on the ‘orange’ list. Fusion:

Fusion claims to follow SASSI’s guidelines as far as possible, and only sells fish that falls under the ‘green’ and ‘orange’ labels. “It’s up to the consumer to decide, not for us to police.We draw the line at ‘red’ [listed fish]”, commented

draw the line at ‘red’ [listed fish]”, commented With globally declining fish stocks, SASSI has compiled

With globally declining fish stocks, SASSI has compiled an informative list of fish species for consumers. Photo:


ichthyologist Clint Welgemoed from Fusion. He stressed that the SASSI lists are no more than guidelines, and although personally and ethically he follows them, Fusion needs products to sell. He added that more government support and a lot more research is needed in order to truly combat the problem. Some of the fish statuses listed on SASSI are based on educated guesses; “Only with research can they [SASSI and the Government] manage it properly.” The Fish and Chip Co:

According to manager and owner Dharmesh Dullabh, because this is a franchised-based company they receive all their stock from their head office, and so are limited in terms of choosing resources. They also need to abide by the franchise’s rules and regulations. However, they believe the company makes informed decisions. “We haven’t been informed to date of any scarcity of hake or snoek [the fish they sell]”. Many of the very common fish – such as tuna, hake and carpenter – are listed ‘Orange – Think Twice’ by SASSI. That does not mean ‘do not buy’ – it only means think, and make an informed decision before you buy them. For a printable pocket guide to conscious seafood eating, visit the SASSI website.

Scars beneath the fur

Lili Barras-Hargan and Abongile Xhantini

With animal welfare laws receiving extensive media coverage in recent years, the protection of animals and their rights is becoming increasingly important worldwide. However, in many cases animals exposed to cruelty go on to silently suffer through persistent and undi- agnosed psychological problems. The Grahamstown Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is an animal rights and protection organisation commit- ted to the protection and welfare of animals. At the SPCA, individuals such as Animal Inspector Maloli Dingana attempt to deal with the array of psychological abuses many animals face. According to Canadians For Ani- mal Welfare Reform, there are two types of animal abuse: active cruelty and passive cruelty. The former involves an immediate and physical abuse inflicted with the intent to harm. Passive cruelty, on the other hand, concerns the continuous suffering induced through wilful neglect. In both cases, prolonged psychological abuse is a result and it can only be remedied through rehabilitation and vast amounts of attention and care. A recent report by the American SPCA stated that some of the most

common symptoms of animal abuse are aggression, limpness, lack of grooming and a fear of people. This is not normal behaviour for any animal, and Dingana noted that a lot of time and patience must be invested to rehabilitate any animal in this condition. To ensure that animals fortunate enough to be adopted through the SPCA maintain their rehabilitation progress, pre-home and post-home visits are conducted. “The animals are not just animals, but pets – fam- ily,” Dingana explained. In the event that the love and attention neces- sary for the animal’s rehabilitation are not evident, the SPCA has the jurisdiction to return the animal to the shelter until a “deserving family” can be found. Dingana is also passionate about breaking archaic beliefs where animals are concerned. In order to break these beliefs, Dingana advocates the education of dedicated animal carers and animal owners more generally. While it is difficult to break the cycle of abuse experienced by animals across the world, in a small town like Grahamstown the chance to prevent or eradicate animal abuse is an achievable possibility. Wide- spread education and accessible animal welfare centres could play an important role in creating a nation- wide intolerance to animal abuse.

25 March 2015

The Oppidan Press


Arts & Entertainment

OhFourSix: Making music for Grahamstown

Sam van Heerden

F rom its underground origins, the Los Angeles music genre Beat scene – colloquially known as Electronic Dance Music’s little brother – has found its way to Grahamstown

through the efforts of local Beat music producer collective, OhFourSix. Named after Grahamstown’s dialling code, OhFour- Six aims to use this budding genre to invigorate and inspire the production of local electronic music. The Beat scene generates experimental soundscapes which focus on a core of big bass beats as well as unusual sequences and genres of sound samples often rooted in Hip Hop. OhFourSix uses Hip Hop as a basis but it also infuses its music with genres such as Drum n’ Bass and House. Ultimately, the collective aims for its music to be experimental. “My only issue with the South African Beat scene is that it lacks originality. There’s no unique South African sound,” explained OhFourSix member Caydon van Eck. Fellow member Keke Moko- rosi believes that this lack of uniqueness is due, in part, to local producers only creating commercially viable music, rather than experimenting with local elements. “They’re trying to make music which appeals to Western markets because you’ve got more chance of making cash,” said Mokorosi. Despite OhFourSix gaining Daniel Nubian and Sean Devonport as new members this month, they hope to expand further through

new members this month, they hope to expand further through A new music genre, Beat scene,


new music genre, Beat scene, has come to Grahamstown and


quickly gaining a following. Photo: SAM VAN HEERDEN

collaboration with other local artists who would bring an alterna- tive style to the creation of different beats. Another idea in the pipeline is to get producers from around the Eastern Cape involved in the production process semi-annually. “What I hope to get out of this is basically producer feedback,”

explained Mokorosi. According to the collective, producer feedback is an integral part of the learning process. “I was terrible at produc- ing for the first four years. But practice, reading up and speaking with people yielded pretty desired results. Perseverance is key,” explained Ellery. “There’s a lot of group knowledge. You learn a lot quicker by watching other producers,” he added. Mokorosi also suggests aspiring producers improve themselves by tapping into the vast knowledge of free production internet programmes such as FL Studio or Ableton. “My advice would be:

use YouTube, and don’t do the whole expensive music college thing. Your sound will just conform to an industry standard,” added van Eck. “Rather develop your own unique technique.” Even in a town such as Grahamstown, which is known for its involvement and support of new and often overlooked genres of art and music, members Caydon van Eck, Miles Ellery, Keke Mokorosi, Shalom Mushwana and Justin Share are finding current support and interest in the Beat scene to be limited. “There isn’t much space for scenes to grow here,” said Mokorosi. Van Eck agreed: “I could see how our music could appeal to crowds in bigger cities, but not in places like Friars.” The five are focussing a lot of their attention toward establishing the Beat scene in Grahamstown’s club culture. OhFourSix’s tunes can be heard at one of the monthly New- folder events at Olde 65 but in the meantime they can be found on SoundCloud at

they can be found on SoundCloud at While issues of representation in mainstream media are

While issues of representation in mainstream media are a constant topic of debate, the global #BlackOutDay movement has been celebrating diversity online. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA

The use of art as protest: #BlackOutDay

Ayanda Gigaba and Ellen Heydenrych

Bloggers of colour took to Tumblr on 6 March to display the beauty of differing complexions, sexualities, genders and lifestyles in the celebra- tion of #BlackOutDay. The 24-hour online movement aimed to uplift people who feel under-represented by mainstream media. The movement celebrated these bloggers’ diversity, relevance and their continued efforts to improve their representation in the media by artistically representing themselves on Tumblr. Movements such as #BlackOutDay celebrate the ‘self ’ by emphasising how important it is for the media we consume to reflect reality. In conjunction with the movement, the YouTube channel of London film- maker and writer Cecile Emeke rep- resents the importance of celebrating the marginalised. Emeke has created a series of short documentaries, entitled “Strolling”. These documentaries candidly present insightful opinions

of black urban youths as they discuss their identities and the social injustices that affect them directly. Emeke’s artis- tic representation of her interviewees is compelling and resonates with her 11 319 subscribers, who relate to the nar- ratives she shares with them through contemporary social media. Similarly Rhodes University student Lelo Macheke’s blog SuburbanZulu tackles what he refers to as “post-1994 truths” about the youth of South Af- rica. He does so through the use of sto- rytelling and photography. Macheke’s perspective as a 21st century Zulu male aids him in speaking for those who are under-represented in South Africa. He uses his blog to cover an array of issues that range from race and ethnicity to social class. “The web space is such a brilliant vessel through which we can learn about the world and participate in other people’s experiences,” explains Macheke, stressing the importance of social media in self-formation. The media, and specifically social media, plays a large role in shaping our identities. The late cultural theorist

Stuart Hall articulates in Negotiating Caribbean Identity that external input from the world around us is a core source of values and information that we use to form our identities. It is thus important to be conscious and critical of how representation in the media is misconstrued when it does not correlate with reality. Ciko Sidzumo, an organiser of the Rhodes Must Fall Solidarity Gathering, echoes Hall’s notion: “I think representation in South Africa is highly distorted. We don’t celebrate things that make us truly African.” While issues of representation in all forms of mainstream media continue to be debated, movements such as #BlackOutDay orchestrated through contemporary media can continue to raise awareness about marginalisa- tion. Such movements also serve to educate and affirm society. By offering alternative representation of identities and by emphasising the importance of doing so, we move toward seeing a true reflection of the self in the media we constantly consume.

reflection of the self in the media we constantly consume. With many Grahamstown charities short on

With many Grahamstown charities short on funding, Loose Change Events have been working to raise money in unconventional ways. Photo: BRONWYN PRETORIUS

Making an impact with Loose Change

Demi Drew

Described as a company that cre- ates ‘parties for the people’ Loose Change Events raises funds for charities by arranging a variety of parties for Grahamstown students. Founded by Rhodes students Jar- ren Thomas and Andrew Lawrie, the aim of the events company is to give back to the community in the most unconventional ways. For their debut, Loose Change Events organised the Kenton Beach Party which took place in October 2014. While the price of tickets was initially quite steep, students could ensure discounts on their ticket price if they donated clothes to the organisation. The more clothes do- nated, the bigger the discount. The Kenton beach party ensured that Loose Change Events collected over 2 000 items of clothing, all of which were donated to the St Mary’s Day Care Centre. Since there are a number of charities in the Grahamstown area alone that could benefit from the

company’s proceeds, Thomas and Lawrie focus on charities which support the most prominent issues in society. However, Loose Change does not in any way undermine the importance of other charitable or- ganisations. “There is a massive se- lection,” said Thomas. Lawrie agreed with this sentiment and acknowl- edged that there is always a cause that needs charity. Loose Change therefore makes sure that the need addressed is the most pressing at the time of the event. Loose Change hosted a second beach party on 21 March 2015, which will give its proceeds to the Grahamstown SPCA. This time around, Loose Change has allowed party-goers to donate cans of dog and cat food in exchange for a ticket at a cheaper price. “Donations are just a small part of the ideology that we are trying to put forward,” explained Thomas, who hopes that each person who graduates from Rhodes University will go out into society and make a difference in any capacity they can.

Vox pops: Eskom fires white engineers



Apps with personality

Eskom fires white engineers 8 Sports Apps with personality The Rhodes Aquatic Team is unable to

The Rhodes Aquatic Team is unable to practise on campus like other sporting societies due to inadequate facilities. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA

No pool for Rhodes Aquatics

Gemma Middleton

R hodes Aquatics have faced unrelenting issues with

regards to facilities over the years. While other

clubs have ample access to the sporting facilities

they need, Aquatics is left without a useful swimming pool on Rhodes campus. Their water polo teams are forced to play and practice at the Kingswood pool as the Rhodes pool is inadequate. “The Rhodes pool is too shallow, narrow and short for our needs as a water polo team,” said chairperson of the Rhodes Aquatics club, Amy Barclay. At the moment, the current water polo teams make use of the Kingswood pool instead, as it is suitable for water polo and can be used all year round. “As far as I know they (the Aquatics club) are not paying for the usage of the King- swood pool,” commented Rhodes Aquatics sports officer, Xolisa Kula. “If there were costs then the club would pay, as we do have the facility here.” This issue has further affected the ability of the Aquatics club to start up any swimming programs for students at the university. While it would be okay for use during summer, the colder winter months in Grahamstown make the cam- pus swimming pool unusable.

“Hopefully the swimming team can use the Rhodes pool,” comments Barclay. “However during winter they will have to pay about R1000 each per month to use the DSG pool – their only option – as the Rhodes pool is simply too cold.” This poses a problem for the club, as the annual sign up fee will increase substantially. This will further discour- age students from signing up for the Aquatics club despite swimming being a sporting code enjoyed by many. As Rhodes struggles to provide adequate facilities, other South African universities boast highly successful swim- ming teams. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, for example, has men’s and women’s swimming teams, with the latter being sponsored by Nedbank. Besides issues with the pool, the Aquatics club faces the problem of their clubhouse not being properly utilised as such, but rather being used as a storage facility for other sporting codes. This fact came to light during an annual sport societies meeting last year. “Our own sports officer did not even know that it was our clubhouse,” stated Barclay. This misuse of the clubhouse is due to Sports Admin’s banning of fires (braais) and alcohol in the pool area. These safety precautions prevent the club from holding their social functions at the clubhouse.

Tennis at Rhodes desperate for competition

Armand Mukenge

The Rhodes University tennis team were thoroughly defeated in the recent Port Elizabeth league, raising the concerns of coaches Neil Smuts and Chris Loock. Both coaches stated that the poor results were a reflection of the teams’ lack of practice as well as the absence of adequate infrastructure for the sport. Smuts, the women’s team coach, commented on the team’s lack of preparation. “[T]here is no set team of good players that are able to train at separate times as the others. So the problem is that there is not an official team practice for the more competitive players,” he said. Men’s team coach Loock agreed with his colleague, adding that a lack of infrastructure and funding are just two problems that the tennis teams face. He further stated that the tennis club currently only practices on three

courts because the other courts are not equipped with lights. This means

that the teams are not able to practice as much as they would like to, he explained. Loock added that another problem facing the tennis club was

a lack of access to competition. “We

could be playing against the University of Pretoria or the University of the Free State, but we cannot because there is no money to fund this,” he commented. Smuts and Loock agree that in order to take Rhodes tennis to a higher

level, issues of funding and increased competition must be addressed. Loock, who also coaches tennis at Kingswood College, expanded on the problem of

lack of competition, saying: “There is not a lot for the student tennis player to play for – at the moment the sport

is social.”

Loock explained that if the competitive Rhodes teams were given an additional practice day, things

might improve. Smuts added that things worked well when the men’s and women’s teams practised separately as more focus was placed on preparing the players for competitions. The two coaches have struggled to

implement these changes as they work under the tennis club’s committee which is made up of students. Although Smuts and Loock have worked for the University’s tennis club for more than ten years, they are still required to abide by the instructions handed by the committee. Despite the obstacles confronting them, the tennis teams wish to build on their competitiveness in the coming months. Both the men’s and women’s teams will be competing at the University Sport South Africa tournament in June this year as well as

the Intervarsity tournament in August, and hope that these events will assist them in putting together stronger and more competitive teams.


Locals protest Boswell Circus


more competitive teams. 9 Locals protest Boswell Circus 10 The SA Underwater Hockey National tournament received

The SA Underwater Hockey National tournament received strong support at DSG this year. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA

EP Underwater Hockey team falls short of National success

Gabi Bellairs-Lombard

The Eastern Province men’s and women’s underwater hockey teams both qualified for the South African Underwater Hockey Fed- eration National tournament this year. The tournament was hosted at the aquatic center at Grahams- town’s Diocesan School for Girls on the weekend of 21 March. The women’s team came fifth out of six teams and the men’s sixth out of seventh, falling short of their de- sired victory at the tournament. The KwaZulu-Natal team won the ladies’ league, whilst the Western Province won the men’s league in a tight con- test against the Gauteng A team. Men’s team captain Jonathan Bellingan said that his team was well prepared. He did however add that the tournament is very tough and that the team will have to work extremely hard in the pool. Brett Mason, a second year stu- dent who joined the Rhodes team last year, described the tourna- ment as “a great platform to launch underwater hockey into the next gear”. He added that the diversity of the competing teams would give the Rhodes players a perfect opportu- nity to hone players’ skills. Mason and Terence Bellingan – who is Jonathan’s brother and has been part of the team since 2006 - both agreed that physical fitness is the most important part of preparing for tournaments like the Underwater Hockey Federation Nationals. “If you are not fit, you

are not on the bottom of the pool, and therefore not fully in the game,” said Terence. Terence also added that Underwa- ter Hockey in the Eastern Province is “becoming more organised, and this should lead to big things.” Previously, teams were picked infor- mally after team meetings without having regular practices together. Meanwhile women’s team captain Jess Joyner explained that they had a training bootcamp with all the [Eastern Province] teams together in preparation for the tour- nament which has resulted in some amazing cohesion. When discussing the prepared- ness of the women’s team, Joyner said, “We are as ready as we can be [for the tournament] and the teams have shown some true commitment to the sport.” The women’s team’s post-tournament plans are focused on continuing to promote what Joyner described as a “very under- appreciated sport.” The women’s team is also desperately looking for new members to join the team’s practice sessions. The men’s side now plan to devel- op its upcoming players and ensure they are prepared for the end of year Inter-Clubs tournament. Jonathan acknowledged that recruiting play- ers is difficult as people are largely unaware of the sport, however both the men’s and women’s sides are determined to put Rhodes under- water hockey on the map by making people aware of their successes, past and present.