Sie sind auf Seite 1von 16

The Oppidan Press

Edition 11, 7 October 2015

Formal clothing
donation drive

comes to

r y:
Phot station







Red planets
and blood


JJH assists local


as ession
Ha expr






Th dition

The Oppidan Press 7 October 2015

News features

Students donate for students

Muthoni Mundia

ecently on the Rhodes Confessions Facebook page, a student anonymously revealed

that they have been unable to attend formal
events at Rhodes because they have nothing appropriate to wear. A third year student, Nombulelo
Gongqa, took it upon herself to address this. On
22 September, Nombulelos clothing library was
opened, allowing students to donate clothing
which other students can borrow and use.
My initial reaction was sadness that someone
would feel excluded to the point where they cannot
enjoy social gatherings provided by the university,
Gongqa stated. I was reminded of how we are
quick to help people outside of Rhodes but we forget
that some [students] come from the communities
we help. Partnering with Terryl McCarthy from
Alumni house, SRC benefits councillor Happyness

Raselebe and SRC administrator Penny Kivitts, the

setup took three days to complete.
McCarthy, who runs the Universitys Give5
programme, loved the idea from the start. As I
was reading the Facebook confession, I [thought
about]Give5, which involves looking after one of
our own and Rhodents to the Rescue. When I read
Nombulelos response to it, I thought she had put it
all in a nutshell. Her idea was brilliant! she said.
She added that having a Clothing Library for formal wear and making the concept of checking out an
item acceptable and fun will positively affect many
students and create relief of worry and financial
strain for many students and their parents.
With regard to donations, things look promising.
Students were quick to offer donations and this allowed the Clothing Library to expand as quickly as it
did. However, there is a question of how comfortable
students will feel having to go and collect and return

A year from now, I hope not only
that there will be plenty of good
quality clothes for both males and
females, but that the space will be
friendly enough for the students to
be able to go and seek something
nice to wear without feeling like
they are less of a person because they
lack finances, Gongqa said.
Many students come to Rhodes unable to afford extra items - and there are
many students who have too many clothes,
McCarthy said, reiterating Gongqas sentiments.
Why not create an environment where it is encouraged to reach out if you are in need and to reach out
if you are able to help? Their hope is that financial
constraints will not prevent students from gaining
the full university experience.

Following a Rhodes confessions post

about not having the suitable apparel for residence formals, Nombulelos
clothing library was initiated to assist
students who cannot afford formal

New transport options in Grahamstown

Andile Moyo
At the end of the academic year, students will
be making their way home for the last time this
year and seeking affordable transport services.
A new shuttle service, Go Travels Go Shuttle,
has been introduced to Grahamstown.
One of the Rhodes students said why dont
you start a shuttle? said manager of Go Travel,

Rose Gunton, explaining that the shuttle service

was started due to student demand. Launched on
11 September, Go Travel is new to the scene but
already attracting students.
Rhodes student Ophelie Staub rated the service
as an 8 out of 10. I would definitely use them
again and I recommend it to anyone travelling
the Grahamstown-Port Elizabeth route, she said.
Their prices are reasonable and fixed, unlike most

of the other shuttles operating in Grahamstown.

Staub found that their schedule was limiting
however, and may potentially discourage customers. Pick up times are currently 9:30am from
Grahamstown to PE, and 3:30pm from PE airport.
This is an inconvenience for people whose flights
are scheduled far outside of these times.
Gunton states that Go Shuttle is working on
fixing the limitations. There may be an extra bus

during peak times to accommodate the demand,

she said. At this stage we are focusing on the
lunch time flights, as it is a pilot test run, but
future plans are being made for more times.
Rhodes staff and students will certainly benefit
from the new option as it creates competition
for other shuttle services. This can improve the
quality, and potentially reduce general prices of
transport services within Grahamstown.

A pharmacy lecturer spoke about her ordeals involving threats by students after she was confronted
about her ability to teach. Photo: JOSHUA STEIN

Lecturer receives racial threats

By Minnie Hlela
Earlier this year, the History department had an
incident in which students complained about
their black lecturer using isiXhosa to reference
some of her teachings. A similar incident has
now occurred in the Pharmacy department
between students of a lecturer in the department.
The lecturer is a black woman and is not currently giving interviews to the media.
The lecturer started teaching in the second
semester and just three days into her course, voices
of complaints were surfacing amongst the students
about the manner in which she spoke. The lecturers accent was an apparent issue for the students
who then concluded that their lecturer was not
educated enough for the course she was teaching,
despite her many qualifications. She attempted to
address the situation by speaking to the students,
hoping to find middle ground, but this did not
Lectures continued to be difficult as more
criticism was passed on to the lecturer because of
small grammatical errors in her slides. These slides
were posted on social networks, with the mistakes
highlighted as a joke. A few third year Pharmacy
students challenged her in a ridiculing manner.
An alleged BCom student attended her lecture
and was being disruptive. After making him leave

her lecture, she was unable to find out who had

brought him in as nobody confessed to knowing
The students complaints went to the class
representatives and eventually got to the Dean
of Pharmacy without the lecturer knowing. No
action was taken at the time. Threatening emails
were anonymously written and sent to the lecturer
through the email addresses of the class representatives and her car was vandalised, with its windows
being smashed. The department then got involved.
At the beginning of the fourth term she allegedly
resigned, although this has not been confirmed.
A new lecturer has been appointed due to her
absence and there have been no complaints from
students thus far. The department has called for
a disciplinary hearing and emails have been sent
out to students that were involved in sending the
threatening emails.
Some students say that learning is a little confusing, as they now have to adjust themselves to the
way the new lecturer teaches, despite having been
very comfortable with the methods of the previous
one. Nonetheless the behaviour of the perpetrators should certainly be the focus of this event. The
action to be taken against these students has not
yet been disclosed. With exams around the corner,
they do not feel very confident, especially with the
whereabouts of the lecturer still unknown.

7 October 2015 The Oppidan Press

News features

As the academic year comes to an end, the issue of students having to renew their visas comes into play as the lengthy process sets back students. Photo: KYLE PRINSLOO

Navigating through Visa renewals

Muthoni Mundia and Stanley Kibira Kadenge

t the beginning of the 2015 academic year,

many international students were yet to
arrive for registration. This was due to
complications in attaining a renewed study visa
because of new legislation which ruled that students cannot change to another type of visa while
in the country. This forced many students to stay
in South Africa until their visa application process
was complete. In addition, the new process has
much higher processing fees and requires an earlier submission of applications (60 days instead of
30) which created inconveniences.
For those who chose to renew their visas in South
Africa, the online system that the ministry converted to, Visa Facilitation Services (VFS), was used.
However VFS had interface and system defects on
log-ins and information capturing that made it inefficient. Students found that their data was lost when
they attempted to log in again. This meant that many

were unsuccessful in acquiring a visa and had to go

back to their home countries and apply at the South
African embassy there.
Those who chose to apply for permits in their
home countries encountered other significant issues.
In Zimbabwe, where 53% of Rhodes international
community comes from, there was commotion and
large queues at the South African embassy as people
wanted to be among the one hundred people per day
that were being allowed to enter and lodge new visa
applications. Despite a concerted effort by embassy
officials to priorities students, the pressure eventually led to the break down of their printers, which
further slowed the visa acquisition process even
more. The process was hell. It got to a point where
my parents were considering me getting a refund
on my fees and applying elsewhere, said Takudza
Muzondo, a Zimbabwean student who applied for a
permit for 2015.
Honours student Nicole Le Grange agreed:The
stress began with the police clearances and when I

got back to Zim the queue even to get the form was
horrendous. That put me on edge for the rest of the
process. She added that it was an extremely expensive process, and she does not look forward to doing
it again in order to continue studying next year.
Le Grange however preferred to apply in Zimbabwe than online, stating that the process was easier
to negotiate from there, and she didnt want to risk
being away from home for the Christmas holidays.
As the permit expiry deadline approaches, other
students will find themselves in a similar situation.
On September 18, a detailed email was sent out
from the Rhodes International Office, cautioning
final year international students to begin their visa
renewals and giving some helpful pointers. Where
problems are encountered, the University offers its
assistance. We deal with visa problems on a caseby-case basis, said Rhodes University Programmes,
Projects and Events Officer Allan Magubane. This
is to ensure they keep us fully in the loop, the idea is
that we know every student without a visa.

Percentage of students in Grahamstown and East London from foreign countries

Infographic : Tiffany Mac Sherry


North America



South America
*53.54% of foreign students
come from Zimbabwe



Despite assistance being offered

by the University, it is easy for
students to feel overwhelmed by
the process, particularly given the
precedent set by the applications
for study in 2015. Here are a few
tips that might help students avoid
being put in the same situation as
some were earlier this year.
1. Weigh the pros and cons of applying in your home country versus
applying in South Africa. In some
cases, it may be simpler, cheaper or
faster to go home and apply there.
Make the necessary calls to be fully
informed and choose the option
which best suits you.
2. Start early! The police clearance in particular takes 6 weeks to
process. Visit the local police and
get this done months ahead. The
earlier you prepare all the necessary
documents, the more secure you
will be.
3. Keep note of all the documents
needed for the application process.
These are: A Police Clearance Certificate from South Africa and your
home country, a medical (radiology) report, proof of acceptance
to study for a degree at Rhodes
University, valid medical aid and a
valid passport.
4. Be aware of the costs involved.
The process can be a financial
burden, costing up to R2000. Various transaction fees are owed to get
all the necessary documents and
process the final product. On top
of that, smaller costs are incurred,
including the cost of mailing police
clearance forms to Pretoria and
travelling to Port Elizabeth or the
embassy to collect the permit. Planning for these costs early can prevent last minute financial strains.
5. Remain patient and calm. In order to start the new year on a fresh
productive note, avoid allowing the
potential pressures of the process to
overwhelm you.

The Oppidan Press 7 October 2015

How transformed are the Springboks?
Kathryn Cleary

The 2015 Rugby World Cup has ignited debate around the concept of transformation in sports in South Africa, after the Springbok team
that was selected included only eight players of colour. Looking at how transformation has occurred in sports, specifically rugby,
The Oppidan Press asked Rhodes students their opinion regarding transformation in the Springbok team.

Do you think its morally right to support an untransformed Springbok team?

Cameron Cordier
3rd year student
Supports: Sharks, Springboks
Location: Rat & Parrot

Benjamin Miller
3rd year student
From: Johannesburg
Supports: Lions, Springboks Location: Rat & Parrot
That assumes that you think that the team is untransformed: sure there is a far majority of white players, but everyone puts the blame on the South African Rugby Union, but
its on a much greater and deeper level than that. The number
of rugby playing schools in South Africa is so small that in
areas that most people are under privileged, they dont play
rugby there; there is no basis for them to play the sport.

From: Pretoria

That depends on your reasons for watching. If

youre going to use the Springboks as a benchmark as
to how transformation in our country is going, it can
be one of those instances in where people just window
shop. If youre going to put players into the team that
dont deserve to be there, purely based on the colour of
their skin, then theres going to be a problem.

Ashley Moyo
3rd year student
From: Johannesburg
Supports: Lions, Springboks Location: Library
No, I dont think so. I mean times are changing
now, but I feel like everyone has to have a chance. Its
no secret that race is a big issue in South Africa, and
you get the feeling that [you know] the black players
dont really get much of a platform as compared to
other races. I feel like our rugby is pretty good, and just
an issue; theres a lot of talent out there that should be
scouted more.

Kuhle Ngqezana
2nd year student
From: Grahamstown
Supports: Eastern & Western Province, Springboks
Location: Champs Sports Bar
Its definitely not morally right to support an untransformed team. In the black communities, black schools rugby
is not really a sport thats taken completely seriously. So we
can claim that we want to transform the team but at the moment its not really possible to happen in terms of how good
the players are.

Elizabeth Amulenya
4th year student
From: Windhoek, Namibia
Supports: Namibian Welwitschias
Location: Rat & Parrot
Yeah, sure. As long as if when they were picking
the team it wasnt based on race I dont think theres
anything wrong with it. If they are the best South
Africa has to offer, sure why not! I feel like people
need to stop making things about race; everything
in South Africa boils down to race. People need to
just get over it.

Laila Warsama
3rd year student
From: Nairobi, Kenya
Supports: Springboks but very new to rugby
Location: Kaif
I dont think theres anything wrong with it; I dont
see anything morally wrong. As long as the rugby team is
open to let anyone that is skilled and is passionate to play,
join the team, I guess its fine. In terms of a race basis, I
wouldnt know about transforming it in other ways, like
in terms of skills or anything because I know very little.

Rhodes contributes to local education efforts

Kathryn Cleary
As of early September, a record breaking 104 schools
had been closed in the North West province due to the
governments school rationalisation programme. The
closing of schools has not only caused shortages in
learning spaces for students, but is seen as a huge waste
of money and labour. As the countrys government
aims to move forward, it is necessary to consider the
implications of this education deficit for the country, and
more specifically the Eastern Cape.
Here in the Eastern Cape, school rationalisation has not
been silent. In 2012, the province saw the closure of 294
schools in various areas. The closures are in response to
government requirements concerning unfeasible schools,
as addressed by Section 12 (a) and Section 33 of the South
African Schools Act 84 of 1996. This drastic number was
attributed to multiple factors, including a lack of learners in
schools, and a lack of teaching resources.
In 2014, the Eastern Cape provincial government took
more initiatives to counter-balance the past effects of the
rationalisation programme. The Department of Education
worked to seek out excess teachers suitable for employment.
According the the departments website; The department
has identified 6022 additional educators within the system
in the Eastern Cape, 2114 of those have already been
transferred to substantive vacant posts and the department
is currently busy with a person-to-post matching process to
alleviate the vacancy rate across the system.
Here at Rhodes, some students actively seek to assist in

their community and further aid in education development

within the province. Jehovah Joreh Haven Educational
Project is a society that aims to provide educational
assistance to the children who stay at JJH (a registered
NGO) in Alexandria. JJH president, Alexandra Edwards
commented: Around seven to ten volunteers travel to JJH
twice weekly and help in tutoring the children, by either
helping them with homework, or doing fun recreational
activities which help teach them invaluable skills.
Edwards further stated, The tutors of our society provide
the children with the opportunity to really engage in their
education through the individual attention they receive.
Without this they would otherwise fall behind as children
require a lot of attention throughout their schooling in order
to learn and develop their skills.
When asked what the Eastern Cape province should focus
on in terms of education development, Edwards replied,
Decreasing the amount of children in a classroom per
teacher, by employing more teachers, as well as increasing
the access to educational resources such as books and
writing materials. She added, I personally believe the
best way in achieving this would be to put a qualified and
experienced person in the position of Minister of Education,
as s/he has the greatest impact on the disbursement of
educational resources and finances within the Eastern Cape.
Although South Africa continues to struggle with school
rationalisation nationwide, societies like the JJH Educational
Project serve as a way for univarsity students to contribute
and further help in the quest for education, specifically in the
Eastern Cape.

Government programmes to rationalise schools in the Eastern Cape may

seriously impact education development, despite outside societies providing tutoring skills to less-privileged schools.

7 October 2015

The Oppidan Press


Whos Who? Gorata Chengeta

Kathryn Cleary

Gorata Chengeta is the Chairperson of the Gender Action

Project (GAP) who has firm beliefs about inclusion, feminism
and discrimination. Photo: JANE BERG

nce per edition, The Oppidan Press

is going to sit down with one prominent person within the community
and discuss their feelings regarding local
transformation and activism. This week, we
spoke with Gorata Chengeta, Chairperson
for Rhodess Gender Action Project (GAP),
and top 100 Student Leadership winner.
If you could describe yourself in three
words, what would they be and why?
Im compassionate. Im also brave, which
is not to say that I am never afraid. Im afraid
often. I just try not to let my fears prevent
me from doing stuff. And lastly, Im curious.
I wonder a lot about why things are the way
they are.
If you were able to have dinner with one
famous person or historical icon, dead or
alive, who would it be? What would you talk
If Im being perfectly honest, I would
pick Oprah Winfrey. Im a big fan of Oprah.
I would probably cry if I met her. I have so
many questions to ask her about her life and
her show. Also, I think Oprah would give really great hugs and thats important.
What does being part of Gender Action
Project (GAP) mean to you?

Gender Action Project is love. I feel very

honoured to be a part of it because when I
was younger, I never really imagined I would
be on the committee. I learn a lot through
GAP. I spend a lot of energy planning GAP
events and trying to make GAP something
that is meaningful to other students. Its not
just a society to me. I see it as an opportunity
to make other students feel more understood
and more welcome at Rhodes.
How do you feel that the Rhodes community could better create a more inclusive
environment for all students?
I think Rhodes would be a more inclusive space if people took responsibility for
their attitudes and actions. Discrimination is
something we learn unintentionally, whether
its in our attitudes about women, queer
people, poor people, disabled people or other
groups. We cant help what we learn growing
up. However, if we want an inclusive environment, its everyones responsibility to question
what they believe and think about how they
may be oppressing another person. Sexism,
racism, classism and ableism are ideas that
can be internalised by anyone. Because of
that, I think its better to be able to admit
to yourself that you have a racist or sexist
thought and work to change it, than to think
yourself incapable of racism or sexism and get

super defensive when someone points it out

to you.
How is feminism a part of your everyday
Feminism has been part of my life for a
long time, even before I came across the word.
It has freed me in a lot of ways. It saves me
a lot of time, because it helps me worry less
about things that dont really matter, like how
I look, how other people look and what other
people are doing with their bodies. It encourages me to value people for their character as
opposed to judging them based on socially
constructed gender expectations. Feminism is
a way of recognizing people for who they are,
instead of asking them to force themselves
into suffocating boxes. Practicing feminism,
which is intersectional and pays attention different forms of oppression like race and social
class, is just a way of caring for other people. I
identify with intersectional feminism because
its a way of recognising that the world is
broken but also its insisting that we can make
it better. I could go on forever about the
necessity of feminism.
What is something that people may not
know about you, but you would like them
to know?
I swear, in real-life, Im not as serious as I
probably seem on [the] Rhodes SRC page.

Stepping stones
towards transformation
Kimberley Nyajeka
With the occupation of the Rhodes University
Council Chambers (now renamed the BSM Commons) by the Black Student Movement (BSM), the
rhetoric surrounding transformation has moved
away from simply criticising the exclusionary nature
of university policies to advocating for change
through Black Consciousness, using methods inspired by student activists like Stephen Bantu Biko.
The Eurocentric curricula, the exorbitant cost of
living for students on financial aid and the skewed distribution of income on campus are all being actively
challenged by staff and students alike.
Transformation has been at the fore of political
discourse both nationally and at Rhodes and was
chosen as the theme of the Politics and International
Studies Departments annual Teach-In. Speaker at the
event and Academic Vice-Rector at the University of
the Free State, Dr Lis Lange, spoke about the many
challenges she faced when the institution initiated its
transformation process.
We failed to consider that aside from apartheid affecting the relations between black and white students
and staff on campus, events such as the Anglo-Boer
War are also cause for tension between English and
Afrikaans students and staff, Lange said. We must be
very conscious of who is telling whom to change when
undertaking the transformation process.
When considering questions surrounding transformation at South African universities, it is interesting
to note the usually ignored history of the establishment of universities as an academic space in general.
The University of al-Qarawiyyin, the first tertiary
institution recorded in history, was located in Morocco, and founded by Fatima al- Fihri, a merchants
daughter, making the original concept of university an
African one. Opened in 859 BCE, al-Qarawiyyin ran

in a similar manner as modern universities, and had

academic staff and students enrolled from all over the
continent and the world.
However, the colonial era did bring with it the
establishment of universities with Westernised curricula that continues to be heavily criticised today. The
Global Colloquium of the UNESCO Forum on Higher
Education has attributed these challenges surrounding the de-Westernisation of curricula in developing
countries to the lack of resources available for the
distribution of works by local thinkers and academics, while material from the West is readily available.
Reading the works of many local philosophers and
theorists becomes a luxury.
Lange also noted that students should be at the
heart of transformation processes, adding that that
was something which she initially failed to understand when she called for curricular change in UFSs
Humanities faculty.
She added that until recently, students lack of
agency in choosing their academic curricula has been
mistaken for acceptance of it. Most students just want
to get in, get the magic diploma that promises to get
them a job, and get out, she said.
However, this is currently not the case in South African universities engaging in transformation talks. In
an interview with the Mail & Guardian, BSM member
Nkcubeko Balani said that transformation, as well as
the decolonisation of the institution, can be achieved
through conversation. He added, however, that these
conversations need to be structured and facilitated to
ensure that all voices are heard and that hate speech is
not incited.
The journey towards transformation will prove to be
strenuous as many aspects of university life will have
to be considered. Lange stressed the importance of
looking back in order to move forwards while ensuring the voice of the future generations is heard and is
acknowledged as being of paramount importance.

This years Annual Teach-In discussed the challenges of transformation and decolonisation of universities and how students should be the main initiators of this process.

The Oppidan Press 7 Ocotber 2015


A students guide
to online job portals

Now that the academic year is about to end, it is time

to start contemplating the terrifying reality of the
professional world. Let us give you a helping hand.

Alexander Forbes.
Career Junction had registered
As the year draws to a close, the
more than 13 100 open jobs across 36
focus among students in their final
sectors by the time of publication of
year of study is shifting from making this article. These range from media to
it to dawnies and attending tutorials
human resources, IT to mining, and
to landing a job. We have compiled
education. The company has cona list of credible internet sites for
nected more than 700 recruiters with
those students that connect job
2 million job seekers.
seekers with recruiters to ease the
Recruitment agencies like Redifficulty of finding employment.
cruitment Direct offer also assist job
JobMail had more than 11 700 jobs
seekers in finding employment. Many
advertised on their website by the start companies do advertise open posts
of October, with about 65 percent
on their websites. Information about
of the jobs based in
open posts can also
Gauteng. Some of the
be obtained from the
JobMail had
recruiters that use the
human resources of
more than 11 700
platform to find job
every company.
jobs advertised
seekers include real
While some may
estate company Pam
be worried about
on their website
Golding, The Smart
prospects of falling
by the start of
Group and design
for fake recruitment
October, with
and manufacturing
sites, verifying the
company Ukuthemba about 65 percent
legitimacy of such
Joinery. Twenty-five
website can simply
of the jobs based
sectors are advertised
be done by checking
in Gauteng.
on the site.
its registration which
Another favourite
is normally at the
portal among job seekers is Careers24. bottom of the site or under About Us.
The site had 20 678 jobs advertised at
Sites that are owned by other compathe start of October, which is 8 818
nies, such as Careers24, state who they
more than those in JobMail. The comare owned by. If uncertain about the
pany, which has a national footprint,
job, calling the company which the job
was founded in 2006 and already has
is advertised for is advisable. Compamore than 7 700 companies registered
nies also publish open posts on their
to its portal, including big companies
own websites.
like ABSA, Ad Talent, SAFair and
Esihle Matshaya

Xenophobic attacks may be low in Grahamstown, but an increase of crime in foreigners shops indicates that
they have become the new target. Photo: VICTORIA PATRICK

Xenophobia not part of

the Grahamstown spirit
Esihle Matshaya
Xenophobic attacks in South African
townships may have decreased over
the last few months but for Nigerian
shop owner Elijah* living in South
Africa as a foreigner is still a daily
struggle. Although Grahamstown
had no reported cases of xenophobic
violence, the pictures Elijah saw in
the media brought back memories he
thought he had long forgotten.
Having moved to South Africa in
2005 from Nigeria, Elijah thought his
life and that of his family had taken a
turn for the better. However, during
the xenophobic attacks of 2008 when
Elijah still lived in Port Elizabeth, he
lost everything after his home and two
shops were set alight.
Starting his business from scratch
was a daunting task, but fellow foreign
national shop owners in Port Elizabeth
assisted him financially to restart his

businesses in Grahamstown.
Pakistani-born Khaled*, a cellphone
shop owner, states that the lack of
xenophobic attacks in Grahamstown
are due to the residents high level
of tolerance. He feels like there is a
distinct difference between individuals living in Grahamstown and those
living in Johannesburg or any other
big city.
In his eight years of living in South
Africa, Khaled has only gone back
home twice. I miss home and I miss
speaking my language. My English is
no good, he says.
For Elijah, living in Grahamstown
has had its ups and downs but he feels
safer here than he ever felt in Port
Elizabeth. His only complaint is that
the rate of crime in Grahamstown is
increasing at an alarming rate. Two
weeks ago his car was stolen from
outside his shop and police responded
two hours later: If you are a foreigner

and call the police they will not come;

they do not care about us!
Owner of Albany Jewellers Robert
van Niekerk dismissed the claims
that law officials did not respond
punctually to complaints based on the
nationality of complainants. According to van Niekerk, a South African,
law enforcement in Grahamstown is
unreliable in general and nationality
had nothing to do with how efficiently
they respond to complaints.
Van Niekerk cited that one of the
reasons for the high level of robberies
in foreign owned shops is motivated by
the demand for goods. Things like cell
phones and food sell easily. Thieves are
more likely to target a shop that sells
those things as there is always a market
for them. Unlike the expensive jewellery that we sell here, he said.
*Name has been changed to protect
sources identity.

Meet the new Grahamstown braai masters

Mihlali Ntsabo
Order number 69: meat braai box!
Cashiers yell orders at rushing cooks on a busy Wednesday
afternoon at ChesaNyama, a restaurant situated at Beaufort
Street, in the midst of a busy taxi rank. With its bright red interior design with black and grey finishes, it is a slightly unusual
restaurant in a city like Grahamstown.
With over 250 restaurants all over the country, franchisee and
owner Yonke Maqaqa explained that the reason they opened
was to provide people of Grahamstown with a different menu
when it comes to fast food. The ethos of the brand is to revitalise it [traditional African cuisine], but above anything else, we
wanted to open a restaurant that serves a different menu compared to the American restaurants that are here in this town.
He added that the geographical location was influenced
by the aim of establishing stores in non-urban areas. We are
located in mostly non-urban areas, so as to provide those people
with a service that they would barely get, and everyone likes
a braai [and] decent meat so we saw this as our opportunity,

Maqaqa said.
For Maqaqa and his franchise, he stated that he did not have
a specific target market for his business and because of this, he
has received overwhelming support from a diverse customer
base. Yes, the student economy forms a large part of our
market but at the same time, we have different people who walk
into the store, like a young student girl who wants to get chips
or a worker who wants something to eat during his or her lunch
break, he said.
Maqaqa also revealed that they are planning on giving back to
the community by launching a series of community engagement
activities such as a youth boxing tournament. This tournament
will be fully sponsored by ChesaNyama. We also want to create
a sense of belonging and relating with the community, so they
dont think that were just here to capitalise on them, he said.
ChesaNyama is also currently in talks with the Rhodes Student Representative Council with regards to providing catering
services at various university functions. Just over a month old,
the restaurant seems to be gaining popularity with the
Grahamstown community.

The newlyopened ChesaNyama restaurant takes Grahamstown by

flames as their menu becomes more popular.

7 October 2015

The Oppidan Press

Since Last Edition: Once in a red moon
Bracken Lee-Rudolph

couple of big things have

happened in our solar system
over the past two weeks both of which have been from large
red bodies.

Dr Pamela Maseko, a Senior Lecture in the African Languages Department

at Rhodes University shares her thoughts on this editions mustread books.

appears particularly close to the earth,

and a blood moon, which is caused by
a lunar eclipse.
A lunar eclipse is caused by the
Earth coming between the moon and
the sun, meaning that the normal
light waves from the sun are no longer
present and the remaining light scatters. The reason it appears red is due to
Rayleigh scattering, which is an optical

phenomenon that causes light with

longer wavelengths, such as red and
orange light, to remain unscattered,
while those with shorter wavelengths
scatter somewhere between the sun,
the moon and the Earth.
This is not the first super blood
moon we have had, but it is the first to
happen in the last 30 years and the last
to happen until at least 2033.



The blood moon

The other big red object in space
since the last edition was the moon on
28 September. This event saw the combination of two natural phenomena - a
supermoon, which is a full moon that

An unusual Blood Moon was spotted on 28 September and will reappear in 2033. Photo: SOURCED


Water on Mars
Mars is not the dry, arid planet that
we thought of in the past, said NASAs
Jim Green. Liquid water has been
found on Mars.
These words came after NASA
revealed that the Curiosity rover had
discovered chemical evidence of liquid
water on the surface of Mars. The evidence takes the form of long rivuletlike streaks found on the walls and
faces of Marss craters and cliffs, which
have been identified by researchers as
containing briny liquid water.
These elements were identified by
using spectral analysis, which measures the intensity of light emitted or
reflected off of an element at different
wavelengths. This allows scientists to
reliably recognise the signatures or
characteristics of particular elements
without coming into direct contact
with them. Researchers have concluded that this briny water runs down
canyons and crater walls during the
summer months on Mars, leaving
long, dark stains on the planets terrain
called recurring slope lineae (RSL).
The presence of the briny water
indicates that it may be conducive to
sustaining life, much like the system
found in Chiles Atacama desert, a
particularly dry and arid region with
similar characteristics to what we
are looking at on Mars. However,
this water may also possess similar

characteristics to Antarticas Don Juan

Pond, which would lower researchers
interest in it significantly.
Such a brine is not suitable for life
and is of no interest biologically, said
NASA astrobiologist Chris McKay.
Nothing can live in the brine of Don
Juan Pond.
Currently, researchers are attempting to discover the level of brine in the
water, as well as where the water comes
from, but the obstacle currently standing in their way is the actual Curiosity
rover, and the microbes which may be
residing on it. Curiosity is classified a
category IVb lander, which means it is
authorised and safe to search for life,
but not to enter special regions which
will be categorised as an IVc mission.
This is a bit of preventative conservation, as foreign microbes getting into
life-sustaining centres of Mars could
potentially cause an ecological disaster
with what literally would be alien
bodies interfering with the planets
natural ecosystems, assuming they do
hold life. Of course, Earths microbes
would not be guaranteed to thrive on
Mars, but the effect if they did could
be devastating.
This does not leave Curiosity helpless, however. It still has sensors and its
onboard laser,which could help it take
more measurements from the RSLs.
However, it will not be able to get up
close unless the appropriate bodies
deem otherwise.

Excellent reads:
the literature of Africa
Holly Allison
In this editions Reading series,
The Oppidan Press asked Senior
Lecturer in the African Languages
Department, Dr Pamela Maseko for
her book recommendations which
explore African roots.
Ingqumbo Yeminyanya (A.C. Jordan):
This book is a favourite of Masekos
because of the creativity shown by a
Xhosa writer in expressing the values,
norms and beliefs associated with
the Xhosa community. It is wonderful to see the work of these writers.
Ingqumbo Yeminyanya is a beautiful book full of wonderfully worded
Xhosa language and metaphors,
said Maseko. She acknowledged that
Western values frequently undermine
Xhosa values.There is often great
conflict in Xhosa youth as they are
caught between being rooted in their
traditions and the ideals of the institutions they belong to, she said. Maseko
expressed her appreciation of Xhosa
literature: It was amazing seeing

these views and ideas in print form. It

makes me value what I have.
I Write What I Like (Steve Biko):
For Maseko, this book is undoubtedly an excellent read. Biko wrote
about Black Consciousness and what
defines a Black person in South
Africa. The book deals with the
challenges of not allowing ones
fundamental blackness to make one
feel inferior and not being scared to
speak out on something that one feels
strongly about. Throughout her life
these ideals have affected Masekos
relations with other people.
The 48 Laws of Power (Robert
According to Maseko, this book offers a fascinating look at the dynamics
of power, as well as how those with
power abuse it and those suffering do
not realise it. It is also a relatable read
because it can be used in both domestic and institutional contexts.
Language in the Nation (Ayo Bamgbose):

Maseko uses this book in her

lectures on socio-linguistics as it
debunks the perception that the most
commonly-spoken language in Africa
is English. Maseko feels that Bamgbose speaks to multilingualism as a
norm in Africa and the importance of
moving away from its perceived abnormality. The author looked at how
schoolchildren should rather be able
to use their home languages as a base
for new information, instead of educators enforcing the English language
in their teaching. It was also written
by an African author, which makes a
welcome and powerful change from
western writers.

An Ordinary Country (Neville Alexander):

This book discusses the positive and
negative aspects of South Africas transition from apartheid to democracy.
Alexander also writes on how far away
the policies are from the practicalities
of a democracy, including issues of
language and its little-used role as an
emancipatory tool and looks at imbalances that arise because of this.

8 The Oppidan Press 7 October 2015


The Oppidan Press

The Investec Rhodes Top 100 edition is easily the most stressful thing
the leadership team at The Oppidan Press does the entire year. Not
only do we have to put together a full 16 pages of original, hardhitting
and high quality content, but we also have to wrangle pictures and
biographies for some of the busiest and most successful students on
campus into the eight page Top 100 supplement.
On top of all of that, many key members of our leadership team are off
in the hinterlands of the Western Cape at Rocking the Daisies and in just
over a weeks time we will be helping host the Top 100 awards dinner. To
put it mildly, we may all sleep for the next month solid.
At the end of the day, however, this is also one of the most rewarding
things we do. Throughout the year, we report on the many successes
that students at this university achieve. Now we finally get to formally
celebrate the many talented and hardworking student leaders spread
across this campus.
This edition also marks an important milestone: the old leadership
team that has put just over a years worth of blood, ink and sleepless
nights into the best in South African student journalism has retired. We
would like to take this moment to thank them from the bottom of our
hearts for the work theyve contributed to this news organisation.
We welcome the newly appointed leadership team who join us at a
pivotal moment in The Oppidan Presss history. With this edition, we also
mark a complete restructuring of the entire organisation.
The print edition will no longer be central to how we operate, but will
become one of six main sections who will all work together to put the
best content that we can produce onto exactly the right platform for it.
Our existing five sections the print edition, the online edition, the
photography section, OppiTV and the managerial team will be joined
by another first for South African student journalism in the form of
OppiFM, our allnew fortnightly podcast, which will be broadcast for the
first time tonight.
This first episode will deal with the role, if any, that student press has
to play in the university decolonisation movement. OppiFM will be a
platform for us to be selfreflexive and we hope that the team under Julia
Fish and Thingo Mthombeni will continue to ask uncomfortable questions of the way that we as journalists do our jobs.

The Oppidan Press staff and contact details

Editor-in-Chief: Stuart Lewis. Deputy Editor: Leila Stein. Executive
Consultant: Amanda Xulu. Managing Editor: Bracken Lee-Rudolph.
Advertising Manager: Bianca Matthis. Marketing Manager: Mncedi
Magade. Community Engagement Officer: Kyran Blaauw. Print Editor:
Lili Barras-Hargan. News Features Editor: Muthoni Mundia. Assistant
News Features Editor: Nomonde Hlela. Politics Editor: Kathryn
Cleary. Business Editor: Esihle Matshaya. Opinion Editor: Lebogang
Thulare. Arts & Entertainment Editor: Ayanda Gigaba. Assistant Arts
& Entertainment Editor: Emma Campbell. Environment Editor: Joshua
Stein. Sports Editor: Samantha Johnson. Chief Photo Editor: Bronwyn
Pretorius. Assistant Chief Photo Editors: Kyle Prinsloo, Vicky Patrick.
Senior Sub-Editor: Danica Kreusch. Sub-Editors: Leonard Solms, Kim
Nyajeka, Bracken Lee-Rudolph, Andrea le Goabe, Lebogang Mashego,
Nokwanda Dlamini, Emily Stander, Janet Clift. Chief Designer: Tiffany
Mac Sherry. Assistant Chief Designer: Lauren Dixon-Paver. Junior
Designers: Sarah-Jane Davies, Bront Moeti, Alexa Mazza, Bianca Levin.
Contributing Designers: Hannah Mcdonald, Amy-Jane Harkess. External
Content Advisors: Carissa Govender, Kate Jennings, Mishka Hoosen.
Online Editor: Liam Stout. Assistant Online Editors: Leila Kidson, Pierre
Durandt. OppiTV Chief Editor: Phiwo Dhlamini. OppiTV Content Editor:
Pumla Kalipa. OppiTV Deputy Content Editor: Zama Luthuli. OppiTV
Managing Editor: Mayo Twala. OppiTV Webcast Producer: Lungelo
Masinga. OppiFM Chief Editor: Julia Fish. OppiFM Assistant Chief Editor:
Thingo Mthombeni. OppiFM Managing Editor: Collette Prince. OppiFM
Content Editor: Refilwe Mofokeng. OppiFM Assistant Content Editor:
Paige Muller. Ombudsperson: Professor Anthea Garman.
Letters to the Editor:
Advertising details: @oppidanpress

The Oppidan Press publishes letters which are bona fide expressions 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.

Formal events have become a tradition to celebrate achievements at Rhodes, but students who cannot afford fancy
attire are generally not considered and may feel excluded. Photo: ASHLIEGH MEY

A critical examination of
the culture of formality

Jordan Stier

hodes Confession 8513 was

the touching confession of
a student who has never attended a formal dining hall dinner,
or any other formal function at the
university, because they had nothing
formal to wear. Even though formal
clothing is not a prerequisite for
these university events, the confessor
said they would feel so out of place
amongst the suits and satin that they
preferred not to go, ending the post
with #wishIcouldownproperclothes.
I have had many conversations with
students who feel the necessity of formal attire is just one of many reasons
that have made some feel unwelcome
at formal events at the university.
Primarily, formality is not an ideal way
of celebrating for young people, who
prefer to celebrate in a more casual
and jovial way than having to abide by
table manners, listen to speeches, and
remain in their seats to avoid being
The universitys residential operations management is currently

redressing some systemic problems

surrounding dining hall formal dinners. Most notably, they are structuring alternative ways of ensuring
students who do not wish to attend
their dinners are able to receive a
normal dining hall meal, most likely
in a different dining hall, so as not to
have to go to bed without supper just
for feeling excluded.
However, there is more that needs to
be addressed such as the fact that some
dining halls charge their students to
attend formal dinners and other dining
hall functions openly exclude those
who cannot afford a ticket from events
within what is supposed to be their
home-away-from-home. When formal
events have themes, they more often
than not cater to some, and not all, of
those in attendance.
Because formality is the normative
way of celebrating things at the university, from dining hall leavers dinners
to the graduation ball to the Investec
Top 100 Dinner, we are systematically
excluding some students from being
able to celebrate their own achievements and those of their peers. When

we welcome new students or staff, we

turn to formality, and so exclude some
from being welcomed or being able to
welcome others.
Having been the head student of a
large dining hall last year, and having
organised formal dinners myself, I
fully understand how caught-up in the
logistics one can become. When youre
fretting about whether dcor will be
done in time, whether to choose lamb
or beef, what quantities of drinks are
needed, whether pre-drinks and postdrinks for the guests will be sorted,
creating a good playlist, what youll say
in your speech, whether the candles
have all been lit, and a million other
things, all while trying not to blow
your budget, it is understandably easy
to forget who the event is for, and what
they are hoping to get out of it.
I encourage all event coordinators
on campus to take a step back when
organising end-of-year functions,
as well as the many welcoming and
orientation occasions next year, and
consider those whom the function is
for more carefully to ensure the best
possible celebrations.

Tune into the inaugural OppiFM podcast tonight.

Follow @oppidanpress on Twitter or like us on
Facebook for more details


7 October 2015 The Oppidan Press


Does rugby need transformation?

Lebogang Thulare

oon after the squad to represent

South Africa at the IRB World
Cup 2015 was announced,
controversy struck as the Agency for
a New Agenda (ANA) filed an urgent
court application in order to prevent
the side flying out to the event hosted
by England. Their reasons were that,
in the past 21 years of democracy in
South Africa, there has been no real
transformation in the national rugby
team, with eight players of colour being named in the 31-man squad.
There are several problems here with
regard to the mentality of players in
terms of their performance. Firstly,
it should be noted that it could cause
some doubt to players of colour that
are selected for the squad, whether
they have been selected on merit or because they are there to reach a certain
percentage to allow them to compete
in the tournament.
Players such as Tendai Beast

Mtawarira, JP Pietersen and Brian

Habana have proven themselves to be
pivotal for the national side, but it does
raise the question of why they were selected for the squad initially. Was it to
fulfil a quota, was it to show that South
Africa is actually a rainbow nation, or
was it on merit?
Secondly, is the pressure being put
by ANA on transforming the squad
even necessary? Maybe it is, maybe
these are the types of issues that we
need to be dealing with before they
become any worse, but I think its safe
to say that the timing is off. Raising
such issues usually gets an entire nation talking, and it did.
The entire nations talking doesnt
create a burden only for the players
of colour, but for everyone involved.
That includes the coaching staff as well
as the players that dont make it into
the starting line-up. Surely the squad
chosen would have preferred to go into
their opening game with confidence,
clear minds and the assurance that
they have the whole nation behind

One could also argue that the severity of the situation would never have
been felt if the issue was raised after
the World Cup and all that was needed
would have been done. Another might
argue that the situation is not that
severe and that the coaches should just
focus on selecting the best possible
squad to represent the country.

Was it to fulfil
a quota, was it
to show that
South Africa
is actually
a rainbow
nation, or was
it on merit?

Questions are being raised about the likelihood of transforming the Springboks rugby team, which has become a heated topic during the World Cup.

Mpumi Babeli is a first year Bachelor of Arts student who has strong views about vandalism and
the true message that is being conveyed in the art. Photo: KYLE PRINSLOO
A Facebook page for students dealing with sexuality issues was created to show support for the
noted rise in questions posed about sexuality by students. Photo: SOURCED

New confessions page for LGBTQIA+ community

Lesedi Thwala
News Features
On Thursday 17 September, a group of people
started a page on Facebook called RU LGBTQIA+ Confessions and Questions. The page
was inspired by the number of confessors on
the Rhodes Confessions page who asked for
advice on LGBTQIA+ related issues.
It was perfectly timed, right after OutRhodes
society fell under criticism, with people arguing
that it was not doing enough for queer people,
and the then president of OutRhodes Sfiso Xulu
being publicly quoted as believing that bisexuality was a myth.
We hoped that this page would create more
of a supportive community/network than many
LGBTQIA+ people have experienced at Rhodes
thus far, commented the manager of the page.
The page aims to create a safe space for people
in the community to voice their opinions and
get supportive responses. It also aims to regulate
negative comments, ensuring that any kind of
queer antagonism will be prohibited. Anonymity
is an important aspect to the page, particularly
for those who have not come out. The administration also refuse to identify themselves in order
to make others feel secure.
Bisexuality Awareness Week, which fell on 20

to 26 September, blended well with these themes.

It aimed to accelerate acceptance of bisexual
people and promote bi-visibility since bisexual
people still suffer discrimination.
I dont think the queer community at Rhodes
is particularly antagonistic towards bisexual
people, but there is a lack of activism at Rhodes that is actively inclusionary and beneficial
for bisexual people, said Vice-Chairperson of
the Gender Action Project Sian Ferguson, who
found Xulus comments on bisexuals hurtful.
OutRhodess interim president Bronte Moeti
is adamant that the society will continue to function. I do believe that the society this year has
failed, and theres a hell of a lot to make up for it.
She admits: The people who are picking up the
pieces are the ones that are left behind.
Second year student Dominique McFall is still
hopeful that the society can do better. I think
that OutRhodes is now taking a step forward and
trying to be as inclusive as possible, well just see
how they are doing with Pride Week, she said.
In the meantime, the LGBTQIA+ confessions
page has been active and inviting more people
to share and contribute. We dont claim to have
all of the answers, but we are always going to try
offer thoughtful answers the page manager said.
We want to be transparent and supportive at
all times.

It isnt vandalism,
theyre paintings of pain

Mpumi Babeli
Since the beginning of the most recent decolonisation movement in institutions of higher
learning in South Africa, there have been
various incidents of politically-motivated
paintings and slogans placed around Rhodes
University in particular. Some have called this
vandalism, while others refer to it as protest
art. This all stemmed from fellow students
and their need to express their discomfort
with their social standing in the environment
of Rhodes. To me, this vandalism is art and
not damage to property.
It shows peoples views, emotions, pain and in
this case it further expresses peoples discomfort
with the world and their social standing. After
years of silence, conformity, a perpetual cycle of
white supremacy and the assimilation by nonwhites, it has come to a point where the pain
endured by those who seek to be recognised,
respected and heard has become all too much to
bear. Here, it is realised that the system that has
been put in place so that they could be heard
has become nothing but a fallacy. Many are

indoctrinated into believing they are heard and

the oppressive cycle is thus perpetuated.
The cleaning and removal of this art, or, as I
call it, pain of other people, should not be acceptable until their social standing and feelings
are not only heard but also addressed. Removal
of the art indirectly shows an attempt to silence
peoples voices.
One has to carefully analyse and look at who
is forced to clean the art. Its the black body
asked to clean up art written by fellow black
bodies showing their pain.
The suffering behind it stands in the way of
many black people realising their full potential
and reaching their goals due to systems such
as racism and white supremacy. We should not
police how people express their pain or dismiss
the pain behind the art. Peoples voices cannot
be silenced. The art shows that people have been
silenced for too long and refuse to be silenced
much longer. They have endured pain and suffering and their art should serve as a reminder
of what happens when people express what they
have long endured and bottled up.

10 The Oppidan Press 7 October 2015

Photo story

Slow train to nowhere

Words by Phelokazi Mbude. Pictures by Kellan Botha.

In a previous article, The Oppidan Press reported that Grahamstowns citizens were becoming increasingly concerned with the state of the citys historic train station. The station, constructed in the
1870s, was declared a historical landmark in 1999, but since its closure has fallen into disrepair and become a target for looting. This resulted in the creation of a petition to conserve the station. Now,
more than 3000 signatures later, the station has been placed under the supervision of Izenzo Pty. by Transnet.
Rhodes University Data Services Coordinator Cindy Deutschmann said, We put together a concept note for then-CEO of Transnet, Brian Molefe, which involved turning the station into an education/community learning hub. Such a hub, say proponents of the plan, would work toward empowering the community and, should Rhodes become involved, bring campus closer to underprivileged areas.
Having noted the first signs of renovation in late February, The Oppidan Press photographed the area. However, as decisions around the revamping of the station have not been finalised, construction has
come to a standstill. A perimeter fence now protects the premises from further degradation, but eight months later, little progress is visible.


The Grahamstown train station is over 140 years old, but years of disuse have seen the structure crumble. Though relatively untouched, moss and creepers had begun to swallow some of the signage around the station in February.

Heavy rails and sleepers remained intact, but litter strewn around them show a
lack of cleaning and maintenance.

A rusting diesel locomotive stands on display in front of the station.

Construction was well under way in late February, before the erection of the
perimeter fence.

7 October 2015 The Oppidan Press


Photo story

Seven months after construction began, all progress seems to have halted and a perimeter fence erected to keep
people off the property.

To avoid further degradation to the structure, a fence has been erected

around the perimeter, but no new renovations have taken place.

The rusting train outside the station remains hauntingly untouched after more than half a year.

Scaffolding has been removed from the front of the building, leaving the structure as it was before the petition was created. Though renovations have begun inside the station, the exterior remains dilapidated.

Litter still lies across the train-tracks on both sides of the fence.

12 The Oppidan Press 7 October 2015


Which is greener?
Electric vs gas cooking
Daniela Barletta

After a thorough analysis, the question of whether animals feel pain is explored following a lecture hosted by Professor
Abraham Olivier. Photo: VICKY PATRICK

Do animals feel pain?

Joshua Stein
The question of whether animals feel
pain was put under the microscope
by Professor Abraham Olivier during a conference hosted by Rhodes
Organisation for Animal Rights
(R.O.A.R). Professor Olivier insisted
in his lecture that animals do experience pain to a degree that warrants
ethical consideration.
Olivier is the head of the Philosophy
Department at the University of Fort
Hare and focuses many of his studies
on the philosophy of the mind, which
relates to pain experience, and the
ethical consequences of findings in
this field.
During his lecture on 26 September,
Olivier delved into the question of how
exactly animals experience pain and
other sensations or emotions.
He explained that often people
bring up the idea that animals do
not seem to have a sophisticated
enough language to indicate a level
of consciousness that would warrant
consideration. This also points to the

idea that animals experience things in

a radically different way to how we do.
However, Olivier finds this idea unconvincing and cited the example of a
newborn baby who is perfectly capable
of expressing pain despite having yet
to grasp language. He spoke of the way
in which a baby might cry or exclaim
ow in order to convey to others that it
is in pain.
He went on to say that animals have
their own unique ways of expressing
pain and other sensations. Unfortunately, at this point exactly how animals do this is mostly not understood
by humans, according to Olivier.
He did however emphasise that just
because we cannot understand exactly
what an animal is expressing does
not mean that it is not expressing
Olivier explained one method for
trying to determine what animals are
feeling, which works by analysing the
facial expressions of the animals in
question. He referred to facial expressions as an imperfect yet suitable place
for humans to start understanding

what animals are feeling. While

animals cannot say they are in pain,
most would agree that they can whine
or grimace to display what they are
However, Olivier does recognise the
limits of this approach, particularly
when considering the vast differences
between all the different species in
the world. As such, he believes that
this will provide humans with more
of a starting point that will allow us to
infer the emotions of certain animals.
As for non-physical pain, such as
grief, Olivier explained that there have
been numerous accounts of animals
showing bereavement when animals or
humans they are close with die.
Concluding his presentation Olivier
insisted that from all major philosophical views it cannot be denied
that animals do feel pain, and called
for serious ethical consideration to
be given to the way in which we treat
animals. He hopes that we will be able
to change the way in which we interact
with animals on the planet.

With gas stoves currently on the rise in households all over South Africa, the
current debate around which method is more environmentally friendly is
bringing the heat.
Trying to make your carbon footprint smaller may seem like an impossible task
to take on. The Oppidan Press has compared electric and gas cooking to see which
system uses less energy.
Electric stoves and ovens used in households rely on energy from coal-burning
plants. These contribute to the release of carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions that destroy our environment. Gas lowers the demand for this electricity
and therefore reduces the negative impact on our planet.
Because gas burners provide a flame instantly, they are much quicker to heat
up. Therefore, they take less energy and electricity because the time for cooking
is shorter as there is no longer a need for heating up or cooling down time. The
newer models of gas stoves also have an electronic ignition, instead of a continuously burning pilot light, which uses up to 40 percent less gas.
In a report published in 2010, Eskom points out the strain placed on South Africas power supply when over nine million electric hotplates are in use. By using
gas cooking you can shrink your carbon footprint by as much as 50 percent.
Eskom encourages South Africans to switch to gas cooking for a number of
reasons. For every kWh of electricity you save by not using electricity for cooking, youll save 0.56kg of coal and 1.5 litres of water that would have been used to
generate that power, Eskom management states.
Using gas to cook reduces the harm done to the environment. However it is
still a finite, nonrenewable resource. This means that it will run out at some point
in the future. Additionally, the use of LPG would have to be reduced in other sectors in order to deal with the influx of consumers using it in their households.
Although using gas as an alternative to electric cooking may not provide all the
answers at the moment, for the near future it is a method that environmentalists
and green activists prefer.
Gas cooking, after recycling your paper, is the natural next step to a more ecofriendly lifestyle. An added bonus of using a gas stove is that even when Eskom
decides to keep us in the dark, you can still make that cup of tea youve been
thinking about all day.

In this edition of which is greener, using gas to cook is compared to using

electric cooking devices. This follows after a noted rise in the usage of gas
stoves. Photo: SIMONE FERREIRA

Are you feeling stressed out by exams and tests? Head to the Botanical Gardens
Lauren Buckle

Through the Environmental Awards,

Rhodes University celebrated the
efforts of students who actively make
an effort to protect the environment.

Exams and tests cause a large amount of

stress and strain on students physical
and mental health. Nature has the ability
to reduce this strain and to increase the
productivity of students.
All environments have an impact on human stress level. The stress of an unpleasant
environment can cause you to feel anxious,
or sad, or helpless, reported Jean Larson,
manager of the nature based therapeutic
services programme, and Mary Jo Kreitzer,
director of the center for spirituality and
healing, at the University of Minnesota.
This in turn elevates your blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension and
suppresses your immune system.
Being exposed to the natural environment, however, can cause negative feelings
such as fear and anger to decrease and happiness to increase. Nature can also soothe
pain as people become distracted from their

pain when they are around plants. One can

achieve a similar effect at home by acquiring
a small plant which will assist with reducing
anxiety and increasing pleasant emotions.
The natural environment helps to increase
focus and attention span as relaxing outdoors reduces stress and increases students
ability to focus the next time that they study.
Nature deprivation due to increased time
working with technology has been connected to depression. This is because nature
triggers the part of the brain associated
with love and empathy whereas urban areas
trigger anxiety and fear, which are known to
reduce productivity.
During exam times, students often suffer
from intense levels of stress and anxiety.
Spending time outdoors when they take
study breaks is beneficial to their marks as
well as their overall health. Environmental
activities will assist in reducing tension that
builds up as a result of exam stress.

Seven Relaxing Outdoor Activities

1. Meditation
Breathing techniques and projecting a calm atmosphere can assist with reducing the anxiety caused by stress.
2. Read a book
Getting drawn into a good story can help to relieve stress during
exam times by taking your focus off your studies.
3. Take a walk
This gives you something other than studying to think about.
4. Go for a run
Running relieves stress as it allows for your anxiety to be released
through intense exercise.
5. Have a picnic at the Botanical Gardens
Eating food and appreciating the surroundings on a hot day
reduces stress levels.
6. Play sports with friends
This can help to increase levels of friendship while assisting with
increasing focus at the next study session.
7. Study outside
Being outdoors will make taking breaks and going back to studying easier as students do not have technology to distract them.

7 October 2015

The Oppidan Press


What its like to be a lifelong vegetarian
Joshua Stein
Sitting in a modestly furnished office with a wall
of books and a peculiar cut-out of a coffee mascot
propped on a shelf, Rhodes University philosophy
lecturer Dr Richard Flockemann begins his story
of how and why he has committed himself to a
meat free lifestyle.
Flockemann was raised in a family which had
avoided meat for generations. He believes that it was
his great-great-grandmother who was the first in his
family to adopt vegetarianism. She was appalled at
the conditions that animals were subjected to. Its
largely for ethical reasons, I guess, not really for
religious reasons or anything like that, Flockemann
Flockemann finds that it has always been
clear that the meat industry is far too cruel in
its treatment of animals. He goes so far as to call
factory farming (the industrialised production of
meat) morally indefensible but also admits that
most people would agree on this. He explains that
the greyer area surrounds the principle of killing
animals in general.

According to Flockemann, while some will argue

we should abstain from getting any product from
animals, there is wiggle room for some to argue
that our interactions with animals are so radically
different that they do not warrant the same ethical
concerns as humans. However, for Flockemann it
has never been hard to choose which side he backs
on this matter.
Flockemann counts himself lucky to have been
raised in a vegetarian environment where he never
had any pressure to eat meat placed on him by his
family. He sees himself as better equipped than
most people to resist pressures from people who
view his dietary choices with an upturned nose.
Flockemann thinks that it is more often than not
social pressures such as these that lead people to
give up on vegetarianism.
He thinks that one of the biggest challenges that
vegetarians face is this social stigma. It announces
one as different and he believes that this is often
perceived as a kind of moral smugness. He says that
people can often interpret a persons vegetarianism
as an attack on their eating habits which can
antagonize people more.

In actuality Flockemann believes that vegetarians

who lord facile righteousness over others are
ignoring the complexities of the matter and should
climb off their high horse. The animal rights
activists often acts as if they are imparting this
wisdom onto the morally flawed masses. I think that
a lot of animal activists struggle to appreciate how
difficult giving up meat is.
Furthermore, he believes that people can be
quick to ignore moral imperfection and goes
so far as to say, I think were all deeply morally
compromised in one way or another. Flockemann
sees the modern world as filled with these morally
compromising situations such as where we get our
food, clothing and technology from. He believes the
world just pressures us into buying into a plethora
of unethical practices and as such affirms less
preachy methods of talking about animal rights.
All in all he hopes that people can bring up the
topic of animal rights without putting people off and
hopes people remember that, Just because you are Dr Richard Flockemann discusses the
eating meat it doesnt make you a bad person; its
challenges and issues surrounding
just a bad situation.
the life choice of being a vegetarian.

RU Environmental Awards highlight Grahamstowns greenest

Nita Pallett
The Rhodes University Environmental Awards took place on 29 September, and were presented in three
main categories: Individual, Student
Society Residence, and the Makana
Community. This year, the winners
of each respective category were
Caleena de Carvalho, WildREACH,
and Elisma Hallier.
The winner of the individual
category was 2016 RU Green chairperson Caleena de Carvalho. Her
accomplishments include introducing
a new environmental policy to her
residence, organising a hall recycling

competition, helped a Raglan Road

school plant a vegetable garden, and
taught some students about the importance of Spekboom (a succulent plant
endemic to South Africa).
It was said at the awards that de
Carvalho has shown a deep commitment for sustainability and environmental issues, through practices that
promote human and ecological health
leading by example, and planning
for continuity of her environmental
The achievements of the other
winners were equally impressive.
WildREACH is a non-profit student
society that works with learners from

disadvantaged communities, teaching them about the environment in a

practical, hands-on way. Since 2011,
almost 50 educational trips have been
organised for secondary schools, helping these students fully engage with
and appreciate their environment.
WildREACH collaborates with the
Biological Control Research Group
at Rhodes run by Entomology HoD,
Professor Martin Hill, as well as the
Sustainable Seas Trust and Wildlands
Conservation Trust. There is no doubt
that this group is going to continue
for many years to come, promoting
ecological health and a deeper understanding of what it really means to be a

living community.
Elisma Hallier, winner of the Makana Community Environmental Award,
is a teacher at the Kuyasa Special
School. Hallier has kept her school for
children with special needs part of the
EcoSchools programme (a programme
supporting environmental learning
within school curriculums) since 2008.
She strongly believes in her learners
capability of developing important life
skills through environmental projects,
and has integrated environmental
learning work into all her teaching
practices with her senior classes.
Her work is dedicated to the
promotion of human and ecological

Succeeding the Environmental Awards, Rhodes University celebrated the efforts of students who actively make an effort to protect the environment.

health and living communities in

ways that stimulate collaborative and
cohesive community relationships, and
this is made clear through her shining
examples of environmental leadership
in her projects over the past seven
years which include removing alien
invasive species.
Throughout the evening, it was
made clear that despite the worrying state of our environment, there
are many people working very hard
towards improving it. Through all of
their effort and passion put into caring
for the world, all who were there including nominees and winners have
helped make a significant difference.

14 The Oppidan Press 7 October 2015

Arts & Entertainment

Mosianes music magic

Emily Stander

From left: BASA chairperson Kwanele Gumbi, AMP! director Gareth Walwyn, AMP! administrator Matthieu Maralack and
Minister of Arts & Culture Nathi Mthethwa at the Business Arts South Africa Award Ceremony. Photo: SUPPLIED

Local business wins BASA Award

it comes to manufacturing the puppets and instruments

needed for the Festival Street Parade.
The African Musical Instruments (AMI) win at the
AMI has made traditional African instruments in
Business Arts South Africa Awards on 21 September
Grahamstown for over 50 years. Walwyn explains that the
2015 is a reflection of the success of funding small
AMI and AMP! share a common focus on the production
organisations like Grahamstown-based Access Music
of instruments. AMI are the only provider with such a high
Project (AMP!).
quality in their instruments, he said
AMP! is a community engagement project offering
The African Musical Instruments is an organisation that
musical teaching to secondary school children from
commits itself to guaranteeing the continued production
disadvantaged backgrounds in the Grahamstown area. The
of African music. AMI manufactures instruments of an
organisation provides these children with weekly classes so
excellent quality by innovatively using African production
they can gain the skills necessary to
techniques. African music concepts are
pursue their musical aspirations.
incorporated in instruments produced
It brings AMP!
AMP! director, Gareth Walwyn and
by AMI.
into the national
administrator Matthieu Maralack, who
Walwyn states that the AMIs
conversation, as
is a former Rhodes University Student
support has been appreciated, but even
Representative Council President,
if the organisation was not based in
the awards were
collected the trophy in Johannesburg.
Grahamstown, AMP! would still have
seen by many
Walwyn described the achievement
chosen AMIs instruments for their
influential people.
as fulfilling:It brings AMP! into the
projects. He believes that well-made
national conversation, as the awards
instruments are what gives the learners
were seen by many influential people.
Gareth Walwyn,
respect and pride in themselves.
Both the AMP! staff and learners
AMP! director
Despite their recent success, Walwyn
involved in it were celebrated for their
is still cautious of what the future
hard work.
could hold for AMP! and AMI, stating:
AMP!s partnership with the AMI began in 2011 when
Although the award was recognition of what we do, there is
instruments donated by the College of Transfiguration were
no certainty that we will be here next year. We just have to
in need of repair. The AMI assisted in their restoration,
fundraise hard and hope for the best.
providing materials, discounts, financial aid, the use of their
AMP! receives support from AMI, the National Arts
workshops and professional training.
Festival and Rhodes University. Sponsorship is vital for the
Walwyn was full of praise for the AMI, stating: They
continuation of AMP!s community engagement projects
are professional across the board. Without their help, we
which nurtures local musical talent.
would have struggled to get started. The AMIs support is
continuous and seen in the AMP!s ventures at the National
To find out more, please visit AMP!s Facebook page at
Arts Festival. The local business offers a helping hand when

Elle Williams

Kay Mosiane, fourth year BMus student and Top 100 General Excellence winner, is a performer who aspires to touch the hearts of people with her involvement in various musical genres and forms.
Mosiane attended The National School of The Arts in Johannesburg. She
specialised in music, specifically the recorder and voice. After completing her
studies there, Mosiane came to Rhodes University with the intention to further a
prospective career in Law and take Music alongside it.
However, halfway through her first year, Mosiane decided to dedicate her life
to music. Her inspiration comes from Jazz and R&B musicians, but she does not
limit herself and can sing classically. I am addicted to the magic that is music,
says Mosiane.
While studying at Rhodes University, Mosiane became familiar with the underground and alternative music atmosphere in Grahamstown. She attributes her
personal and musical growth to her enriching encounters with diverse musicians.
Because its such a small music scene, you kind of hear everybody. I have gone to
these people and have been able to talk to them. If I had
not been here I wouldnt hear their stories.
Mosianes band, Cookin and Steamin, has
received much praise for reflecting the diversity
of genres that Grahamstowns music environment
has to offer. She describes it as a jazz band that
is different from the typical music scene of today
because of its collaborative quality.
We are feeding off [the audience] and they are
feeding off us, and honestly it has just made
me a better musician, Mosiane explains.
Theres a certain kind of expressiveness that you get through singing
that you dont really get through
any other kind of instrument,
says Mosiane.
She wants to further explore
the underground music scene
and see as many music theatre
shows as possible. Mosiane
admitted that she has not
found herself entirely, but
she intends to form her own
music style one day. Mosiane
humbly expresses her musical ambition, I have never
aspired to fame. I am not
about the whole paparazzi
thing. My goal is to touch
people with this thing that
I do.
Her innovative musical
exploration has been wellreceived and has helped
her grow a strong following
in Grahamstown. Mosiane
plans to travel the world
Kay Mosiane, a Rhodes University
after she graduates from
student, has found her magic in
Rhodes University in search
music and she hopes to share
of different music scenes to
it with those who listen. Photo:
further build her impressive
and varied repertoire.

Rhodes University students explore the art of safe space

A picnic was held by the Gender Action Project

for students to display their art about gender in
aid of campus transformation.

Ayanda Gigaba
The Gender Action Project (GAP) hosted an
open picnic on 19 September 2015. In the
spirit of campus transformation, GAP invited
Rhodes University students to share art that
inspired their activism around gender.
The picnic was a safe space that gave people the
opportunity to express themselves without being
judged based on their biological sex, race, sexual
orientation, gender identity, culture, religion and
age. Safe spaces are based on respect and aim to
create an atmosphere of openness.
Vice-chairperson of the Gender Action Project,
Sian Ferguson, explained why the organisation used art as a strategy for creating a safe
feminist space at Rhodes University. By giving
people the chance to share, create, and discuss
art which is meaningful to them, GAP hopes to
create a safe space in which we can foster a sense

of community. Art can also be a great medium

through which we can challenge oppressive
norms and protest injustice.
SRC Activism Councillor Japhta Lekalakala,
explains how gender activism is relegated in
transformation discussions. I dont think that
issues of gender have been given adequate platforms in our discourse on transformation. The
effects and interplay between gender and sexuality and their various intersections of privileges
and pain need to be discussed and examined. We
see that sexuality comes as an afterthought to the
struggles of students in general, said Lekalakala.
The SRC organises colloquiums, awareness
events, campaigns and drives. It has partnered
and assisted societies in their plans to bring
gender and sexuality issues to the forefront at the
institution. These different platforms give students the opportunity to engage with their peers
and academia.

Feminist activist and poet, Myesha Jenkins

initiated the recorded poetry sessions that feature
on SAfm and they echo the same approach of using art to provide safe spaces. Jenkins aim for the
sessions was to provide a platform for community
poetry and create safe spaces for women on a
national level.
Lekalakala acknowledged that transformation
at Rhodes University can be achieved through
intersectional activism. Gender equality in our
institution is not adequately captured in informal
and formal structures of the university. Although
it is through the events of this year that we now
see the prominence of different discourses, feminism being but one, in a multifaceted attempt to
change the space to better reflects the circumstances of the student body.
Art is a medium that has the ability to appropriately represent the diverse student body and its
transformative ambitions for Rhodes University.

7 October 2015 The Oppidan Press


Arts and Entertainment

The art of African hair

Words by Ayanda Gigaba and Emma Campbell. Photos by Bronwyn Pretorius.

Rhodes University is well-known for its creativity. The students daring self-expression in their outfits and hairstyles contributes to the
creative atmosphere on campus. The Oppidan Press spoke to various black women around campus about what inspired their hairstyles.
Hair narratives are diverse and range from political statements to carefree self-expression.

Zola Mbatha
Ive always wanted to change my hair colour. I
started off with copper and it was a cool little change,
not too bright or anything. Then things happened in my
life and I needed another change. Charles Mackenzie from
the Rhodes Hair Dye Association and I looked at shades of
red. We found four different shades and then we tried them
out on different pieces of my hair. I chose the best two.
We used four containers of red hair dye on my head after
bleaching it. I wanted it to look like a fire and he made it
come out fantastically.

Cynthia Mahofa

Ciko Sidzumo
Im going to a wedding this long weekend and my family asked
me to do braids. Ive been seeing everyone trying yarn braids and
I thought Id try something new. I had an afro for two years, so it
was quite a big change. If I am going to braid my hair, I want to
have fun with it. I loved the colour. The ladies are walking around
so powerfully with their colourful braids and it is fabulous. I
bought the yarn, which was actually quite cheap, and a friend did
it for me.

Nololo Mfamela
The inspiration for my hair came from the
fact that I wanted to keep it natural. Obviously,
I have seen people with blond hair. It is a trend
out here, but I wanted mine to be different. I really like the colour. You could say it is too bright
but I feel confident with it and that is important.
I used bleach, but then I put an Alice band on my
roots so that it didnt go directly on them. I wanted
to keep the black line. My friend Mihlali Makuleni
did my hair, but I was instructing her.

I was on Tumblr and there were

so many girls with cool yarn
braids. I had really wanted to
try the hairstyle and then
when I got to Rhodes University there were so many
other girls with yarn braids.
I felt like seeing their
hairstyles made me want
to try them even more.
Around that time, I also fell
in love with the colour grey.
So I decided that I wanted
grey yarn braids and that is
exactly what is on my head at
the moment.

Rutendo Masasi
YouTubers and pictures on Pinterest inspired my hair. I didnt
like faux dreadlocks when I saw them at first, but the style grew
on me. I did a lot of research on Google to decide on what I
wanted it to look like. I went to the salon, but they did something
that I didnt like. So then I decided to do it myself. I got my own
hair fibre and wrapped it around the faux dreadlocks that I got at
the salon. I put dread clasps around a few of the faux dreadlocks.
I bought the clasps from the salon and put them in there.

Visa renewal

Q&A with Gorata



Local musicians win

Business Arts award


Junior SA coach appointed

Archery Club Chairperson
Staff Reporter

Discussions around transformation in schoolboy rugby have led to questions being raised about whether the quota
systems truly are beneficial or not. Photo: SUPPLIED

Top rugby coach slams quotas

Leonard Solms

ransformation in rugby is a
widely debated topic not only
nationally, but specifically in
Grahamstown as well. While St Andrews College, Kingswood College
and Graeme College have produced
15 Springboks between them, they,
like other traditional rugby-playing
schools, are still working to develop
more black talent.
St Andrews, who have given rise to
eight Springboks, only had five players of colour in their 2015 first team
squad. Oscar Hobson, who played as
hooker for the first team this year, and
Michael Strever, a 2014 matriculant
and former prop for the side, agreed
that this was due to the school being
predominantly white and the fact
that there is a stronger rugby culture
among white students.
Meanwhile, fellow private school
Kingswood sit three behind St
Andrews in terms of Springboks produced, but are transforming more rapidly. Their provisional 2016 first team
squad includes 19 players of colour.
However, public school Graeme
College have made the most progress
in terms of transformation out of
the areas traditional rugby-playing
schools. Of their 23 squad members in
2015, only three were white.
Graemes first team coach, Allan

Miles, is a former Border Bulldogs star

and Golden Lions Breakdown Coach
and Coaching Co-ordinator. Having
also presided over rugby at Selborne
College and St Andrews and coached
the Eastern Province Country District
Craven Week team, he has plenty of
experience in developing young stars.
Miles believes that the quota
systems used by South African Rugby
Union (SARU) in order to accelerate
transformation are, in fact, hindering
it. He claimed that provincial schoolboy quotas are forcing unions such as
the Blue Bulls Rugby Union to poach
talent from the Eastern Cape and place
them in schools further north.
Miles explained that when black
schoolboys from struggling families
are given lucrative offers from schools
with financial incentives, they feel
obliged to accept so they can ease the
burden on their households.
[Black schoolboy recruits] take
up those offers and...just become
casualties of the whole system and
they never really make it in the end.
Those schools dont care about them
after school. They only take them on
to try improve their rugby results, and
the unions just throw them out, said
Miles. Miles believes that transformation should be allowed to happen
naturally, without the aid of quota
systems, so that talented black players
would be able to stay in areas where

they have a support base. He claimed

that the cultural differences between
black and white children could be
bridged if black players were nurtured
as early as Under-9 level. However,
Rhodes first team coach Qondakele
Sompondo claimed that the government will need to stop building
apartheid schools with non-existent
facilities if rugby is to develop in the
Having gone to Amajingqi High
School in Adelaide, before matriculating at Newell High in Port Elizabeth,
Sompondo has experienced rugby
at township schools first-hand. He
worked his way up and even coached
Eastern Province at Under-19 level.
Despite his concerns about township facilities, Sompondo believes
that the school system produces a
satisfactory amount of talented players
of colour. He believes that professional
coaches in the country still hold the
opinion that black people cannot play
rugby and that this creates a bottleneck situation in which many of them
quit the sport after school.
Whether the main problem lies high
up the ranks, as Sompondo believes, or
at youth level, as Miles claims, SARU
will have to work hard to transform
rugby nationwide. They will be hoping that Grahamstown continues its
illustrious rugby history and produces
more quality players of colour.

Lance Ho, South Africas Coach and

Assistant Manager at Junes World
Junior Archery Championships,
was appointed as Chairperson of
the Archery Club on 10 September.
A PhD student in Biotechnology
with aspirations of coaching at the
Olympics, Ho comes highly recommended both from within the club
and from one of the countrys most
promising archers.
Hanno de Klerk, who Ho coached
at the World Junior Championships,
praised the new Club Presidents
influence on him at the tournament,
stating: When the tough got going,
he stood behind me, ensuring that I
was positive at all times, and encouraged me to give my best for every
arrow, said de Klerk.
De Klerk, who finished sixth in the
mens junior standings at the tournament, which took place in Yankton,
South Dakota, also claimed that Ho
was a great helping hand for the
whole South African squad. He even
went as far as to claim that South
Africa wouldnt have got as far as we
did [at the World Junior Championships] without [Ho].
Ettion Ferreira, the Rhodes
School of Journalism and Media
Studies Social Media and Marketing Manager and the Archery Club
Committees Tournament Officer,
was full of praise for Hos achievements after he returned from the
World Junior Championships. We
have some of the best archers in the
world right here in our country and
for Lance to be good enough to go
overseas with them is really a major
Ho plans to use his vast experience in the sport to make the Rhodes
Archery Club more competitive.
Specifically, he hopes to increase
the number of Rhodes Archers
competing at the Outdoor National
He aims to achieve his goal by
bringing better quality equipment
to the club and believes that this
measure could bridge the gap

The new chairperson of the Rhodes

Archery Club, Lance Ho, has great
ambitions for leading the club and
his future in archery.
between what the Rhodes archers are
currently using and what they would
need to work with at renowned
Ho, who will spend next year doing a post-doctorate for the Rhodes
Biotech Innovation Centre, still
found time to coach this year despite
his demanding academic schedule.
Although he plans to search for a job
in Johannesburg after leaving Rhodes, Ho has no plans to leave archery
I will be working on improving
my coaching and competition levels
and [trying to] gain some more
overseas event experience, Ho said.
He added that: I will always make
myself available for future members
to ask for advice and attend Eastern
Cape tournaments where possible.
Apart from his dream of coaching at the Olympics, Ho also aims
to compete and coach at the Senior
World Championships one day. A
big name in South African archery
and an ambitious competitor, he will
be determined to take the Rhodes
Archery Club to new heights.