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ISSUE 1 2012





rom concept to reality, it is with pride that I write my very first editorial to you, TXT readers. TXT aims at growing and changing. We are a monthly publication created for Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University students but this is our departure point. In the near future, we hope to be covering happenings and news-related events on campuses around South Africa. You are invited to follow us, connect, ‘like’ and communicate via any channel you feel comfortable with. Herolene Uithaler’s article on NMMU’s policy on social networking gives students the freedom to do just that with faculty and friends on a platform that suits the interconnected generation. Remember that the physical TXT magazine is not what you will read online. If you have not started planning your July holidays skip to Matthew Deas’ article - his how-to guide on the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. It is tongue-in-cheek and that is why we at TXT cannot get rid of him also why you will enjoy reading it as much as we did. Luke Irlam uncovers the story behind the man who rummages through the rich and rotting to give to the less fortunate. Rob James is an Honours student who does his bit for society as a modern-day Robin Hood. A regularl feature of the publication will be the ‘get-to-know’ section. Send through your suggests on who you would like TXT to ‘uncover’. In this edition, Octayvia Nance has spoken to politician, journalist and student representative, Mkhokeli ‘MK’ Bandla. She unpacks what he stands for and gives us some insight as to what we can expect in the up-coming months from NMMU’s Student Representative Council. Not many students will be able to afford the vehicle our motoring expert, Charl Bosch, took for test-drive but many will strive to own a vehicle in this class. Charl tells all in ‘The Juke is on You’ (page 14). Students are always hungry and we long for Mom’s homecooked meals. To get your mouth watering turn to Leigh Kooiker’s ‘The Mighty Cupcake’ on page 19. Leigh has included her favourite tried and tested recipes - if you are not the baking type, cut it out and mail to Mom so that she may surprise you with these heavenly delights when you arrive home after exams. Keep reading, tweeting, following and posting on our wall. We would love your input in our next edition - as this is your publication. TXT editor, Lynne Gadd-Claxton


DETAILS EDITOR: Lynne Gadd-Claxton SUB-EDITORS: Edgar Munguabe Jono Ferreira Herolene Uithaler CONTRIBUTORS: Charl Bosch Dulcie Baleni Jean Falconer Leigh Kooiker Leoni Erasmus Luke Irlam Maano Nekhavhambe Matthew Deas Nandipa Shologu Octayvia Nance Tarryn Groenendyk DESIGN: Jono Ferreira



15 ORGANIC CLOTHING THE LASTEST TREND 16 FEELING FRESH 17 MOLECULAR GASTRONOMY 18 ADDICTIVE HEALTH BINGES 19 THE MIGHTY CUPCAKE If you have any complaints, comments or praises , please visit us on our blog or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can get involved by emailing us if you think you have THE scoop! Any complaints should be directed to the editor in writing and further consideration will dealt with from there. If you would like to advertise in TXT magazine, please, drop us an email with the subject, “ADS”. If there is any information that you feel is incorrect, harmful or offensive direct your complaint to us in writing with the subject, “COMPLAINT”. Thank you for reading!






tudents �������������������������� at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University are all for communicating on Facebook as lecturers have provided them the opportunity to get interconnected with the world of networking for academic purposes. Interconnecting means linking all sides of a specific setting into one unit, and in this case this form of interconnecting has been done through the social networking site, Facebook. NMMU faculty members as well as society coordinators have introduced a new way to communicate with students, a way which is easy, familiar and convenient. An added incentive is that it gives students quicker access to their lecturers rather than constantly having to make appointments a week in advance. Although Facebook is a social network where users communicate and get in touch with old friends and families and is a way of finding long lost siblings, NMMU has incorporated it at the institution while still keeping it at an academic level. The BA MCC Facebook group has been created for students, studying Journalism; Media Communication Culture; Public Relations as well as any other courses that form part of the media and marketing industry; to form a community in which they can become familiar with all the necessary knowledge that will add to their

chosen careers. The university’s Faculty of Arts Department under the leadership of Dr. Bianca Wright, (Head of Department of Journalism, Media and Philosophy) has created a Facebook page for students, majoring in specialisations listed above. This also allows students to communicate with other students in their chosen careers as well as mentors who have experience in the media and marketing industry. Students interviewed said that the communication includes matters concerning their studies. It is a way for them to ask for professional advice, where they can do follow-up queries concerning matters they do not have full understanding about like: • how to apply for a job; • how to calm the nerves of internship hunting; • how to apply for work in another city; • how to get exposure in the corporate world; and • how to build up contacts with experienced agents in different sectors of the media.

Students interviewed about the matter of social networking had positive feedback about the impact it will have on their abilities to network individually. They also share their thoughts on the impact the new methods of communicating will have on students. Rozanne Meyers, a third year education students at NMMU gave her intake on social networking as a whole and also shared her thoughts on the impact the

new method has had on her as a student. Meyers said that with the new methods of communication, “I stay in touch with the university without actually being on campus.” According to her the idea of social networking for academic reasons will most definitely have a good impact on students as long as they use and apply it for all the right reasons and take responsibility for the privilege they have been given. She further added that now she has more access to information and it makes it easier for her to stay in touch. First year BA Media, Communications and Culture student, Lakin Smith, says although she has not joined the site yet she has heard nothing but good things about how students get to talk to people that are out of their reach. She claims that all she ever wanted was for someone to give her peace of mind that the working environment will be a challenge for everyone, even for those who have qualifications in their fields. Smith states, “I will be sure to join the site as soon as I have the time because I want to stay in touch with my fellow peers.” Theoretically, this however will not provide students with jobs unless they make the effort to follow up on information provided to them, but it will most definitely give them the peace of mind that they are not alone. It is clear the networking is there as an encouragement to students. The site also provides second and professional opinions students can count on.

© Herolene Uithaler





t is happening everywhere. It does not come as a surprise when you hear about it. It is just another “It is okay, you will get over it”. Almost ninety percent of the population in South Africa has fallen victim at least twice to it. No one is safe and no one is better off than the other. If it happens to you, you were most probably in the right place at the wrong time. It is okay, though, you will get over it. Everyone has been a victim of crime, whether it has been a scam, a burglary in, robbery and even the most serious of crimes such as rape and murder. Robbery is a crime that happens on a daily basis and people have grown so used to it that some will just watch a person get robbed and then turn their head away as though nothing has happened. Lusanda Ndamase was an unfortunate victim to a very disturbing crime, which in the process resulted in her facing her attacker after her slow recovery. “It was one of the most humiliating moments of my life,” said Lusanda Ndamase, a victim to the crime. “I do not usually cry but when it happened to me, I cried. I was not sad. I was angry. I wished that the vilest thing would happen to them just so that they could feel the whirlpool of emotion boiling up inside of me.” Lusanda and a friend were walking back to their flat after a night out in Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, when they were confronted by a group of about five or six men. “I was a bit drunk and so at first I thought these guys were joking,” said Lusanda. “Next thing I know there is a gun pointed at my chest.” The men told Lusanda and her friend to give them all their valuables. Of course their phones were taken and their wallets. Afterwards the men left, leaving Lusanda and her friend feeling angry and shocked. There is a stereotype that all robbers are dirty men who can be spotted from a mile away. As the cliché goes, “looks can be deceiving”. The robber could be the person that you catch the taxi with, it could be the very good looking person that you see almost every day. There is no telling who is going to rob you next. “You know what the ironic part of this is?” asked Lusanda. “A few weeks later, I saw one of the robbers on campus.” Seeing

your robber on the street must be one of the most difficult moments to relive. Does he feel any remorse about what he did? Why would he do such a thing to me? To anyone? Those were some of the questions that went through Lusanda’s head when she encountered her robber again. “On that same night we found police officers patrolling in the area,” said Lusanda. We told them what had happened to us but all they told us was that there was nothing they could do. “The guys were probably too far away for them to catch, the officers said.” Anelisa Mafu had an experience similar to Lusanda’s: “It was early evening in Motherwell,” Anelisa said. “My friends and I knew that some areas like N.U9 in Motherwell were not really safe, especially for girls, but we really wanted to go buy some goodies at Spar before it closed. We decided to leave our phones at home and only take the amount of money we needed to buy the groceries we needed. “We got to Spar safely but by the time that we left, it was fairly dark outside. As we were walking, we encountered three guys. At first I thought they were one of those random people who just like hitting on girls. I was ready to ignore them and walk around them until one of them pulled out a knife.. He threatened me and told me that if I took another step that would be the last step I’ll ever take. They demanded that we give them our phones and all our money. We told them that we had nothing on us except what we just bought. They insisted on searching us thoroughly, touching us in inappropriate places. I have never felt so violated in my life. I could throw up just thinking about it.” “The robbers, seeing that we had nothing, took what we had bought. A guy from across the road witnessed the disturbing events and came over to intervene, but in his heroic act, he got slashed on the arm. My friends and I, however, did not stay around long enough to see what had happened next. We ran all the way to the safety of our homes. “I am just glad that they only took what they took and that no harm was caused to us. I feel terrible about leaving the guy who helped us but there was nothing we could do. As we were making our way home, a traffic car drove past us and we tried to stop it and report what had happened but the people driving the car ignored us


completely and drove on.” It always seems that it is mostly women who fall victim to these sorts of crimes but men also fall into the category of victim. It would appear that these sorts of robberies are far worse for men that it is for women. Msutwana is also one of the unfortunate victims of crimes. He was assaulted in an area that is supposedly a safe and quiet environment. He became a victim of street crime in Summerstrand area. Msutwana was caught off guard and he did not have time to react.“I was out with the boys and we were at a club in Summerstrand. I was having a really good time, drinking and doing the social thing that we young people enjoy so much,” says Msutwana. “I received a call from my girlfriend and I went to answer the phone outside because it was too loud inside. My girlfriend and I began having an argument over the phone. She hung up on me. It was also quite noisy outside and so I decided to go over the road towards the beach and I called her back. “As I was talking to my girlfriend, I noticed three guys walking towards me but I ignored them, thinking they would walk past me. I had my back to them, when suddenly someone grabbed my phone from my hand and before I could react, I got punched in the jaw. Another guy punched me in the stomach and I fell to my knees and then they started kicking me. Luckily someone from across the road saw what was happening and called one of the bouncers. “The three guys ran away before the bouncers came to see what was going on. They took my phone, my wallet and my shoes. I was a bloody mess on the pavement and eventually an ambulance was called and I was sent to the hospital. I had a broken rib, a fractured jaw and a lot of scratches and bruises but I am thankful to have survived that.” Lusanda, Anelisa and Bantu were lucky to have gone through their ordeals and survived. Other people have not been so lucky. There have been stories of people losing their lives over a cellphone. The robbers are not satisfied with taking a person’s belongings; they have to take a life as well. Women have been raped and brutally assaulted during robberies. Is no place safe anymore?



riving to the industrial North End area three times a week and rummaging through damaged food products to obtain some sustenance not for himself, but for others, is Rob James’ part-time job. Also referred to by some as ‘The Modern Day Robin Hood’, Rob collects discarded foods from a packaging company and delivers it to those less fortunate at foster homes. Rob, who is an Honours Student in Construction Management at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), plays a vital role for the Non-Government Organisation, KICK, which operates within Port Elizabeth’s borders as well as nationally. The KICK organisation has arranged with various companies in PE to collect any usable waste food products, especially those which have recently expired or have had the packaging slightly damaged and are not fit to sell in store. To get a glimpse into what the job entails, one should look at the daily tasks which must be performed. Rob juggles his university career with his part-time job and often cuts it fine between the two. He is obliged to collect and sort the products between four and five ‘o clock every Monday, and Wednesday as well as deliveries on Fridays. During the working hours, his sponsor company, Freezer Lines, puts aside all discarded products specifically for collection by the KICK organisation. Manager at Freezer Lines, Frikkie Botha says that the company is more than happy to be donating the foodstuffs to a worthy cause and it is a win-win arrangement. If the foodstuffs were not collected, they would just be thrown away for good. One of the pre-requisites for the job is a vehicle that is appropriately equipped for the task at hand. Rob racks up the kilometres on his Opel Corsa ‘bakkie’ but is subsidised by KICK, who receives financial donations. Sorting through the clusters and piles outside the warehouse, whilst wincing at the near passing delivery trucks, is not for the faint-hearted. Often food stuffs have spilled which makes things very messy. Rob has had to brave the cold, stiff muscles and cut fingers all for the good of the cause. Rob often holds his breath when the


MUNITY trucks and forklifts pass within inches of his personal vehicle, fearing for its safety. So far, his bakkie remains unscathed. He gathers the collection on Mondays and Wednesdays. The responsibility of deciding on what is consumable also falls on Rob’s shoulders. He has had to leave behind old foods (more than three months expired) and potentially harmful consumables such as alcohol or even shaving cream. Rob fills up his Corsa weekly with a broad range of tummy-filling nourishment and is fortunately able to lock it up safely under the protection of his canopy. He delivers on Fridays to one establishment per week out of five, traversing far and wide to supply the underprivileged. The beneficiaries in Port Elizabeth are: Ithemba Lam, Khayalethu, Siyakhatala, Thandusana and Zanethemba. These are located across PE, from Forest Hill to Newton Park. Depending on the haul, Rob will deliver to specific places, with other establishments receiving donations from other modern-day Robin Hoods. After working with KICK for 15 months, Rob confidently believes that his involvement has grown him as a person, able to sympathise with those less fortunate which reinforces his “don’t take anything for granted and appreciate what you have” ideal. The job is challenging at times but Rob is assured that the ‘feel good’ factor overrides the rest, leaving him feeling rewarded and refreshed. In his words, “There is always opportunity to top-up your humanity, do what you can when you can, however you can.” This attitude that Rob has adopted relays the Ubuntu principle that, “umntu ngumntu ngabantu (We are, because of others)”, and reminds us that social upliftment and community awareness plays an important role on many levels, and to many people. It is stand-up organisations and people like KICK and Rob that bring tales of enduring fiction to life. Thank heavens for their selfless contribution to society and being a beacon of light and hope for those who live in a shadow of doubt. Everyone is urged to get involved and become a reallife hero just like the noble Robin Hood. Make a move and give of yourself because it is through giving that you will receive. For more information visit: <http://www.> or join KICK on Facebook.



elson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Democracy (CANRAD) was established in 2010 to promote and further establish non-racialism within the university and its communities. CANRAD presented a discussion on post school education as part of the organisation’s series of dialogues scheduled for the year. The topic was presented by its research associate, Adjunct Professor Enver Motala. Motala has worked for more than 30 years in the educational environment. His research has a strong focus on the development of education and training policies in the environment of our country’s transition to democracy. The National Development Plan states the 2030 Vision as, “By 2030, South Africa’s rural communities should have greater opportunities to participate fully in the economic, social and political life of the country. People should be able to access high-quality basic services that enable them to be well nourished, healthy and increasingly skilled. Rural economies will be supported by agriculture, and where possible by mining, tourism, agro-processing and fisheries.” Motala argued that the government’s 2030 Vision of having trained and employed 4-million people is “unrealistic”. Motala believes that in order to address South Africa’s three biggest concerns, namely; unemployment, poverty and inequality, the state needs to focus on post school education and training. Motala reiterated, “The state’s present framework of thinking is drowning out oppositional voices, ideas and thoughts. We are becoming complacent; the academias are becoming complacently silent.” He highlighted that government recognizes the three big concerns yet is not taking action. Throughout the globe the rate of unemployment is increasing at an alarming rate, with Brazil as the exception. South Africa alone has 25% of its workforce unemployed, in other words people are qualified but remain vocationally unemployed for reasons beyond their control. Globally, il-


literacy levels have reached the one-billion mark. This trend is having a ripple effect on the number of people remaining illiterate. Motala said, “The issues of unemployment and illiteracy are not improving, there are no guarantees of jobs. Monotony of industrial labour and the promise of a few multinational corporations providing jobs is nonsense. It is a shallow dream.” Motala suggested possibilities for improving unemployment, inequality and poverty. He stated that we need to understand the relations between skills and employment and there needs to be a critical discussion on government’s policies. The inflexibility of the working market and poor infrastructure adds to the problems facing government on this issue. He said that there is a lack of awareness of choice. Communities need to be made aware of the alternatives in economic activities. Motala recognized the Bizana communities who are doing socially useful work that offers employment and skills training to members of the community, allowing sustainable development. Motala acknowledged the positive developments too; he praised South Africa on being able to successfully work through difficult social and economic situations. The country has proved itself to succeed in the face of adversity and this is the country’s advantage. Motala said, “South Africans need to do the kinds of activities that will create better, broader conceptions of socially useful labour and move away from mechanistic.” The discussion is the second in CANRAD’s 2012 seminar series. The next seminar topic is youth and education presented by Community School Director Dr. Al Witten, Director Prof. Nonnie Botha from the School for Education, Research and Engagement and Dr. Jennifer Winstead. The NMMU community is invited to attend the seminar taking place at CANRAD’s Resource Centre Thursday, 31 May at 14h00.







oung Community Shapers between the ages of 16 and 25 years that are actively involved in developing, building and empowering their communities can now enter a competition aimed at honouring young people who make a difference in their community. The Independent Cash and Carry group and Shift introduces the Young Community Shaper Awards. This project aims to promote excellence and the culture of learning by honouring young South Africans. Streamline Advertising is the copyright and the trademark holders of the Young Community Shapers project. Sanet Yelland of Streamline Advertising said, “In brief the annual awards, identify, acknowledge and celebrate youth that are actively involved in developing, building and empowering their communities. Acknowledging young community shapers and ploughing funds into their projects help the entire community.” According to Yelland, the awards offer the youth an opportunity to showcase their projects. By adapting these projects they and their competition sponsors are able to provide training, facilities and guidance and grow the projects that will benefit all. Entrants to the awards are based on the following criteria; candidates must be between the ages of 16 and 25 years and must be at school or college (be a South African student), their school or college must approve their entry. Candidates must motivate their reason for entry in an essay of no more than 300 words and candidates must run a community project that benefits the community. “Our communities’ youth leaders must contribute, communicate, engage and respond to their community’s needs in a meaningful way. They must work in partnership with other sectors to the benefit of the community. This is a compulsory category,” said Yelland. The community projects could cover sports, AIDs counseling, drama, art, science, feeding schemes, caring for the sick and elderly, nursing, keeping youth from committing crime and drug counseling. Yelland also added that the project has two sub-categories: Social Upliftment and Skills Transfer. Shift, screened live on SABC1 Monday’s and Tuesday’s, is the media partner for the Independent Cash & Carry Group and Shift Young Community Shaper Awards. Shift will share the information about the awards over the next few weeks and film the final event. Entries close on May 14 and final judging takes place June 25. Prizes include R60 000 cash for the 1st winners project, R30 000 for the 2nd and other finalists receive R10 000 for their project. Watch Shift on SABC1 on Monday and Tuesday at 1:30pm for details or visit to download forms.


bjectivity has surely never been so blunt. Two Dogs has published a ‘guide’ to all ethnic groups which awkwardly function within our beautiful country’s borders. There is honestly nothing so satisfying and refreshing as taking a comical stance on South Africa’s racial differences and the results thereof. This book addresses that which few dare, or even know how to. If you are looking for a book that will have you in stitches of laughter, even if you are all by yourself, this is definitely the book for you! Anthropology, that will make you cry with laughter. The author, Simon Kilpatrick has somehow discarded all bias and prejudice, from every perspective. It is as if he has transformed himself into an extraterrestrial being, sent by his home planet to conduct painstakingly detailed research on the key aspects of racial groups and the interaction of undeniable segregations. The approach is absolutely fantastic! The book has been divided up into racial segments. Obviously this has been done so as to maximise ease of reading and allow for straightforward contrasts. There is, depending on how you view it, nothing or everything racist about. No one likes to be catagorised, as done here. Fortunately, for the sake of peace and/or effectiveness, no group has been omitted which lends to the ‘this is not racist’ factor. The JHB Live describes the book: “It’s funny because it’s true and that’s why we love being South African... A brilliant and lighthearted means with which to dissect our layered and wonderful population.” The book is divided into six equally hilarious segments in the following order: Blacks, Whites, Afrikaners, Indians, Coloureds and Miscellaneous. Interestingly, Whites and Afrikaners have been placed in separate entries. This highlights the book’s impartiality to skin pigmentation, but rather makes the distinction by the very true generalisations which the different ‘racial’ groups display. It contrasts, for example, how the ‘Afrikaners’ cannot construct a proper English sentence but reminds us that the ‘Whites’ do not even make the effort to speak Afrikaans. The book also incorporates the history behind the groups, humorously educating the reader and reaffirming that South Africa’s past has shaped the Rainbow Nation of today, without which, the book would not be possible. Kilpatrick makes use of analogies too, explaining where the terms ‘Rooinek’ and ‘Soutpiel’ derived. The miscellaneous segment deals with foreigners living within our borders such as the hairy Greeks, Germans who deny Afrikaans affiliations, and South African expatriates too. The ethinc segments are further divided into characteristics which they display such as Blacks on sociability and stress and time management, Whites on how to be the boss and affording themselves some pleasures. The Afrikaners are poked fun at on being world champions and naming their children, Indians on becoming westernised and the theory of sales; Coloureds too, with being sensitive about nothing and their community of clowns. The abovementioned quirks and more are comically illustrated by sketches throughout the book. The visual-appeal and familiarity with such leaves no room for dull moments. Similar books published by Two Dogs include “50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa’ and ‘Some of My Best Friends Are White’. The sheer straight-talking tone throughout the book is rewarded with a smile, a laugh and a heap of amusement. Nothing new is learnt, but we are reminded of our clear differences and are made able to laugh at them. This is just what South Africa needs.


MUNITY NMMU SOCIAL WORKERS: PRO- ended the day and one-hundred balloons MOTING A BETTER WORLD were released as a symbol of the NMMU’s



elson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Department of Department of Environmental Health and Social Development launched the Global Agenda for Social Work at the university’s South Campus Auditorium on 26 March. The Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development Commitment to Action is a global movement that addresses societies’ major challenges facing it. This coincided with the United Nations’ Social Work Day where throughout the globe a social development commitment was to be put into action over the next four years. The university’s social workers organized a tin food collection drive across its campuses. With hundreds of canned goods collected, the department’s students would be distributing it to various non-profit organisations and homes for the less fortunate in the Port Elizabeth area. A fun day was had by all. A competition to see who could spell out the words ‘Social Equality Worth + Dignity’ using tinned food

Department of Environmental Health and Social Development commitment to the Global Agenda. Student Supervisor and Lecturer in the Department, Amanda Calitz, said that the day is not to highlight all the negativity in society and the environment but “spells out the strategy to implement the Global Agenda.” The Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development Commitment to Action was handed over to roleplayers of social development, NGOs and grassroots organisations on the day. Calitz highlighted from the Global Agenda that social workers commit to support, influence and enable structures and systems that will positively address the root causes of inequality. Furthermore the agenda commits to create a socially-just and fair world for future generations. There are four key focus areas the Global Agenda prioritises guided by the core and ethical principles of social work:  Promoting social and economic equalities;  Promoting the dignity and worth of peoples;


 Working toward environmental sustainability;  Strengthening recognition of the importance of human relationships. Third year social work student, Marius Ruiters who is Green Campus Initiative secretary, said that they would be implementing various green projects and sustainable initiatives within the communities.” Ruiters further added, “Everyone needs the environment, we all rely on the environment to sustain life. Everyone needs to implement initiatives to sustain our environment.” Robin Pesencie, final year social work student, said, “The entire department and its students were excited to make this event happen and to make it a success. It definitely brought some welcome relief from the exam tension too.” The Global Agenda was a collaborative initiative undertaken by the International Federation of Social Workers, the International Association of Schools of Social Work and the International Council of Social Welfare. In preparing for the Global Agenda, social workers, social work educators and social development practitioners were consulted extensively.

© Lynne Gadd-Claxton



s I write this piece, I feel indebted to the lectures to give them a little inside scoop about the real nitty-gritty of a varsity student; or rather our biggest survival kit. At present there is an innovative event that is profitably making the campus rounds and becoming reasonably current with students –operative words being, “reasonably and profitably” the knack to access deceitful doctors notes. These excuse letters for university are being explicitly commonly overused and these doctors’ notes allow people to get out of a variety of different events. An example etched in my head is the late submission of assignments and everyone’s favourite, overlooking a test and accomplishing a doctor’s note the next day. Our greatest skill at tertiary level, thanks to our lectures is holding pen and paper. Our biggest gift is common sense, alas; common sense is not too common. Nonetheless, here are my 2 cents worth for fellow students: Dear relative students, if you choose to download or bargain fake doctors’ notes as apology letters for university –or for whatever reason, it is warned that you get a good one that will not get you into misfortune. Many people use fake notes for a wide assortment of motives, but many actually have sincere reasons for using them. Ask me. Having to compensate your doctor is most of the time out of the question, as the best of us are not burdened with glut dough. However, miss a class, and many lecturers tediously necessitate that you have a note from a doctor in order to make up the work and get a decent Duly Performance score. This is a grim problem for varsity students to face. Many have now amusingly taken up to downloading fake excuse letters for faculty in order to make up their work and get out of school when they are sick without actually having to go to the doctor. Of course it is not just students that are deciding to download fake doctors’ notes. I bet the masses, the blue-collars would find these notes not so medieval. There are many people who work hard at their job, but when they get sick, they do not always have the coinage accessible to pay for the doctors’ visit. So, they either have to lose pay at work, risk getting sacked, or character out a way to get an excuse from a doctor. It is easy to see why many of them are cherry-picking to download fake doctors’ notes so that they can keep their job without having to spend a titanic sum of money on a doctor or on a visit to the emergency room. If you do choose to download fake doctors’ notes, there is something that you need to keep in mind. You truly need to make sure that you use these notes carefully. Of course you may get away with it a few times when you are trying to avoid going to a doctor, but you probably will not want to use them just to get a free day off work. So, make sure that you use these doctors’ notes printable with restraint and try to use them when you really need them. Need to get out of work or school? No problem. Get the excuse you need now. Image: © By Jono




XT Reporter Octayvia Nance speaks to our very own Mkhokeli Bandla. Leader of our Oppidani Council 2012. Oppidani students are those who do not live in one of the residences on campus. MK, or better known as Mcore, talks more about Oppidani and himself. For those of us who do not know, what does it aim to do? All non-residential NMMU students are automatically members of the Oppidani House and are known as Oppies. Although Oppies live off campus, it is important that participation in non-academic life is encouraged. The Oppidani Council is the body of elected student leaders who will support and encourage you to feel at home. How have you obtained this position? Obviously for sure I was deployed by my organization (Democratic Alliance Students’ Organisation-DASO) to the Students Representative Council (2012) after DASO won the SRC 2011 elections. I am deployed to execute the tasks and challenges faced by the off campus students. Why have you decided to become involved with Oppidani? The reason why I joined the SRC is because I saw that the previous SRC couldn’t do as expected, hence the off campus students felt left behind. I am here to strive for what is right for the students in general. Since coming into this position, what have you done that you are most proud of? The first thing I told myself and my council (made up of eight members) is that we are there to build the bridge between the off campus students and the on campus students, not only that but also to bring back the sense of belonging to the off campus students that has been long lost. In our plan of action for 2012 we have covered activities that will make the off campus students feel the institution’s atmosphere. Just on Saturday, 28 April we had an Oppidani Sports Day/Tournament that was aiming at the full participation from all off campus residences. This tournament is going to be an on-going tournament, even next year; the champs for this year are going to be defend-

ing the title in the upcoming years. And also around August this year, we are planning to host Mr and Mss Oppidani. All the events I have talked about never happened before, that means anything that is done by the SRC for off-campus students is in its early stages.

What do you still plan to do with the “power” you possess? My personal sentiment about my job is to leave a big legacy in the Oppidani portfolio. As off campus students were ignored for decades, it is on my shoulders to make them feel that they are part of this university. I want to give the upcoming Oppidani Officer the challenge, meaning the challenge for him/her to up this game. Are there any upcoming events that we can look forward to? Except for the events that I have already mentioned above, the SRC is still going host Mr and Miss NMMU, and I am playing a major role there as I am overseeing the Promotion and Marketing Committee. Intervarsity is also on its way, this year it will be held at Rhodes University. There are just many upcoming events for the NMMU students. MORE of MK: -Field of study: In my third year National Diploma in Journalism -Why have you decided to go into this field? The reason why I decided to do Journalism is because I like really to know what is happening within our society, and also I perceive myself as an updater for the people. In a nutshell I like working for the benefit of another man, especially those who aren’t informed; basically I am the voice for the voiceless. But the part that many people get shocked to hear is that, I won’t use my Journalism profession as I am going to add Political Science to accomplishments as to prepare myself for the political world as it seems like I am slowly but surely falling into. -What are your future goals and aspirations? My goals involve growing with a society where I can continue to learn, take on additional responsibilities, and contribute as much of value as I can. I see myself as a top performing employee in a well-established organization, like Democratic Alliance. I


plan on enhancing my skills and continuing my involvement in (related) professional associations. I also would be very happy when I have left NMMU and look back to check my successors on how are they going to be executing the projects that the SRC Oppidani Council 2012 is busy introducing to the institutions. Mkhokeli describes himself as outgoing person. Caring, loving and people’s person. like coming up with something new, not just new but interesting. Controversial and debatable issues is something that I like most, with a bit of everything, from politics, music, sport. INTERESTING is the key word. believe me you don’t wanna miss out. He is vluent in Xhosa, English and Zulu. Mcore is a Liberal at heart. He says Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism (RESPECT FOR THE CONSTITUTION), liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights, the free exercise of religion. Favorite Quotations: “I have a dream, that people will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character”: Martin Luther King junior “every artist was first an amateur”, “if you would create something you must be something” “hard work breaks no bone” , “nothing but the truth”, “well done is better than well said”. Mkhokeli is not just friendly person but possesses firm leadership qualities and can only grow from here. He is definitely a person you should watch out for; our very politician, in our midst.



nce the province of gangsters, sailors and criminals, the tattoo has become a piece of art that is becoming more sought after and understood. The increasing popularity of tattoos finds individuals asking themselves the volatile question of getting a piece of body art. As of 2003, the Harris Poll discovered about 16% of individuals (compared to 6% in 1936) sporting tattoos, with 36% of people aged 18 to 25. I got my first tattoo at the age of 20, despite my parents’ discouragement. I have always liked tattoos, but the thought of having a permanent mark on my body seemed overwhelming, considering the decision process of choosing what to get. But I wanted to express myself by a work of art that represents me that was the deciding factor. “YOU WANT TO GET WHAT?”

© Tarryn-Lee Warner

My first tattoo is placed on the inside of my left ankle, my own interpretation of Buddahs endless knot, a seven sided knot that is half black and half white which represents karma and the result you have with how you live your life. Underneath the knot and flowing ribbon are the words “free living”. For me this represents my life and how I live it. I have worked hard for what I have achieved and it just shows that karma exists – do good and good things will happen. I am very happy with the results and will not consider getting it removed. It is true that getting “inked” is addictive – hence my second tattoo on my left hip, a phrase that represents the flaws we all have and the realisation that we are made to be who we are, that no one is perfect - it states that, “We all have flaws. The

end.” I love it! “I think too many teens get tattoos as a trend, or as a way of feeling more in control. I do, however, know some people underage who have some really amazing art on their body. It is different for everyone.” – CJ Ramsey. Having to disagree with this statement is two-sided. It is true that the generation of today are getting tattoos at a younger and younger age, perhaps to show control, or simply for the reason to express themselves freely. Art is art in every sense of the word and one should embrace it. In some cases however tattoos are either a benefit or for others they can seem like a liability. They can help one to witness certain people, and other times they are a stumbling block to people. I feel sometimes that people who are against tattoos and the representation that show, are quick to judge me because of the tattoos instead of getting to know me first. In most cases however, individuals seem more interested that the opposite, asking what it means to me when they see it for the first time and are appreciative of how well it was done. Generations change and so therefore attitudes need to as well. Chinese tradition dictates that one’s body if a precious gift from one’s parent and should never be abused or defaced. Today, people cannot help noticing that tattoos have become a fashion accessory, and although the process is somewhat painful and even bloody, tattoo lovers do not complain: no pain, no gain. What attracts me to the art of tattooing is the strong artistry of it. Painting on the skin with needles is definitely different from drawing on paper, with each design representing what has inspired me at that specific time. It is unique and can never be repeated.

© Tarryn-Lee Warner




ne of the greatest things that people take for granted is their house; a place someone can call their own and do whatever they please with it. Housing is one of the biggest challenges that this country faces. To address this issue the government formed the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) eighteen years ago. How successful the programme will be can only be determined in years to come. As of 2001 the RDP has managed to build over 1.1 million houses. However, as with any other programme or organisation there are people who do not benefit or do not meet the criteria to benefit. They have no way to qualify for the programme or any family to look after them. They have nothing and tend to drift from place to place. They fall through the cracks as it were. To help address this, Daniel Bezuidenhout, a young architect from Port Elizabeth has decided to start an organisation called ho[me] (pronounced home-e). According to Jolandi Snyder, the organisation’s public relations officer ho[me] wants to “reach out to people on a one-on-one basis, raising or improving living conditions by small additions and alterations or complete rebuilds, depending on needs and resources”’ The organisation is very much still in its infancy and draws largely from the congregation of Harvest Christian church, of which Daniel is a member. The project planning began in 2011 and came to fruition on 12 November last year when the group gathered to begin building a house

© Jean Falconer

for Memory and Spencer Musakanyi, a couple from Walmer township. They originally hail from Zimbabwe and both hold valid work permits. They have a place with a daughter, Natasha, aged three, who attends a playschool in Walmer Township. They have two more children: a boy of ten and a girl of eight living in Zimbabwe with Memory’s parents. Spencer currently works at Spar and Memory is a domestic worker. When asked how she felt about the project Memory said, “We are very happy and like everything that they are doing.” When asked how she felt about the move to South Africa, Memory said, “There is poverty in Zimbabwe, it is better here because there are jobs and we can make money to provide for our family.” A member of the group agreed to let ho[me] build on personal property and signed a lease agreement with Memory and Spencer. The director of the project, Daniel Bezuidenhout, gave the group of volunteers an overview of the plans for the house, which is to be a 15m2 structure built from various materials to ensure a solid floor and roof. According to the blog, which is a diary of the project, there was more work than was expected. This did not in the least daunt the enthusiasm however. This organisation hopes to one day get involved in small scale community projects to see to their needs as well as having an impact on local government with regards to regulation and application of low cost housing. Ho[me] believes that a key to achieving this


goal is engaging with people, assessing their needs and prioritising them. The organisation also believes that project and intimate nature of the relationship will result in a sense of shared ownership and will aid people in finding alternate methods of building with the materials at their disposal such as using tyres and glass bottles, both to be cost effective and environmentally friendly. If you would like to become involved and/ or donate time and/or materials visit the group’s blog at http://happy-home-me.



here are a number of disabled students at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University but it seems that there are not a lot of facilities for these students. This is not just people who cannot walk but people who are blind and/or deaf. NMMU does provide for those who are in wheelchairs by having ramps in most of

ed to go to the Kraal area on South Campus, he would have to go to building seven where he would take an elevator down to the lower ground floor and then he would have to go down two ramps to get to the Kraal. It would be suggested that ramps be built on the main stairs that lead down to the Kraal. There has also been a question of whether disabled students are provided with transport. Transport for the disabled is provided when they cannot access the shuttle,

down notes for them and providing them to the disabled student. Disabled students need assistance in the labs as well. The volunteers may also help out during tests or exams. They could assist those with impaired vision by reading out the test paper questions to them. Some of the disabled students might also have problems with writing for long periods of time, so they might need a scribe at hand. The volunteer could help out by writing down the answers for that student

the buildings around the university campuses but there are not a lot of facilities yet that have been provided for blind and deaf students. The Disability Services Unit has said that they are in the process to have more facilities for these special needs students in the future. Although there have not been many complaints from the disabled students, there has been an outcry from one or two students. “It’s great that I can move around freely in my wheelchair but sometimes the ramps are too far away from where I want to go,” said a student who uses a wheelchair. An example would be if the student want-

which commutes between the campuses. The Disability Unit said that they are doing their best to ensure that the disabled students are as comfortable as able-bodied students. The Disability Unit is also trying to get volunteers to help out whenever they can with one-on-one assistance with the disabled students where able-bodied students help disabled students prepare for exams and help with assignments. This does not mean that the volunteer must do the students’ work for them. Another way to help out would be classroom support. The volunteers help those students who are unable to write notes themselves due to their disability by taking

exactly as dictated. The more students who volunteer at the Disability Unit, the more awareness there is about disabilities and the Disability Unit on campus. If anyone would be interested in helping out at the Disability Unit, contact the office on (041) 504-2562. They could use a little more help and it would be a great way to help others.



Image courtesy of © By Jono.




he Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’ s staff is currently working on finalising documentations for the launch of an on -campus radio station for its students to broaden their abilities of becoming broadcast journalists and radio hosts before going into the corporate world. Rumours of a new radio station being established at NMMU have been declared true by Student Representative Council President, Yusuf Cassim. Cassim, however, has confirmed that no queries regarding the radio station can be related to yet as developments are still in process. According to Anda Nyondla, an active member of the SRC committee, the Vice -Chancellor has shown much enthusiasm with regards to establishments of a new radio station. He confirmed that there was indeed a radio station prior to the considerations of a new station. He informed that all documentation was already completed but he is not entirely sure what caused the cancelation thereof. Rumors have been circulating around campus, SRC President, Cassim wants to assure all that nothing has been finalized yet. According to Cassim the Vice- Chancellor, Derrick Swartz said that the previous radio station experienced a lack of good leadership skills. According to Cassim, it is one of the reasons the SRC committee has been appointed to deal with all matters regarding the creations of the soon to be new and improved station. Cassim enthusiastically stated, “Whether a

name and location is in question, all queries will be answered as soon as all necessary steps have been taken”. This is, of course, to ensure clarity and stability. He claims that their first priority is, “to ensure that the radio station becomes a reality.” In order for the station to be brought to life, the secretary general of the student representative council, Samantha Beynon has been appointed, he said. Beynon, (The active secretary general), also stated that the developments are still in the early stages and, therefore, she cannot fulfill curiosity as of yet. Her reasons for this are that no announcements have been made by Professor Swartz together with Cassim. She further stated that all matters regarding establishments are directly dealt with by Swartz’. Beynon stated that there will indeed be an on-campus radio station. She confidently assured that as soon as more details have developed, NMMU students will be the first to know. Current students interviewed have seemingly built up enthusiasm about the matter that will soon emerge, but which is still technically considered a rumour. Octayvia Nance, a third year National Diploma Journalism student at NMMU shares her thoughts. She claims the introduction of a new radio station will definitely be a challenge. She states, however, “The reaction of students will be good.” Her take on the radio station is that “NMMU is not just a learning institution but a practical one that involves the developmental aspects of the students’ abilities”. She feels it will increase interest between those who are involved with the university as well as those who do not form part of


the institution. A final year Journalism student, Lynne Gadd-Claxton’s outlook is seemingly different. She claims “the radio station will give students an opportunity to build their portfolios and help give them the exposure they need in their chosen careers.” According to her, students will continue to listen predominantly to their favourite station as, she claims, they do not change often. She confidently stated that the most common location where students are likely to listen to the soon to be launched university station will be in the Kraal area where students come together to enjoy their lunch breaks or attend out door functions organized by students. Student representative for off-campus students, Mkhokeli Bandla, could not agree more. According to Bandla, the radio station would be of great benefit to media students. He claims that, with the introduction of a new station, “Broadcast students would not have to face many hardships in the corporate world.” He said that, this is an opportunity for the institution to become more recognized and build up resources for students. He considers the radio station as not only a privilege but also a pleasure that all courses could benefit from in the long run. Whether it is called ‘Madibaz FM’ or ‘Madibaz Live’, according to students and staff, the NMMU radio station will indeed make a change in the lives of students at NMMU. © By Jono.


hen Nissan announced that the controversial Qazana concept car, first shown at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, would go into production as the oddly named Juke during 2010, it was thought that all would be radically different; after all you would expect that the change from concept to production would be massive but not in the case of the Juke. Before we get to the looks, let us first begin with the basics. The Juke is based on the same V-platform as the Nissan Micra and in terms of price, it slots in between the Micra and the bigger Qashqai. The Juke is available with either two 1.6 litre petrol engines; a normally aspirated unit with 86 kW and 158 N.m of torque or Nissan’s brand new DIG-T (Direct Injection Gasoline-Turbo) unit with 140 kW and 240 N.m of torque. Pricing starts at R199 500 for the entry level 1.6 Acenta and levels out at R258 500 for the top range 1.6 DIG-T Tekna. Now on to the Juke’s controversial looks. It certainly stands out in the crowd which could be good or bad. The almost bug-like headlights are placed on the front wings while the oversized fog lamps take centre stage next to the grille which sports the Nissan badge inside a piece of chrome shaped like a V. The rear end is far less quirky with the tail laps shaped almost like a boomerang that goes up to the rear window. Different it certainly is and will certainly be classified as ugly rather than styling. Yet, the styling is individualistic and will appeal to a certain market clientele. Given the fact that there is already a six month waiting list, it would seem that people have taken a liking to the styling. Personally, I love it. Inside, the Juke is a lot less quirky. The in-

terior feels well put together and devoid of cheap plastic finishes. A feature only available on Acenta+ and Tekna models is the option of having the transmission tunnel finished in either silver or red. Our test car was in a colour called Bright Silver and had the sliver finish on the transmission tunnel. It is certainly not as striking as the red and fails to lift the cabin ambiance. Yet some might view the red option as an aftermarket fitment anor a bit tacky. Owing to the sloping rear end, passenger head room can be restricted. As for standard spec, the Juke is loaded with all the latest tech. Aside from the usual luxuries, our test car came with a multi-function steering wheel which had controls for the Bluetooth, cruise control and funky toggle switches for the 6 speaker radio/CD/MP3 player. The sound system also comes with auxilary inputs for your iPod or USB. What sets the Juke apart from its rivals is the interactive screen at the base of the hang down section which shows the settings for the climate control and also contains a G-force meter. But this screen also house a the graphics that gets shown with the pressing of a rather conspicuous button marked D-MODE. Push it and up comes a choice of three settings; ECO, Normal and Sport. Scroll down and select Sport mode and everything changes. The ride becomes firmer, the steering harder and throttle response becomes more instant. As our test car was the top line Turbo model, Sport mode makes you appreciate this car for what it truly is. Mash your foot into the carpet and there is a massive surge as the turbo spools up and within seconds, you are in another dimension. Coupled to a standard six speed manual box (a five speed is standard on

the normally aspirated models) the Juke becomes a pleasure to drive as the clutch is light and the gear changes in Sport mode are quick. This is a car that makes you want to drive it in Sport mode everyday. However, scroll back to normal mode and it settles down and becomes a comfortable cruiser. ECO mode is simply for those who are on an economy ride but honestly, buying the Juke Turbo for its economy is just odd. Opt for the normal 1.6 then. Speaking of fuel consumption, Nissan claims that the Juke Turbo will do 6.9 litres / 100 km while the taxable emissions are 159 g/km. As for performance, top speed is claimed to be 215 km/h and 0-100 km/h in 8.0 sec’s which is very good for a car of this class. The Nissan Juke not only exceeded every notion I had about it but I can see why people are keen to wait for six months for theirs to arrive. It drives well, it is very well equipped, and in Turbo form, it is just fantastic. Yes the styling is very much debatable but honestly, once you drive it, you forget about the looks. Then there is the matter of cost. As stated our Tekna model costs R258 900 (including the optional leather seats) and includes 17” alloy wheels and a 3 year / 90  000 km service plan. Its biggest rival, the similarly powered yet less powerful (135 kW) and less practical Mini Countryman Cooper S, is R87  000 more expensive and does away with some of the equipment of the Juke. The only negatives of the Juke are the rather small boot and limited rear headroom but that is it. For a vehicle with individualistic looks, it is well equipped and goes like hell for under R300 000, the Nissan Juke 1.6 DIG-T Tekna is simply the best. By CHARL BOSCH





he fashion industry is constantly undergoing changes and new trends come and go. Luckily the new trend is safe for the environment but also friendly for your skin, talk about killing two birds with one stone. You can now buy organic clothing which not only has many effects that are beneficial to the health of the planet but could also have a positive impact on your life. You should embrace organic materials; it decreases pollution and is an allergin free material so those who have sensitive skin or are prone to rashes would also benefit from it. No toxic chemicals are used in the production of organic material so every time you buy an item made of organic material you are taking a step in the right direction and decreasing your carbon footprint. Most organic clothes are made from recycled materials such as cotton, linen, bamboo, paper and silk. These materials give you trend-setters the opportunity to show others that you could help save the planet while looking stylish at the same time. Bamboo is now the hottest sustainable eco-fabric used and is not toxic, making it eco-friendly not far behind also trending on the popular list is the most desired silk from the mulberry silkworm. Many stores in South Africa are now stocking ranges of organic clothing and Woolworths is piloting commercial-scale organic cotton farming in South Africa, to develop a local source for its 100% organic clothing range. Earthchild is another megastore that provides organic clothing to all members of the family. Go purchase organic clothing for the health of our planet and wear it for your health.

Š Partimi S/S 2011 Lookbook





he measured benefits of exercising outside have proven to result in increased productivity, less anger, quicker thinking, faster healing and prolonged lives. The lesson being that we need to get out more. Imagine a therapy that had no known side effects, was readily available, could improve your cognitive functioning and make your body stronger and fitter – all for free! No, this is not an infomercial; I just want to alert you to the benefits of ex-

ercising outdoors. It is not just about your body – exercising in the open air is good for your mind too. According to research led by Dr Jo Barton at the University of Essex in the UK, just five minutes spent walking or jogging outdoors in green spaces can immediately improve your mood and self-esteem, and reduce your risk of mental illness. So if having a healthy body and happy soul sounds appealing, then read on: we have found the best places around South Africa for you to exercise outdoors, whatever your workout of choice. Here are some options and places to experiment: • Learn to surfski in Durban. Durban’s warm water creates the perfect nursery

conditions for this social and strengthbuilding sport. Addington Beach is the best place to learn to surf ski because it lies in the corner of Durban bay, so it’s protected from the majority of the swell that comes up the coast. The beach is always clean and the facilities at the new Marine Surfski Lifesaving Club include everything a paddler needs, from showers to boat racks. This sport is best suited for individuals and couples who are seeking a relationship building sport. • Practice yoga under open skies. Spoil your senses and add an extra dimension to your yoga practice by doing sun salutations in the fresh air. Feel the breeze as you flow through the poses and just enjoy being outdoors. If you do not have the confidence or discipline to practise on your own, get a bunch of friends and head to the beach, garden or park and breathe in and out the fresh air goodness. • Start running. When in Cape Town, take a visit to Silvermine Dam. This allows you to run somewhere that is easily accessible and has great views. “Here, with the panoramic views of Hout Bay, Noordhoek and Cape Point, the hard slog up the hill is worth it,” says SA’s top ultra-marathon runner Ryan Sandes. Plus, if you work up a sweat, you can cool down in the dam afterwards. Here in our very own city, we have the most beautiful stretch of coastline that runs along the shore of Port Elizabeth. Running along the beachfront while the sun is setting is highly relaxing. The key to gaining a heightened sense for cleaner living and fresh air exercising is to simply get off the couch that you are sitting on while reading this, and get outdoors. Whether it is by yourself, with a friend or partner, exercising increases endorphins, making you a happier version of yourself.

© By Jono






hether we call it culinary physics or experimental cuisine, it still does not justify the glorious invention of molecular gastronomy. This is the term used to explain the physical or chemical transformations occurring when one puts together different ingredients and test their ways of being cooked, as well as the interesting results that can be discovered. This style of cooking changes your outlook on food and is a terrific new invention that is changing trends in the culinary world. This modern style of cooking is practiced by scientists and food professionals who have seen this as a new opportunity that has changed not only our expectations but has pushed the social, technological and artistic components of food and cooking to a new level. Molecular gastronomy includes many dif-

ferent studies on how different cooking methods or temperatures could affect elements like thickness of the food, surface tension, infusion of new flavours or even different ways of introducing air into the food substance while being cooked. This scientific investigation has inadvertently evolved into a revolutionary practice to people who love food or fine dining and has now become a phenomenon in the culinary world. This scientific invention has brought about many magical and mind-boggling dishes like reversed bakes that are hot inside but cold on the outside. This new style of cuisine has given chefs the opportunity and possibility to explore and create dishes that have a surprise element for diners. By scientific ways you can introduce new flavouring components, which gives the food a more intense fla-

vour. This definitely pushes the boundary of what diners consider as normal and has created a shift in expectation for the term â&#x20AC;&#x153;fine diningâ&#x20AC;?. Not only does the food taste different, it creates a multi-sensory dining experience as chefs incorporate the different ways that the dishes can be presented in an artistic way to create an avant-garde cuisine. There are many great chefs and restaurants that incorporate dishes that are created by means of molecular gastronomy but, Heston Blumenthal is one of the most well known chefs that experiments with different cuisines, and has many cook books as well as his own television show that educates people and gives tips on molecular gastronomy. Remember the term, molecular gastronomy as it is now something we will hear a lot more about.




ealth, strength, confidence and an active mind should mean a lot to you. People’s perception of “pretty” is somewhat, shallow and unjust. Tedious comments should rarely, if not ever, bother you because happy person is hot. Jealously is a happy person yet unintelligent and kind of un-evolved. Time to move on to a new way of thinking, because I am not, “my little wobbly bit” – also known as tissues of human body chilling out at the top inner section or whatever of my thighs. Compare me to a couch or a house or a building or a country or the world, I am absolutely, we are absolutely tiny – yet grand in our own special ways. Change your lifestyle, follow the tips below and you could lose 10 kilograms in two months. Results may vary due to our different metabolic rates. The first foods you want to eliminate from your diet are sugar, fried foods and white flour. You want to eat natural and unprocessed food as often as possible. Sugar: Anything containing sugar is bad, from cereal, sodas, to a small bag of jelly babies. They all turn into body fat fairly quickly. Fried foods: Crisps, French fries, pastries. All have high levels of calories and fat. Cut out mayonnaise and butter while you are at it. Opt to use olive oil instead. White flour: White breads, pastas and most cereals. The below revealed do not affect your blood sugar levels enough to cause your body to store fat, as they are digested very slowly. The healthiest carbohydrates are: Vegetables Oatmeal (no sugar) Sweet potatoes Brown rice Carbs are: Whole-grain bread/buns/corn/flour Fruits (especially bananas) Aside from the carbs listed above, our meals should consist of: Chicken breast Turkey breast Tuna Salmon

Egg whites Almonds Low-fat cheese (cottage, feta) Lots of vegetables (leafy greens) Lots of water (add a squeeze of lemon) BINGE FIXTURE You are going to want to eat 5-7 small meals/ snacks in a day. Your body is pretty much similar. You need to feed it a little bit every two to three hours to keep it burning fat. The longer you go in between meals, the more likely your body is going to store what you eat as fat. This is because your body does not realize that there is food almost everywhere in the world we live in. It still thinks you are a caveman. And cave-men did not get to eat very often. Sometimes once every three to five days starving. Dehydration is most important, you need to drink one liter (between six and eight glasses) minimum per day. Water is what carries the toxins and fat you burn off out of your body through your urine. It does wonders for your skin. If your urine is not clear like water, drink more. Also, take a multi-vitamin, like Centrum. But remember, losing weight is 90% about what you eat, not how much you exercise. Also, your weight goals should not be the number on the scale. Focus on how you feel and how you fit in your clothes.

(less than 60 grams a day). If you were to do cardio, ride a bike or jog for 20-45 minutes every day, and diet. You will be several sizes smaller in no time. Remember, losing weight is 90% about what you eat, not how much you exercise. Focus on how you feel and how you fit in your clothes. Body builders and fitness models basically live this way. Not only is it low calorie, low carb, high in protein and natural, it controls your blood sugar levels and how your body uses the food based on the glycemic index. Permit yourself one “cheat meal” a week, Sundays preferably. Gorge yourself on chicken burgers, vegetarian pizza, or sweet potato fries, it does not matter. It will taste better than it ever has and also give your mind and body a break. And lastly, if you can lift weights, circuit train and a add little bit of yoga and Pilates three times a week, your body will thank you for it. So go ahead, and exercise till your body behaves. #FitnessTeam

HEALTH STRENGTH CONFIDENCE ACTIVE MIND So our body is designed to store what we eat as fat, because fat has the most energy (calories) per pound. If you sleep all night, then skip breakfast and do not eat up until lunch at say 11:30am, you probably have not eaten anything in 12+ hours. Your body thinks you are starving, that there is no food to eat. Then you procede to eat a nice, greasy, calorie-loaded slice of pizza. Your body will then store most of it as fat because your body thinks there is a food shortage. For your small size, aim for five to six, 200250 calorie per meal or snacks. Try to eat 20 grams (that is a palm full) of protein at each meal, and of course, you are going to want to keep healthy carbs to a minimum


© By Jono



ho does not enjoy a cupcake, or ten, now and again? These almost bitesized treats are always delicious, no matter what flavor they are, and for us girls who worry about our figures, we do not feel too guilty indulging in just one of these small delights. With the cupcake trend spreading like a plague, one has to wonder how these delicious treats came about? Cup cakes evolved in the 19th century in America after housewives complained that their cakes always ended up burning, or were taking too long to bake. The invention of cupcakes was therefore revolutionary as it saved a lot of time in the kitchen, taking a mere 20 minutes to bake, and hardly ever burning. Cupcakes were first given the name “number cakes” as the measurement of ingredients used to make them was very easy to remember: 1 Cup butter 2 Cups sugar 3 Cups flour 4 Eggs 1 Cup milk 1 teaspoon baking soda Later, the name Cupcakes was given to them as they were originally cooked in cups, and because most of the ingredients used to make them were measured in cups. The cupcake-craze has reached a new level in recent years, with several business’ spe-

cializing in cupcakes emerging all over South Africa and the rest of the world – the most well-known cupcake shop in Port Elizabeth is The Baking Shop on Heugh Road, Walmer. This gem opened its doors in 2007. After single mom, Janice, took her love of cupcakes and baking to the next level. Being passionate about all things sweet, Janice offers a wide range of cupcakes in the most exciting flavors – my favorite being the Morning Buzz: A Chocolate Mocha Cake with Coffee Butter Cream Frosting topped with a small meringue. Ranging between R8.50 and R10 per cupcake, The Baking Shop is a small slice of heaven for any cupcake fanatic, and is open six days a week. Being a self-confessed cupcake-junkie, I decided to launch my passion into second gear and bake a few of my favorite cupcake recipes. I am quite a chef in the kitchen, I will admit, but cooking and baking are extremely different tasks, as I realized when my first batch of Coffee-Caramel Cupcakes looked more like chocolate mousse… Needless to say, I perused my task and in the end turned out three, I feel, satisfactory batches of cupcakes – they could not get photographed for a food magazine or anything, but they looked edible and tasted great. For my unconditional love of Vodka I baked Happy-Hour cupcakes, for the “health-nuts” I baked Carrot and walnut cupcakes – because eating veggies in your cake does count, and for those who breathe, sleep and eat chocolate, I baked Caramel Mudcake Cupcakes.


© Leigh Kooiker

CARAMEL MUD CUPCAKES WITH DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE Cupcake recipe Ganache Recipe 100g white chocolate, coarsely chopped ½ cup thickened cream 125g butter, coarsely chopped 200g dark chocolate 2/3 cup brown sugar ¼ cup golden syrup 2/3 cup milk 1 cup plain flour 1/3 cup self-raising flour 1 egg, lightly beaten → Preheat the oven to 170°C. → Combine the chocolate, butter, sugar, syrup and milk in a saucepan. → Stir over a low heat until melted and combined. → Cool the mixture for about 15 minutes. → Sift the both flours and add to the caramel mixture. → Stir in the beaten egg. → Bake for 30 minutes. → Cool the cupcakes before adding your frosting. To make the Dark chocolate ganache: → Break chocolate into small pieces and put in a small bowl. → Put the cream into a saucepan and bring to the boil. → Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until chocolate has melted and is smooth. → Allow the ganache to stand until it has cooled and thickened.

© Leigh Kooiker




loemfontein - Football followers from the central part of South Africa welcomed good news on Thursday, 10 May, as the trio from Europe will be touring South Africa. Everton, the Barclays English premier league team from the Marcie side, together with Glasgow Rangers, the Scottish giants, this year‘s UEFA Europa League Cup runner-up, Spanish La Liga’s Athletico Bilbao, will be heading to Mangaung to take part in a friendly tournament with the ABSA Premier Soccer League side Bloemfontein Celtic. Soccer Laduma reported that the Swedish television company IEC, which is most likely to host the event, will pay a sum of R30-million to sponsor the tournament. Mangaung City alone will add up R5million. The majority of South African fans will be hoping that Everton will come along with their midfield maestro, Bafana Bafana captain Steven Pienaar who re-joined the “Toffees’’ on loan from Tottenham Hotspurs during the January transfer window, due to lack of game time at White Hart Lane. Pienaar is expected to return to the London based team at the end of this season, but reports suggests that the South African international wants to continue playing at Goodison Park. The IEC commercial director said, “The tournament is definitely on and will take place every year for the next five years. IEC wants to see this replacing the Ajax Amsterdam tournament in which the English giants Manchester United and Arsenal feature regularly” he told Soccer Laduma. The much anticipated tournament will be played at the Vodacom park stadium in Bloemfontein this July 21 and 22 respectively.



ohannesburg. The South African national rugby team suffered a big blow ahead of their test matches against England last month. The Springboks will have to face the English team without their speedy winger Schalk Burger who is nursing a knee injury. Burger sustained a knee injury while playing for his team Stormers during the maiden weekend of the Super Rugby in February. Burger, 29, had remained optimistic since his injury, that he will represent South Africa when they clash with England in June 9, but the Stormers reported that he will not be able to make the final squad as he has not fully recovered. “Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen and Nick Koster [all knee injuries] are expected to return only after the June break,” reads a statement on the club’s website read. Vermeulen’s unavailability will cause negative impacts on the Springboks as he made a huge impact at the beginning of this season before succumbing to injury. The two teams would be avoiding any sort of controversy as Burger was once banned by the International Rugby Board for approximately eight weeks after being found guilty of eye-gouging the Republic of Ireland’s winger Luke Fitzgerald back in 2009. The Springboks will open their test series match on 9 June at the Mr Price Kings Park Stadium in Durban, then proceed with the battle on 16 June at the Coca-Cola Stadium in Johannesburg where the two rivals will complete the test series on June 23 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. All games will kick off at 5pm.

© By Jono





pinning on your head, contorting your body into something reminiscent of a pliable Tetris game; welcome to the arena of the b-boy. Breakdancing has come a long way since the days of flattened cardboard boxes on the subways of bustling cities. In South Africa, we have the prestigious accolade of the Red Bull athelete - membership is exclusive to the uppermost echelon of athletes - that group of human beings that surpass the expected performance. Bigger, higher, further... These are the men and women who literally take to the stratosphere! Vouks Nojokes is the Red Bull affiliated b-boy of South Africa. Having the honour of performing


with the likes of Lilou and Roxrite - reigning b-boy champions - is an incredible delight! Vouks is always laughing - his ebullient attitude a reflection of his happy personality. Having had the opportunity to spend time with Vouks outside of the professional arena has provided me with a very unique insight into the world of a class of human being that is driven to succeed. Yes, you may have a goal or a drive or even a passion but are you willing to push for it until your body and mind are at the point of supernova? The imagery is of a star bursting - its dying spark exploding with an immense combustible force. In this case ,Vouks has literally burned through some of the headgear he uses to perform with. Beyond that we are talking about a man who has poured countless hours of his time into a passion that became a lifestyle and a profession. After the kids leave and the media stops reporting on the subversive sport that went mainstream, Vouks is still ‘rocking’ and ‘windmill’-ing his way through the competition. Having run the gamut of sponsors and currently endorsed by adidas, Red Bull and Red Bull Mobile - Vouks is no stranger to the endorsement game and speaks about it with an air of responsibility - alluding to the fact that there will always be people who want to exploit you when they see that you are exceptionally good at something. You can catch Vouks and the finalists of the Red Bull BC One in Johannesburg this month as the competition comes to an end. To find out more head over to and cop the current news on scene. © By Jono



When discussing contemporary modern culture it has been suggested to me by many of my unshaven constituents that attention must be shifted, at some point, towards the field of the Arts. Indeed, this view is shared so strongly by the bearded folk that they have organised themselves into hosting, for the last few decades, the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. In Grahamstown. Having wanted to view this bizarre spectacle, I, last year, gathered together a team of the most trustworthy and adventurous spirits this side of the N2 to brave the harsh journey northward. As they all had better things to do, I was forced to settle on taking my girlfriend instead and so began a weekend battle against hyperthermia, poverty and “The Liberal Arts”. The ordeal was taxing and, in hindsight, a little planning on my part would have gone a long way into anaesthetising the experience so I thought I should, being as it is my duty as a South African citizen, compile a list of do’s and don’ts for those courageous enough to attempt the trip this June. STEP 1: The Preparation No excursion, of any nature, could or would be successful without prior planning. Would a cyclist leave home without his puncture repair kit? Would the 1972 Andes plane crash survivors have lasted as long without remembering to pack extra relatives? Planning is invaluable.   Grahamstown is cold. Very cold in fact. This is predominantly due to a geographical phenomenon that I do not fully understand and/or care about. Interestingly, it is at the towns coldest that the fest has been chosen to be held so pack accordingly. One should also make special effort to purchase a beret for the trip for reasons that shall be made clear further down the line. Bookings too are essential, partly due to the time saved standing in queues but mostly due to them forcing you to actually attend events instead of spending the week camped down at the Rat and Parrot, questioning why you even bothered to leave home in the first place as it is warm at home. Grahamstown is very cold.

© By Jono

STEP 2: The Drive Depending on where you happen to be in the country, the drive has varying degrees of beareability. It should be spent reviewing the week’s plan, which entails looking over times booked to see shows and complaining about how they all overlap. Time should also be taken to construct impressive sounding words that do not exist, such as “beareability” to facilitate a smooth and effortless acceptance by the indigenous population of Grahamstown. Those, unsure of the words meaning or indeed existence, will be hesitant to question it due to their seeming “less underground than you”. This will then be followed by an invitation to join a drum circle and/ or corporation expansion protest, on or off Facebook. The remainder of the drive will be spent cursing at truck drivers while discussing their lack of purpose in society with your fellow travelling peers. STEP 3: Checking In Despite all other indications, hippies are possibly the single largest advocates of consumer capitalism in the modern world. They have mastered a most insidious skill of being able to sell accommodation consisting of a half completed mud hut with hammock interior and a hole in the ground next to a puddle for the price of a comfortable night in at the Radisson Blu and at no time is this more true than during an arts festival. Still, it is possible for a cash-strapped art enthusiast to make do. One way is to book the number of nights required at the Yellow Piano Inn which happens to be a personal favourite of mine. Twenty kilometres outside of Grahamstown, situated in the rolling valleys of central Eastern Cape, for a mere R100 per night (depending), one

can purchase the privilege of spending a few nights in the company of Volkher and Claudia von Lengeling and their sadistic turkey. The meals are exquisite and the cottages homely. Why, even the turkey (who, in a stunning display of evolution at work, has grown to roughly the pecking height of a homo sapiens’ genitalia) greets one with the enthusiasm and warmth not commonly associated with the greater area of Grahamstown as Grahamstown is very cold.

© By Jono

STEP 4: Visiting Galleries Visiting art galleries is not advisable; however, one may find oneself in desperate need of a lavatory. In such an instance it is important to note that most galleries are in possession of such. Before entering, it is strongly advised that one adorns oneself with the beret mentioned in step 1. As you enter it is common place to notice a lack of free confectionaries and wine. This should not perturb you as you are only there to find a toilet. Social protocol dictates that it is only polite to view each piece on display for no less than 160 seconds before beat-


AL GUIDE © By Jono

ing a hasty retreat. WARNING: Most exhibitions are kept under the watchful eye of the artist themselves. As you have cunningly adorned a beret, the artist may mistake you as one of his or her own and leave you to your business of silently critiquing the works on display however, if trapped between the artist in question and the next display on ones slow crawling towards the lavatory do not panic. Complement the artists subject and spare no effort in mentioning your admiration as to how the light was captured. Scientists have studied the phenomenon of “capturing light” for the past seven years and have concluded that no one, including the artist, has any idea what it means and yet is deeply pleasing to the artist in question when complimented. The dropping of the phrase “neo classical” will not hurt your chances of a speedy escape either. Once you have promised to invite the artist in question on Facebook and e-mail a few original pieces of your own, continue your pilgrimage towards the porcelain alter. If the artist attempts to engage in conversation thereafter, one is now permitted to reveal ones true motives of entering the exhibit. If this offends the artist, mention how much you admired how the lavatory captured light. STEP 5: Visiting Shows Shows are preferable to exhibitions as they generally feature movement. Science has shown that, when comparing a random group of ten volunteers, forced to watch a 30-minute acrobatics performance, to another group of ten random volunteers, forced to attend a 30-minute art exhibition, not one of the acrobatic group members felt an urge to complement the light captured during the performance in comparison to seven of the exhibition members

feeling the urge to complement captured light “very strongly”. I would strongly advise taking in a music show. With only a 40% possibility of all shows turning out to be a drum circle, the odds are in your favour. These shows are generally cheap and indoors, which is good as Grahamstown is very cold. Comedy, acrobatics and illusion magic have also been held with high regards in previous years and are a good option, partly because they are thoroughly entertaining and a value for money but mostly because they are indoors and Grahamstown is very cold. STEP 6: Walking the Streets. It is strongly advised that, before venturing into the public eye, one must equip a beret. A beret, in Grahamstown, is a symbol of power and social stature much like the bird feather hats of Papa New Guinean tribesmen. If, however, you have neglected to bring one (despite strong warning to the contrary) you may run the risk of confrontation by the indigenous people. It is imperative, in this situation, to immediately acknowledge, to the confronter, the lack of beret atop your scalp. Follow this up by complimenting their own beret with special emphasis on its’ “bareability”. Phrases such as, “Hemp is the new cotton” and “Chinese clothing is destroying the local economy” are crucial to success. Chuckle heartedly with your new found compatriot. If he invites you to attend an art gallery he is hosting, politely decline and tell him that you have already been to the restroom. STEP 7: The Purchasing of Memorabilia Just do not.


STEP 8: Rhodes University At some point, every visitor to Grahamstown should feel compelled to stroll through the fields and hallways of Rhodes University. Quite naturally so as the campus stands as a majestic paragon of academia adorned with old granite walls, creeping vines and marble staircases and yet, much like the alluring scent of the Venus fly trap or the sirens song, it is a trap! It is strongly advised that those still in the process of acquiring credentials should avoid Rhodes University at all costs. Fortunately, the University holiday, which the National Arts Festival falls into, manages to lure away many students yet a few linger on campus, presumably to pick off stragglers. One must remain constantly vigilant on campus and pay special attention to movement. Confrontation with the Rhodesian student genus is little more than a violent struggle for survival and one that not even a beret could assist with. Still, if confrontation is unavoidable your catch phrase should not deviate from, “I really wish I could be doing my course at Rhodes.” This should be sufficient enough for the student to leave you unharmed or perhaps even offer you a place to stay inside as Grahamstown is very cold.   

© By Jono

STEP 9: The Rat and Parrot It is strongly advised that you take the time to become equated with one of Grahamstowns most popular pubs. This is for histories sake. A fun little game that can be played and enjoyed by you and your constituents is to promise only to leave when it becomes warmer. This should facilitate a brief and responsible visit as Grahamstown is not very cold.


Note: The following views expressed in this article are based on the personal experience of the author and further reflect his personal opinion.



he annual Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (Little Karoo National Arts festival) has become a sacred festival to all Afrikaans speaking South Africans in which they celebrate their culture and heritage through music, stage productions and art. Since its inception, the festival has taken place in the Karoo town of Oudtshoorn which during the month of April turns into a massive hive of activity. From a personal view, I have never enjoyed the event as Oudtshoorn, in summer, is the last place to be with temperatures easily exceeding 30 degrees Celsius and sometimes even reaching 40 degrees. To walk around stalls and exhibitions in that heat is not a pleasant experience yet this experience took place during my first visit in 2004. For 2012, the festival was much more pleasant. It was decided to stay the night in Mossel Bay before getting up early the next day to travel the 100-odd kilometres along the R328 to Oudtshoorn. This road is much more quite to travel on than the national roads and what a road it turned out to be. The scenery on this quiet road - especially at dawn with mist hanging in the air - can only be described as stunning. Then about 60 km outside Mossel Bay is the Robinson Pass which if you are a motoring enthusiast like I am, is truly heaven. Perfectly sculpted roads along the mountain sides with sharp and hairpin turns makes you wish you were in a well sorted sports car. Reaching the summit and descending down the other side is an equal thrilling experience with more sharp... Umm... My apologies for thinking that this is a motoring article. Anyway the last 23 km, is just a flat road until you arrive at a turn off onto the R62 which takes you directly in the town centre. Unlike in 2004, the show this year was smaller which can be attributed to the high petrol prices and even the 2008 economic slump. Yet after parking on the local high school rugby field and only paying R25 for the entire day, you immediately forget about time as you wonder between the stalls. The centre of town has been closed down leaving you free to walk the street and visit some of the local art galleries. The Oudtshoorn show grounds is where the main attractions are and this year was no exception. From food stales to handmade articles, the KKNK had it all. On the grounds was the Huisgenoot magazine tent where various Afrikaans singers performed during the day. As we arrived during the morning and went home only during the afternoon, we unfortunately did not get the opportunity to witness the big-hitters of Afrikaans music. Yet the most noteworthy act during that afternoon, was Wicus van der Merwe with the master fo ceremonies - actor-singer, Stefan Ludik. After staying at this tent for the majority of the morning, we then walked about a kilometre back into the centre of town and went to the Radio Sonder Grense tent which was situated in front of the C.P. Nel museum. Some of the acts were good but probably the biggest stand out was a young girl who came onto stage in cowgirl-type clothing. As can be expected she did receive a lot support - predominately from the ou Afrikaner oomies (uncles). With our time running out and knowing that we still had to go back to Mossel Bay, we left after watching the final act at the RSG tent, which was that of David Fourie who some might recall from the second season of SA Idols. He was at the show to promote his new album and celebrated his tenth year in music. In conclusion, you need at least three days to fully appreciate the KKNK. If you are not into walking each day at the festival, a visit to the Cango Wildlife Ranch is a must and so is the Cango Caves on the outskirts of town. It does not matter if you are not interested in Afrikaans music or even if you cannot speak Afrikaans, you must simply pay a visit to the festival as there is something about it. There are many eateries and there is so much to do and see. For 2013 you simply have to visit the KKNK and Oudtshoorn. It will change your view about the Afrikaans culture.



South Africans are in for a huge treat when the popular ventriloquist Jeff Dunham returns to our shores in June. Being dubbed the funniest ventriloquist on earth, Dunham will visit South Africa for a second time to complete his latest wordwide tour, visiting Durban, Johannesburg, Sun City and Cape Town. Dunham gained worldwide fame and recognition when his one-hour self-produced special, Arguing with Myself, was showcased on Comedy Central in 2006. More than two million viewers were enthralled by Dunham’s outstanding ability, sparking a string of future success for the ventriloquist, and making him a comedic phenomenon. Since then, Dunham has produced several stand-up specials, including Spark of Insanity and Controlled Chaos, both reaching record ratings. His DVD sales have reached 7-million units and his videos have been viewed over half a billion times on Youtube. In conjunction with this outstanding success, all Dunham’s local and international shows have been sold out. Being the most well known ventriloquist of our era, one has to ask what sparked

this unusual talent? According to Dunham’s autobiography All by Myselves: Walter, Peanut, Achmed and Me, Dunham’s fascination with ventriloquism began at the age of eight, “when his parents gave him a Mortimer Snerd dummy – a character made famous by the renowned ventriloquist, Edgar Bergen – as a Christmas present.” Since then, Dunham performed anywhere he could, entertaining audiences at local clubs and functions, and after moving to Los Angeles, making regular guest appearances on The Tonight Show and Late Night with David Letterman. However, fame did not come easy, it was only after his stint on Comedy Central that he became a household name, at the age of 44. Struggling to achieve success among a large comedic society was not easy, but his appearance on Comedy Central catapulted him to becoming the top-grossing live comedy act in the world in 2009 and 2010. Dunham’s popularity stems not only from his amazing stage presence, but also from the unique characters he has created, most of whom will be present in his upcoming tour. His most famous character is Achmed the Dead Terrorist, a character whose awkward antics have made him a favorite among audiences, and whose signature saying, “Silence! I keeel you,” has become a world-famous


phrase. Dunham’s other famous characters include Walter, the grumpy retiree, the overexcited Peanut, the stereotypical redneck Bubba J, and the spicy pepper from Mexico, Jose Jalapeño, all of whom are extremely popular and have their own crowd of fans. Having watched a number of Dunham’s shows on Television, I know just how hilarious this comedian is, and I can only imagine how much better he is going to be live. Make sure to grab a ticket soon and see, first-hand, why this talented comedian was named “the most popular comedian in the United States.” Dunham’s SA tour will begin in early June, and fans can catch him live at one of the following venues: Cape Town: Grand West Casino Tuesday, 5th June 2012 Durban: ICC Arena Thursday, 7th June 2012 Pilanesberg: Sun City Superbowl Saturday, 9th June 2012 Johannesburg: Carnival City Arena Thursday, 14th June 2012 Friday, 15th June 2012 Tickets are available via Computicket, or by calling 083 915 8000 and are priced between R250 and R500 each. Image courtesy of




he earth is but one country and mankind its citizens,” One religion is built upon this concept, the Bahá’í faith. The Bahá’í community is close knit one;in South Africa the Bahá’í faith has roughly 214000 followers who are part of the 5 million worldwide. Founded only a century and a half ago, it is the world’s youngest religion, so when speaking about faith to the layman Bahá’íis not the first that springs to mind. Here in the Eastern Cape the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University is the only university with a Baha’i society.It is administered by six students, but promoted by one, Bayan Gcume, the public relations officer. BAYAN’S BEGINNINGS Bayan is from Motherwell in the Eastern Cape, born of Bahá’í parents. Her father was a Christian who for years was at odds with Christianity; he converted to Bahá’íafter finding sense in the writings of Bahá’u’lláh, the religion’s founder. Her mother became a Bahá’í through marriage. Surprisingly, for Bayan, becoming a Bahá’í was not automatic. From a young age she was taught the teachings of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Traditionalism. It was only at 15 she chose to follow the Bahá’í faith. Her parents gave her the freedom to choose because there is no dogmatism in their faith, “I had a choice. I could have chosen any one finger but I chose the whole hand,” she said with a genuine smile. In an increasingly globalised world this is the world reli-

gion if there ever was one. It is the whole hand because it embraces the writings of all religions in an effort to unite humanity through a common faith. INVOLVEMENT WITHIN THE BAHA’I COMMUNITY Bayan is a beautiful girl, she is slim, her skin glows and she has a radiant smile. Many girls in her shoes become egocentric, narcissistic and capitalize on their looks, not Bayan. She is humble and dresses simply, this reflects her altruism. Her energies are directed towards the Baha’i community. In 2008, with her father, she taught the importance of prayer and meditation to a children’s class and a junior youth group in Motherwell. This is how Bahá’ís worship God, but their involvement with the youth community was not with the goal to convert them, their efforts were to calm the wild spirits of restless youths. The following year she moved to Port Elizabeth to study psychology and sociology. At NMMU she is the public relations officer for the society, publicising the devotional gatherings that usually take place weekly during lunch break. Outside of varsity she receives devotees at her guardian’s house, a fellow Baha’i, for discussion sessions or “firesides”, a term coined by Bahá’u’lláh’s son Abdu’l-Bahá in his many travels. As Bayan explained, “He would gather with interested parties at one of the believer’s homes and sit around the fireplace to discuss and answer questions of the faith.” The firesides organised by the

NMMU Bahá’í society are less folkloric, there is no fire and many of the people who attend are Christians. A range of controversial topics are usually debated: homosexuality, ghosts and polygamy are among some of the heated topics that have been discussed and with much disdain. People generally have preconceptions and Bayan attempts to moderate these debates to find a middle ground. As Bahá’u’lláh said,“We must investigate the truth first without preconceptions.” ON GOD She fully believes in all teachings and is highly involved in the community. Bayan is one of the nine members of the local spiritual assembly of the Nelson Mandela Bay. She has met the nine members of the national spiritual assembly and next year she will meet the nine members of the Universal House of Justice who are the international parents of the faith. What is in the number nine motif ? The number nine represents the recognised manifestations of God through the prophets, Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, Bab and the latest of the known prophets, Bahá’u’lláh. “God is the sun and the prophets are shards of light, a glimpse of God for humanity to see and be guided by, but we as human beings can never know what God is,” she said. The logic follows, if we were to know what God




AND MANKIND ITS CITIZENS is we would cease to be humans. The chair you are sitting on cannot ever comprehend the carpenter that made it; if it did it would not be a chair anymore. BAYAN’S SPIRITUAL JOURNEY Bayan’s biggest spiritual journey will take place next year. At the start of the Bahá’í calendar in March she will travel to Israel on pilgrimage for 19 months, the equivalent to one year in the Baha’i calendar. She was accepted to serve at the International Teaching Centre of the Bahá’í World Centre. Work performed in the spirit of service is, according to the Bahá’í teachings, a form of worshipping God. A photo of the Bahá’í World Centre on her calendar looks impressive. There is a lit staircase of over 100 steps leading up to centre that looks remarkably like the Taj Mahal. “That is where I will work,” she points. The core work she will do will be similar to what she does in the devotional gatherings in and around the Nelson Mandela Bay which is to instruct people from all walks of life about the three sequence of books, which are: •understanding Bahá’u’lláh’s writings; • deepening of prayer; and • accepting the mystery of life and death. She speaks of her prospective future with a glow in her eyes. However, her excitement is bitter sweet. There is sadness at the prospect of leaving her loved ones and she is about to embark on this journey knowing that life is not easy for Bahá’ís. What the

faith believes in is an abomination for the most devout believers of other religions who believe that God is one, according to their own religions. In South Africa, Bayan has been at the centre of arguments with dogmatic Christians who refused to understand the Bahá’í view of the world. This happened to her many times in high school. Her teachers turned a deaf ear and told her peers not to believe anything she said. As for Israel, it is for the most part Islamic, Bahá’ís have been persecuted and killed since the birth of the religion since the teachings are inconsistent with traditional Islamic belief. Bahá’u’lláh himself was tortured and imprisoned for 24 years by the Persian and Ottoman authorities. The Muslim nation does not welcome their calendar yet the Bavhá’í World Centre opens the doors to any visitor. The glow and genuine smile return when she speaks of what she is looking forward to. In her pilgrimage she will see the shrines of the Bab and Bahá’u’lláh located in Bahjí near Acre, Israel, the most holy place for Bahá’ís representing their direction of prayer. She is keen to teach as well as to be taught and of course at the end of the day she will take a lot away from the experience. This is what she believes, this is what she wants, many religious and otherwise do not agree with Baha’i faith but nobody can deny that people like Bayan are advocates for the good of mankind. Visit for more.

FACTS ABOUT THE BAHA’I FAITH • Since 1911 the Bahaí faith has been present in South Africa. • The Bahá’í Faith is the youngest of the world’s independent monotheistic religions. • The Most Holy Book of the Bahá’í Faith is the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the book of laws written by Bahá’u’lláh. Moreover, Bahá’ís recognize the Bible, the Qur’an, and the holy texts of the world’s other revealed religions. • Bahá’u’lláh’s given name was Mírza Husayn ‘Alí, but He identified Himself as Bahá’u’lláh, which means “Glory of God,” a title by which He was addressed by His Forerunner, the Báb. • Bahá’u’lláh was banished into an exile because of his teachings, eventually lasting forty years, that took Him to the Holy Land. It was there that He passed away in 1892. • The Bahá’í new year is on March 21. • Bahá’ís observe eleven holy days each year. • The most important of the other holidays is Ridván, a twelve-day period in April/ May that commemorates Bahá’u’lláh’s declaration of His mission.

© By Jono

TXT Magazine (LMC303)  

A group project - we were tasked with creating a university publication.

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