VOLUME 73: EDITION 3
THE OFFICIAL STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
25 MARCH 2014
Israeli Apartheid Week
Images: Khanyisa Pinini
TENSION: Two opposing views - PSF and SAUJS on opposite sides of Jammie Plaza
Richard McLean very year, the UCT Palestine Solidarity Forum (PSF) and the South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) set up their respective stalls on plaza for Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW). However, this year the old issue of co-operation was raised again through the idea of going “paragliding for peace”. Carla Frumer, a national Zionist officer for SAUJS, stated that “it is time that the PSF just put down their aggression”, this idea was supported by a previous statement of hers in
“the best way to work towards a solution is to not have that distance” by a large body of space …makes the issue very polarised.” Consequently, she stated that “the best way to work towards a solution is to not have that distance both physically and metaphorically”. PSF Chairman, Alex Hotz, made an explicit reference to a “common humanity” and a “compassion for people who are suffering” that was shared by everyone, regardless of whether they identified
with the Israeli viewpoint or that of Palestine. She described SAUJS initiatives as “paragliding for peace” and as attempts for normalisation which “deflects from the issue” that would seem to be condoning “the same thing that we’re trying to oppose”. She claimed, “In one breath you [SAUJS] are saying that you want
“We’re all humans at the end of the day and we’re all suffering”
peace, but in another instance you are not condemning the fact that… innocent civilians are killed.” Hotz said SAUJS were “not dealing with the issue of peace”. Conversely, Safoudin Bester, convenor of Runners for the Freedom of Palestine, suggested that dialogue between to the two parties could be helpful. He related an incident on Jameson Plaza where he walked over to the SAUJS Gazebo in order to “douse the fire a bit between our two groups”. He then mentioned that a rabbi walked to the PSF stand which, in his opinion, helped to “break down the very tense atmosphere”.
IN THIS ISSUE
which she said that the greatest value in IAW lay in its potential to spark “constructive dialogue”. She mentioned an attempt of SAUJS to organise an event called “paragliding for peace” in which representatives of SAUJS and the PSF would go paragliding with Israeli, Palestinian and South African flags. She concluded by saying, “We’re all humans at the end of the day and we’re all suffering; let’s try and make our lives as easy as we can.” Kiah Johnson, a second-year student in Anthropology and English, noted: ”To have two sides of an argument visually separated
Violence in CAR
Oscar trial continues
A real Barbie
VARSITY, the official student newspaper since 1942, is committed to the principles of equality and democracy.
v73 e3 – 25 March 2014
News Bites Missing Flight MH-370 update
On March 15th, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak stated that there was evidence that the aeroplane’s data communication systems and transponder had been deliberately turned off by someone on-board the aircraft. The last contact between the aircraft and satellites occurred on March 8th. No distress call, ELT or any other form of signal has been received from the aircraft. -Aviation Herald
PRETORIA – Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on Wednesday has revealed that the total cost of President Jacob Zuma’s home is over R240 million. Madonsela recommended that Zuma must pay a percentage of the cost of the “measures implemented by the DPW [Department of Public Works] at his private residence that do not relate to security”. -Independent Online
Return of Flappy Bird
TWITTER – Creator of Flappy Bird, Dong Nguyen, confirmed on March 18th that Flappy Bird will return to Apple’s App Store, although he declined to give a date. This follows the mobile game’s removal from the App Store in February after users wrote to Nguyen claiming that the game had ruined their lives. -BBC
Putin signs Crimea annexation
RUSSIA – Russian President Vladimir Putin signed laws that completed the annexation of Crimea on Friday. Russians in the capital of Crimea, Simferopol, celebrated with fireworks. The EU and the US are imposing sanctions on Russian leaders. The EU has accelerated the quest for an alternative to Russian energy supplies in case Moscow cuts off supplies of gas and oil. -Reuters
Polygamy law passed in Kenya
KENYA – Kenyan parliament passed a law on Thursday to formalize the customary law of polygamy, amending existing marriage legislation. Men are now allowed to marry multiple women, although a woman can only be married to one man. The Bill is to be signed by the president, before passed into law. -Aljazeera
Twitter blocked in Turkey over leaked recordings
TURKEY – Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, blocked Twitter access to much of Turkey on Thursday night after incriminating recordings from YouTube were publicised on social media. YouTube had already been banned, following the audio recordings of a conversation purportedly between Erdogan and his son plotting to avoid police scrutiny on December 17th of last year. -USA TODAY
Too little, too late Chantal Bacchus
uslim exodus from the Central African Republic leaves the disabled, aged and sick abandoned while relatives seize the opportunity to escape the “ethnic cleansing”. On March 15th, there were 270 Muslims in the city of Bossemptele, two days later only 80 remain – “Almost all women, children and people with disabilities,” according to Peter Bouckaert’s article The Central African Republic has become a nightmare for Muslims published in The Washington Post. In February, Peter Bouckaert, Emergencies Director at Human Rights Watch, stated that the rate of killing at that point, if not stopped, would leave much of the Central African Republic stripped of its Muslim population. “The humanitarian needs in the Central African Republic are dire, and if they are not addressed, they will contribute to further conflict,” Bouckaert has said. Now, a month later, more peacekeeping troops have still not arrived. The United Nations insists that late summer is the earliest possible deployment of the 15 000 international peacekeeping troops aimed to stop the religious-ethnic cleansing.
Central African Republic: Violence rises against Muslim population The situation is rapidly deteriorating and the human rights abuses continue in the form of internally displaced persons, rape, torture, hunger, disappearances, and the use of child soldiers. Many Muslim shopkeepers are no longer capable of conducting business, causing prices to more than double over the past few months. Cattle herders have been displaced or have gone missing, leaving meat as a scarce commodity. The majority of people are starving, according to the UN, with 90% of the population consuming only one meal per day. Amnesty International’s February 2014 report states: “International forces failed to swiftly deploy to
these areas to protect civilians, allowing anti-balaka militias to assert themselves.” The 8 000 French and African troops currently within the country are not effectively dissuading the violence and the additional troops will not arrive for months. The Muslim population has since chosen to flee, “convinced that no one is able or willing to protect them from future attacks”. UN Secretary General Ban KiMoon has expressed the need for immediate action, explaining, "The sectarian brutality is changing the country's demography. The de facto partition of the CAR is a distinct risk." The conflict began in 2012 when
a coalition of rebel groups called Séléka, accused the government of not living up to The Birao Peace Agreement of 2007 and rigging the elections of 2011. The rebels then took over Christian towns in the central and eastern regions of the CAR, allegedly killing, raping and pillaging in the process. Since Séléka member Michel Djotodia’s short reign in government, a loosely organised Christian militia group calling themselves the anti-balaka (“antimachete”) has retaliated against the entire Muslim population. Joanne Mariner, director of Human Rights Watch calls the violence “an effort to ethnically cleanse Muslims in the Central African Republic”.
Taking the Walk for Wells Tasneem Amra On Saturday, March 15th, executives of Hanson’s South African Street Team hosted a Take The Walk event at the University of Cape Town’s The Student Y on Middle Campus, where participants walked a mile to show their support for a particular campaign. Saturday’s event was in aid of Blood: Water Mission, an organisation that drills water wells for communities in need of clean drinking water.
The campaign’s event ... emphasizes action over awareness Throughout the walk, Robyn Kessler, an executive of Hanson’s South African Street Team and official host of the event, addressed the participants. Kessler informed them about the history of the campaign, and read a poem about poverty written for the walk by Janelle Arnold. Kessler also read the lyrics of the song, “Drop in the Ocean”, which he wrote about Take The Walk in 2009. Kessler shared his thoughts on the importance of Take The Walk events with VARSITY: “It’s taking up a mantle that’s started by somebody else ... we do that every day, anyway. We’re inspired by certain things
that people do, and this is all about believing in a cause that someone else started, believing in what they’re doing, and just taking up the mantle and running with it.” Take The Walk started in 2007 when brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson of the indie-rock band, Hanson, launched the grassroots campaign to provide people with an accessible way to support poverty and HIV/AIDS relief in Africa. The campaign’s event – a one mile walk – emphasizes action over awareness; it aims to show that individuals can make a difference by doing something that most people do every day – walk. The campaign has grown, and now includes Hanson’s The Walk Around The World Tour; this allows individuals to donate directly to Take The Walk’s partner organisations, or allows other groups to host their own walks around the world. Hanson donates one dollar for each mile walked (i.e. for each walker) to the selected partner organisation recipient. These five organisations address poverty alleviation in South Africa in four areas: HIV/AIDS related healthcare, the provision of footwear, the provision of clean drinking water and the building of schools. Priyashnie Govender, a secondyear Chemical Engineering student at UCT, stated: “It’s important because it’s good to support such issues like this especially because it’s so prevalent and it brings about good awareness of such causes.”
In 2009, South African Take The Walk events were staged across Johannesburg, Soweto, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town – all of which benefitted a different working partner organisation. Crawfort King Sello, Managing
“You’re giving back at the end of the day.” Director at Live Beat, said that he was unaware of the 2009 event, and added: “I think that it’s about time that initiatives that are giving back
[are] pumped up [as much as profitdriven events]. You’re giving back at the end of the day.” The campaign’s achievements thus far include a TOMS Shoes donation of 962 pairs of shoes, the funding of one water well, 971 months of cellphone text contact between pregnant mothers and their doctors, 354 months of medical treatment to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV, and the building of a school. Kessler’s goals for future Take The Walk events are “to inspire people to do something, to use what they have to make a difference, just like Hanson … used their music, Blood: Water Mission use what they have”.
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Articulating closeted racism Assembly in which a debate over a rule requiring the use of English arose, language and race play an undeniable role in politics of any level, from the national stage to a university setting. Nkosikhona Mkhize, a thirdyear student studying Social Development and Sociology at UCT, commented: “I don’t think there should be an expectation to
“Fortunately, or unfortunately, English is the global language” Image: African Studies UCT
ARTICULATE: Alim suggests that the word “articulate” is a backhanded compliment to blacks
n Friday, March 14th, Associate Professor H. Sami Alim, from Stanford University in California, and co-author Geneva Smitherman, presented their book Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language and Race in the U.S. at the CAS (Centre for African Studies) Gallery in the Harry Oppenheimer Institute Building. The seminar was a joint endeavour hosted by the CAS, Linguistics and CALDi (Centre for African Language Diversity) departments. It is the first in
a series of talks hosted by the departments in order to create a continuous dialogue about linguistics on campus. Alim introduced the session by breaking down the central focus of his book which analyses the way
less of a compliment and more closely related to closeted racism in which President Obama speaks and elaborates on the way in which Americans respond to this. He then presented the central issue of
the word “articulate” by explaining that American media use this word to describe prominent black figures. Alim clarified the backhandedness of such a “compliment” with a brief overview of the word’s history, and what it means when it is applied to minority groups in America. It became clear that the word is less of a compliment and more closely related to closeted racism. Alim asserts that “articulate” is used as an “exceptionalizing discourse or a form of what he calls “Racism 2.0” wherein “white cultural hegemony”, the
force which creates the currently accepted social norms in America, requires all people to adhere to its standards and are surprised – and often suspicious – when those who stray from the norms perform well within society. Alim proposed a shift in our approach to topics surrounding race, and especially the politicisation of race, by “examining the politics of race through the lens of language and viewing language as a site of cultural struggle”. This focus can be applied to the South African context. As seen in last week’s Student
be articulate. Most black Africans do not speak English as a first language. So if you grow up as a black person attending schools where English is taught as a second language you don’t tend to be as eloquent as those who grew up speaking English. But fortunately, or unfortunately, English is the global language.” Alim continued by comparing Barack Obama and Jacob Zuma, noting that Zuma would not be considered as eloquent or articulate as the American President. Alim noted that the issue goes even further and deeper than simply race and concluded the seminar with the simple but loaded statement: “It’s about race and more than race.”
Oscar Trial: What you may have missed Stefanie Busch Oscar Pistorius’ trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp has progressed into its fourth week. Within the first three weeks of the trial, the court has heard testimonies from 18 witnesses. Whilst the first week of the trial focused on the cross-examination of witnesses, the remainder of the trial has taken a different turn.
“The ballistic expert was handling the firearm without gloves,” As of the second week of the trial, expert evidence revealing Steenkamp’s injuries, the scene of the crime and criticisms regarding the police investigation have also been raised. Expert evidence was heard from Professor Gert Saayman, the state pathologist, who discussed Steenkamp’s post-mortem report. Saayman testified as to the details of the gunshot wounds Steenkamp had suffered that were found on her hip, right arm and head. He explained that due to Pistorius’ use of potent ammunition, which expands upon impact, Steenkamp’s hip bone and arm had been shattered. The post-mortem report describing the content of
Steenkamp’s stomach was raised, which suggested that she had eaten about two hours before her death at 3am. This evidence does not correspond with Pistorius’ claim that the couple went to bed at 10pm. During Saayman’s testimony pertaining to Steenkamp’s autopsy, Pistorius repeatedly retched. The accused also vomited in court when a picture of Steenkamp’s dead body was accidently shown. Judge Thokolize Masipa banned live broadcasting and tweeting during the duration of Saayman’s post-mortem testimony due to the “graphic” evidence. Furthermore, Colonel Van Rensburg – the first officer at the scene – gave a testimony with regards to the police investigation of the matter. The prosecution questioned Van Rensburg regarding the accusation that the police had tainted vital evidence during the investigation of the crime scene.
Steenkamp was standing in a defensive position ... when she was hit “The ballistic expert was handling the firearm without gloves,” Van Rensburg admitted. Van Rensburg also testified that he was “furious” that one of his officers had stolen a watch from the Paralympian’s collection during their forensic investigation.
Image: flickr.com/Lwp Kommunikáció
Pretoria High Court: Pistorius faces murder charges At the end of the third week of the trial, police ballistics expert Captain Christiaan Mangena testified that Steenkamp was standing in a defensive position, with her hands over her head, inside the toilet cubicle and facing the door, when she was hit by the
first bullet. Although the order of the last two shots could not be determined, Mangena did state that the first bullet struck Steenkamp in her right hip. This evidence appeared to support the prosecution’s claim that the earliest shots were
not deadly and that, therefore, Steenkamp could have screamed. When the court adjourned for the week on Wednesday, March 19th, the prosecution announced that “four or five” more witnesses would be called to testify in the fourth week of the trial.
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o I recently met with an ex-Editor of a rival student newspaper. Let’s call it The Bee. The purpose of this meeting was initially to “learn” and “get advice” (I take myself too seriously sometimes), but it ended up being more like a hug from a fellow
psychiatric ward escapee. While normal students with normal lives walked on by our little table in Molly, I heard stories that were far too familiar. Stories of throwing tantrums (you all get warnings, warnings for EVERYONE!), losing your mind (going all Regina George, tearing pictures off the office walls and violently throwing them at people’s faces, before storming out screaming, “I’m getting COFFEE. This better be fixed when I get back.”), melt downs (crawling under a desk and sobbing until someone calls student wellness. Or offers you tequila.), late nights (sad nights, angry nights, nosleep-for-you nights) and general all-out mayhem. The first day of being in the position I had an old VARSITY alumni tell me I shouldn’t have been selected because I’m just another white, female 20-something. I smiled glibly and continued to type
my inaugural editorial with slightly more aggression than before. And only a few weeks into the position I found myself curled up in a ball on the floor in an undisclosed corridor, rocking slowly (they do it in movies…thought it might help. It didn’t.) while a friend consoled me and tried to make contingency plans in case I died or killed everyone except him in a rampage. And that was just the first of many (many, many, many) theatrical breakdowns/tantrums. I’ve slammed doors, slammed drawers, slammed down the phone (lots of slamming), had angry outbursts to section editors who were in the wrong place at the wrong time and endured my misdirected wrath with grace and understanding. I’ve slow-blinked, pursed my lips and narrowed my eyes at stupid questions, stupid comments and stupid people (a very nice technique, by the way,
of simultaneously showing your contempt, disapproval and appropriate condescension, while not needing to open your mouth). I’m awaiting the day I walk into the office and see my face on a dartboard. When I catch up with friends, they ask how everything’s going and I immediately launch into a “VARSITY is going…”. They tell me they want to hear about anything but VARSITY and I think, yes, friend, but there is only VARSITY. It’s VARSITY when I’m awake and VARSITY when I’m asleep. I have dreams where I sub. I sub in my sleep. I wake up raging about that flipping writer who still does not know how to format a flipping date. So to answer your question: Yes, I am a bit dramatic and yes, I am a bit unhinged. But so what? You’re still reading, aren’t you?
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sportS Mark Nandi firstname.lastname@example.org
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t starts with a man dressed in feathers, high-heels and hot pants, mimicking a chicken, with a living rooster tied to his genitals. I will give you a minute to let it all sink in. Yes, a South African performing artist by the name of Steven Cohen took a rooster for a walk around the Eiffel Tower last September to “evocate his situation” of being stuck between two countries (South Africa, his native country and France, where he currently lives). What this absurd bird demonstration really demonstrates, however, is the frightening fact that it’s getting more and more difficult to get attention. The proliferation of junk posted daily to social media platforms by attention seekers is testament
to this. Just as certain performers feel as if they have to go to such outlandish lengths to be noticed, so we relish in the virtual attention we receive from the pictures and posts that we publish. Think back to that sunset snap that got over 30 likes. That hilarious tweet that everybody favourited. That selfie from that perfect angle with the hashtag #bedhairdontcare. Don’t for one minute fool me into thinking that you haven’t removed a post or picture after a couple of awkward hours when the only like was from your grandmother who thought it necessary to comment: “Bless you my wonderful grandchild.” Science has proven that social media approval boosts self-esteem. My sister has proven (in coming to me in a flap
over which profile picture or filter she should choose) that virtual attention is everything. She even introduced me to the concept of “Tactical Sunday Profile Picture Change” which, for those as ignorant as me, involves purposefully changing one’s profile picture on a Sunday when everyone is on Facebook and will “like” it. There is no denying that prolonged exposure to social media has transitioned us back to our toddler days where we would cry “Look at me look at me!” but is this necessarily a bad thing? I don’t think that there is anything particularly troubling about this “identity crisis” we so happily involve ourselves in, unless of course we start tying live animals to our private parts.
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opinions Nkandla breaches human rights Vikash Gajjar
“We can’t work in any way we can’t explain. We try to stay within the law and within the facts. That way we don’t worry about how we will explain ourselves if we are taken to account.” These are some of the remarks made by Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, at Wits University last Thursday, where she addressed hundreds of learners regarding her report on the findings of Nkandla, President Jacob Zuma’s upgraded homestead. With the release of the “Secure in Comfort” report, speculation and sensationalism ended. The DA’s double-barrelled shotgun was finally fully loaded – Mmusi Maimane pulled the trigger in Nkandla, while Lindiwe Mazibuko aimed directly at President Zuma calling for his impeachment. The ANC has begun responding to the report and, predictably, has defended Zuma against the damning finding of the Public Protector. But what happens now? Absolutely nothing, if the current government’s reputation is anything to go by. Marikana is still awaiting justice. The Gupta family’s guests attended a wedding and left. Reeva Steenkamp, being the late girlfriend of a world-renowned South African athlete, gets preferential judicial treatment posthumously while many other families await justice for
their loved ones. For a democracy as young as ours, this is worrying. South Africa has serious problems. Too many people are unemployed. The poverty line darkens every day. The price of petrol is ridiculously high and the exchange rate has been suffering severely – all signs of a poorly performing economy. In Cape Town alone, gang-related violence is intolerably high and the number of cases of violence against women and children is horrifically extreme. Just last week, two Grade 2 boys raped a Grade R learner. Corruption too has become the order of the day – a result of moral decay amongst those in the highest of state offices. The argument against these tribulations – that our democratic republic is only two decades old, still young and adolescent, still learning and still making mistakes – becomes redundant because we, as active citizens, now know too much. We know that the cattle kraal, swimming pool, chicken run and amphitheatre at Nkandla were funded by the Department of Public Works. We also know that no member of the public will ever have access to those facilities. And because we know so much, we cannot keep quiet any longer. At his inauguration in 2009, President Zuma took his oath of office: “I, Jacob Zuma, solemnly swear that I will observe and
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maintain the Constitution of the Republic and I solemnly and sincerely promise that I will always promote all that will advance the public, and oppose all that may harm it.” Zuma and his office have done everything but maintain our constitution. He and his government have misused public funds – the very funds intended to fulfil basic human rights of many South Africans. They have stalled the transformation of our country. We are still addressing the injustices of our past – indeed, recovering from an Apartheid regime that he and many others of his cabinet fought against. But still, many of them believe that the office they hold entitles them to certain privileges, dispensations, which they perceive to be of greater importance than the basic human rights of those that they serve. Yes, our country is ravaged by scandal. It is true that we often make international news for the wrong reasons. And yes, Nkandla happened – and it cannot be unbuilt. But it is also true that we, as South Africans, have a voice. It no longer matters what happens next. What matters is what we do, both collectively and individually. More so, what we do for the betterment of this land and its people – for those whose human rights have been satisfied and for those who are still fighting for the fulfilment of their basic rights.
Image: Khanyisa Pinini
v73 e3 – 25 March 2014
The lady doth protestParusha Naidoo
The (detached) graduate to provide adequate trading, professional expertise and proper guidelines. The likelihood of the state meeting these requirements is questionable, resulting in students responding negatively. The proposal comes at an important time where we find ourselves throwing around the phrase “20 years of democracy” in a bid to evaluate how much has changed in our country. Institutions like universities are being forced to reflect how adequately they have contributed to the initial ideals set ’m guessing you haven’t taken out and question whether they are the time to step out of the blur of challenging or simply reinforcing assignments and tests to read the the status-quo. ANC’s election manifesto. Neither So this begs the question: are did I until it was brought to my South African universities merely attention a week ago that a clause in the business of manufacturing of the manifesto could potentially corporate sheep to graze the fields of impact a year of my life. Fortune 500 Companies and bleat The political party has proposed the words “Yes baas”? Or should we a year of compulsory community demand that universities promote service for all graduates. Although an environment of a conscious the idea is not necessarily new, community that is focused on Blade Nzimande made mention of it learning while committed to in 2010, last week producing it was announced citizens who can by the NEC’s Universities merely in the think critically sub-committee question business of manufacturing and of Education and the everyday corporate sheep Health that it struggles of would look into fellow South implementing Africans? the strategy over the next five The intention underlying years. Yes, those of you planning to contributing a year to compulsory graduate within the next five years community service may be an can breathe a sigh of relief. opportunity for university students The grand plan essentially aims to realise we are the small privileged to provide graduates with a year group in South Africa and as much gaining experience in the areas that as we work hard to receive our they have studied, with the first degrees, this places a responsibility group comprising of students who on us to go beyond our elite status. benefitted from bursaries or student While I am a strong believer loans from an aid scheme and later in the importance of community accounting for all graduates. service, the ANC should not take The reactions have varied on the role of dictator parent amongst students and academia because this will only result in with some agreeing that it would negative sentiments towards giving be beneficial, given the high rate back – something we cannot allow. of graduate unemployment, while Forced community service others have dismissed the idea as may not be the answer but before a waste of time that would delay we kick up a fuss and take to entry into working world. University Avenue in protest, as The ANC falls short of realising students we need to reflect on that by the time most of us graduate the role of our universities and we won’t respond well to the word whether they should be held “compulsory”. If the proposal accountable and accept their duty is implemented the ANC can to create informed citizens and expect an outcry from students not graduates detached from the and universities if there is failure realities of South Africa.
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V73 E3 – 25 MARCH 2014
Chat room (over) confidential driven messages. Moreover, there Jessie Zinn are no online tools to separate its cyber-stored wheat from the chaff. It’s 2am. My incomplete essay is To exacerbate these issues, tutors due today. I scroll through Vula and lecturers rarely respond to the in search of some miraculous questions posted online. academic insight. Accidentally, Perhaps the chat room’s my mouse slides down to the chat inefficiency lies not only in its room tab. form, but also in its branding; Maybe someone has posted dubbing them “chat rooms” something useful here? The most specifically defines them as recent message: “Hey guys! informal spaces. This may account Does anyone want to buy a ticket for the lackadaisical attitudes that to the Eminem concert? No one students profess towards the chat wants to go with me.” rooms, and certainly may account Initially used for the informal to seek love or lingo and, a professional friendship, a chat sometimes, communication tool, room renaissance inappropriate in the midmessages has been rendered ... 2000s saw these seen online. obsolete courtship devices T h e reformatted,and presence of integrated into educational the Vula chat rooms needs to be institutions and workplaces. re-assessed. Whilst this should be Indeed, it is likely that the Vula addressed, getting rid of chat rooms chat room’s genesis was fuelled by altogether seems too drastic and too a need to integrate technological radical a response. After all, UCT advancement with academia. could benefit from an efficient tool However, in 2014, UCT’s usage of communication. of the device exists as a virtual stage A few departments at UCT have on which students are able to wag already made changes in favour of their eyebrows and stick out their an online alternative. For example, tongues; where base and irrelevant the Gender Studies department has questions are posted. an online forum system. This system Offenses committed include: requires students to answer specific, use of profane language, flirting academic questions, which are between students, and the regular directly linked to course material. (accidental?) appearance of “tuts” Structured, smart and successful: written as “tits”. The Vula chat this is the type of online device that room, which was conceived as a most courses need. professional communication tool, Will the chat rooms experience a has been rendered culturally and metamorphosis anytime soon? Will academically obsolete. they ever change? I’m not sure. But Problems seem to stem from in the meantime, we can still evade sheer incompetence, exemplified the lurking deadlines of essays by most aptly by students; however, logging onto our chat rooms in the issues may also be linked to the search of some entertainment. device’s form. The different courses And so, as we plummet into offered at UCT need custom-made the first semester, another student technology that directly aids specific will post a puerile question on a course requirements – as opposed to chat room. The knowing interior the current standardised chat room of cyber space will utter no reply… model found across departments. while somewhere in an isolated Arts The state of most Vula chat Block office, another professor will rooms is a bizarre mixture of admin sit staring at that message, adjust his questions and lukewarm content- bow-tie, and sigh.
Vox pop: “Do you find Vula chat rooms useful?”
Name: Phetha Motumi Studying: Media and English Literature. Answer: “Only when assignments are due…but things can get quite pedantic. Mostly I think it’s a fallback to laziness.”
Name: Masonwabe Ndyosi Studying: Business Science Answer: “I find them useful. But people sometimes go too far and use them for personal things…like as a personal life chat room.”
Name: Mason Hu Studying: Electrical Engineering Answer: “People go overboard with hacking each other on the chat rooms. Once I saw a guy post: ‘penis penis penis penis’. “
Name: Andrew Hansen Studying: Law Answer: “Um no. I saw someone once post a message in an English African Literature chat room selling Eminem tickets.”
Name: Hannah Simon Studying: Humanities, recently turned Science student Answer: “No. Last year, in FAM, there was a chat room fiasco after a student called a senior lecturer by her last name only. It was hilarious.”
Name: Rayne Callaghan Studying: International Relations and Media Answer: “Sometimes. But it gets irritating when people ask the same questions, and ask where lecture venues are, like, three weeks after varsity has started.”
Images: Jamie Ashton
Patriotic priority Adam Kleinschmidt
he media circus covering the Oscar Pistorius murder trial begs a few questions as to the state of our national interests. As the judges, lawyers and witnesses heckle and complain there is another group of prominent citizens also battling it out: politicians vying for the top job. The 2014 general election is predicted to be a critical turning point in our history. And yet, with a Carte Blanche channel and explicit covering of Oscar Pistorius’ fall, the true nature of South Africa’s news and media comes into question. It is easy to concede that the trial is South Africa’s “OJ Simpson”, referencing the high profile trial of the former American athlete. Pistorius, like Simpson, was a celebrity athlete, seen locally as an iconic beating of the odds. Was it not inspirational to see Pistorius competing in the Olympics as a representative for this nation and for all paraplegics?
This turned to scorn, gossip and rumour as the tragic killing of Reeva Steenkamp went viral. This year’s elections, which are normally a high profile event, have been shunted off the headlines as the trial hits its fourth week.
2014 is the first opportunity for ... “Born Frees” to vote The elections are not just another arbitrary day in history. The ANC now faces a completely new opposition, with the DA gaining support across provinces and the general swing of voting pulling away from the ruling party. The new host of political parties (EFF and AgangSA) is said to challenge the old guard (ACDP, VF+, among others) for pole positions in various constituencies across the nation.
2014 is the first opportunity for the so-called “Born Frees” to vote, with the first batch of post-apartheid youth able to use their clout to change South Africa – presumably for the better. A two-horse or even three-horse race in national politics is becoming a real possibility as our democracy matures. As in all major democracies, there is a heightened political focus during
election year. India, for example, is due to have an election this year and political debate is rife across the nation as the ruling Indian National Congress faces political threat. In France, the UK and Japan, to name a few, the pre-election challenging throws light onto critical issues, making the voting and transition process more effective and lasting. This was the case in 1994 in
South Africa, when apartheid was swept away. The people voted, a new government was established and the smaller parties squabbled while the ANC learned to govern. Now the ANC knows how to govern, and have decent opposition from the DA. The smaller parties contribute occasionally, and mentions of a “Grand Opposition” are more frequent. However with “exclusive interviews” and “hot-seat analysis”, news outlets can milk the trial for all it is worth, leading to excessive media waves. There is no shortage of broadcasting available, with the trial mere clicks away and analysis subtly on the side. What is a striking failing point of this trial is the statement made by the media that the hundreds of other murders in South Africa, not to mention the rest of the world, are irrelevant compared to Steenkamp’s. It is yet another murder of another woman in South Africa adding to the already horrific statistics. Is it not time for us to stop fixating over celebrity murder, and focus on the state of our government?
v73 e3 - 25 march 2014
Sackings, schisms and splinter group formations Quentin Coetzee
elcome to elections: the time of year when political parties are especially vocal, making promises so as to entice voters to bite into their piece of bait instead of the other fishhook mounted worms on offer. There are a number of new parties that have decided to join the fishing contest, but will one of them be a former COSATU-affiliated union? Probably not, but the new party is nothing more than a case of a breakaway party that formed due to something happening to their favourite VIP (again). Recently, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has split away from COSATU and speculation has been rife as to whether they will form a political party. They originally fell out
the formation of many of these parties is questionable with the trade union federation over the handling of Zwelinzima Vavi, who was dismissed over his affair with one of COSATU’s junior members. This “formation of breakaway parties to stand up to the ANC” practice is becoming predictable. Take, for example, the Economic Freedom Fighters; led by Julius Malema, who held a spot as the ANC Youth League President until he embarrassed those he reported to
Image: Werner Beukes
with his deviant statements (such as regime change in Botswana) and was later expelled. He now leads the EFF, promising many of the same things he was threatening people with during his tenure as ANCYL president. Cast your mind further back to the dismissal of then-ANC President Thabo Mbeki during the Polokwane conference. Soon after, in September 2008, after some more surprises, Mbeki was discharged as President of the country by the NEC. Mosiuoa Lekota, Mbhazima Shilowa and Mluleki George left the ANC a while later with other supporters of Mbeki and created the Congress of the People (COPE) to stand in opposition. Now we have Vavi, and his supporters who may or may not form a political party at the proper time. But the pattern is the same: favoured VIP who has been popular for a while is cut off by the majority (COSATU in this case), supporters distance themselves from the body responsible and a splinter group forms to stand against the ANC.
Whether or not it is a union that breaks away to form a party is irrelevant; the process and reasons are almost identical. A new party is usually welcome in the political landscape, but the formation of many of these parties is questionable in that they are simply splintering off the Tripartite Alliance due to what happened to the leaders they support. Do they have any idea how they will run the country efficiently on the off-chance they do get into power? Or is their group just a hate-club? At very least, have a clear goal or guiding principle in mind when you form a party, so that you know exactly what you are fighting for. I am hesitant to call parties without those clear goals “political parties”, as they are only trying to leech votes away from a party they hate and have no clear direction. Should they gain power without having a good policy direction and forward planning? What exactly will they do aside from let entropy take its course?
The generation gap
What happens in the classroom stays in the classroom, right? Krysia Gaweda We all have that lecturer. They are a couple of years “older”, a term that I use very lightly, than the rest of your lecturers. They stand up in the front of the lecture theatre, say what they came to say – with help from their overhead slides – and then leave.
Lecturers ... play an important role in the engagement of students You leave the lecture dazed, wondering what just happened. All you were doing for the last 45 minutes was frantically writing down what the lecturer said verbatim. There is no engagement and no connection. It is just a lecture, nothing more to it and tomorrow it will happen all over again. Lecturers, whether they realise it or not, play an vital role in the engagement of students with regard to course content and how we relate to it. They are teaching us what we need to know in order to pass our courses and ultimately graduate. How they address the content, as well as their audience, has a direct
flickr.com/Hope For Gorilla
impact on how we relate to what we are studying and how we feel about the course. But is this how it should be? Realistically, our lecturers are there to teach us the content of our courses. Yes, they should be there for us if we are struggling or are confused. But it is our responsibility, as students, to engage, to take the extra initiative and make the connection between the course work and lecturer. We have chosen to study our course; it should be our priority to make that connection, become involved and
to graduate at the end of the day. In essence we shouldn’t feel the need to “connect” to our senior lecturers. Lecturers are there to guide us and help us to become
With senior lecturers often comes the issue of a generation gap stronger intellectually. We should be listening to their perspective, absorbing the knowledge and experience of an older generation,
and utilising it to develop. And this is exactly what our “older” lecturers provide. In addition, our senior lecturers often provide the most insight regarding the course content. They have taught it for many years and subsequently know the work better than anyone else. If you feel that you are unable to connect with a lecturer, before looking for something or someone to blame perhaps take a look at yourself. How do you act in that lecture? Are you engaging with your course content? What are you
doing to make that connection? Yes, with senior lecturers often comes the issue of a “generation gap”, but it is still the students who are responsible for how they engage with their courses. Some lecturers may be a little more old-school than others, but that does not necessarily mean that they are unapproachable and cannot be related to. There are various facets that encourage conversation beyond the classroom, including Vula and consultation times. Students need to be responsible for their involvement. And if they are having issues with the course content, take the time to engage with their lecturers and seek that much needed connection. Is it really fair to blame a generation gap or unapproachable lecturers for not having this connection? Or should we rather look at ourselves and see where we are and what we are doing as students to become more engaged and more connected with our course content and what we are studying. So next time before you dose off in your lecture as your lecturer drones on about heaven knows what, take the time to concentrate and become part of the lecture. Perhaps you will find that the connection you have been searching for the entire time was there from the very beginning.
human rights pl.n
1. The basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled
Let’s remember the past to celebrate the future MARCH 21ST: Human Rights Day acts as both a reminder of the tragic Sharpeville massacre and a celebration. A celebration of South Africa’s unique constitution, which has given everyone equal rights. In 1994, March 21st was officially declared a public holiday following the inauguration of former president Nelson Mandela.
A BRIEF HISTORY: On Monday, March 21st 1960, the South African police opened fire, without order, on a group So, w c e l ebra hat exac of peaceful protesters who had gathered outside the ting on H tly are we UM Sharpeville Police Station in protest against the Pass - Our DAY? AN RIGH Cons Bill o t TS Laws. The Pass Laws stipulated that all Africans were f Righ itution an d - Our ts. our e required to carry pass books with them at all times and c xpan our u onstitutio sive n n p a r l dem ecede were to produce them to law enforcement officials on from ocrac nted apart y p e h a c e O e id to ful tr and command. In the end, 69 unarmed protesters were ur im d a emo nstio world proved n stand cracy. o killed and 180 were injured. f e mer ing con TODAY: The South African constitution protects individual rights, for example, the right to not have to produce pass books. With its inclusion of the Bill of Rights, citizens are also entitled to basic human rights such as dignity and privacy in the country’s current democracy.
ging in t stit - Hon ution dem economi he es an o o d lives ur those w cracies. fighti ng fo ho have l r our o demo st their cracy .
“Being university students, the public holiday of Human Rights Day may be mistakenly taken like any other – as another public holiday for us to catch up on our academics. While I agree on spending our time wisely as students, the value and meaning of this day should never be forgotten. Celebrating Human Rights Day in 2014 speaks volume to us as a country as we celebrate our 20 years of democracy. It is a day to reflect and appreciate how those who had to suffer injustice in the past have allowed us to live in justice today in a country where our rights as humans are recognised.” Words, design and images by: Krysia Gaweda
“Everyone is equal, everyone receives the same rights and that a certain group doesn’t receive more rights than another group – here on campus but also in the entire world.”
“I think Human Rights Day has great significance in a post-apartheid South African context because during apartheid Human Rights was something that was not quite taken care of by the government. Nowadays we are trying to redress that issue. I believe it is specifically important to us now because we appreciate something that probably the past generation hasn’t been able to appreciate.”
“Human Rights is your entitlement to freedom of speech, though one that is not illogical and is also within the perameters of not disserving the voice of leaders that you have put into power.”
“Human Rights means that I can live freely and safely and without fear in my own country.” “As a UCT student, your human right doesn’t only mean your right to education but it also means the promotion of education to those who don’t find the quality of education we get as accessible to them.”
“Equality. Everyone gets a fair chance in life.”
“Knowing our rights is as good as taking the responsibilities attached to them. Within our diverse university, we have a responsibility to respect the rights of everyone around us as we expect them to respect our own even when there are differences. Finally, we all have a right to life. Let’s live it to the fullest of the potentials we possess in order to bring further change to our nation.”
“It is an empty holiday because there are still countries where they lack freedom.”
VARSITY asks: What does HUMAN RIGHTS DAY mean to you? “It’s a tricky thing, isn’t it? This contradiction between reflection, hope and reality. Human Rights Day makes me think about how far South Africa has come, the progress we have made, the deep wounds that exist in our past. I feel proud. Then I think: Nkandla, basic education, institutional racism and poverty and I think: there is a long journey ahead – let’s keep moving. Asijiki.”
“It’s a day to remember our past and can all come together and move towards a better future.”
v73 e3 – 25 March 2014
Water do about nothing
TEDx Cape Town provides timeless ideas about the natural regeneration of our most precious resource Lynne Marie Fraser
find myself sitting with a small group of strangers discussing how to solve problems like polluted water, limited sanitation and the decade-long relationship of mutual distrust between the formal and informal sector – not the kind of task I expect to be faced with on a Wednesday evening. My group includes a member of a government organisation that deals specifically with water, her daughter (I am not sure of her profession, but she knew about as much about urban-planning as me, the student journalist) and an engineer. We debate various amateur solutions to long-standing, national problems that often seem beyond resolve. Before I know it our time to debate the issue is up and I am digging through bags of empty egg cartons, elastic bands and bottle lids in an attempt to create a physical model of the radical, purely theoretical solution our group has come up with – that is, we try to make something out of nothing. This is precisely the kind of personal interaction and engagement TEDx Cape Town encourages and enables with its talks. Not only did I receive a brilliant, thorough brief, an
Image: flickr.com/Kevin Krejci
introduction to “Bio-mimicry” and a way of thinking vastly differently to traditional or conventional systems, I was challenged to adopt it myself in the workshop that followed the presentations. The workshop forms part of TEDx Cape Town’s promotion of the design thinking framework and, considering the stretch required of the very rigid, conventional mindset in order to
grasp the concepts presented by the speakers, that challenge turned out to be entirely appropriate. Claire Janish began with a simple, “Translate nature’s genius into man’s solution,” which of course is a vastly complex instruction but basically sums up the notion of Bio-mimicry, of which Janish is the South African head. Bio-mimicry centres around taking the path of least resistance,
multi-functionality and circular systems – all of which are beautiful not only in their simplicity, but in their origin: nature’s ecosystems. It is on these theories that Janish would have our cities function. Unfortunately, in most cases, development has already gone too far and the man-made grid has been dumped onto whatever natural ecosystem patterns are present
already. This is where the second speaker, Shannon Royden Turner, came in. Although she admitted that the city practically hyperventilates at the idea of decentralised infrastructure, it is exactly the proposition Turner makes in her research into water and aim for water availability in all communities. Turner attempts to complete a system that Janish describes as a process of converting cardboard to caviar. That is, implementing systems like that successfully created by leading Biomimecry practioner, John Tod. Tod’s creation of natural ecosystems situated within tanks literally converts otherwise wasted water into clean, drinkable water. These socalled “living machines” provide an inspiring example for the potential provision of clean water to informal settlements in South Africa. None of us could survive without water; we are all made up of it and it is the life source of our planet. It is an integral part of all our ecosystems. Humans are just another part of our eco-system and it is about time that we look, critically and with fresh eyes, at the abundant inspiration on offer in our environment. While it is true that the natural environment is fragile and in need of our protection, it is also a powerful resource for our own urban development.
Lammily: A barbie for the real world Seed - The phone that grows
Step aside Barbie, there’s a new role model in town
I recently sat down with Nick Rout, designer, creator and all-round mastermind behind one of the freshest new concepts to emerge out of the South African IT community in years. It’s called Seed - the phone that grows, and in just two days its promo video has already received over 6500 views on YouTube (not bad for an IT video). So what is Seed and why is it all over your Facebook newsfeed? Well, to find out more I convinced Nick to join me for some ‘Higher Taste Cuisine’ outside Leslie Social where we chatted about how this idea came about and where it’s headed. “It all started about a year ago - on my way back from a trip to America. I’ve always been an avid follower of tech blogs and I’ve been noticing a movement towards convergence... Phones are almost as powerful as a computer was two years ago. You’ve got a laptop that’s getting thinner and more portable (i.e. much lighter). You’ve got a tablet that can edit your documents and even write apps on, and your desktop apps are becoming more like the apps you have on your mobile devices – so what I noticed was that these devices are becoming one, but it’s still a hack to use them all together.” That’s where Seed steps in, with the overarching idea that “one device can be all of your devices”. Nick believes that your average everyday consumer uses multiple devices (a phone, tablet, laptop) for very similar tasks and as these products get more advanced, so their functions begin to overlap. The only thing separating them from each other is the size of their screen outer
It’s becoming clearer and clearer that we’re living in a not-so-Barbie World. As you grow up, you come to realise that not everybody is as skinny and glamorous as your favourite childhood toy. In fact, there’s not a single person in this world—not even a supermodel or an anorexic—with Barbie’s proportions. And that’s where “Normal Barbie” comes in. Last year, artist Nickolay Lamm
“Average is Beautiful”
decided to create a Barbie with the body proportions of an average nineteen-year-old girl. He used measurements from the US Centre for Disease Control database and a process involving 3D printing and Photoshop. In the end, he released an image of two identically-dressed dolls standing side by side: Barbie and “Normal Barbie”. The picture went viral. It showed how unrealistic Barbie’s body proportions really are—something which Lamm was eager to highlight. “If we criticize skinny models, we should at least be open to the possibility that Barbie may negatively influence young girls as well,” he says. Barbies are extremely popular and have often been criticised for
promoting an unrealistic body image to girls of such impressionable ages. Lamm’s realistic Barbie idea was so popular that, last week, he decided to take it further than just an idea and create his own doll: Lammily. He launched a crowd-funding initiative and received all the funds he needed in a mere 24 hours. Lammily is now being marketed
“Part of the appeal of dolls is the fantasy”
with the slogan “Average is Beautiful”. She has brown hair, wears minimal makeup and wears simple clothes. The doll has moveable elbows, wrists, knees and ankles, and—the best part—she can stand flat on her feet. These are features that were definitely missing from the Barbies we had growing up. But what about the things that Lammily
is missing? Part of the appeal of dolls is the fantasy – you can dress them up as whatever you want…but not Lammily. Girls will have to forget about “Scuba Lammily” or “Astronaut Lammily” and just settle for “Average Lammily”. Is a seven-year-old girl really going to be so concerned about body image that she’s going to ask for a Lammily doll for her birthday, when she knows her friend has just recieved the new Barbie Fairytopia with glittery wings? A Lammily doll seems more like something a parent would buy for their child than something a child would ask for. But besides that, Lammily is looking to be a huge success: there have been thousands of pre-orders and the dolls are set to hit shelves in November this year. Maybe Lammily will be revolutionary in the toy world. Maybe she will change the way girls of the future see themselves. Or maybe, she’ll just steal Ken. But that’s enough, isn’t it?
form factor. So what if you could change your user interface (go from a phonesized screen, to a desktop or TV screen) without changing your device? Not the easiest concept to wrap your head around, however, Nick tells us how. Seed – the phone that grows is exactly what it says it is. “It’s a phone that you can just extend with a different screen, but the phone is essentially the brain that powers everything.” Now without getting too technical and jumping into the logistics of how this all works I’ll just give it a brief overview. The phone, or “brain”, can be extended through docking points that change the shape and trigger a different user interface. So your phone slots into your laptop dock and becomes the touch pad, or it fits into the back of your tablet dock to make use of the camera, all the while powering these actual devices. There’s also a desktop and TV dock. Nick’s video makes this a lot clearer because you can actually see the Seed phone in action. “Thankfully the industry is moving in this direction – with the idea of centralising everything from operating systems to cloud synchronisation. I’m just centralising it through the actual devices themselves,” explains Nick. So what’s next for Seed? Well, since going live, the idea has gained a fair amount of attention but it still has a way to go before it can start making waves on an international market. For Seed to go from concept to reality it needs people to spread the word and get behind it. Ultimately, Nick is looking for the right people and companies who can support his idea and turn it into something that we can use every day. Stay tuned, because this could just be the next big thing.
v73 e3 - 25 march 2014
Corners of Cape Town A multi-layered South African gang thriller secures faith in South African cinema Megan Bense
hot on location in the very heart of the highest crime rated district in our nation, Four Corners tells a story of the 100-year-old gang war between the infamous 26s and 28s. With likenesses to Gavin Hoods’ Totsi, director Ian Gabriel has stylishly created a film that will undoubtedly have both local and overseas audiences asking for more. With a stroke of genius, the film begins at the end – a subtle technique used to lure you into the world on the screen. Suddenly we are taken right into the thick of a gang dispute. In the midst of trying to decipher gang songs and a myriad of tattoos, the film begins to introduce a long-standing gang turf war between the 26s and 28s.
a story of the 100-yearold gang war between the infamous 26s and 28s We follow Farakhan (Brendon Daniels), former 28er, out of the prison gates and back into the territory of the 26s as he begins
his “new life”. In an attempt to leave his gangster ways behind, he coldheartedly takes the life of a 26er and burns off his gang stamp with an iron. Meanwhile, a softspoken chess prodigy, Ricardo, tries to steer clear of the 26s rife in his neighbourhood. His unstamped arms are a clear foreshadowing of what is to come. To add a little variation to the story, two plotlines intertwine. One involves a police detective trying to solve the mystery of a serial killer. The other follows a doctor who has returned home from London to
The City Bowl Market
Where average students can feel fancy Michaela Morgan The City Bowl Market (CBM) is a haven of good food and friendly people. There’s live music, beer pong, foosball, monthly fashion markets, the most amazing food – almost anything you can imagine and, above all, R50 house wine. It’s a paradise for students seeking a more sophisticated space. It’s a perfect way for you to get out of the Rondebosch/Rosebank student area and mix with people who aren’t in your MAM1000F course or the guy you hooked up with at Tiger last week Thursday. The best part is that there is now a Jammie Shuttle stop no more than 150m from this bon vivant haven. It’s a chance to rub shoulders with the foodies and the city slickers. The City Bowl Marketeers manage to ooze coolness without being pretentious – I imagine this to be very hard to achieve, but these kids are right on the money. While pub-hopping in Long Street is fun, it’s also nice to cultivate the other tastes that our wonderful city has to offer. The offerings at CBM will leave you questioning how anything before was ever acceptable. There’s Tee – a crepe-making genius whose Nutella-filled crepes will leave you feeling so whole that you’ll happily spend the rest of the day drinking delicious house red wine and looking at the smiling faces passing you by. One of the loveliest things about the market is that it’s free from commercial interests and good vibes abound. So if you are tired
deal with her father’s funeral while, at the same time, entertaining a bit of a tasteful romance. While these plotlines are used to appeal to the romantic intellectual in you, the more riveting gangland plot twists even more with Farakan and Ricardo being connected in ways that extend further than sharing the same district. Amongst the tattoo-covered gangsters, rolling plastic bags, shacks and guns, we see a strangely misfit scene about kites, witchdoctors and scriptures – which felt a bit like adding too much salt to
your popcorn. That said, Ian Gabriel successfully stops at nothing to depict the gruelling reality of the gang violence going on in the Cape Flats. Director of Photography Vicci Turpin beautifully captures the ironic beauty of the Cape Flats and manages to secure the faith in South African cinema with her clever use of slow motion and careful depth of field. Her constant use of natural lighting lent a helping hand to Ian’s vision by keeping the film “real and natural”. Scriptwriters Terence Hammond and Hofmeyr Scholtz piece the plotlines into a mosaic
of mystery that builds up to a sly twist in gangland. All in all, Four Corners is a beautifully crafted work of art that left a lump in my throat and a numbed heartbeat. It is an honest reflection not only of the unfathomable gang violence rife in the Cape flats, but also of the talent that South Africa has proudly produced. Four Corners is South Africa’s official selection for the Best Foreign Language film at the 86th Academy Awards. Four Corners will be released in cinemas on March 28th, 2014.
Listen to a book Tyra Overmeyer
Image: Michaela Wagener of spending Saturday mornings in your pj’s contemplating the previous night’s poor decisions, or you find yourself not quite up to a high-heel-clad trawl through ‘Mont on a Thursday evening, I suggest you try the City Bowl Market on Hope for delicious food, wine, and all-round pleasantry. Some Particulars: - The market is open Thursdays at 4.30pm to 8.30pm and Saturdays at 9am to 2pm. - There is a student special of R100 for a bottle of house wine and a basket of fresh fruit and veggies. - The Fashion Market is on March 29th.
It’s almost time for lights out. Reader X snuggles between the duvet covers and grabs her current read from the bedside table. She pages through the book and disregards the brown stain on the grainy yellow paper. Coffee stains have history; it doesn’t bother her. An hour goes by and she is leaping into another world, sinking deeper into her mattress, as the printed words captivate her imagination. That was three decades ago. Now, she listens. Audiobooks were published about 30 years ago on CDs so that all could enjoy, even the visually impaired. Although the 1930s saw audiobooks as a way to aid people who are visually impaired, they are now increasingly popular amongst everyone. Digital downloads have taken over most forms of entertainment, so books were bound to be the next target. In 2012 the Audio Publisher Association conducted a survey to establish the state of the publishing market. They found that audiobooks on CDs represented 33% of the market and that downloads increased by 29%, representing 61% of the market. Bookshelves are getting dusty in many homes as former printreaders pick up a CD rather than a paperback. The Editor of AudioFile magazine, Robin Whitten, says, “Those quiet moments where you
Image: Sofia Gilli can sit down and read a book, the time for that has just been squeezed for so many of us.” As the world picks up its pace we have to keep up with it, having less time to sit down and occupy our thoughts with nothing but a book. What time of the day could a single, working mother of two find time to sit down and read a book? What time of the day could a CEO for a major corporation find time to sit down and read a book? People need to be on the move constantly and have found something that allows them to do so. Multitasking really is the new skill for survival and audiobooks are a necessary adaption. One of the most popular ways of listening to audiobooks is car journeys. One listener, who is 60 years of age, says, “There were times when I would circle my block, because I came to a good part and
wanted to hear it.” Listenership is growing rapidly as people begin to adore audiobooks, unable to function without it being part of their daily routine – the way others feel about the yellow grainy pages they end their day with. Another listener who is 55 years old, says, “I pretty much won’t get in my car unless I have a book on CD.” Books made us fall in love with stories and their storytellers, but now audiobooks are maintaining the love between the modern world and storytellers. Many fear that this process of taking in a story lacks intellectuality, seeing as people are always advised to read books owing to their written value. The literary greats will always be a significant part of our culture and history, however, the way we enjoy them has simply evolved. Besides, before the classic writers there was Homer, the classic oral storyteller.
v73 e3 – 25 March 2014
Cape Town: World Design Capital 2014 What’s all the fuss? Steven Mugerwa
he World Design Capital (WDC) is a biennial honour awarded by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID), an international non-government organisation. The point is to highlight the accomplishments of cities that are using design as a catalyst to improve the social, cultural and economic state of the city through hosting design-related events. Founded in 1957, the ICSID has only ever awarded the WDC to three destinations. The City of Cape Town was awarded the honour for 2014 and the city has provided funding through a three-year grant to implement and run the 2014 programme. This, however, was preceded by a tough bid journey that began in 2010 headed up by the Cape Town Partnership. In February 2011, citizens were invited to support the city’s bid at the Design Indaba Expo – a collaborative effort between Cape Town Tourism and Cape Town Partnership’s Creative Cape Town project. Cape Town was shortlisted alongside Dublin and Bilbao in June 2011 and in October the Mother City was awarded the status. The WDC 2014 mission is to
identify, nurture and promote projects that offer tangible evidence of how design can help improve lives. It is doing so through its theme: “Live Design. Transform Life.” The theme strongly focuses on socially responsive design that mobilises the city’s design resources to address vast imbalances that exist within society. It is further organised into four broad themes: African innovation: African ideas that speak to the world; Bridging the divide: design that connects our city and reconciles our communities; Today for tomorrow: sustainable solutions for people and planet and; Beautiful spaces, beautiful things: inspiring architecture, interiors, food, fashion, and other forms of creativity. Cape Town will use these themes to help the city achieve its vision of transformation through design into a sustainable, productive African city. Through these themes the city also aims to bridge
using design as a catalyst to improve the ... state of the city historic divides and build social and economic inclusion.
Image: Sofia Gilli WDC gives Cape Town a chance to showcase its achievements and aspirations through a year-long programme of design-led events and activities, just as previous WDC designees Seoul (2010) and Helsinki (2012) have done. Cape Town’s bid vision is developing into a reality as ideas and plans are becoming tangible through a collection and curation of a rich diversity of projects in 2014. Projects have been split into: Lifestyle, Connectedness, Education, Community, Sustainability, and
The Rooftop of Dreams Taking house to new heights
Image: Aqeelah Hassim
Aqeelah Hassim The Rooftop of Dreams is a series of events held on the rooftop of the Park Inn by Radisson on 29 Heerengracht Street. It runs from October to April, the height of the majestic Cape Town summer. The event is hosted by NomadiQ Music – a South African record label that provides a platform for some of the country’s best underground talent. The most recent event was held last Saturday, March 15th from 12pmto 10pm and tickets were R150. Upon arriving at the sophisticated foyer of the Park Inn, we hopped into the lift and began our travel up to the 11th floor. Stepping off onto the rooftop I had no idea of the journey on which I would be taken for the next eight hours. We were greeted by a tall glass bowl filled with marshmallows and the most incredible (rooftop) view of Cape Town. To the right of the venue was a magnificent view of Table Mountain foregrounded by the DJ stage, which was constructed on top of the Park Inn’s rooftop pool. To the left was the beautiful skyblue harbour and below, of course, the scenic city view. The intense deep-house and techno-house line-up consisted of James Booka and Julz Sanchez, who kept the crowd in a daze the entire afternoon, starting off with really chilled deep-house
while the sunset created the most spectacular hazy-auburn light. As the full moon rose, we indulged in the sounds of the creators of NomadiQ music, Floyd Lavine and David Lawrence Dix. The music got deeper, leaving the
I had no idea the journey I would be taken on for the next eight hours crowd feeling like the entire afternoon was indeed a dream, and the experience was only just beginning. The crowd consisted of the usual deep-house fanatics and seasoned Rooftop of Dreams
goers, dressed in floral headbands or snapbacks and a trusty pair of converse high-tops. Everyone was kitted with the stamina to keep them partying from early afternoon until well into the night – and some for the after party. After hearing about this event through many friends and looking at pictures from the last event, I couldn’t help but see what all the fuss was about. The concept is simply flawless and, to my absolute delight, so is the execution. In a city like Cape Town where the strong culture of many extravagant parties with the most exlusive DJs is a standard, it’s no surprise that locals keep coming back to this one. It is simply incredible and I cannot wait for the next!
Business. To achieve the goals set for 2014, Cape Town will host over 460 design projects aimed at transforming the city, with six signature events, and foster collaboration through already existing Cape Town initiatives to address the city’s design issues. In one year, Cape Town needs to leverage on being the WDC. This is only a stepping stone, according to the Western Cape Design Strategy, whose plan is demonstrate what design can do. Creating a platform for new possibilities, catalysing and
connecting existing assets, fostering collaborative partnerships, attracting international attention and building a foundation for longer term change – it is no small task! WDC is to be used as a city promotion project to celebrate the merits of design and maximise opportunities from multidisciplinary design collaboration. WDC is important for Cape Town because we need to celebrate our successes, inspire positive action, create solution partnerships and build capacity for future innovation.
Topshop targets students Topshop does it again: the night of the student
Amy-Lee Samuels Since Topshop’s 1964 launch in England, it has been considered a standard go-to brand for students all over the world. In November 2012, South Africa’s very first Topshop/Topman landed at the V&A Waterfront. After handing out frozen yoghurt on campus in exchange for students signing up for Thank U cards on Tuesday, March 11th, Topshop proceeded to throw a student-only party on Wednesday evening at their Waterfront store. Along with an open bar, sweet-stand and DJ, students were invited to come along and spend all the money they don’t have at a 20% discount. On arrival I was asked for my student card or ID to prove that I am indeed between the “student” ages of 18 to 24. Topshop considers itself a brand that caters to the likes of almost anyone: it stocks a broad variety of trendy clothes, accessories and shoes, catering for both males and females. However, there is a slight focus on students, who tend to be a bit edgier and unafraid to take fashion-risks than others, explained marketing manager Cornelia Tieterse. To help accommodate for student budgets, the latest promotion involves a student discount of 10% every Wednesday, thus making their rather pricey merchandise slightly more affordable. I also soon discovered that I was meant to hold on to my frozen yoghurt spoon in order to win any of the pretty
Image: Tauhira Ajam
amazing prizes that were given away during the evening. This included a R1 000 shopping spree and a R3 000 accessory hamper. This is fortunate (mind the pun), as one of the first things you may notice when entering the store is that Topshop SA is not of a Mr Price standard or price-range. Their statement designs may leave a serious dent in your pocket (but your inner fashionista will be left very satisfied). Another great feature is the personal shopper service, which is available at no charge to all customers. First-year UCT medstudent, Kelly Ahrendse took full advantage of the personal shopper service and got kitted out Topshop-style. While the idea of walking around in an outfit that may be seen on a runway at London Fashion Week might be scary, dressing up in platform heels and a pink coat feels a lot more empowering than you might think. If this empowerment is out of your price-bracket, you can still opt for Topshop’s great cosmetics and accessories department: this is where my limited bank balance allowed me to purchase a rather fancy pair of socks and some nail polish, 20% off of course.
V73 E3 - 25 MARCH 2014
V73 E3 â€“ 25 MARCH 2014
Need some Tai Chi?
n an effort to welcome the new year and the splendour it holds (2014 being the year of the Horse according to the Chinese calendar), the UCT Tai Chi club took to the beach on February 27th with almost 30 strong under the leadership of Coach Peter Williamson. Instead of being restricted to the confines of the walls in the Sports Centre, as is the norm every Tuesday and Thursday at 5.30pm, the committee thought to carry on the tradition of an annual beach session on Camps Bay beach. One could not have asked for a better way to end the evening that day than with the fresh ocean breeze and the warmth of the setting sun to soothe over any tensions of both the body and mind.
the club members found themselves at the centre of attention Drawing in spectators the club members found themselves at the centre of attention with bystanders taking time off from their walk along the beach and other daily routines to stand memorised by the wonder that is Tai Chi – a few even dared to join in. The club spent approximately two hours doing various forms of the Yang style Tai Chi which comprised of the basic 6 Form and the 24 Form. This was preceded by some breathing and stretching exercises from the closely related Qigong, which set the team up for the ensuing strain on the
Image: Rowan Nichols legs. Peter went on to demonstrate the importance of rooting when he had two lines of approximately ten students each, trying to push himself and a fellow senior student off their feet as they “sank” into the ground. This concept of sinking or rooting is one the returning students would say gets emphasised by the coach during every practice session. Students also got to work in pairs to allow the development of feeling out your opponent during a session of “push hands” and each pair went through a similar exercise of rooting. Being a gentle martial art, Tai Chi offers several benefits to the students, as was noticed on the day by some of those on the beach who said that once they got into the flow of it, nothing, not even dogs coming to sniff on their toes or the traffic nearby, could distract them from what can only be described as “moving meditation”. It is an art that requires time and effort, like any other, in order to tap into
the natural ebb and flow that lies within – perfectly demonstrated by the ocean a few metres away. The health benefits of improved blood circulation, increased flexibility, a rejuvenated aura and a better understanding of the concept of Chi or Qi (energy) are just the tip of the iceberg in this ancient Chinese martial art. One also learns to put away the ego, especially when working with a partner. Many went home with sore legs but as the students gathered afterwards for a slice of pizza, comments such as “that was interesting” and “we should do this more frequently” filled the air. Tai Chi is a martial art that not only teaches one to have a strong body with legs as solid as a tree trunk, but one that shows you the discipline obtainable from a mind that is still and at peace, to allow the body to move freely and push beyond the limits we impose on ourselves when we allow the pressures of life to get the better of us.
Super Rugby wrap: How have South African sides fared thus far? Saadiq Samodien This year’s SuperRugby competition, more than ever, has no favourites to win the trophy. This has added impetus for South African sides to take the initiative and bring the trophy to our shores. Let’s take a look at how South African sides have fared thus far in the competition. Stormers The Stormers’ Super Rugby campaign has got off to a rather ugly start. Having played four matches, mustering one victory and only scoring five tries at 1.25 tries per match, it does not paint a pretty picture of the Stormers’ season so far. In their last three matches, the Stormers’ first try came at the 77th, 51st and 62nd minute. Stormers also languish in 15th position in the “tries scored” charts. The Stormers were emphatically beaten by the Lions 34-10, which was followed by a narrow 19-18 victory over the Hurricanes at Newlands Stadium. Their tour in New Zealand is also not going too well, after losing narrowly to the Crusaders 1314 and being steam rolled by the Chiefs. The Stormers’ fan base is frustrated by the lack lustre
approach by the Cape side. A Storm is brewing. Sharks The Sharks seem to be setting the pace, not only in the South African conference, but in the overall league as well. Their opening display in the first four games (resulting in four victories) was convincing, despite being on their home grounds. The Sharks are joint “top try scorers” in the league. In addition, the professional display against the Brisbane Reds with a 35–20 victory makes one believe they have capacity to go all the way. Only time will tell.
Stormers…only scored 5 tries at 1.25 tries per match Cheetahs Finesse, speed, flair and counter-attack are all words being thrown around when describing the Cheetahs. Five Cheetahs players sit in the top-seven tacklers list and between them have made 329 tackles. To add to this commitment, there are players
like Willie le Roux, who has made more carriers, metres and offloads than any other player in the Super 15. Despite all this, however, the Cheetahs are struggling to get results and may just fall short of a playoff berth.
v73 e3 - 25 march 2014
Mark Nandi Sports Editor
The Scot factor From Sir Matt Busby to Bill Shankly to Sir Alex Ferguson; these are some of the Scottish names that have graced the English Premier League and left more than a mark – they have left a legacy. The mere mention of their names and one instantly envisages courage, tenacity, in his capabilities as a top tier tactical might and, most of manager. His stint at Everton all, greatness. proved that he is competitive and That said, can you begin to has the will to produce stellar imagine what results, but with it feels like for utmost respect he is well on the way to Everton and a certain David Moyes? The to becoming a failure- its fans, he was man who was not exposed defining eponym poised to carry to extremely on the Scottish competitive mantra; the man who was conditions season in, season blessed by Sir Alex Ferguson out. In other words, the UEFA himself and entrusted with the Champions League. Yet of all task of upholding the fortress the questions asked, it is in the that is Manchester United. Champions League that Moyes Daunting, isn’t it? seems to be responding in a I’m not going to go on about manner that his predecessor and how David Moyes has failed at countryman so often did. The 3-0 United thus far – it’s pretty much comeback against Olympiacos evident at this point in time. to progress to the Quarterfinals, I mean, he is 3-2 on aggregate, well on the way was one such He needs to get the to becoming a response and players to play for him United can draw failure-defining e p o n y m . just like his fellow great many positives from that I’ve heard Scots did. performance, comments such in light of the as, “Boy, that test was brutal; I’m so going to looming quarters. Moyes needs to evolve with David Moyes it.” But let’s face it, it was always going to be tough the modern game. They have for him. The era that modern to believe that he is the right football is in currently, is worlds man to pull them out of the hole apart from those in which his in which they find themselves. more esteemed countrymen For that to happen, David Moyes, just like Sir Alex, needs built their legacies. The real question that should to maintain tactical relevance modern day football. be asked, in my opinion is: how in adaptable is David Moyes? As a David Moyes needs to acquire staunch United fan I do believe the Scot factor.
Lions After five rounds of Super Rugby, the Lions have won three games already, just as they did in 2011 and 2012. The only difference is that they never looked like a committed or driven team in previous seasons. Their kicker, Marnitz Boshoff, is topping the 2014 kicking stats and relishes running at defences. They may be seen as South Africa’s underdogs; but they may just surprise many people this year. Blue Bulls South Africa’s most successful side in the history of the Super Rugby competition, Blue Bulls, are always in with a chance. The results have been a mixed bag, losing to the Cheetahs 15-9 and to the Sharks. Their victories against the Lions and Blues still keep them in the mix. Perhaps the pressure of not being favourites this year might suit the Bulls. Image: flickr.com/Jaco Ferreira
FIXTURES Waterpolo March 26th
UCT SWIMMING POOL
UCT Jaboolie Waterpolo League Round 5
Varsity Cup Rugby Final April 7th, 7pm VENUE TBC
Medics rugby in good health Michael Zinn
fter a few decades of flying under the radar, Medics Rugby has experienced a spiritual revival in recent years. 2008 heralded the coming of a vibey freshman class, headed by the Godfather of Medics rugby, James “Chiefy” Burger. These fine young men took it upon themselves to begin the rugby resurgence in the Health Sciences faculty. Six years later and the Saints are as strong as ever.
This is a keenly anticipated derby for both UCT and Tygerberg This era saw the rise of the Medics (also known as the Saints) as a true force in UCT’s internal league’s 2nd division. From humble beginnings in 2008, where we tossed around the pigskin every other Sunday, we have progressed to a well-oiled machine in 2013… okay, not really. We still play “touch” every other Sunday and, due to the added burden of saving lives,
Image: Michael Zinn RUGBY FOR DOCTORS: UCT Health Science students form a rugby team many players in clinical years can’t make every game. But that’s fine! We’re all about fielding a makeshift team from week to week and playing for the gees of it all! Despite our relaxed approach to the playing side of things, we boast a remarkable record. The last two years shows us as having made the final in 2012 and topping the log in 2013 after an unbeaten league season. Not bad for a team whose practices consist
of 5-on-4 touch with “try-scorer swaps”, hey? This season sees us under new management, as our former manager and captain pursue their trade in the hospitals of Port Elizabeth and Pietermaritzburg, respectively. The new team leaders are looking saucy though! The one and only David Maasdorp takes up the managerial reins from Chiefy, whilst Richard Brombacher claims the
mantle of captain from the iconic Ali Broadhurst. Pundits predict that this transitional stage in the leadership will be infinitely smoother than that at Old Trafford. The Saints have started the year with a bang, entering a team into the much-vaunted Cape Town 10s tournament. Now, results aside, it was a great weekend. Rugby was definitely not the priority for the Medics, as our paltry victory indicates. Needless to
say the team spirit was far too festive for our league, with six of last year’s graduate class returning from all four corners of the country. Donning the colours of the Saints once more, they attributed the beer spillage during the warm-ups to jet-lag. The first day’s play was followed by an even better night, and so the trend continued throughout. The Saints’ next big challenge sees them go toe-to-toe with one of the powerhouses of South African Varsity rugby: Tygerberg Medics. This is a keenly anticipated derby for both UCT and Tygerberg med schools, as it presents a chance to broaden horizons by meeting our future colleagues. There is also the bonus of experiencing the other side of the boerewors-curtain! Tragically, 2013 did not see the derby take place. However, this has only fuelled the excitement around this fixture, which allows Tygerberg to feel they can compete with us in some ways (am I right?). This special feature of Medics rugby will take place at 7pm on Friday, April 4th at Tygerberg campus. Expect a cracker ladies and gents!
First-year shot putter breaks all the records Rowan Nicholls Lectures hadn’t even started yet and already a UCT and a Western Province record had been broken. At the first Western Province Track & Field League Meet of the year, UCT Athletics Club (UCTAC) member, Zane Weir, shot the put a distance of 16.36 metres. This beat the previous UCT junior (u19) record, which had stood for 17 years, by a massive 3.6m. It was also a Western Province record, improving the previous mark by 1.15m. The firstyear BCom Economics and Finance student then went on to break his own record by 12cm at an open competition. He later won the gold medal at the Western Province Junior Championships (where he was more than 1.2m ahead of the 17 others in the competition). He was quickly selected for the provincial junior team that will be competing at the national championships in a few months. Needless to say he is unbeaten
Needless to say he is unbeaten this season this season. Unfortunately, the fact that he was competing in the u19 age category meant that his results did not contribute points towards UCTAC’s standing in the Track & Field League (which awards points
Image: Rowan Nichols to senior athletes only). As a result, Weir thought he would try his luck and start competing in the senior category. This was a significant change because it involved using a much heavier shot to which he is unaccustomed. However, this proved to be no problem at all as Weir won the second league meet as a senior and did not hesitate to enter the provincial senior championships. It was here where he saw his biggest success so far this year, winning the competition
by over three metres and breaking the 55-year-old UCT senior record in the process. It is very rare for a junior to hold records in both categories. Hailing from KwaZulu Natal, Weir is no stranger to high achievement. He was ranked first in his province and third in South Africa last year, despite his competitors being older than him. He uses a completely self-taught “rotation” technique to launch his shot, as opposed to the more
conventional “linear” technique; and his personal best stands at a world-class 17.60m. With SA Student Champs taking place in a month’s time, the opportunities for him to carry on excelling are coming in thick and fast. His gold medals at both Western Province championships added to UCT’s total of 13 medals won over the two weekends. This compares to the same period last year when the Ikeys took home six, speaking volumes about the resurgence of the
club in recent years. In addition to Weir, UCTAC’s Athlete of the Year for 2012 and 2013, Tanya Scott, reached new heights when she set personal bests by winning both the 5 000m and the 10 000m events. In the latter, she achieved the qualifying standard for selection to the provincial team with ease; needing a time of 40 minutes and 0.42 seconds or better, she managed an impressive 36 minutes and 33.62 seconds.