The Oppidan Press

Edition 2, 11 March 2014
Page 11 Page 2 Page 9
Poaching in perspective Electronic sports on the rise Silent Protest open for all
Rugby fest
at Rhodes
News Features
2 Te Oppidan Press 11 March 2014
Te departure of former Student
Anti-Harassment Ofcer and key organiser
of the Silent Protest Larissa Klazinga, who was argu-
ably one of the most vocal gender activism voices on campus,
has called into question the presence of other visible activism
projects at Rhodes. Tis year’s organiser of the Silent Protest, Kim Barker,
explained that “one area of concern has been the silence of Gender Action
Project (GAP) on campus this year as a key and consistent student organisation
dealing with these issues.” Students concerned about the avenues available to them
in terms of harassment will not, however, go wanting. Acting Deputy Dean of Students
Colleen Vassiliou will be the go-to person for incidences of gender-related harassment,
and two psychologists at the Counselling Centre have also been contracted to help. A more
concrete plan for harassment management is still in the pipeline. A main fear surrounding
Klazinga’s exit from the university is that the annual Silent Protest will not go forward as usual.
Te protest, which deals with issues of rape and sexual violence, has become an important date
on the university calendar in recent years. As the organiser of the frst Silent Protest, the event
came to be seen as a key component of Klazinga’s work at the University. “Initially it was a
bit uncertain last year because the University originally placed the event on the calendar for
this year on condition that students organise it,” explained Barker, addressing these fears.
“At the Gender Imbizo the University was lobbied and resolutions were made, particu-
larly that the University would ofer its support to the event and have a staf member
dedicated to its organisation.” Barker will head a committee of students, staf
members and interested individuals at Rhodes who will assist in organising the
event as well as in discussing the issues that accompany its organisation. A
signifcant diference between this year’s protest and those of previous
years is the time of the year at which it takes place. While most
previous protests took place in either March or April,
this year’s has been rescheduled for August.
Tis was mainly
due to the various holidays falling
in April creating difculty in securing the
Cathedral as a venue. A positive symbolic result has
been that the protest will take place at the start of National
Women’s Month. However, this does not limit it to women. “We have
taken the step to making all categories of participation open to both men
and women,” Barker stated. “Sexual violence against women takes place on a
massive scale, but we would be creating more silences if we ignore the reality of
sexual violence against men in a forum like this.” Te August date would allow for
more time to deliberate on these issues of inclusivity and attracting male voices to an
event that, since its inception, has seen participation from mainly female students. Fur-
ther plans for this year include opening up participation and encouraging input from staf
members, with the ofcial support of the University. “Support staf have ofen participated
in the past, although in very small numbers,” added Barker. With this year’s event secured
on the calendar, Barker pointed to a new discussion being raised concerning the portfolio
under which the protest falls. Currently under the administration of the Dean of Students
Ofce, one resolution from the last Gender Imbizo suggested that the Silent Protest should
fall under the Transformation and Institutional Culture Directorate instead. “Tis would
make it part of efecting change in the institution as a whole,” she explained. Barker
stressed the need for active participation in both the Silent Protest and other gender
activism projects on campus. “We need to start asking ourselves what isn’t okay,”
she said. “Ofen there are these knee-jerk responses to stories of brutal rapes,
calling for women to protect themselves and to root out the few evil people
committing these crimes. Tat kind of rhetoric avoids discussing the
real issues that are present.” Tis year’s emphasis on dialogue and
inclusivity in the organisation of the protest will, Barker
hopes, continue and build on the work Klazinga
did in her time at Rhodes.
Inclusivity the goal of Silent Protest 2014
Tarryn de Kock
Thandi Bombi and Chelsea Haith
Te 2014 academic year began in
anger as students united to pro-
test against a lack of funding. As
many marched through the streets
chanting their demands, the Rhodes
University Student Representative
Council (SRC) fought a quieter bat-
tle. In collaboration with the Rhodes
University Financial Aid Ofce, the
University managed to help more
than 100 Rhodes students in need of
fnancial assistance.
Te South African Students’ Con-
gress (SASCO) organized countrywide
protests for students who could not
be funded by the National Student
Financial Aid Services (NSFAS). Tese
protests resulted in student injuries
and criminal records.
Closer to home, students from lo-
cal institution of higher learning the
Eastcape Midlands College (EMC)
were lef homeless afer being evicted
by landlords afer a lack of funding lef
them unable to pay their rent.
Te NSFAS reductions in bursary
amounts threatened to force landlords
to permanently evict the students.
Tis resulted in the College campuses
across the Eastern Cape closing and
students being sent home afer a week
of protests against the reductions.
According to Colonel Monray Nel of
Grahamstown SAPS, the College will
reopen on 11 March afer a discussion
on 10 March between students,
parents, landlords and the College’s
However, the EMC management
was careful to point out that there
could be no solutions because there
was not enough funding from the
government - there could only be
On our campus however, SRC
liaison ofcer Eric Ofei felt that
students did not need to resort to
striking to have their demands met.
Tis comes afer a post on the Rhodes
Confessions Facebook page that
complained about the SRC’s lack of
interest in student afairs.
“A lot of students are not aware of
what the SRC does and their power,”
commented Ofei.
He went on to explain that the SRC
President Bradley Bense and Vice-
President Victor Mafuku arrived in the
frst week of January and were working
hard in the interest of the students in
need of fnancial aid.
According to fnancial aid adminis-
trator at Rhodes Luyanda Bheyile R4
million was requested directly from
the Director General of Higher Educa-
tion on 24 January to help prospective
students fnancially.
“Although NSFAS increases its fund-
ing annually, the money is not enough
because there has been an increase
in demand for fnancial aid,” ex-
plained Bheyile. “To date we could not
accommodate 65 prospective students
and 61 already existing students.”
Bheyile went on to say that fnancial
aid was not awarded to repeating frst-
and second-year students from 2013,
but was rather reserved for third-years
and above.
He also pointed out that there are
always reasons for why someone is
not getting fnancial aid and that both
sides of the story should be explored.
Mutsa Mambo, a PhD student in
Environmental Biotechnology, said
that while she is happy that more than
100 students could continue their
studies, the SRC should not be praised
for something that they are meant to
be doing anyway.
“Rhodes is small enough for the SRC
to have more of an impact than they
already have,” she said.
Mambo went on to say that the SRC
should represent the entire student
body, including foreign nationals.
“Tey should be taking fnancial
issues up with the governing body and
representing foreign nationals as well
as South Africans. Too many people
got excluded because of the Minimun
Initial Payment clearance deadline.”
NSFAS bursary reductions cause countrywide unrest
EMC students protested after a lack of funding resulted in them being unable to pay their rent. Photo: CHELSEA HAITH
News Features
11 March 2014 Te Oppidan Press 3
NSFAS bursary reductions cause countrywide unrest
Lining up to march for lions in captivity
Eastside & Westside: Grahamstown water woes wage on
Emily Corke
Te water crisis at Rhodes University last year
cast a national spotlight on Grahamstown’s
perpetual water troubles. Unfortunately, what
was not brought to the fore was the fact that
this has been an unending problem for many
people for several years. While ‘Grahamstown
West’, which includes the RU campus, has
had many of these issues addressed, the water
crisis in Grahamstown East continues to afect
At the Grahamstown Residents Association
(GRA) Annual General Meeting on 5 March,
Grahamstown City Engineer Emmanuel My-
alato was invited to report on the current water
situation. While he could confdently report that
plans have been put in place to fx the crisis, he
said that the municipality was far from solving
the problem.
“Until we have enough storage for water and
enough pumps working at 100%, the crisis is not
over,” said Myalato. “Te time for planning is
over, now is the time for implementation.”
Te planning Myalato mentions is the fve-
year contract that Makana Municipality has
signed with quasi-state body, Amatola Water.
Tis contract was the result of a presidential
intervention last year, when the majority of
Rhodes University had been without water for
16 days.
Despite the fact that most areas in Grahams-
town West have felt improvements in the water
supply and pressure - which Myalato said was
thanks to Amatola Water- the situation in Gra-
hamstown East has barely improved.
Chairperson of the Unemployed People’s
Movement (UPM) Ayanda Kota said, “If you are
well of and you have been living in the town
then you will not be hit as hard as if you are liv-
ing in the township.”
Kota said that because people in
Grahamstown East have been without a
consistent water supply for years. Tey have
been forced to improvise to keep their homes
hygienic and healthy. Some residents have to
get up before dawn just to fnd water for their
Kota said that the crisis began when the
quality of water in Grahamstown was declared
undrinkable. Babies were reported to have died
in 2009 because of the quality of water, although
no investigation ever took place. Residents
were also reported to have died in fres in 2011
because there was no water for the community
to use to save them.
“If you go to the toilet, it’s not even that you
have the fushing system anymore. You have to
use the bucket system - that’s how bad it is,”
Kota added.
Such problems with the quality and availabil-
ity of the water supply still persist in most areas
in Grahamstown East. Water, when it does come
out the taps, had been reported to be a green or
white colour. Although the water is no longer
green, people are still complaining of getting
sick from the water - especially in the Joza area.
DA Ward Councillor Les Reynolds said that
there has been no improvement in most areas.
“Tere is not enough water to come into town
and to service the absolute growth in Graham-
stown East. Joza is very poor when it comes to
water supply,” said Reynolds.
Other than the growth of Grahamstown East,
according to B&B manager Sally Price-Smith,
a lot of municipal bungling could have been
avoided by consistent structural maintenance.
Te municipality, including Myalato, have ofen
blamed the aging infrastructure as the source of
the problem.
Ward 12 Councillor Brian Fargher said, “We
have said time and time again: it is not aging in-
frastructure that is the problem but maintenance
and planning.”
Price-Smith reported that when she visited
one of the worst-afected water treatment sta-
tions - James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works
- there were Pick ‘n Pay fans cooling the motors.
In other cases, the equipment has been lef to
gather dirt and sludge.
Fargher reported an instance where profes-
sional divers were brought in from Port Eliza-
beth to clean the equipment. It took them three
days to remove the sludge.
In some cases, there is a complete lack of
know-how. According to doctoral candidate at
the Institute for Water Research at Rhodes Uni-
versity Jai Cliford-Holmes, the last complete set
of plans for the city were drawn up in the 1970s.
Consequentially, the current municipal staf
are unable to read the maps or fx the valves.
Myalato added that the controlling systems that
manage water control and supply have been lef
unmaintained and broken.
Additionally, the geography of Grahamstown
causes a lot of difculty when it comes to water
distribution to the entire town. In brief, the
water fows past the areas in Grahamstown East
to service Grahamstown West and then back
up to Grahamstown East. By the time the water
returns to those areas at the end of the chain,
there is not enough pressure for the water to
reach Grahamstown East.
“Let me be brutally honest, we are lucky that
the folk in Grahamstown East have been so
tolerant, because they know that their water is
going past them into Grahamstown West,” said
Reynolds. “When Rhodes had that crisis last
year, they virtually switched of all the water
to Grahamstown East to try and satisfy the
Reynolds went on to say that C.M. Vellem
Primary School and a number of others have not
had water for two years.
“Te kids go to the loo on the periphery of
the playground because the tanks that should be
flled up on a daily basis by the municipality are
not,” said Reynolds, “We don’t know how those
people battle for water.”
Reynolds continued to state that Makana
Municipality is lucky to have avoided a cholera
outbreak in Grahamstown East and warned that
the municipality has to be careful.
Tere are plans for a new pump to be installed
to fx the water supply for Grahamstown East
but the poor water quality is arguably due to the
fact that the people who operate the water treat-
ment works are not doing their jobs properly.
Te bulk of the funding comes from the
Department of Water Afairs and various par-
ties, including a R75 million rescue package
administered by the Eastern Cape Development
Corporation. Fargher said Amatola Water has
taken control of almost every aspect thus far as
the water supply in Makana Municipality is cur-
rently in crisis.
Reynolds stated that Makana Municipality has
no money, which has serious consequences in
terms of the time it takes for the plans Amatola
Water and Makana have made to be implement-
ed. Tese plans include: expensive infrastructure
replacement, the building of reservoirs in order
to accommodate the growth of Grahamstown
East and general maintenance control upgrades,
using new technology and communications.
According to Myalato, Amatola Water has
also been contracted to manage water alloca-
tion, water treatment, water management and
to facilitate training for the operating municipal
staf. Peter Ellis from MBB Consultants has been
contracted to regulate water pressure and con-
servation and to help manage the usage of water.
Myalato sounded confdent when he reported
that Makana Municipality has given a commit-
ment to the annual National Arts Festival and
Scifest Africa that they can go ahead and host
these big events in Grahamstown, despite the
unending water crisis.
Mikaela Erskog
he opportunity to pet lion
cubs draws large international
crowds, but few tourists real-
ise that these cubs are either products
of severe inbreeding or smuggled
from neighbouring countries. Even
fewer people are aware that most cub
petting is just a means to externalise
the costs of rearing adult lions for
recreational hunting.
Te Campaign Against Canned
Hunting (CACH) is a South African
organisation that is fghting to close
down what many regard as an inhu-
mane economic practice. Due to the
poor awareness surrounding this issue,
they will be hosting the Global March
for Lions on 15 March, 2014 and Rho-
des students are invited to participate.
Te breeding of lions in captivity
for use in tourist and canned hunting
industries is a huge problem in South
Africa as it is directly contributing to
the eradication of natural lions and
their genetic integrity. According to
informational website,
there are more lions farmed in captiv-
ity (8000) than there are lef in their
natural habitat (fewer than 4000) in
South Africa, and there are only 20 000
natural lions lef in Africa as a whole.
Co-founder of CACH and cann- Chris Mercer explains that
canned hunting entails the ‘hunting’
of animals that are born and bred in
small, confned spaces that barely at-
tempt to resemble their natural habitat.
Mercer explained how lions develop
“captivity depression” - a mental and
physical lethargy that is caused by
permanent confnement to spaces far
too small for any wild animal, let alone
the king of the wild.
“Tey aren’t free to express normal
behavior in small confned enclosures.
Tey are simply bred to die,” remarked
International Animal Rescue Foun-
dation (IARF) activist and Rhodes
second-year student Emma Tomp-
son.Te breeding process not only fa-
cilitates discomfort for the lion but the
means by which they are bred is actu-
ally destroying the lion species. “You
then get crossbreeding or inbreeding
that produces what Americans call
‘junk lions’ – ones with compromised
genetics,” Mercer elaborated. Te
genetic integrity of the animal is lost
as inbred animals ofen have recurring
health problems, severe deformities
and evident disabilities.
Tis results in the need to re-intro-
duce ‘fresh blood’ into the gene pool
to counteract the efects of inbreeding
- by capturing free lions and smuggling
them from other African countries
into South Africa to re-invigorate the
canned hunting industry.
More problems arise because of
this: “As the lions in the wild decrease
from smuggling operations,” explained
Tompson, “the more we occupy their
area and their natural habitat decreas-
es. Tat means then that inbreeding is
more likely to occur [in the wild too].
Tis causes massive physiological and
behavioral problems between natural
prides and decreases their numbers.
Eventually, this may lead to stagnation
and sterility.”
Tis Saturday, the Global March
for Lions will be happening in over
40 cities in 18 countries in an attempt
to challenge the industry and call for
a ban on canned hunting in South
Africa. Tompson agrees that this will
be a necessary step, arguing that if it is
legal to breed lions, it allows for a lot of
grey areas and illegalities.
Te event is also aimed at creating
enough global awareness to stop the
international demands that fuel the
farming of lions. “We want to build an
international constituency [and] to use
that constituency to close the industry
down at the other end,” said Mercer.
However, Mercer argues that it is
not enough to just ban the practice. He
believes that the most viable solutions
to this problem are to educate tourists
so that they do not indulge in cub pet-
ting and to educate volunteers not to
patronise any facility that rears lions.
He also hopes to persuade the Euro-
pean Union to ban any imports related
to this industry and to get the United
States Fish and Wildlife Services to put
lions on the endangered species list.
Most importantly, Tompson and
fellow IARF activist Kestral Raik both
stressed the importance of educating
people in a way that promotes critical
thinking and engaging with social is-
sues. “If you have the capacity to think
about it, maybe you should as it’s the
only way to sustainably combat these
problems,” commented Tompson.
“Lion poaching and canned hunting
is South Africa’s biggest shame,” Raik
continued, stating that the awareness
surrounding canned lion hunting is
not only low but being actively denied.
Tompson described an example of
the complete suppression of the cause’s
information. “A little while ago, at O.
R. Tambo International Airport, they
had advertisements up that had an
image of President Zuma, a lion and a
gun to its head, and it said ‘Only Zuma
can stop this’. Tese were taken down
Tompson and Raik both agreed
that part of the problem facing the
dwindling number of lions in South
Africa is the lack of correct informa-
tion and awareness available to the
public. Te Global March for Lions is
an attempt to change this.
Join the march to raise awareness of
this brutal industry and its problematic
consequences. If the lion is worthy
enough to grace our ffy rand note, it
surely deserves to live a healthy and
free life.
Lions that are in captivity often develop depression and severe lethargy.
News Features
4 Te Oppidan Press 11 March 2014
Phiwo Dhlamini from Swaziland; standing on African Street
“To put our diferences aside, unite, be the melting pot that Africa is all
Tandolwethu Ndimba, Nombulelo Senior Secondary School student;
standing at Joza Youth Hub
“I just thought I should come by here and see what is happening. It is a spe-
cial day because all the people are here to celebrate Mandela and what he did
for us. Mandela was great man, he fought for us so that is why we are here. It
is for freedom.”

Siyanda Mpehlo from extension 6; standing on African Street
“Because we are a rainbow nation, trying for reconciliation. To celebrate
Tim Barnard, St Andrews College Community Engagement Ofcer;
standing on Ncame Street
“We have been involved in the Human Chain since the get-go and it is a cool
thing to do. We are partners with Nombulelo School and our guys work here
quite ofen so it made sense to not only form up at our end but also here.”
Mark Boshof, Saint Andrews College pupil standing on African Street
“It is to remember the life of a great man.”
Siphokazi Silumko, Archie Mbolekwa pupil; standing on Ncame Street
“I am here today to see what is happening.”
Reece Daniels, Good Shepherd Primary; standing on African Street
“We are celebrating Mandela.”
Maike van der Meer, exchange student from the Netherlands; standing on
Ncame Street
“It looks nice to us to be together and to experience the Human Chain. We
all came through today for this.”
Annelisa Tinga, Good Shepherd Primary; standing on African Street
“We are here because everyone in SA is important.”
Keenan Bush, St Andrews College student; standing on Ncame Street
“I am here to celebrate Mandela, what he did for South Africa.”
[Why did you choose to stand here?]
“Tis is where we got put, we were told to stay. We were bussed here.”
Ayanda Yanda, CM Vellem Primary; standing on African Street
“We are here for our father.”
Liz Campbell, DSG music teacher; standing on African Street
“It is very moving; I want to weep. Tere are people from all walks of life,
laughing; we’re standing here in the rain waiting for life in our land.”
Siphosethu Helesi, Archie Mbolekwa student; standing on Ncame Street
“Tey didn’t tell us much. Tey say it is about Tata Mandela. He means a lot.”
Professor Pat Terry from Rhodes University; standing on African Street
“It is a chance to get together, because we all belong to the same country.”
Emily Corke and Chelsea Haith
hrough the rain and cold, groups of people from all parts of Grahamstown gathered to form a symbolic Human
Chain on 21 February. Te event had been advertised as a day of refection and revelation, but participants
spoke about a range of additional reasons for their participation.
Rhodes University’s Vice-Chancellor Saleem Badat said that Grahamstown linked hands to refect on the community as
an act of solidarity.
“We can’t carry on as we are anymore, an injury to one is an injury to all,” said Badat. “It’s time to refect on who we are
and where we’re going as a city.”
In fact, there was no single story of what the day meant. Tough organisers had anticipated 5000 links in a chain of singu-
lar intention, it appears that in reality 4000 people joined hands in a broken line with a number of purposes in mind.
Te Oppidan Press joined participants in the rain to fnd out what the event meant to them personally. Tese are the
stories that came across.
What the Human Chain meant to you
Leila Stein and Gemma Middleton
Grahamstown Area and Distress
Relief Association (GADRA) was
originally started over fve decades
ago as a poverty alleviation efort.
Te organisation has transformed
many times over the decades, but be-
gins 2014 stronger and more resilient
afer a few troubling years necessi-
tated certain internal reformations.
In the wake of the Human Chain
event, Te Oppidan Press took time
to learn more about Grahamstown’s
oldest NGO.
“GADRA had been hit hard by the
recession,” said director of GADRA
Roger Domingo. “Tere was not
enough money being brought in [and]
it was decided to re-access and review
the organisation.” Currently, GA-
DRA operates three fagship projects.
Masihlume is a food security project
where families are helped to grow their
own produce in order to become self-
sufcient; Sinakho is a project assisting
those with disabilities; and Ishishimi
promotes and creates entrepreneurship
among those in poverty-stricken areas.
“Only 20% of Grahamstown lives
comfortably,” stated Domingo. “Te
other 80% are in absolute or relative
poverty and that is the context in
which GADRA operates.”
Domingo explained that in the
Masihlume project, GADRA provides
initial training and input.
“We make sure the garden is estab-
lished and only leave when the families
are fed and secure,” he said. “We have
had tremendous success.”
According to Domingo, GADRA
assists smaller numbers of people.
“Te number of people we can assist
is based on our donor funding for
that year,” he explained. “Last year
we helped 60 people with disabilities
through the Sinakho project. ”
Alongside these three central
projects, GADRA also tries to provide
immediate disaster relief for families
who need urgent assistance.
“We have people coming in who
need quick material help and support,”
explained Domingo. “Tese people
are part of the families and individuals
who are assisted as part of the fagship
Domingo went on to explain that
most of GADRA’s funding comes from
large corporate and international do-
nors, but this does not mean those in
Grahamstown do not contribute.
“Grahamstown locals donate in
kind,” he said. “Te Human Chain
event was run on zero budget and was
pulled of because of the smaller dona-
tions of radios, equipment and so on
by the locals.”
Te Human Chain saw a large col-
laboration between various NGOs, the
University and the town. Domingo
took on the role of director of the
Human Chain event afer being asked
by the Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes
University Saleem Badat.
“Te VC wanted a project manager
from outside [Rhodes],” said Domingo,
“to make sure it was not seen as a
Rhodes-only event.”
Community Engagement director at
Rhodes, Di Hornby, echoed Domingo
by saying that Rhodes is very con-
science of becoming part of the
larger community.
“Te success of the Human Chain
was that it was an event for Grahams-
town, run by Grahamstown,” she said.
Hornby was confdent that the
relationships between the Rhodes
Community Engagement ofce and
GADRA is well established and will
be long lasting. Domingo echoed
Hornby’s sentiments, saying that the
links between NGOs and the Univer-
sity continue to grow and that the VC
has been instrumental in strengthen-
ing those ties.
“I have had student volunteers from
Rhodes at not just GADRA but also
the youth care centre I previously ran,”
confrmed Domingo.
Local NGO revamped and renewed
St Andrews College pupils were among the participants of the Human Chain in Grahamstown in order to commemo-
rate Nelson Mandela. Photo: GABRIELLA FREGONA
Weekly Specials
Monday - Burger & Beer Special
200g Beef Burger and Chips & Free Beer of your Choice
Tuesday - Rock Bottom Tuesday
Starters, Mains, Desserts, all at insane prices (from 6pm)
Wednesday - Cocktail Specials
Specials on all cocktails all day
Thursday - Healthy Thursday
Free Fruit Juice of your choice with every Salad purchase
Friday - Crazy Lunch Specials
Enough said!
Saturday - Ladies’ Cocktail Night
Specials on cocktails for all Ladies (from 6pm)
Sunday - Sunday brunch & and live music
Brunch menu available accompanied by live easy listening from 12pm.
specials from
12pm - 5pm
Contact us:
Saints Bistro & Inn
11 March 2014 Te Oppidan Press 5
Mitchell Shaun Parker
Sexual orientation and the discussion
thereof is something that while it may
not seem so, is based very strongly
in individual politics. Many Rho-
des University students – and many
thousands more across the country
– wake up each morning having to try
and navigate the complicated path of
being a member of the LGBTi com-
As a result, places like Rhodes –
noted for its high inclusivity and ‘home
for all’ reputation – have become safe
havens for these individuals. However,
even within a pro-inclusivity space
such as Rhodes, there are still many
dynamics that play a huge role in the
way people live their lives.
Te simple act of saying the words
“I am gay” or “I am a lesbian” is, in
essence, a defance of what has been
normalised in our society and there
is something deeply political about
that. It is speaking truth to an estab-
lished power of heteronormativity
and, despite how there is supposedly
an increased acceptance within more
liberal cultures, there are still dozens of
hoops that need to be jumped through
before a place of genuine acceptance
can be found.
Although Rhodes is a refuge for
those who self-identify as queer, there
are still countless cases of male students
who have boyfriends in Grahamstown,
but when they return home, they be-
have ‘straight’ because family situations
or home lives make it impossible to be
Culturally, too, there is something
political about sexual orientation.
Defying an established cultural or
religious norm is, again, political.
Students who identify as LGBTi can
have a tough time trying to relate
their internal sexuality to their belief
systems. To live outside already estab-
lished boundaries can be a powerful
and daunting decision.
Societies like OutRhodes help de-
velop the support base here at Rhodes.
Tey ofer insight, guidance and one-
on-one discussion about the LGBTi
lifestyle. Tis open forum, where even
the most homophobic of homophobes
is allowed to air their views, can help
introduce the idea of non-heterosexual
love. Tis, in turn, makes it easier
for future generations. Sometimes all
someone needs is a role model to stand
up and say “It’s okay to be who you are”
to allow an easier transition out of the
proverbial closet.
In spite of the supposedly safe space
at Rhodes, there is still much finging
of micro-aggressions. People using,
colloquially or not, the phrases “Tat’s
so gay” or “No homo” are directly un-
dermining the person that any LGBTi
student inherently is. To make some-
thing that is so fundamentally a part
of them something that can be used as
negative is painful.
Tere are cases of students at Rhodes
having to move residences because they
found themselves in situations where
the taunting became too intense, or
where conversations were had openly
in common rooms where people ex-
plicitly stated that they hate gay people.
Tus, again, sexual orientation is
political. It is an intricate conversation
being had, even on an unspoken level,
about how people deal with those who
are diferent to themselves within a
given community.
However, it is not necessarily the
case that there is just pressure coming
from the heterosexual community to
be straight. Tere is also pressure from
the homosexual community to be loud,
proud and rainbow-fag-waving. It
can seem like if you are not a part of
OutRhodes, you are not doing your
‘people’ the service that you owe them.
In fact, I, personally, have felt intimi-
dated into joining the society for that
very reason. It is a funny thing, in
many ways: because when the question
is posed “Are you joining OutRhodes?”
by an eager member, the underlying
subtext of “Surely you are? You are a
part of the community. You must be?”
is very clear and yet never actually
stated for fear of, ironically, putting
people into boxes.
Tere is something to be said about
the way in which we talk about sexual
orientation as a whole though. Alfred
Kinsey, noted sexologist, created a scale
that measures where an individual
stands in terms of sexuality. Te scale,
importantly, allows for many shades
of diferent orientations and is not
always the standard binary of straight/
Tis hints at the ideal world that we
should all be striving towards - one
in which, as clichéd as it sounds, this
article does not even need to be writ-
ten; where the simple act of loving
another human being does not need to
be qualifed. It is a world where we do
not have to make bold speeches about
boycotting Uganda and their notori-
ous anti-gay laws, or make a big fuss
when we hear that another country has
legalised gay marriage.
Te issue of sexual orientation
should not be political, but it is for that
reason we all need to be aware of where
we place ourselves in that political
space - because it can have dramatic
impacts on the lives of those around us.
Adam Klass
ith the South African political parties turning
their heads toward the ffh democratic elections
on 7 May 2014, the whole country looks towards
the policies, promises and plans encompassed in each party’s
Te current structure of government is built on proportional
representation, which means that people vote for a political party,
not for individuals. Knowing the policy of each available option
is vital. So in the editions leading up to the election, Te Oppidan
Press, will be looking at the manifestos of some of South Africa’s
major parties.
In January this year, the African National
Congress (ANC) presented its manifesto
in Nelspruit to a packed stadium of 60 000
supporters. Te ANC has put emphasis on
what it has achieved over the last twenty
years, but has received open criticism for
not addressing its plan to move forward.
Te party stressed the importance of its National Develop-
ment Plan (NDP), which was implemented in 2011 as the core
means to addressing marginalisation. Also known as the ‘people’s
plan’, the NDP looks to build an inclusive economy and promote
leadership in all sectors of the South African economy. President
Jacob Zuma stated that this plan will create six million job op-
portunities in the informal sector by 2019, and it is intended to
extensively reduce inequality and eradicate poverty by 2030.
He also noted the need to increase state mining and its poten-
tial benefts towards industrialisation. However, Zuma remained
persistent in saying that the ANC’s top priorities remain health,
education, rural development, land reform, the creation of more
jobs, basic provisions and the pursuit of eliminating poverty.
With such a broad manifesto and focus on the past, many
remain critical of the ruling party’s plans to move South Africa
forward. Tis criticism is mostly directed from the Western Cape
and Gauteng, developing strongholds of opposition party the
Democratic Alliance (DA). However, on a more local level, the
ANC boasts overwhelming support in the Eastern Cape.
Te African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), formed in
1993, launched its plans for moving South
Africa forward – retaining Christian values
as the core theme to its manifesto. Te
ACDP leadership believes that job creation
is a primary concern and the most vital
tool for closing the gaps in poverty and
inequality. Te Party has committed itself to
improving the social and economic life of all
South African citizens.
Equally, the ACDP puts strong focus on stamping out corrup-
tion and wants its fscal policies to rely on eliminating wasteful
and corrupt expenditure. It has blamed the long, rigorous legal
system for the continuation of crime in South Africa and thus has
placed a high value on its anti-crime status and on creating a safe
society for all. Furthermore, it wants to provide an alternative to
the controversial Gauteng e-tolls.
Te leadership of the ACDP has openly said that there will
probably be a coalition post-elections and that the party could
feature in it. Despite this, the ACDP has struggled to gain support
in the Eastern Cape and currently has no seats in the provincial
“Get to know the manifesto” #1
The politics of the closet: sexual orientation at RU
Some students are scared of the repercussions of coming out of the
proverbial closet. Photo: GABRIELLA FREGONA
6 Te Oppidan Press 11 March 2014
The Oppidan Press staf and contact details
his town is boiling.”
Tese words appeared in a friend’s message requesting that
Te Oppidan Press send a writer to town two weeks ago.
Tough the weather was undoubtedly warm that day, it was the fact
that Grahamstown had awoken to the third in a series of protests to
which he was referring.
I found myself in agreement with how he had phrased it. Walking across
campus and hearing the singing that foated up from just outside the
municipal ofces, it struck me that anyone who has been keeping an eye
on the news would be hard-pressed to fnd a word that better describes the
state of things at present, both in Grahamstown and further afeld.
Te past few years have seen growing global activism and a rise in
protests internationally. Of-cited examples of this include the student
protests in Venezuela, the revolts in the Ukraine, and the Uganda
uprisings. Searching for the common thread, these can be said to
represent the bubbling over of dissent among the many against practices
that radically beneft only the few. South Africa currently stands as
international society’s most unequal nation and to match this ranking,
unsurprisingly boasts some of the highest protest fgures in the world.
Grahamstown has seen its fair share of these in recent weeks. If we are not
yet boiling, then certainly the bubbles are beginning to show.
With that in mind, we think it is important that our readers engage with
the content both in this edition and on our website as a micro-refection of
broader trends.
In reading about students struggling to reveal their true sexual
orientation to parents and friends, take a moment to refect on the
domestic and international reaction to Uganda’s radically homophobic
laws. Learning about local flmmaker Mark Wilby’s “Cliptivist” project in
opposition to rhino poaching and the upcoming march against canned
lion hunting, consider whether you agree that we as broader society
contribute to these disturbing practices by playing in to the values that
inform them. And when you watch the OppiTV clip showing South
African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) protestors being disbanded
by police with stun grenades on High Street, allow your mind to wander to
the anti-government protests that have turned to turmoil in Ukraine.
We do not say this in an attempt to be dramatic. Of course the above
situations are radical and we gratefully acknowledge that our own have
not reached such extremes. Tat said though, it is not impossible to see
what connects our context to others on a continuum of collective action.
As Siphokazi Magadla argued in a recent seminar at the Department of
Politics and International Relations, “the personal is the international”.
Tat which hits closest to home may also reach furthest afeld.
Arguably, people do not revolt until they have endured all they can
and carefully considered how to respond. Big movements begin with
small moments. All we are asking is that you think about these and
contemplate where in the bigger picture you think we ft in: on campus, in
Grahamstown, nationally, and abroad.
The Oppidan Press
From the horse’s mouth
Ben Rule
imphiwe Gumede is a former chairperson of one of
Rhodes University’s religious societies, 2014 is his
fourth year of involvement.
Opinion Editor: What is the perception of the campus
mentality surrounding religion/God?
I think being able to capture one complete perception is
not possible. It seems to me that the various perceptions
include those people who believe that their faith in God is
the correct one and that campus as a whole is in dire need
of being saved. Tere are also those who believe that their
faith is their own little jewel that cannot be shared with
anyone else. Tere are those who believe that God and
religion are inseparable and cannot be questioned. Tere
are people who have questions about God and who are
interested in fnding out more about Him/Her, as well as a
lot of people who strongly reject the idea of both God and
religion. It’s a diverse space.
It seems to me that campus can be quite a closed space
to religious activity or expression, especially if aimed at
the non-religious people on campus. It seems that it is
easier on this campus to publicly drink alcohol than it is
to publicly express religion. It seems more acceptable for
people to be harassed in an attempt to get them to party
than for them to be harassed in an attempt to get them
to church. Is it worth the fght to have a religious space
on campus? Or is this part of the reason that so much of
religion is boxed away of campus, quietly out of sight?
If we were to consider the number of people who are
in the various bars every weekend and compare those
numbers with those who are at various places of worship,
I think you would fnd that those numbers are even, at the
very least. In mentioning this we must also note that in the
middle of campus lies a Mosque which is regularly used
throughout the week without much notice or concern by
students. We should also note the chapel on St Peter’s Cam-
pus, and the service held in the General Lecture Teatre on
a Friday night. Tis makes for a strong argument for an ex-
isting religious presence on campus, and perhaps even for
a wider spread of churches on campus. We seem to be in
a situation where there is a religious presence on campus,
but it is perhaps overlooked or not recognised.
Many of the religious services which take place of
campus are specifcally aimed at students, or have
aspects which cater for students. If there are already
structures in place to support students, does this make
religious societies redundant?
Tere is no redundancy, because one of the big roles
that societies play in the life of students, especially the
new students who come from all parts of the country, is
that of creating an on-campus support system. Making the
transition to a new place is challenging , and maintaining a
strong and well-rooted faith on campus can sometimes be
very difcult. Religious societies on campus ofer students
both the opportunity to come together and worship on/
of campus but also to hopefully have a space on campus
to meet and tackle student-related issues. Te societies
therefore have a very specifc role to play because they need
to be able to provide engagement with and advice on the
issues that face young religious students on campus. Socie-
ties also give churches of campus the opportunity to reach
students on campus, through the use of campus resources.
Because our societies are inside campus, we have the abil-
ity to organise and coordinate meetings and events from
within the student population.
Tere is a large part of campus which adopts a lifestyle
and behaviour which is contrary to some of the doc-
trine which governs the practicing of various religions.
If one is too open to the stereotypical ‘Rhodes culture’,
one risks contradicting those religious principles. At
the same time to alienate oneself from campus and the
people on it might result in losing the diversity of view-
points which is part of the university experience. How
can the student leaders of religious communities deal
with this dilemma?
Perhaps a place to start is that of understanding what
it is that our religious doctrine is actually advising us
to do or how to live. I think it is understanding, from a
student’s perspective, what the doctrine that we follow
actually means that will help us in our ability to address
the dilemma. Such is the importance of having religious
societies on campus because they have the responsibility to
address the dilemma that faces a lot of religious students.
Perhaps religious societies need to dedicate more time and
efort to teaching and understanding the various doctrines
that we subscribe to and follow, then spend time trying to
understand how we can apply them in a student context.
A representation of some of the religions practiced in Grahamstown; Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism.
The segment where the Opinion Editor sits down with a horse’s mouth and gets
a few answers. This week’s horse: Religious Societies. This week’s mouth:
Simphiwe Gumede
Editor: Kyla Hazell. Deputy Editor: Amanda Xulu. Executive Consultant:
Binwe Adebayo. Managing Editor: Sindisa Mfenqe. Financial Manager:
Lorna Sibanda. Advertising Managers: Chiedza Guvava, Tinashe Jani.
Marketing Manager: Sarah Taylor. Community Engagement Ofcer:
Abigail Butcher. Online Editor: Stuart Lewis. Assistant Online Editor:
Chelsea Haith. News Features Editor: Emily Corke. Assistant News Features
Editor: Mila Kakaza. Politics Editor: Tarryn de Kock. Assistant Politics
Editor: Mitchell Parker. Opinion Editor: Ben Rule. Arts & Entertainment
Editor: Jenna Lillie. Business Editor: Nyasha Manyumwa. Environment
Editor: Mikaela Erskog. Sports Editor: Douglas Smith. Assistant Sports
Editor: Kimara Singh. Chief Photo Editor: Gabriella Fregona. Assistant
Chief Photo Editor: Kellan Botha. Chief Online Photo Editor: Alexa
Sedgwick. Chief Sub-Editor: Kaitlin Cunningham. Chief Online Sub-Editor:
Melian Dott. Sub-Editors: Kate Jennings, Danica Kreusch, Jessica Trappe,
Amy Wilkes. Chief Designer: Madien van der Merwe. Assistant Chief
Designer: Hannah McDonald. Advert Designers: Amber-Leigh Davies, Amy
Davidson. Junior Designers: Amy Ebdon, Alex Maggs.
Letters to the Editor:
Advertising details:
The Oppidan Press publishes letters which are bona fde expressions
of opinion provided that they are not clearly libellous, defamatory,
racist or sexist. We publish anonymous letters, but as an act of good
faith on your part, we require your full name. We reserve the right
to shorten letters due to space constraints and to edit them for
grammatical inaccuracies. Letters that do not make it into our print
edition will be published on our website.
Sobriety is just another state of mind
A number of Rhodes students fnd the nightclub scene a worthwhile pastime. Photo: SARAH WARD
11 March 2014 Te Oppidan Press 7
Ben Rule and Alan Kirkaldy
Te nightclub experience is simul-
taneously maligned and coveted, its
attraction difcult to explain. Tis is
an attempt to do just that.
saw a documentary once about
how Stonehenge was built for the
acoustics. Te stones are shaped
in such a precise way that the reverb
rivals that of a modern lecture theatre.
Tis is essential to understanding the
rituals which once took place there – if
drums are played at strategic places
within the arrangement of stones, the
rhythm becomes almost hypnotic.
Due to the sound waves bouncing
of the stones, any light in the vicin-
ity begins to dance in time with the
rhythm. Mind-altering substances
are ingested to heighten the spiritual
experience of the ritual. Rhythm leads
to chanting, possibly dancing. Tis
happened in Stonehenge. Essentially,
it still happens today. At Prime. And
Friars. And Monastery.
Society (in all its conservative, mor-
alising, self-restrained grandeur) has
been known to have a few problems
with substance abuse, overly loud
music and generally uninhibited be-
haviour (basically: all the things which
we are not allowed to do in residence).
Trow in periodical uproar about
the sexually explicit dancing which
pervades pop-culture, add a furrowed
brow at the mention of one-night
stands, and it becomes clear that there
is little going on in nightclubs which
society approves of.
It needs to be said upfront that most
of these are legitimate issues. Te
problem is that their collective weight
has become almost a single percep-
tion which is constantly serving to
invalidate the nightclub experience.
Many of us are a bit too familiar with
a hangover-propelled, guilt-edged
self-questioning of our previous night’s
behaviour. I have heard many com-
plaints about Friars being disgusting –
mostly from people who frequent it. I
am constantly shocked by the stories of
depravity which follow a night at Mon-
astery. Whenever I visit either, I leave
smelling like the industrial revolution.
If these are combined with the above
societal concerns, it’s easy to see how
the nightclub experience has come to
be thought of as some escapism-based
circumvention of conscience – some-
thing without value.
Tis is a simplistic understanding.
If nightclubs were that objectively un-
pleasant, they wouldn’t be so popular.
Te combination of rhythm, fashing
lights, dancing and substance abuse
(which I will refer to as the elements)
is something that the various cultures
of the world seem to have in com-
mon with each other. Music festivals
are proof of this – tens of thousands
of people, sometimes more, descend
upon a single place for this exact
experience. Te resurgence of elec-
tronic music has led to festivals such
as Tomorrowland becoming almost a
global experience. Even Glastonbury,
traditionally a rock music festival, is
beginning to incorporate more DJs in
its line-up. It seems clear that human-
ity has a collective attraction to these
elements. It seems that
they are deeply embedded in the
human psyche.
It also seems clear that this is not
a new attraction. Te San used the
canna plant in their spiritual rituals,
which included the other elements.
Te Venda people had a dance known
as malombo (a spirit possession
dance) which was a similarly spiritual
experience. Te aboriginal cultures
in Australia have a related ritual.
Peyote was used in the training of
shamans (from various cultures) in
South America, and the Stonehenge
experience has been described above.
All over the world, there are reports of
a similar combining of the elements.
All of these diferent rituals combined
the elements to achieve some sort of
trance state, which was moulded to ft
the specifc culture in which the ritual
was taking place. Ofen the trance state
was a medium through which spiritual
experience was accessed. Sometimes
it was used as a mental or spiritual
cleansing; sometimes a celebration. It
seems that the latter is still particularly
applicable in our current experiences
of the elements.
Tis attraction we have to the ele-
ments is more than just escaping our
workloads and rebelling against our
upbringings. Nightclubs are the mod-
ern extension of these ancient rituals.
Tey are not an assault on the senses.
Tey are an exploration of them. With
appetite. With vigour and zest.
It should be noted that the rituals
were not accessible to the majority of
those ancient societies – they were
conducted by the shamans or spiritual
leaders in controlled circumstances.
Anyone in our society is able to
partake in the elements freely. Tis
seems to follow a historical trend
towards accessibility – there was a time
when priests had to be paid to speak
with God on your behalf, now many
claim to have a personal relationship
with Him. So although this may be a
relatively new experience for whole
societies to be having, the experience
itself is older than we can imagine.
So don’t get dragged into arguments,
trying to justify why you go out. Do
not subscribe to the societal binary of
sober and drunk. Smokes, drugs and
alcohol are more than just depend-
ence-inducing refections of a bored
and troubled personality. Your attrac-
tion to Friars, Monastery and Prime
are legitimate. Your experiences there
are valid and valuable. Society over
emphasises the value of sobriety – but
sobriety is just another state of mind.
Sobriety is just another state of mind
Mikaela Erskog
I recently attempted to renew my study permit using all the
documentation proposed by the Rhodes International Ofce
webpage. Te ofcial at the South African High Commission
would not accept my application. Such an experience among
international students is not uncommon.
Te application form was recently updated, so I had to fll in
the new one. I had the incorrect format for my proof of funding.
I had to show proof that my parents were indeed my biologi-
cal creators, despite that being a requirement for minors. I had
signed my name in a pen that was more midnight blue than
charcoal black. Afer consulting local police, I had a receipt for
my application for a Police Clearance Certifcate. However my
study permit application was unacceptable without the Certifcate
itself, which unbeknownst to me had not begun its postal journey
in November 2013 from Grahamstown to the Criminal Records
Centre Headquarters in Pretoria.
Personal blunders aside, this was a complex and rather unpleas-
ant encounter with South African bureaucracy. However, this is
not an attack on South African bureaucracy; I accept that foreign-
ers should go through all the correct government channels and
provide the requested documentation in order to gain the various
benefts of being in this country. My issue is more with Rhodes
Although a South African institution, Rhodes benefts greatly
from the infux of foreign students. If Rhodes is so happy to ac-
cept applications and take money, it should at least help students
with the ordeal they face to commit to this university. Students
are lef to wade through a massive bureaucracy without much
help, and it would defnitely be in Rhodes’ interest to assist with
this where it can.
According to the 2014 International Student Services docu-
ment, one of the services rendered by the Rhodes International
Ofce is “facilitating the study permit application process”.
However, the international students at Rhodes do not get enough
direct assistance when beginning the process of applying for or
renewing their study permits. Te information available is not
comprehensive enough – there is no mention of the requested
copy of one’s birth certifcate or country of origin’s population
register, for example.
Returning international students have given years of academic,
fnancial and physical commitment to the university. Yet when
trying to renew study permits, information about how to do so is
either incorrect or exceptionally hard to fnd. Tis clearly suggests
a prejudice against international students.
When International Week is on the horizon there are frequent
communications between the ofce and international students.
Te University sends an email inviting you to wave your fag in
pride and celebrate your diference. Yet it seems that it cannot
send out a reminder that the renewal of a study permit requires
a police clearance certifcate that can take up to three months to
Even a standardised and updated document, perhaps including
an answered list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), would
be extremely helpful. If this could be emailed to international
students, many problems would potentially be advoided. It would
be in all of our interests if the university’s International Ofce
expanded its communication, but it only seems to communicate
for its own beneft – at the expense of legitimate student interests.
According to the Internationalisation page on the Rhodes web-
site, “Internationalisation is the process of integrating an interna-
tional dimension into the… service functions of an institution”.
Tis says to me that the University is interested in providing
services to international students that help to integrate them into
the university. When international students make up approxi-
mately 20% of the student body (1 550 international students
registered for 2013, according to the International Ofce), these
services are profoundly inadequate.
If the increased fee income is not incentive enough,
then surely the spirit of inclusion that Rhodes stamps on
its ethical banner should motivate the university to streamline its
commitment to international students.
Tis account refects Erskog’s personal experience
and not necessarily that of all international students.
Rhodes prejudice against international students
A number of Rhodes students fnd the nightclub scene a worthwhile pastime. Photo: SARAH WARD

The nightclub
has come to
be thought
of as some
of conscience
– something
without value.
8 Te Oppidan Press 11 March 2014
Luke Cadden
n the age of consumerism, buying
store products is convenient. Te
bad news is that this convenience
ofen comes at the price of unhealthy
hair and skin and can also do damage
to the environment.
Now for the good news: you can
make some of the essential products at
home, which is not only easy but cost-
efective and fun. Some store-bought
products may be labelled as ‘natural’
but are ofen far from it. Many contain
highly processed ingredients that make
the products less rejuvenating and
natural than they claim to be.
Te most controversial of these in-
gredients are parabens (preservatives),
which have frequently been called into
question. According to the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration, parabens
in cosmetic products are well below
the level considered harmful. However
links have been made between breast
tumours and the parabens found in
their tissue, suggesting the need for
further research.
Aware of the inorganic contents
of mainstream beauty products,
Politics Honours student Dani de
Klerk warned of their dubious list of
ingredients. “If you cannot pronounce
the ingredient, you probably shouldn’t
be buying it,” she said.
De Klerk knows a thing or two
about making some environmentally
friendly homemade body products.
Her creations vary from products like
body wash and make-up remover to
more maverick inventions such as
eyeliner and deodorant. Apart from
being environmentally conscious, de
Klerk’s creations are cheaper and more
efcient for long term use, in compari-
son to supermarket products.
Homemade deodorant is a great
way to combat the release of harmful
chlorofuorocarbons, which con-
tributes to ozone depletion, whilst
maintaining one’s hygiene standards.
Check out the recipe below to see how
to make your own.
History Honours student Catherine
Bower said that she would be open to
the idea of making her own products.
Explaining her concerns about a num-
ber of store-bought products, “Tey’re
overpriced and I am worried about
where and what they are tested on”.
As consumers, we must be aware
of the wider repercussions of our
behaviour. Tese products are not only
unhealthy for us but harm animals in
the testing process. Tey also cause
the excessive and wasteful production
of materials used in their packaging
- materials which ofen degrade the
natural environment when disposed of
Apart from these environmental
benefts, which are motivation enough,
there is a certain peace of mind and
self-empowerment that comes from
doing it yourself.
For more information on environmen-
tally- and animal-friendly products,
DIY homemade hygiene products
Mila Kakaza
In a bid to promote cultural diversity
and multilingualism, the United
Nations Educational, Scientifc and
Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
declared 21 February the annual
International Mother Language Day
in 1999.
Living in a country which boasts 11
ofcial languages, there is no doubt
that language is of great importance in
all spheres of South African life.
Senior Lecturer in the Law Faculty
Liezel Niesing stated that although
English is the universal language of
law, it must be noted that every indi-
vidual has the right to have access to
the law in their mother tongue.
“It’s important to learn isiXhosa,
especially in the Eastern Cape, in order
to speak to the interpreter, because a
lot can be lost in translation,” she said.
South African law requires profes-
sionals to be able to read cases in
English, Afrikaans and occasionally
isiXhosa. However, isiXhosa for Law
has not yet been made compulsory for
law students.
“It must be a priority for both the
student and teaching bodies,” said
Niesing, “[but] it seems that it has not
been deemed a requirement at this
One department which has recog-
nised the importance of isiXhosa in
careers is the Rhodes University Jour-
nalism department. Te isiXhosa for
Journalism course, a requirement for
those studying towards a Journalism
degree, has caused much controversy.
However, Dr Pamela Maseko of
the Department of African Language
Studies reinforced that the aim of the
course was to provide awareness about
the linguistic and cultural diversity of
the Eastern Cape.
Specifcally, the course aims to
encourage the understanding that
South Africa has many languages and
cultures which should be refected in
the reporting and gathering of news.
To Maseko, isiXhosa is very impor-
tant as it is her mother tongue and
one of the ways in which she identi-
fes herself. “It’s the language which I
frst conceptualised anything in, the
language I think in,” she said.
Other Rhodes departments are
also getting on board with the idea of
teaching isiXhosa. Professor in the De-
partment of Education Joseph Michael
stated that the Department has begun
teaching isiXhosa as a third additional
language due to the implementation
of the Incremental Introduction of
African Languages policy.
“It will be the frst time having
English-speaking teachers teaching an
African language,” he explained.
Professor Gareth Cornwell of
the English Department stated that
humanity is enriched by a variety of
languages and diversity. “Educational
experts agree that children should
acquire literacy and numeracy in their
mother tongue and be taught in their
frst language for at the least a few
grades,” he said.
Cornwell went on to say that whilst
a mother tongue is important to one's
identity, it is increasingly important to
speak several languages as we live in a
multicultural world.
Lecturer of German Studies Rebecca
Domingo explained that as individu-
als we are not always aware of the
great impact our mother tongue has in
our lives. “Your mother tongue is an
integral part of your identity,” she said.
“You can’t distance yourself from it.”
International Mother Language Day
may have come and gone but multi-
culturalism continues to be worthy of
Faculties and language
work hand in hand
Mikaela Erskog
Over the years, many flms and docu-
mentaries concerning the environ-
ment have been made. Te following
works should be on everyone’s ‘must
watch’ list, for many good reasons.
Tey have been ordered from least to
most disturbing visual imagery.
Te Morally Poignant Adventure
1. Te Lorax (Animated)
A tale of how one young man’s dreams
of fame and fortune can turn into
corporate cruelty that abuses natural
resources and devastates the surround-
ing environment.
Why watch it? Tis flm spells out a
fundamental ethical crisis: a world
motivated solely by the capitalist com-
mercialism/consumerism dynamic will
destroy the environment and we will
lose something inherently good and
Also see: Freedom Fuels and Blue Gold.

Luke Cadden makes his own face wash using cofee, lemon, and cinnamon. Photo: GABRIELLA FREGONA
Make your own deodorant:
¼ cup of baking soda
¼ cup cornstarch (Maizena)
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup hemp seed oil
Mix ingredients together
with warm water until a
paste is formed.
Place into a container and
refrigerate for storage
When you want to use it,
warm the mixture and apply
to body as a thin paste.
Your mother
tongue is an
integral part of
your identity...
you can’t distance
yourself from it.
- Rebecca Domingo
Lecturer of
German Studies
11 March 2014 Te Oppidan Press 9
one of the ways in which she identi-
fes herself. “It’s the language which I
frst conceptualised anything in, the
language I think in,” she said.
Other Rhodes departments are
also getting on board with the idea of
teaching isiXhosa. Professor in the De-
partment of Education Joseph Michael
stated that the Department has begun
teaching isiXhosa as a third additional
language due to the implementation
of the Incremental Introduction of
African Languages policy.
“It will be the frst time having
English-speaking teachers teaching an
African language,” he explained.
Professor Gareth Cornwell of
the English Department stated that
humanity is enriched by a variety of
languages and diversity. “Educational
experts agree that children should
acquire literacy and numeracy in their
mother tongue and be taught in their
frst language for at the least a few
grades,” he said.
Cornwell went on to say that whilst
a mother tongue is important to one's
identity, it is increasingly important to
speak several languages as we live in a
multicultural world.
Lecturer of German Studies Rebecca
Domingo explained that as individu-
als we are not always aware of the
great impact our mother tongue has in
our lives. “Your mother tongue is an
integral part of your identity,” she said.
“You can’t distance yourself from it.”
International Mother Language Day
may have come and gone but multi-
culturalism continues to be worthy of
Cliptivism: personal journeys against poaching
Mikaela Erskog
Over the years, many flms and docu-
mentaries concerning the environ-
ment have been made. Te following
works should be on everyone’s ‘must
watch’ list, for many good reasons.
Tey have been ordered from least to
most disturbing visual imagery.
Te Morally Poignant Adventure
1. Te Lorax (Animated)
A tale of how one young man’s dreams
of fame and fortune can turn into
corporate cruelty that abuses natural
resources and devastates the surround-
ing environment.
Why watch it? Tis flm spells out a
fundamental ethical crisis: a world
motivated solely by the capitalist com-
mercialism/consumerism dynamic will
destroy the environment and we will
lose something inherently good and
Also see: Freedom Fuels and Blue Gold.
Te Exposé of Corporate Greed
2. Te Lost City of Atlantis (Animated)
Chronicles how the naiveté of a young
scholar blinds him from seeing the
true purpose of the ‘scientifc’ mission
run by an energy company, and reiter-
ates how monetary goals lead to many
a civilisation’s demise.
Why watch it? It makes one aware of
one’s implicit participation in damag-
ing commercial ventures and the likely
damages of said ventures, i.e. draining
the life force of an entire community.
Also see: Avatar
Te Game Changers
3. Te 11th Hour
A comprehensive overview of all the
environmental problems that are
threatening the future existence of the
Why watch it? It has many acclaimed
contributors and communicates the
need for all human beings to be aware
of our detrimental ways of life so that
they can immediately change them.
4. An Inconvenient Truth and Te
Global Warming Swindle
Te frst predicts that human practices
will cause global warming; the second
tries to refute the argument of the frst.
Why watch them? One started a thriv-
ing global movement and the other
aims to expose it.
Expert’s Choices
Sheona Shackleton
Professor and Head of
Environmental Science Department:
5. Promised Land
An exposé on the practices of the shale
gas extraction industry.
Why watch it? “Similar extraction
of shale gas is proposed on our own
doorstep [and this evidences] the
deviousness of the companies involved
in mineral and fossil fuel extraction,
in that they ‘planted’ an environmen-
tal activist. [Te movie indicates] the
benefts of collective mobilisation
and the diferent values systems that
people have – not everyone is proft
George Barrett
Environmental Politics and Ethics
6. Wasteland
Evidence of the severity of the waste
produced by humankind and how it
afects not only the Earth but human
lives also.
Why watch it? “Tis is a beauti-
ful and moving documentary that
really demonstrates the power of the
human spirit and dignity of people
who are marginalised in society. It is
both heart-breaking and inspiring as
it shows how, in the rubbish dumps
of the world and the harsh realities of
Catadore life [self-designated recycling
pickers], lives hope.”
7. Darwin's Nightmare
Documents how the introduction of
alien species can and will destroy the
indigenous species and ecology.
Why watch it? “Tis slow-moving and
beautifully made flm shows with abso-
lute clarity the way in which a localised
environmental catastrophe in Tanzania
becomes a site of further capitalist ex-
ploitation that leaves people struggling
on the brink of survival, whilst becom-
ing a means through which to further
exploit the continent and its people.”
Te Harsh, True and Gory Reality
8. Earthlings
A compelling documentary arguing
that all living creatures are equal dwell-
ers on Earth. It exhibits the problem-
atic nature of speciesism (prejudice
against non-human life) and exposes
the inhumanity of seemingly common
animal-human interactions.
NOTE: Not for the faint of heart!
Why watch it? It makes you re-evalu-
ate your role in everyday, environmen-
tally-problematic practices.
Also see: Food Inc.
Contact George Barrett at g.barrett@ for most of these flms.
Top environmental flms:
for any member of
Earth’s society
Jenna Lillie
Arts & Entertainment
rahamstown flmmaker Mark Wilby
is in the process of flming his social
documentary Te Cliptivists. Te name
originates from Wilby’s personal journey of
trying to understand environmental phe-
nomena such as rhino poaching as symptoms
of greater societal issues. Te foundation of
Wilby’s flm is his search for an alternative ap-
proach to environmental responsibility.
“Te rhino poaching issue is currently the
most focused and glaring example of our inability
- despite phenomenal amounts of concern, efort
and expenditure – to deal efectively with socie-
ties’ corrosive efect on the environment,” said
Wilby. “Surely this means that we need to rethink
the questions and take harder stock of our own
complicity in this state of afairs.”
In protest against Rhino horn poaching, Wilby
sent his toenail clippings to the Chinese Embassy
in Pretoria. “Tere was absolutely no reaction but
I understand that the Chinese Embassy has come
under a lot of fack from all corners so something
so informal and subversive didn’t need to be
graced with a response,” Wilby explained.
“I didn’t want to point fngers and place blame
on the Chinese Embassy or the Chinese people,”
he continued. “It was done purely out of a sense
of helplessness and not knowing who to address.”
Inadvertently, his intentions were achieved
when they caught the attention of the public, in-
cluding international news organisations. “It was
strange that something so small was being picked
up on so quickly whereas bigger corporations and
organisations can be overlooked, but one small
act drew so much attention,” he said.
Wilby recognised the need for an ongoing nar-
rative and knew that the limelight would quickly
fade if he did not act fast to keep the story rel-
evant. So he jumped at the opportunity presented
to him when mainland China called to discuss
his toenail clippings.
Several months of conversations and plan-
ning led to the project taking shape late last
year. Wilby assembled fve “ostensibly ordinary
individuals” with the purpose of emphasising
the notion of the everyday person grappling with
bigger social issues.
Te eclectic cast are made up of a Buddhist,
a teenager, a drummer, an actor and a Rastafar-
ian - a modern day “Breakfast Club” where fve
seemingly diferent perspectives join together
to pose hard questions regarding our agency in
society. Wilby has crafed a documentary that will
follow the journey of self-discovery and societal
understanding through the eyes of the Cliptivists.
Wilby wanted to avoid the label ‘activist’,
believing that it implied a rigid and confronta-
tional stance which was not his intention of the
project. Wilby emphasises the ordinariness of the
fve personalities by explaining that it gives them
the privilege of being able to ask the difcult
questions. “Tey are not constrained by constitu-
encies or vested interests or entrenched ideas, and
are therefore naturally closer to those who need
to be drawn into conversation,” he said.
Te Cliptivists have engaged in extensive re-
search as a group in order to expand their knowl-
edge on the issues surrounding this documentary.
Charlotte Jaferay, Carla Wilby, Strato Copteros,
Push Nqelana and Xola Mali have undergone rig-
orous on-set sessions with experts and specialists
coupled with feldwork.
Wilby took his footage to the Wild Talk Africa
Conference in Durban to showcase his material.
As expected, there was an infux of similar
documentaries hoping to deal with the issue of
conservation and poaching. International broad-
casters such as National Geographic and the Brit-
ish Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) attend these
conferences to fnd new material, which meant
that the pressure for funding was palpable.
Wilby received a rude awakening when the re-
sponse to his work was the feeling that the public
would not want to see the content because they
were more interested in the entertainment value.
“I fnd that tragic,” explained Wilby.
Initially he was hoping to make two 60-minute
episodes for television and fighted for a certain
demographic but afer the conference he had to
re-evaluate this vision. “If anything, the confer-
ence responses has made all of us involved more
determined to make a flm that the public wants
to see,” remarked Wilby.
Te nature of the flm is episodic, so the fram-
ing of the story hinges on the fve personalities
who are embarking on a “David and Goliath
mission”. Te initial Cliptivist promo utilised the
classic Western genre as a mechanism to orient
viewers to the plot. “It just takes a few seconds or
a piece of music to let an audience know the type
of flm they are watching. Not only do people
understand it, we hope it attracts them,” Wilby
Utilising the Arts was the frst step in feshing
out this social project, but Wilby is aiming for
broader participation too. He hopes to actively
draw in more minds so the project can grow into
a more participatory relationship between the
public and the Cliptivists. “Te Cliptivists stand
for you and me because we identify with them,”
said Wilby.
See the next edition of Te Oppidan
Press for more information on how Grahamstown
is getting involved in Cliptivism.

If anything, the
conference responses has
made all of us involved
more determined to
make a flm that the
public wants to see
A skype conversation with Quyen Vu of ENV - a Vietnamese animal rights NGO and the fve
cliptivists Jaferay, Wilby, Nqelana, Mali and Copteros. Photo: MARK WILBY
- Carla Wilby
Arts & Entertainment
10 Te Oppidan Press 11 March 2014
Bronte Moeti
veryone has experienced that day when
they go out and every second person
seems to be wearing the same outft.
Te mass production of clothes similar in
style has sparked an arts and crafs revolution,
where individualism is taking centre stage and
identities are being reclaimed through personal
Crafing has always had a very specifc set of
associations, including your grandmother’s knit-
ted scarves or your preschool art projects, and
this can ofen mislead people into thinking that it
is just not for them.
Te craf revival is all about experimentation
and it goes beyond the usual knitting and needle-
work, branching into woodwork, fabric painting,
paper crafs and so much more.
Platforms such as Pinterest, Tumblr and
various DIY blogs are becoming so popular that
artisan arts and crafs shops are popping up in
every city - and Grahamstown is no exception.
In the Loop, found below Red Cafe', opened its
doors on 10 February. Owner Tasanee Hermans
credits the opening of her store to a lack of
innovation in this newly expanding market.
Although In the Loop is small in scale, it is
more fexible when it comes to ordering supplies
that one cannot fnd in the larger stores.
Hermans is also perfectly happy for you to
sell your own crafs through the stores for a 35%
commission. Items of interest include jewellery,
clothing and knitted items.
For those who are not confdent in their craf
skills yet, lessons on knitting and crocheting are
ofered at In the Loop on a weekly basis, with one
class aimed at beginners and another for those
who are more experienced.
Hermans is quick to add that these classes are
not just for older females, but also for young men
and women who are looking for a peaceful space.
However, online DIY sites may be more ac-
cessible to students with tight schedules or who
prefer to step away from the typical knitting and
sewing route.
Tird-year student and avid arts and crafer
Sarah-Ann Moore uses online resources to sup-
plement her knowledge and skills. “Go online and
tap into the crafing energy currently circulating
the internet,” she advised.
Moore also believes that crafing is not only
about the sense of accomplishment one gets from
starting and fnishing a project but that it can also
be a tool to learn how to repurpose materials.
“I feel less wasteful and [more] engaged with
notions of how to live more sustainably on a daily
level,” explained Moore.
If you’re looking for material to create your
arts and crafs, it may at frst seem that supplies
within Grahamstown are limited, but it is just a
matter of looking in the right places: T.Birch &
Co and Jacksons, both located on High Street,
can provide an assortment of crafing accessories
as well as a selection of wools and fabrics.
BUCO Hardware, located on Bathurst Street,
can assist with the more heavy-duty craf en-
deavours while ABM Ofce National on New
Street provides a wider selection of stationery and
art materials. Wimzé on Cuyler Street (of New
Street) boasts what is surely the best selection of
ribbons in town.
If you’re looking for inspiration about what
to create, websites such as
and ofer e-courses and step-by-step
guides on practically any crafs project.
If you still fnd yourself with something resem-
bling a pre-schooler’s art project, then YouTube
it. Failing that, simply support the local arts and
crafs business and buy ready-made items.
Keeping Grahamstown crafters in the loop
Wimzé is one of the stores in Grahamstown that ofers a large variety of products for crafting. Photo: GABRIELLA FREGONA
11 March 2014 Te Oppidan Press 11
Arts & Entertainment
Call for Applications
Media Relations Officer
The Rhodes University
Communications & Marketing
Division is seeking a Media
Relations Officer to
implement a media
engagement strategy and plan
aimed at enhancing media
coverage and media image of
the University.

The incumbent will work to
ensure the media infrastructure
and systems make it easy to
source information and images
internally and assist internal
stakeholders in dealing
successfully with the media.

Requirements: At least Matric
plus a Degree in Journalism
and Media Studies, Public
Relations or Communications or
Marketing (3 years) or similar
(NQF level 6).

Postgraduate students are
encouraged to apply.

For more info visit:

Contract: part time,
ends 31 Dec 2014 with
possibility of renewal.

Applications available at:

046 603 8570

Closing Date: 28 March 2014
within Grahamstown are limited, but it is just a
matter of looking in the right places: T.Birch &
Co and Jacksons, both located on High Street,
can provide an assortment of crafing accessories
as well as a selection of wools and fabrics.
BUCO Hardware, located on Bathurst Street,
can assist with the more heavy-duty craf en-
deavours while ABM Ofce National on New
Street provides a wider selection of stationery and
art materials. Wimzé on Cuyler Street (of New
Street) boasts what is surely the best selection of
ribbons in town.
If you’re looking for inspiration about what
to create, websites such as
and ofer e-courses and step-by-step
guides on practically any crafs project.
If you still fnd yourself with something resem-
bling a pre-schooler’s art project, then YouTube
it. Failing that, simply support the local arts and
crafs business and buy ready-made items.
Jordan Stier
ome writers share a deep-
seated desire to be published.
Now, courtesy of the Institute
for the Study of English in Africa
(ISEA) Creative Writing Course,
Rhodes students and Graham-
stown residents will be able to
see their name in print when the
course’s anthology, Aerial 2013, is
launched on Tuesday.
Te semester-long course, run
by ISEA, is now in its ffeenth year,
with over 270 people having com-
pleted it so far. Every year an anthol-
ogy of both prose and verse works
produced by course participants is
professionally compiled and pub-
lished. Tis year, the anthology also
includes a travel writing section. A
copy of the work is to be kept by the
National English Literary Museum,
making the prestige of the publica-
tion all the more notable.
Te main aim of the course, ac-
cording to anthology editor Jeannie
Mckeown is to “get you unblocked”
as a writer. She praised the course’s
ability to get aspirant writers, such
as third-year Sibella Louw, to put
their words on paper. “It’s given me
ways to activate my brain when I’m
low on inspiration, so that I’ll always
be able to write if I try hard enough,”
said Louw.
Te course encourages the writers
to be free and open in their work.
“Creative writing will always be
personal to an extent, and that’s
something writers need to make
peace with,” commented Louw, add-
ing that she feels very privileged to
have her poetry (both English and
Afrikaans pieces) published.
Mckeown, who took the course
previously, acclaimed it for being
enjoyable, educational and helpful.
“Writers are fantastic people to be
around,” she added, speaking of the
teachers who present the course.
Tese include noted Grahamstown
writers like Megan van der Nest and
Graham Conan Reed.
Harry Owen, poet and organ-
iser of the Reddit poetry evenings,
praises the course and the annual
anthology it produces. “I have long
supported the ISEA Creative Writ-
ing course, which does excellent
work in promoting and facilitating
creative writing of all kinds, and
fully expect their usual high stand-
ards to be evident this year.” He also
wished the book and its contributors
every success.
Te Aerial 2013 book launch will
take place at 17h30 on Wednesday
12 March at the Eastern Star Mu-
seum on Anglo-African Street.
Creative writers to be
published in anthology
Jordan Stier
Rhodes University is renowned for its
abundance of societies despite the campus’
size. However, all of these societies need to
be monitored and a period of probation was
called for in 2013. Te 2014 Student Repre-
sentative Council (SRC) has implemented
many changes regarding societies and this has
raised questions concerning the criteria that
determined which societies would be renewed
or rejected.
“Some societies were very inactive,” explained
SRC Liaison Ofcer Eric Ofei, referring to the
80-odd societies recognised by the SRC in 2013.
“Tey were still listed as active but were actually
not doing anything, so those were removed.”
SRC Societies’ Councillor Stace Scallan
explained that the societies which have been
cut are those which have been inactive for over
fve years. Societies were also eradicated if they
showed non-compliance with the ofcial SRC
Societies policy.
“Some of the societies didn’t attend training
[and] they didn’t hand in semester reports, so
they had to be taken of as well,” Ofei said.
“Every year this process will be done so as to
keep everyone active,” he warned, indicating the
massive register that lay on his desk which took
note of societies’ committees that did or did not
attend the societies’ training last week.
Scallan explained that having too many socie-
ties became unmanageable. Factors that arise
from having too many societies include thinner
divisions of budgets, and negative public percep-
tions of the SRC’s ability to manage societies
efciently when their performances don’t match
their initial promises.
“We currently have 76 societies, and constitu-
tionally we need to have 65,” Scallan observed.
However, Scallan stressed that societies fulflling
their role in the university would not have to
worry about being chopped for the sake of
adhering to the constitution. “In my opinion,
if a society is something that really benefts the
university and brings good, rather than bad,
then why decline it?”
Also worth noting is that the SRC is not only
making cuts. Five new societies made the list
for 2014, on the premise that they would ofer
something new and exciting to the existing list
of societies. “All fve will be on probation for
2014,” said Scallan. “Tey have a year to prove
that they are actually doing what they said they
would do. If they’re not at the end of this year,
then they don’t continue.”
Sihle Magubane, Secretary General of the new
Rhodes Model United Nations (RMUN) society,
has been pushing for the group’s inclusion since
last year. He organised and presented a petition
to the SRC, flled with the signatures of students
supporting RMUN’s initiation as an SRC-recog-
nised society. “Tere’s a need to raise awareness,
as far as students are concerned, of global issues
that have quite a huge infuence on their lives
and even their countries’ policies,” said Ma-
gubane, justifying the need for his society.
Other new societies include: Ink, a creative
writing society; a Christian group called the
Dynamic Youth Network; a Community Engage-
ment group called the Jehovah Jirah Haven; and
Club de Capoeira, a dance and fghting-based
martial arts society.
Societies: who made the cut?

Some of the societies
didn’t attend training
[and] they didn’t hand in
semester reports, so they
had to be taken of as well
Kylen Plasket-Govender
As an industry, esports has really
taken of in the last year, with the net
investments into the industry more
than tripling. Even games which
are supposedly dying out are still
experiencing some degree of growth,
but merely failing to keep up with the
prosperity that the other games bring
forth. In an age where electronic
devices largely control how people
live their lives, it is no surprise that
esports are catching up to real sports
in both net worth and popularity.
Te esports industry is largely made
up of two parts: game streamers and
professional gamers. Game stream-
ers are people who play a game while
livestreaming their video, to which
the public can then connect via their
browser to watch them play live.
Te most popular website for
streaming is, where people
stream everything from amateur
games of Pokémon to professional Call
of Duty matches.
Another big part of the industry is
professional gaming. Te most popular
are DotA 2 and League of Legends.
Both are free-to-play multiplayer on-
line battle arena games (MOBA). Tey
have become so popular that they are
now ofcially considered a sport in the
United States and some of the more
successful players are millionaires
through sponsorships, endorsement
deals and tournament prizes.
Tere are mixed emotions about
whether these players should really be
treated like athletes, but that doesn’t
mean that they don’t deserve the same
respect. Like any professionals, gamers
put a lot of time and efort into per-
fecting their craf - some DotA teams
spend up to 10 hours a day practising
before major tournaments, and the
money involved is on par with many
other professional sports.
Tis year’s DotA 2 international
championship had a total prize pool of
$2.8 million. Of this, $1.6 Million went
to the winners of the tournament, with
each player receiving some $320 000.
Tis prize money is over and above
their salaries and other performance
bonuses from the sponsors.
Part of the money in the prize pool
was made up from a compendium that
was released. Te interactive compen-
dium allowed amateur players to watch
the tournament in the DotA 2 game,
make a fantasy team of professional
players that would accrue them points,
and take friendly bets against their
friends that have a compendium on
match outcomes and tournament stats.
Gaming is clearly a growing indus-
try both in terms of popularity and f-
nancing. While it may take a while for
esports to be taken seriously by people
who are new to the concept, competi-
tive gaming is making its way onto the
world scene and for now seems to stay.
It is defnitely the future of gam-
ing and will only continue to grow
exponentially in the foreseeable future
as more sponsors, viewers and gamers
become aware of the huge potential
this new ‘sport’ has to ofer.
The Electronic Sports World Cup 2012 hosted by Paris Games Week in Paris, France. Photo: WWW.OXENT.NET
The global rise of electronic sport industry
- Eric Ofei
SRC Liaison Ofcer
Marching for Lion Pride
Clubbing through the ages
Douglas Smith
hodes University is set to host the
University Sports South Africa (USSA)
national rugby tournament from 30
June to 4 July. Hosting such a prestigious
tournament is set to provide a huge boost for
Rhodes rugby.
Rhodes was awarded the privilege of hosting
this high profle event afer hosting a hugely suc-
cessful USSA soccer tournament in 2010. Head
of Sports Administration, Mandla Gagayi said
that USSA called it “the best event in the past
10 years”.
Gagayi said that Rhodes raised the bar for
subsequent soccer tournaments and that the
aim was to do the same for rugby. “Tey must
be saying ‘we want it back at Rhodes every year’,”
Gagayi said.
Part of the reason for Rhodes’s success is
that it is an ideal tournament location, boast-
ing some of the best residences and dining halls
in the country. Te University will not have to
spend money in order to host either, as the event
is wholly funded by the South African Rugby
Union (SARU).
Te event will see 24 universities competing
across four diferent sections. Te A-section will
consist of Varsity Cup rugby sides, while the B-
section will be made up of Varsity Shield teams.
Te teams in the lower sections are ranked
according to their previous performance at
USSA events.
In past years, Rhodes competed in the
C-section of the tournament. Rhodes did not
take part in 2013 and as a result was relegated to
the D-section. “We did not compete at the TUT
tournament last year, because we believed that
we would embarrass ourselves,” Gagayi admitted.
Gagayi attributes the last year’s slump in the
standard of Rhodes rugby team to the narrowly-
missed-out promotion to the B-section in 2012.
“We lost to NW Vaal by one point and as a result
we missed out on a promotion opportunity,”
Gagayi explained. “Since then we have been
demotivated and the club has taken a hit.”
Gagayi hopes that the USSA rugby tourna-
ment will motivate players and put Rhodes rugby
on the map. “We want rugby to be compared to
the likes of hockey at Rhodes. It must not just be
a sideshow sport,” Gagayi said.
Despite Rhodes’ relegation to the D-section
last year, USSA has ofered the team a spot in
the B-section for 2014. Rhodes cannot take part
in the C-section, due to its relegation last year.
However, USSA believes that the Rhodes side
must be advanced because it will be too strong
for the D-section.
“We want to see how the 2014 team looks
before we the play Varsity Shield teams and get
walloped,” Gagayi said. However, it could be
equally useless to play in the D-section and face
opposition that will not put up a fght.
Gagayi says that one motivation for playing
in the D-section is the potential morale boost
should the team win the section and earn pro-
motion back into the C-section. “Our ultimate
goal is to make it into Varsity Shield,” he said.
Rhodes to host USSA rugby tournament
Douglas Smith
Among Rhodes University’s new frst year students, Shane
Pheifer is one of South Africa’s rising track cycling stars. Hail-
ing from Port Elizabeth, Pheifer is a matriculant from Grey
High School in 2012, Shane Pheifer is the son of Wayne Pheifer,
an ex-world champion in the match-sprint discipline of track
Since 2010, Pheifer has competed at the last four South African
Track Cycling Championships, and has collected eight gold medals
in various events over the years. However he says that his greatest
achievement so far was representing his country at the 2011
Moscow Track Cycling World Championships.
During his gap year in 2013 Pheifer cycled as the team sprinter
for Cape Town-based professional cycling team Intellibus.
In a slight change of pace, he has put his cycling career on hold.
Nowadays, he resides in the comfortable quarters of Cory House.
He has come to Rhodes to earn his law degree – even passing
up an opportunity to compete at the next Olympic Games in order
to do so. “You could end up training fat-out for three years and
then break a leg – and there you sit without a degree,” said Pheifer,
explaining his decisions.
Although he is taking a break from competitive cycling, Pheifer
continues to enjoy the sport for leisure and as a means to stay
healthy. “Cycling is a great way to keep ft, toning your legs and
glute area,” said Pheifer. “But you need to supplement it with
something like weight training to target your upper-body.” He
recommends a training routine suitable for both men and women
which consists of alternating cycling and upper-body weight ses-
sions, with the seventh day being a rest day.
However, Pheifer stresses that cycling achieves a very particular
type of ftness suited to the sport. “Something like running will get
you ft for hockey or whatever else you do, whereas cycling just
gets you ft to cycle, but the plus side is that it’s sofer on your
joints,” Pheifer commented.
Cycling develops strong legs, but Pheifer says that the most
important ingredient to enjoying the sport is having a solid core. In
professional cycling it ensures that you don’t sway on your bike and
lose valuable momentum as a result. “You want everything to go
into your bike and onto the track or road,” Pheifer explained.
In order to get your core up to speed, Pheifer suggests a mixture
between weighted and bodyweight core exercises. His favourite
exercise is ‘constructive bridging’. “You get into the bridge position,
place a weight on your back that allows you to hold the position for
30 seconds and repeat fve sets,” Pheifer instructed.
Cycling is certainly a great way to get in shape, but if you are
spending a lot of time on the saddle then it is important that you
replenish your body’s nutritional supplies too. “You don’t need to
take supplements if you are riding socially, but make sure that you
eat enough,” said Pheifer. “I remember burning 3500 calories dur-
ing a longer ride once,” he added.
A well-shaped column: a cyclist’s approach to good health
Rhodes University is set
to host the USSA
rugby tournament .
Eco-friendly pampering
Page 3 Page 7 Page 8