EDITION 6 •18 OCTOBER 2011 • SINCE 1947



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6 February 2012. O-Week Edition


Page 5:
Outrage over assault of Grahamstown activist

Editor-in-chief: Lauren Kate Rawlins Deputy Editor: Isabelle Anne Abraham Content Editor: Kayla Roux Managing Editor Palesa Mashigo Online Editor: Alexander Venturas Chief Media Supervisor: Megan Ellis Chief Sub-Editor: Matthew Kynaston Chief Designer Simone Loxton Assistant Designer: Mignon van Zyl Chief Pics Editor: Anton Scholtz Assistant Pics Editor: Niamh Walsh-Vorster Illustrator: Katja Schreiber News Editor: Sibulele Mabusela Deputy News Editor: Neo Koza Politics Editor: Marc Davies Business Editor: Njabulo Nkosi C&A Editor: Alexa Sedgwick Features Editor: Karlien van der Wielen Features Assistant Editor: Nina McFall Lifestyle Editor: Sarisha Dhaya A & E Editor: Elna Schütz Sports Editor: Bridgette Hall Science & Tech Editor: Eric Kudzanai Chakonda Environment Editor Shirley Erasmus Advertising Manager Lethukuthula Tembe Distribution Manager: Bulali Dyakopu Community Engagement: Victoria Hlubi Editorial Consultant: Craig Wynn Contacts: Editor: activate.editor@gmail.com Deputy Editor: activate.deputy@gmail.com

Page 8:
Hilltop residences renamed after activists

Page 18:
Painting it purple – Your guide to Grahamstown night spots

Page 20:
Surviving residence 101

Page 23:
Prepare thyself: the zombies cometh down from the hills
Our pics editor, Anton Scholtz, takes wonderful photographs. Above, we question the division in Grahamstown between the rich and poor, while on the front page, we is a long exposure photograph of the Rhodes Clock Tower from the Cathedral. Pics: Anton Scholtz

From the Editor


elcome to all new and returning students. To all first years, I hope that this special edition of Activate provides you with a glimpse of student life at Rhodes and gives you an introduction to some of the things that will soon become a part of your everyday life. 2012 promises to be an interesting year for all and Activate promises to keep you up to date. In this edition we deal with a couple of social issues that definitely deserve attention: the shocking story of Ayanda Kota, a local activist and chairperson of the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM), is definitely something that every student should read. It brings to light issues of power and corruption and highlights the very scary phenomenon of police brutality in our country. We also discuss the DA Student Organisation’s new campaign poster – and one has to wonder, as much as it underscores racial tension in our country, how much it says about the DA’s own view of the matter. Our investigative photo feature is about the state of literacy and education and shows how far we still have to go in this country. One of Activate’s main goals is to instil a sense of awareness of the greater Grahamstown community in students. Grahamstown could be called a microcosm of the rest of South Africa, and nowhere is this clearer than in the stark divide between rich and poor in this town. South Africa’s Gini-coefficient shows that we are still the most unequal society in the world. Here in Grahamstown, there is a huge gap between those who have money and those who don’t. The next time you’re at the monument, look out and you can actually see the line where the money runs out.  What will become apparent to you is that not everyone is as lucky as you are. The opportunity in your hands is priceless (and it is costing a lot of money) – so don’t mess it up!

I’m sure that students returning for the third or fourth time will agree with me when I say that the friends I made in first year have been dropping out of Rhodes one by one since the results for the first June exams were released. Don’t be fooled – this shit is for real and not everyone is cut out for it, as you will soon find out for yourself. Back to the point I was making earlier about Grahamstown being a microcosm of South Africa: this holiday I took my first trip to Johannesburg (I’m a Durban girl). I‘ve never spent time in this big city, this “economic hub of Africa”, to quote my good friend and tour guide. I can honestly say that it was an eye-opening experience.  The money that is so apparent in some areas is astounding. After this little trip I was under the illusion that we (South Africa) are going to be okay, that if places like Melrose Arch and Sandton city can exist in our country then we must be doing something right… but I was taken in by the bright lights and skyscrapers. Later in that week I watched a Special Assignment documentary entitled “Verdwaal: The poverty of indifference”, in which was exposed the story behind the shocking deaths of four children in a small town in the North West Province. It showed how these children died of hunger and thirst, and it showed how the deaths were completely unnecessary and the blame put squarely on “bureaucratic indifference”: the parents could not apply for food grants for their children because of the cost of obtaining birth certificates for them. The juxtaposition of wealth and extreme poverty I encountered in my travels highlights desperate problems that concern each and every South African – no matter their income. You can’t ignore the poverty, and I urge you not to give in to the illusion that all is well with the world just because you are privileged enough to be at this university. …that said, enjoy!

Meet the team 2012

Activate falls under a creative commons licence. Printed by Paarlcoldset, Port Elizabeth

Editor-in-Chief Lauren Kate Rawlins

Deputy Editor Isabelle Anne Abraham

Content Editor Kayla Roux

Online Editor Alexander Venturas

Chief Media Supervisor Megan Ellis

O-Week Edition

Overcrowding in SA tertiary institutions
he death of a parent in a recent stampede at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has brought the ever increasing concern of overcrowded tertiary institutions and insufficient administration in South Africa into sharp relief both locally and internationally. The stampede, which happened on 10 January, occurred as more than 8,000 thousands students and parents queued outside the university for last minute applications. In recent times, South African tertiary institutions have experienced a greater demand and increased pressure from prospective students and the government to provide services for a continually everincreasing number of applicants, resulting in these institutions having to cater for more students than they are equipped to. According to BBC Africa, this surge in enrolment figures is not unique to Africa, but widespread and “similar to those facing universities all over the world, particularly in Asia, the Arab world and Latin America”. This has become an issue in the latter half of the 20th century as a result of governments placing increased importance on higher education.


Italian cruise ship, the MS Costa Concordia, capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio on 13 January after hitting a sandbank. Captain of the ship, Francesco Schettino, is currently under house arrest on suspicion of manslaughter due to his alleged negligence. Pic: WikiCommons

News [in briefs]

By Kayla Roux and Sibulele Mabusela

UKZN debts out of control
study released by Discovery Invest and Statistics SA revealed that universities in KwaZulu-Natal are burdened by student debt to the tune of hundreds of millions. The Department of Higher Education asserted that the amount of funding made available through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) was not enough to meet demand. Since the inception of NSFAS in 1999, the scheme has provided R22.8 billion in student financial aid. IOLNews reported that a large portion of matriculants rely on bursaries and loans to be able to pursue a degree. UKZN has had to engage debt collectors to recover unpaid student fees, as the total current student debt stands at about R250m. And it’s just no the UKZN, The University of Zululand’s Clare Taylor said yesterday that their outstanding student fees amounted to about R161m, with R106m owed by returning students and R55m by former students NSFAS funding assists about 70 percent of the students at Unizulu. Many are from poor rural areas.

A tribute to deceased Czech Republic President, Václav Havel, stands in Wenceslas Square, Prague. Havel , also well known as a playwright, essayist, poet and dissident, died on 18 December 2011 at the age of 75. Pic: Flickr

Commuters walk past posters advertising the 2012 World Economic Forum meetng which took place from 25-29 January 2012. The Forum is held annually in DavosKlosters, Switzerland, and aims to bring together the most prominent figures in global leadership to discuss issues pertaining to world economics. Pic: Flickr

Drinking Rooibos tea may work to your advantage

A car is stopped in its tracks by a flooded road in the Kruger National Park, January 2012. Many roads and bridges were either destroyed or rendered inacessible as a result of severe flooding in Mozambique and the Kruger National Park. The floods were caused by Tropical Cyclone, Funso, the 5th named storm of the 2012 Indian Cyclone Season. Pic: Flickr

he SA Rooibos council has set aside a R2 million budget to demonstrate the health benefits of drinking rooibos tea. The research project will scientifically showcase the properties of the herb, including its use as a soothing remedy, its benefits for disease prevention and its contribution to weight loss. The Star reported that research will include the examination of anti-aging, anti-obesity, and cancer-preventing properties in the beverage.

News Editor Sibulele Mabusela

Business Editor: Njabulo Nkosi

Deputy News Editor Neo Koza

Politics Editor: Marc Davies

Features Editor: Karlien van der Wielen

Features Assistant Editor: Nina McFall

6 February 2012

05 News

By Neo Koza

the 29th of February 2012, and a protest is being arranged by various groups to take place during the hearing. .

200th birthday celebrations
By Matthew Kynaston

C&A Editor: Alexa Sedgwick

Science & Tech Editor: Eric Kudzanai Chakonda

Sports Editor: Bridgette Hall a

Illustrator Katja Schreiber

Chief Sub-Editor Matthew Kynaston

Lifestyle Editor Sarisha Dhaya

A & E Editor Elna Schütz


rahamstown turns 200 this year, and the Makana Municipality has unveiled a list of events planned to celebrate the benchmark. Community groups have been encouraged to send in ideas for projects to collect and share the stories of members of the community. A report released after a recent council meeting stated that “while it is acknowledged that the town came into existence as the product of warfare, over its 200 years, it has also become a unique and special place in South Africa”. Grahamstown was founded as a military outpost in 1812 by Lieutenant-Colonel John Graham. The municipality wants its citizens to enjoy the town’s rich history, with the main theme of the celebrations being ‘reflect and imagine’. Above all, Makana wants to educate the public about Grahamstown and its history. Project co-ordinator, Councillor Julia Wells, said that they would like

the public to send in their stories about Grahamstown. In order to support the participation of the public by collecting information and funding community-generated events, the municipality plans to allocate R30 000 every month to community groups who submit viable proposals. “Our 200 years project embraces the potential that the Makana Municipality has to engage with the history of Grahamstown, its institutions and its people through a series of community participation activities that will create opportunities for reflection and imagination,” a statement released by the planning committee read. A theme has been allocated for each month of the year, on which to focus bicentenary commemorative activities. February’s theme is ‘Migrations’ and March’s is ‘Law and Order’. The project’s guiding principles and activities are being inclusive of all communities; promoting the development of the youth; education; honesty and promoting social cohesion.

Distribution Manager Bulali Dyakopu

Ayanda Kota, chairman of the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM) was arrested and allegedly assaulted by police while in custody on the 12th of January 2012, following an accusation of theft. Pic: Timothy Gabb

Chief Pics Editor Anton Scholtz

Assistant Pics Editor Niamh Walsh-Vorster

Chief Designer Simone Loxton


tudents for Social Justice (SSJ) has recently raised public concern over the arrest and assault of Grahamstown activist and chairman of the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM), Ayanda Kota, by police in January. Kota, who is known for his tireless work in the Grahamstown community, was assaulted at the Grahamstown police station on Thursday 12 January following accusations of theft that had been brought against him by Rhodes lecturer Claudia Martinez Mullen. The Daily dispatch reports a ‘bloodied’ Kota appearing briefly in court for allegedly assaulting a policeman and resisting arrest after he was summoned to the  local police station. Eyewitness reports said that Kota had raised his  hand in selfdefense and the “four or  five” police members present had then beaten him to the ground where  they punched him in the head and  face in front of his six-year-old son. Statements from both parties have been released on Facebook, illuminating the source of the claims against Kota: two books that had been lent to him by Martinez Mullen which he had misplaced. After being informed of the charges Kota is reported to have ‘acted in good faith’ and offered to replace the books in question. There are however personal issues that have been brought to the fore. The SSJ insisted that, “The charge of theft is unfounded and part of a private vendetta against comrade Ayanda Kota.” Following South Africa’s reputation of police brutality and the death of Andries Tatane early last year, the incident has drawn rigorous media attention across the globe, reaching as far as New Zealand and the US. In a defending statement, Martinez Mullen has assured the public that her political criticism of Ayanda is in regards to, “A lack of accountability on the UPM’s financial matters.” “These political differences have nothing at all to do with the personal conflict of concern at this point,” she stated in a written response. Mullen claimed her legal right in the private matter. “It is possible that the police used the charge of theft as a pretext for his arrest in pursuit of a different agenda to persecute left and social movements in particular,” she said. “If this was the case, it is not something for which I can be held responsible.” Kota was released on R500 bail. A court date has been set for

Assistant Designer Mignon van Zyl

Outrage over assault of Grahamstown activist

Meet Your SRC
Treasurer: My name is Simone Starkey, and I am a BComm postgraduate student in command of the budget and responsible for where your money goes – I plan on writing a budget report at the end of first term. If you have any questions or concerns regarding Financial Aid, contact me. Environmental Councillor: My name is Ruth Kruger. I am a third-year BA student that really loves the environment. I represent the SRC on the Environmental Committee and engage the university on the implementation of environmental policies. I also co-ordinate all environmental programmes and assist you students in any initiatives relating to environmental affairs.

Vice President Internal: My name is Martin Forsyth, and I am a third-year Psychology and Management student. I deal with all matters concerning the student body.

Oppidan Councillor: My name is Nicolain Shabangu. I am a third-year BComm student. I ensure regular contact with the Oppidan Community by means of newsletters and publications and inform the SRC of their concerns, making sure they are able to get the information and assistance they need.

International Affairs Councillor: My name is Amirah Kolia, and I am your link with the International Office. I see to your concerns regarding international exchange programmes and take care of the needs of foreign students regarding university structures, rules and regulations.

A message from your president Hi, my name is Matt Maralack, your SRC President for 2012. Acclimatisation in any new environment is filled with its own challenges. From making new friends to choosing a career path, one can simply get lost in it all. So count on us, your SRC, to make your job as a student just a tad easier! The SRC by its very nature is a statutory representative body that prides itself in protecting your bestinterests as a Rhodent. Via the student governance structures we have in place, you will always find a way to contact us. We wish you well on this journey you have so bravely commenced on. All the best!

Residence Councillor: My name is Cacharel Wroots, and I am a third-year BComm student. As the residence councillor, I act as a channel between students in res and the university on issues concerning university structures, rules and regulations.

Academic Councillor: My name Sak’he Badi, and I pursue the development of an environment conducive to academic excellence. I liaise between staff and students at a faculty and departmental level, participate in academic planning and create education initiatives.

Projects Manager: My name is Rory Abrahams, and I am a third-year BComm student majoring in Management and Economics. I organise projects and events on behalf of the SRC and actively seek sponsorship for them. Community Engagement Councillor: I am Thabo Seshoka, and I take responsibility for the interaction of the SRC and the student body with the community. I make sure the university keeps in line with its mission statement to strive, through community service, to contribute to the development of this province.

Vice President External: My name is Silvanus Welcome, and I am a BSS postgraduate student. My duties and functions include overseeing the planning and implementing the SRC orientation. I also represent our students on a national level in the South African Union of Students, and keep in touch with the SRCs of other SA universities.

What we can do for you
The SRC is founded by the students, for the students, with a developmental consideration of the functional needs of the university student population. We, as the active voice of the student body, acknowledge our duty to maintain a key responsibility in the workings of the institution.

About the SRC

To be a student-oriented approachable institution that fosters a conducive developmental environment in and outside of the academic sphere and is committed to the advancement of student needs in a speedy, responsible, empathetic and transparent manner.


• We represent your best interests to the university • We keep you up to date with important information • We ensure quality education for all students and make sure that the curriculum is consistent with national education standards • We monitor the academic environment within Rhodes University and protect students against prejudice and discrimination based on race, gender or any other barriers • We appeal on behalf of students who are academically or financially excluded, ensuring equal and fair treatment for all students • We run entertainment programmes that enhance the social development of students at all levels • We participate in dialogue regarding transformation within Rhodes University on behalf of the students, and aim towards developing a clear plan of action

How can we help you?

08 Politics

O-Week Edition

Political outlook 2012
By Megan Ellis

Rhodes’ youth activism experience
By Marc Davies


f the hype is anything to go by, then 2012 is the year where a new era is going to be ushered in. This is, of course, according to the ‘revised’ interpretation of the Mayan calendar and countless other mystics and doomsday sayers who don’t want their prophecies proven wrong for the umpteenth time. With the Arab Spring protests and the support for Occupy Wall Street, however, many believe this prediction could be true.  If so, then 2012 is a year of change – but it is difficult to say what these changes will be and whether all of it is actually desired, especially when some of them are threats to freedom.   One of these threats, which will continue to be disputed this year, is the Protection of State Information Bill. And if censorship wasn’t already enough of a threat, US Congress has introduced the possibility of the Stop Online Piracy Act, which is so broadly written that it makes Internet censorship of sites like YouTube and Wikipedia a real possibility. Various sites all over the world participated in an ‘Internet blackout’ to protest the act, as censorship of US sites will affect international sites hosted in America. While the act has been shelved for now, it is likely to rear its ugly head again later this year.  Candidates are also facing down for the 2012 US Presidential Elections, and the ANCYL is not under the leadership of Malema for the first time in years. Various Republican celebrities like Barbara Bush (George Bush Jr’s daughter) have publicly backed the rights of homosexuals. A potential new world order with the rise of countries such as China is theorised by some, and many watch as various European countries attempt to prevent economic collapse.  At the same time, homosexuals are persecuted and executed in some countries and discriminated against in many others. Children continue to be victims of violence and rape statistics only seem to grow. Animals are tortured and maimed for fur coats, perfume and other cosmetics with some species facing extinction, all in the name of fashion and all kinds of other superficial notions.  Some would say that evolution has failed and that humanity is in fact not humane at all.  Organisations like the WTO and World Bank continue to implement policies which disadvantage developing countries. The media also holds its firm grasp over our opinions, ideals and behaviour. The environment continues to be abused at the hands of the human race, but the average person does little to alleviate this. More people know about the Snooki’s gallivanting on Jersey Shore than those of Malcolm X.  While not all change is progress, the changes which are needed are the ones which will push us forward as a race. More empathy, benevolence, and reverence for human rights could be part of the change. And how does one prevent undesired changes which threaten freedom? By helping to steer the course of change, of course.  While some call the situation hopeless, others may not be as cynical. As Margaret Mead, an American cultural anthropologist, once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”. There is a call for the conscious evolution of humans as a race in terms of freedom, rights and our actions towards each other. Whether or not the Mayans predicted it, 2012 is a chance for change. It remains your choice whether you are going to be a part of it.  If you’re wondering what any of this has to do with politics, then know that just because political power remains in the hands of governments, that does not mean it should not lie with the people. Politics is about power, and hopefully this year, some of that power will shift to the people. 


ome to the largest student protest in the country, the annual ‘1in9 Sexual Violence = Silence’ protest, Rhodes University is expected to once again send out a strong message of active engagement with social issues this year. What has become an iconic protest at the smallest university in South Africa is only one of a number of activism projects forecast for the year. Ranging from Legal Activism to LGBTI rights and beyond, a number of activist societies are highly vocal in their pursuit of an improved and transformed Grahamstown and South Africa. During Orientation Week, first year students will become acquainted with the Student HIV and Aids Resistance Campaign (SHARC) amongst others. SHARC promotes responsible sexual behaviour through awareness and education in hopes of preventing HIV and Aids infections at Rhodes and in Grahamstown. Also boasting a strong support base is OUTRhodes, an organisation that aims to create an “open, safe and socially accepting environment” for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and intersex students at Rhodes. By providing recreational activities and opportunities to socialise as well as information and support, this organisation has grown in membership to become a robust voice for activism at the university. Emma-Kate Rowley of the Rhodes Organisation for Animal Rights (ROAR) considers involvement in activism projects and societies such as ROAR, “eyeopening and enriching”. A steadfast animal-lover and vegetarian, Rowley says, “The cause for animal rights is an under-supported and often misrepresented one.” Mentioning on increased awareness as the primary objective at this stage, she stressed membership growth as essential to promoting the various causes endorsed at Rhodes. Despite growth in activism projects such as the 1in9 campaign, which speaks out against violence against women, concerns of apathy particularly relating to social and economic equality have increased in many higher education institutions in South Africa. Benjamin Fogel of Students for Social Justice (SSJ) previously commented to Activate that “Campuses still exist largely in a bubble from South Africa’s social problems.” Societies such as SHARC, ROAR and university community engagement initiatives nevertheless drive activism efforts. Student Services Officer and chief driver of the 1in9 campaign at Rhodes, Larissa Klazinga, hopes to encourage students to involve themselves in the activism projects and societies on offer. “Working with the SRC and societies such as OUTRhodes, ROAR and SHARC, I hope to help organise the kinds of events that give students an opportunity to challenge stereotypes, break down barriers and begin to develop the skills they need to drive transformation,” she said. One of the participants in the 2011 ‘Sexual Violence= Silence’ protest poses for a Students can take part in a number of events this year, ranging from activities photograph during the “die-in” which is traditionally held in the Rhodes University during the Live Smart Week, HIV and Aids Awareness campaign, and other Library Quad. The ‘1in9’ is the largest student protest in South Africa. Pic: Bridgette Hall awareness programmes. The 1in9 campaign will happen on 21 March this year.

Former faces of the purple university
By Marc Davies ince Rhodes’ humble establishment over a century ago, many students that walked through our corridors have since become leaders in their fields, invaluable humanitarians and outstanding professionals. The list of successful alumni is extensive and continues to grow. Activate has selected a small handful of individuals of distinction that have made significant contributions in the South African political and social realm after their time at Rhodes University. Nan Cross Nan Cross, originally from Pretoria, graduated from Rhodes University with a degree in Social Science. Cross became a social worker and has held many positions in her field. She ultimately became known for efforts in the anti-conscription movement from the 1980s. A founding member of the End Conscription Campaign, Cross assisted conscientious objectors in their resistance to the government forcing young, white males to fight in an ‘immoral’ war that defended apartheid. Committed to social justice, Cross became unpopular with the apartheid government. In 1994, she began the Ceasefire Campaign which worked towards ending the SA government’s participation in the arms trade. Cross passed away in 2007. Margaret Legum Margaret Legum, an anti-apartheid activist and social reformer, studied Economics at Rhodes. She is best known for her call for economic sanctions against South Africa during the 1960s through her co-authored book, South Africa: Crisis for the West. Legum and her husband were banned from South Africa in 1962 for their work against Apartheid. Legum went on to receive a degree from Cambridge University and a second from Rhodes. She was the founder of the South African Centre for Anti-Racism and Sexism as well as the South African New Economics Foundation. In 2003, Legum criticised South Africa’s economy, describing “appalling poverty in the midst of unbelievable wealth and potential plenty for everyone”. He granddaughter said at her passing in 2007 she was always “concerned about economic justice and the poor”. Eusebius McKaiser World Masters Debate Champion for 2011, Ruth First Fellow and Business Day


columnist are but a few of the accolades that describe McKaiser, a former Rhodes University student who has become a renowned local and international political and social analyst. McKaiser is well-known in South Africa for presenting Interface, a current affairs programme on SABC3, as well as for his work as an academic and commentator. He studied law and philosophy at Rhodes University and Oxford University respectively on the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. The Ruth First Fellow’s research examined South Africa’s foreign policy on Libya which was presented at University of Witwatersrand in August 2011. McKaiser is currently an associate lecturer in the Wits Philosophy Department and an associate at the Wits Centre for Ethics. Dr. Rebecca Hodes Hodes is best known at Rhodes as the founder of the Students HIV and Aids Resistance Campaign (SHARC) which has become the most active student-led HIV organisation in South Africa. Hodes won a scholarship to undertake further studies at Oxford University where she completed her doctoral thesis, concentrating on the field of HIV. Before joining the University of Cape Town’s Aids and Society Research Unit, she managed the communication, policy and research department for the well-known Treatment Action Campaign. One of her accolades includes presenting her research on the reform of sexual offences laws in South Africa at a roundtable discussion of international policy makers in Frankfurt, Germany. Hodes was named one of the Mail & Guardian’s ‘200 Young South Africans You Must Take Out For Lunch’ in the health category. Mbali Ntuli Former Head Girl of Wykeham Collegiate in Pietermaritzburg, Mbali Ntuli headed to Rhodes University where she obtained a Bachelor of Social Science. Ntuli entered the Democratic Alliance Young Leaders Programme where she became a part of the 2008 stream. Ntuli returned to KwaZulu Natal where she was elected DA Youth chairperson. Her most notable achievement is her founding of the DA Students Organisation (DASO) while she was studying at Rhodes. DASO now has 32 branches nationally and boasts a significant presence in Student Representative Councils around South Africa. In addition to her many accolades by the youthful age of 24, Ntuli was chosen as the Investec Young Women in Finance Graduate of 2009. She continues to grow the DA Youth brand in KwaZulu Natal and South Africa.

6 February 2012

09 Politics

Ntuli: “We won’t defend intolerance”
By Marc Davies


he Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO) generated hype on social networks and news sites following the recent release of a controversial campaign poster. The poster depicts an embrace between a black female and white male, both of whom which are semi-nude, with the tagline: “In OUR future, you wouldn’t look twice”. The poster received responses, that were both supportive and subversive from many individuals and organisations. Unapologetic, the DA Youth leader Makashule Gana said, “We have chosen to enter this [race] debate with a poster that sends out a loud and clear message about the kind of organisation we as the DA Youth are and the vision we have for South Africa.” Gana went on to say that those upset by the image are, “Probably those who need to do the most introspection.” The Pan-African Congress lambasted the poster, labelling it “immoral and offensive” and saying it “could encourage teenage pregnancy”. Theunis Botha, party leader of the Christian Democratic Party, similarly slammed the creation as “shocking”. Botha claimed the poster promotes sexual immorality, “At a stage when the country needs higher levels of morality.” Breaking the tension was political analyst Eusebius McKaiser who humorously tweeted, “I have to confess – between us girls – the DA poster couple is gorgeous. Way cooler than the ANC’s Chomee in garish green and yellow” before later seriously saying the DA has a “long way to

go” on eNews’ NewsNight. In an exclusive interview with Activate, DA Federal Youth Chair Mbali Ntuli said the main purpose of the poster was to highlight intolerance that remains pervasive in society. “We have an obligation to young people to say we refuse racism and prejudice,” she said. In response to accusations of ‘immorality’ put forward by the Christian Democratic Party and other critics, Ntuli said she disagreed with these critics’, “Arrogance to decide for all people what morals are.” Speaking about the supposedly ‘explicit’ nature of the poster, Ntuli expressed confusion at this claim, saying that there was no explicit nudity and that it was not intended to be misconstrued as sexual, seeing as the ad was targeted at students. She highlighted that numerous magazine covers and other media are far more revealing, yet garner little or no outrage. More concerning to Ntuli was, “The moral outrage to a poster encouraging introspection,” while previous DA Youth campaigns regarding serious concerns with the National Youth Development Agency, unemployment and other major issues very little attention. The former Rhodes student called the campaign a success despite some negativity from various sources. When asked if the campaign is expected to thrive at Rhodes, whose student body has repeatedly been labelled as ‘apolitical’, Ntuli expressed positivity. “Students, including Rhodents, have been waiting for a bold campaign, something that they can identify with,” she said. She concluded that the 32 DASO national branches have received favourable responses to the campaign.

This controversial DASO poster has divided public opinion and raised questions concerning the politics of race relations in SA. Pic: Flickr

10 Feature

O-Week Edition

Found and sculpted
By Elna Schutz


ost people would think empty fast-food containers belong in the trash, but Francois Knoetze hangs them in a gallery. This fourth-year sculpture student is starting his last year at Rhodes but already has quite a few impressive achievements behind him. He’s a favourite at student art exhibitions, where he once created a humorous display of a flying saucer abducting a cow out of empty Steers boxes. He was a finalist in the ABSA l’Atelier and Sasol New Signatures competitionsand had his work displayed in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Knoetze has experimented with a variety of materials and ideas while at Rhodes, often using everyday objects like chewing gum in his sculptures. Though his art may seem a bit wacky at times, he explains that he isn’t interested in “Perfectly packaging what you already know,” but rather exploring new approaches. “Art for me has always been a space where it is less about being right or wrong than it is about the possibilities and potential of any attempt,” he said. Knoetze also focuses on drawing the viewer into his artwork, making them more than, “Merely a pair of floating eyes.” For instance, his 2010 piece ‘Donker Kamertije’ positioned the viewer as a captive who had to collaborate with his fellow prisoners. Another thought-provoking piece was last year’s ‘The So-So Samaritans,’ during which visitors were required to decide and act as individuals and groups to replenish aquariums containing goldfish that were slowly running out of water – confronting the viewers with suffering and their own reactions of compassion. As his graduate exhibition looms in November, Knoetze will be connecting with found objects once again, looking towards trash for inspiration and questioning the function and potential of objects. He intends to explore, “How different people see it, how our ideas about it have evolved and how it relates to our idea of nature.” He says he would, “Like to find ways of looking at [trash] differently.” Based on the good responses he’s received thus far, we can only expect “Fear of needles” is an artwork created from found materials as part of the 10 Days Exhibition in 20120 where studets were asked to create an Knoetze’s career at Rhodes to end with a bang, rubbish and all. Look out for artwork everyday for ten days. Pic: Francois Knoetze. Knoetze’s work in campus exhibitions and this year’s National Arts Festival.

6 February 2012

11 Photo Feature

The result is that learners progress when they aren’t ready, because it’s too difficult to keep them back. This disadvantages them, because they never learn the basic skills. The Grade Rs in this class are a rare group: they have

Language, literacy and learning in Grahamstown and South Africa
By Abigail McDougall

been kept back and are being given remedial attention. Pic: Lauren Rawlins


eople in the areas surrounding Grahamstown have a lot to say about literacy. Whether it’s a Grade 10 learner, a parent, a teacher, or the common person: everybody has their two cents on education and school. Most people agree that there are problems with the school system: everyone has heard of a learner in matric who can hardly read, or someone who is repeating Grade 9 for the fourth time. The question is on everyone’s lips: what’s going on? Parents and teachers fight bitter blame wars while learners themselves don’t seem to be that bothered about it. What is clear is that it’s a complicated problem and that pointing fingers does not help.  Learners are faced with multiple, overlapping challenges, and to get the big picture of literacy and education, you need to understand all of them. The language in which children learn, their level of literacy when they reach high school, the shortage of teachers and materials, as well as the difficult home situations of some learners are all factors that affect a child’s performance at school. Language English is seen as a language that opens doors to universities and jobs, and many parents want their children to work exclusively with English. Learners also like it because they feel it will take them places. However, learning in a language that you do not speak at home can cause difficulties. Even though many students can speak it comfortably, the effects on learning are serious. At Mary Waters High School, approximately 70 percent of learners are isiXhosa home language speakers and they are taught in English, their second language, or Afrikaans, which is their third. Only about 15% of the students – those who speak Afrikaans at home and learn in it at school – are learning in

their home language, and will be able to practise it in everyday conversations. Mr. Accom, a teacher with 35 years of experience, says that this puts students at a disadvantage. “Their whole life, everything they learn at home, makes sense in Afrikaans. School should be a natural component of that,” he said. “When you transition from Xhosa or Afrikaans to English, nothing at home makes sense, and there’s no support for homework.” Learning something like Shakespeare will be much harder for a second-language English speaker than for first-language students, who write the same exams. Learning in English clearly has both pros and cons for students.

Literacy A major problem faced by teachers, parents, and learners, is literacy. A young teacher at Mary Waters is continually shocked when intelligent students who seem to know what is going on in class fail their tests and exams, and puts this down to their problems with reading and writing. Where does this come from? Throughout junior school, it is extremely difficult for teachers to retain learners because of departmental policy, and because the parents have to sign an agreement with the school. Learners can progress up through the grades even if their marks are low. High schools are not allowed to do entry level testing, and so the result is learners arriving in Grade 8 unprepared High school teachers cannot go back and teach reading and writing, and the learner has to continue without the basic skills. Without literacy, students cannot pick up higher-level skills like analysis, comprehension, and argument. The lack of literacy skills suddenly shows up in Grade 9, when learners have to meet the promotion requirements to pass. A child who has progressed smoothly will suddenly hit a ceiling, sometimes failing multiple times, because their literacy skills are too weak.

This means Grade 9 classes grow year by year: this year there are 398 learners in Grade 9, and only 226 in Grade 10 at Mary Waters. High school teachers cannot fix the problem because it is too late. This is a national problem, and the Department of Education is realising now that interventions need to happen in junior schools, not just later on. The first-ever Annual National Assessment in literacy and numeracy found that in February 2011, the Grade 6 languages (literacy) results point to only 30% of learners reaching at least the partially achieved level, meaning they attained between 30% and 49% in the assessment. The key finding was that the level of basic education in South Africa is still well below where it should be. Despite this, learners progress to Grade Eight, even though their basic education is insufficient.

and textbooks and teaching materials are also in short supply. “It’s not fair on them. It’s not fair on anyone: the teachers and the children,” she said. Learning outside the classroom Many intelligent learners who have the potential to do well at school are held back by other problems tied to their situation at home. Some students have to travel long distances to get to school. Others may have serious responsibilities like taking care of siblings or parents, or are exposed to violence and alcoholism in their homes. Some of them have young parents who struggle to read themselves, and can’t help them with homework. All these factors exacerbate the struggles learners face at school every day. What the Department of Education is doing The national DoE has implemented Annual National Assessments in junior schools from this year, which should reveal areas needing intervention, and enable schools to better track their progress, particularly with literacy. From next year the system is going to switch to Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS), which is a new curriculum for all subjects, aimed at improving the level of education. However, without enough teachers, it is hard to see how useful these changes can be. The causes and effects of problems in schools are Myriad. All stakeholders – teachers, parents and learners – need to be aware of these difficulties and work together to find solutions, including putting increased pressure on the government to provide the necessary resources. Despite the challenges, life at Mary Waters has continued thanks to the extra hard work of teachers and the co-operation of learners. There are learners who perform exceptionally well, which shows that it is possible to achieve in the face of these difficulties.

Teacher shortage and overpopulation According to the Grocott’s Mail, the Eastern Cape Department of Education terminated 4219 teacher contracts in the province last year due to overspending. Locally, this has led to severe shortages: Mary Waters started the year short of 11 teachers and is still missing nine. The school now has to pay for the extra teachers. This problem leads to huge classes, not enough individual attention, and bad discipline. “When I came they weren’t used to a teacher anymore, and it’s almost like they wished I would just go away,” said a teacher who started there last year. “They’re not used to work. The classes are big and they can’t hear what you’re saying, and you can’t be everywhere at once.” This means that students who are struggling to read and write, or are behind with work, don’t get the attention they so desperately need. The school is also highly overpopulated. Mary Waters is the only high school in the area, and many learners also come from the location because of the school’s good reputation. Classes exceed 50 learners,

12 Photo Feature

O-Week Edition



1. These learners will study in isiXhosa until Grade 4, when they will switch to English. The shift often marks the beginning of difficulties with literacy: what makes sense at home is useless at school, and there’s no support for homework. 2. Learners stand in line for lunch. On this day, Andrew Moyake Primary School did not receive any food donations so the learners will only have juice. Pics: Lauren Rawlins. Words: Abigail McDougall



4. 3. The book room of Andrew Moyake Primary School. The door stands ajar to reveal a vandalised and run-down room full of old teaching materials. 4. Learning is a struggle: a Grade R learner wrestling words into his workbook. The South African government is introducing a new curriculum next year aimed at intervening to improve literacy in the foundation phase. This is aimed at improving basic education, but for now South African children still face serious difficulties. 5. Mrs. Kulati, a remedial teacher at the school, splits learners up into groups according to ability. In order to retain a learner at any stage in the foundation or intermediate phase, a teacher must be able to prove that they have been carrying out specific intervention – remedial teaching, support from a psychologist, visits to a nurse – for the entire year. The parent must also sign an agreement with the school. 6. Literacy problems begin at primary schools, where children already face low odds of attaining a decent basic education. A learner helps the principal of Andrew Moyake Primary School, Mr. Manona, raise the South African flag. Although national educational policy is promising, the rollout is uneven and government schools like this one are given insufficient support by the state.


6 February 2012

13 Photo Feature



7. Alison Accom, a new English teacher at Mary Waters. She feels that the massive classes are unfair on both teachers and learners, and is concerned about that many of her students still have problems with reading and writing. 8. English is seen as a language that opens doors and so most students choose to take it as their home language and learn in it. However, learning in your second language can be a disadvantage: learners don’t practise it at home or in conversation.




9. A derelict, graffitied classroom. There is a general perception in Lavender Valley that the quality of education is worsening, and a sense of concern for future generations of children. 10. Nhlanhla Gumede, Grade 9. Students pass all the way up to Grade 9 when they are assessed for their General Education and Training certificate. At this point, problems with literacy and basic skills become apparent, and weaker learners hit a barrier. As a result, Grade 9 classes are swelling every year. 11. Grade 11 boys leaving Mary Waters High School in Lavender Valley. Learners face a complicated mixture of obstacles in obtaining an education. These include shortages of teachers and materials, problems with language and literacy levels, and difficult social environments.

14 Business

O-Week Edition

By Njabulo Nkosi




countries will hold elections this year, and they will take the form of local, state and national polls. This is

he year 2012 holds many prospects, some of them more real than others: the end of the world, complete economic overhaul, and new market trends. But the most imminent and definitely the most relevant prospect in the near future is the governmental elections. Here are some election numbers to watch in 2012:


of all countries in the world.

of these countries are African.

have been postponed.

24 5

of the world’s population will be affected by this year’s polls


of the UN security council – three of the five permanent members – will hold national elections in 2012. They are the US, France and Russia.


countries may undergo a change in national leadership

26 8

By Njabulo Nkosi

will see Russia going to the polls to elect a new president. Following recent parliamentary elections there were large protests amid claim of election fraud.

4 March

votes was the difference between Mitt Romney and Rick Samrorum in the recent Iowa Caucus for the Republican presidential ticket.

is the worldwide unemployment rate, and this year more than before, economic prospects and job creation are likely to be a main factor influencing voter decisions.

is the date set for the US elections, which will pitch President Barack Obama (the Democratic candidate) against a yet-to-be-chosen Republican.

6 November

If you are looking for a job, get the right degree
he 2011 matric results showed a dramatic improvement in the national pass rate: it shot up from 67.8% in 2010 to 70.2%. These results were confirmed by the Department of Basic Education (DBE). “More than 50% attained admission to either bachelor or diploma studies at higher education level,” they said in a recent statement. This translates to 262,351 pupils who will be admitted to South African universities. While acknowledging the achievement of these students, the DBE stated that the real challenge now facing the students will lie in gaining employment in the competitive and scarce South African job market. With the unemployment rate standing at around 25% in this country, a significant amount of those unemployed are university graduates. “The university system has not produced graduates in business-oriented fields,” said Loane Sharp, a labour market analyst at SA financial agency Adcorp. “Vacancies are primarily in professions such as finance, accounting, engineering, law and medicine”. Adcorp reported that there are currently almost 600,000 unemployed university graduates in South Africa, most of which carry degrees in the arts, humanities and social sciences, “Whereas the private sector has more than 800,000 vacancies in management, engineering, law, finance, accounting and medicine.” Loane Sharp said that degrees and diplomas the arts, humanities and social sciences are “irrelevant”. “These skills are not needed in the country,” he said, adding that the South African labour market shows a great demand for medical, legal and accounting graduates, as South Africa needs more professionals and senior managers, Sharp added. Although the labour market calls for such qualifications, students working towards a different degree should not throw in the towel. A degree remains the most valuable asset in the job market and gives students a better chance at attaining employment when competing with job seekers without a degree. Those with non-business oriented degrees could also explore entrepreneurship and stimulate job creation themselves. The lack of business-oriented degrees threatens the competitiveness of South African business. UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation) reports that 50% of students enrolled in tertiary education in fastgrowing countries such as Korea, China and Taiwan are enrolled in science, engineering, technology and business courses, compared to only 20% in Africa. To address this shortfall, some businesses have become proactive and founded their own training academies. For example, Standard Bank’s Global Leadership centre, Tiger Brands’ Training Academy and Adcorp’s Leadership Academy aim to develop the skills honed in business science, economics and accounting degrees. However, some higher education institutions such as CHEC (the Cape Higher Education Consortium) claim a broader educational role in meeting the needs of the labour market and balancing demands. The determining factor in deciding on a degree, however, hinges on one question: does the student seek formal employment after graduating? If the answer is no, then a business and technology degree may not be necessary. The student can use their chosen degree to start their own business and even improve their entrepreneurial skills at training academies. If the response to the question above is yes, then a business or technology-oriented degree is imperative. “A degree – especially in careers such as science, healthcare, commerce, engineering, architecture and law – shows how far a candidate has progressed in education,” says Gerda Kruger, an executive at the University of Cape Town. Obtaining such a degree will greatly increase a student’s chances of gaining formal employment in South Africa’s unequal job market.

6 February 2012

15 Comment & Analysis

One for the parents
By Craig Wynn


ach one of you is different and each individual is special. This is the same shit all of us have heard on endless repeat since pre-school. But that shit is true, and it’s important that you remember it. This is not a pep talk, it’s a warning. Because now, more than ever, you have the chance to matter and with that opportunity comes a huge amount of responsibility. You’re about to experience something unlike anything you knew before welcome to Rhodes University. Now, don’t assume that this possibility to matter in the world is a given. Of the many first years that arrive at any university only a fraction make it into their second year and yet fewer complete their degrees. The same is true at Rhodes. This is not the university’s fault and, in the end, placing the blame on your schooling and upbringing, as valid as the argument may be, is nevertheless not going to get you a job or make you famous. It is simply not that easy to be a tertiary-level student, particularly one that stands out – no matter what your background is. We are part of a scarily tiny number of people that even made it through school, and to find ourselves at a prestigious institution such as Rhodes means that we really are a lucky bunch. But fuck that. Whatever. You’ve heard the speeches and the warnings and you know that it really matters whether you pass or not. You were smart enough to get here, after all, and scary facts about pass rates and impossible workloads are trivial to you – this is what you signed up for. Of course watching the sunrise on Sunday mornings after wild nights out are going to distract you from this fact – but don’t think that some of the most successful graduates never stayed up after ten. They just knew how to manage the madness. So I’m not here to warn you, younglings, you’ve heard it all. I’m here, rather, to warn your parents: beware, old folks, your kids might start to think soon. That’s right, it really could happen. Now, some of you probably think your little angel has always been a thinker, an adept academic and a superstar by all means. Not true. Trust me, they haven’t even begun. That same acne-infested matriculant with 7 distinctions could still drop out in first term because “the lecturers are mean”, “the textbooks are heavy” and “the Smuts boys teased me for getting tipsy after only 17 beers”. It happens. There is still an incredible amount of room to grow for each and every student at Rhodes. By simply arriving in Grahamstown, your kid has by no means ‘made it’. They have a long way to go. And that’s not because they’re relatively useless now, but because they’ll be relatively fucking astounding soon enough and it’s not going to be easy. Your kid is going to be much smarter than you soon enough, because that’s how this world works. Their minds are opening, and yours are feeling the Alzheimer’s itch. We all know the old fable about how the kids have always listened to weird music that the elders couldn’t understand. Well, it’s true for more than just music. It’s not because students are weird in and of themselves, though many are, but because they’re trying to figure out the world, all its sights, sounds, smells and sexiness. Our world is constantly changing and it is this generation that will know itself best, and some of your kids are going to know yet more. It has been an incredible experience in my four years at Rhodes watching my friends, classmates and fellow-Rhodents new and old begin to learn, grow, lead and inspire. Drinking partners go on to become esteemed colleagues in student societies, organisations and movements which go on to make a huge difference not only at the University but in the community of Grahamstown and sometimes even the world. The potential to matter is huge for each new student at this University, and the excuses few. But again, when I say ‘beware’ to the parents, I mean it. Some parents just don’t seem to get the following facts. You have your own ideologies, beliefs and opinions that you have likely instilled in your children to some extent, willingly or otherwise, and many of you would like to see these remain unchanged. To all of you, don’t keep your hopes up. Some boys arrive at Rhodes hating the gays, and end up at their Graduation Ball hand-in-hand with a dressed-in-pink twink. Helen Zille’s die-hard fanatics arrive in droves and many will leave wearing Juju hats, and not always because they’re now hipsters who feed off ironic nonsense. Many other people arrive with Jesus guiding their way, and leave with ‘The God Delusion’ at the top of their list of favourite books. Indeed, many of those who love to write “Huh? What are books?!’ in that info box on their Facebook profiles will leave Rhodes with ten boxes full of the world’s finest literature. Boxes that you will have to pay a moving company a fortune to carry elsewhere. Nothing remains the same for anyone who comes to Rhodes. Even those most quiet students who avoid outside influences like the plague will nonetheless develop a more diverse social and professional network, a more open mind and an endless list of incredible life experiences. This is because no one can avoid the intoxicating effect of knowledge, experience and the diversity that Rhodes offers. Change and growth is inevitable. Stand back, old folk, it’s us who’ll be in charge soon.

Two of the things most Rhodents will remember are the Clock Tower and the bicycle sculpture, which have both come to be symbolically associated with the University. Pic: Anton Scholtz

Rhodent memories
By Alexa Sedgwick


everybody you meet a chance. You never know what gems of friends you might make. Cory Smit, BJourn 2 Becoming a Rhodent was the best thing that ever happened to me. I had so much fun in O-Week: the parties, the pre-parties, the super early morning meetings with people that shaped my year. In fact, one of my favourite memories was being woken up by a girl I liked from Olive Schreiner when they serenaded us, and we are still good friends now. During first year, I went out a lot and spent way too much money, but meeting great people and being greeted by the cold comfort of Smuts breakfasts (with a hangover) in the early morning is what made it amazing. Also, the lectures are pretty awesome – listen up, because they give you some insight into what you can expect at Rhodes, and help you learn how to navigate campus quickly. Chipo Hamukoma, Economics Honours My favourite memory of first year was drinking tea at Cow Moon Theory, a late-night coffee shop and hubbly lounge. It was the place where the alternative kids and the shy religious kids who couldn’t quite make it to Friars went, and I loved it. I’m about to graduate with my honours in Economics and cannot believe how quickly the time has passed since Rhodes was unfamiliar territory. Kath Kirk, PGCES My best memory was walking into digs for the first time and realising that I was a grown-up, and now responsible for my own food, laundry, bills, and that could possibly mean pancakes for dinner, if I wanted. Also, the random fun we had on campus like the first Humans v. Zombies game, flash mobs, and running madly around campus one surprisingly sober night just because the mood had struck us. My advice for first years would be: don’t just join the societies that your friends are joining, or the big-name societies that get you free entrance to the best parties of the year. Join something you’ve never tried before, like climbing, star-gazing, sailing, anime or scuba diving - a society where you don’t know anyone at all. And go to their events (otherwise it’s just a waste of money). I’ve made some really awesome friends that way, and had some amazing experiences that I might never have had the opportunity to try otherwise. These four or so years are your last chance to live a relatively free life before being a “grown-up,” so make the most of them!

o matter how old you get, there will always be some significant moments from your first year at Rhodes that will stick with you until you are long gone from this little town. Even walking up the Hill with a million Pick ‘n Pay packets can become a special experience when you are surrounded by mates who are moaning about the heat just as much as you are. Everyone has a different story, but despite how long it takes you to find a comfortable niche in the Rhodent family, we urge you to embrace being flung out of your comfort zone for a while. Activate sought the views of older Rhodents who have been there, done that and got the first-year t-shirt. Yes kids, it is clear that it’s going to be a legen….. (wait for it)….. DARY year! Danielle De Klerk, BA 2 One of my best memories of O-Week is the Black Label music festival - jamming with new mates was an awesome bonding experience and great way to get into the crazy vibes of Rhodes. My advice? Try everything and get involved, especially in some of the enriching societies and sports. Don’t be shy. The best things about res are the quick corridor chats with your mates that turn into hour-long tea parties where large amounts of chocolate and tea are consumed, and secrets and funny stories shared. I feel safe knowing that if I’m having an average day I can just knock on someone’s door and be offered a cup of tea and a rusk! I urge all first years to explore - the cafés, museums and shops are incredible and a great way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon with friends. Rhodes is the best place to be to have the time of your life, so what are you waiting for? Travis Butler, BA 2 One of my favourite memories of O-Week was seeing three older students at Pirates dressed in leopard print. I think the wisest advice I could offer to new Rhodents is that no one should get their student card photo taken when they have a hangover, because you’re stuck with that card for the whole year and you don’t want it to look even worse! Mbali Sebaeng, Linguistics Honours I quite enjoyed being woken up in res at 5am with shouts of “Serenaaades!”. All I can tell you is that you shouldn’t compromise who you are during your first few days here, because O-Week is actually a pretty fickle time in my opinion. That being said, give

16 Features

O-Week Edition

Rhodes’ Masters of creativity
By Nina McFall


n MA Creative Writing course was offered for the first time at Rhodes University last year. A selection of course work from the first semester was published in the anthology Tyhini, which included pieces of student poetry and prose. Tyhini is a Xhosa expression meaning “astonishment, disbelief or sometimes scepticism”. The title reflects the unique South African flavour brought to the writing by the various students who took the course, as well as, “Suggesting a kind of humility in the writers themselves, as well as the program,” said Paul Mason, a screenwriting teacher for the course. The programme, which was offered at the Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA), is one of the only two of its kind in South Africa which are accredited by the SA Qualifications Authority. “I love it. I think there’s impressive writing from all eight students,” Mason said of the course. Oliver Cartwright, one of the participants, said that he was very impressed and surprised by the anthology and found

the other students’ work inspiring. He felt that Tyhini provided a good opportunity for him to compare his work to that of other students on the course. The students received “rich input” on their work, as Mason put it. They were exposed to a wide range of writers and styles as they met with a new writing teacher each week, all of whom are practising writers of fiction, poetry or drama. The teachers of this course include Paul Wessels, Anton Krueger and Robert Berold, who is also the course co-ordinator and editor of Tyhini. The course forced students out of their comfort zone genre, which Mason believed was a positive thing that will help them to develop as writers and “find their most authentic or true voice”. The students also had to keep a reflexive journal, detailing their feelings about the course, progress, readings, drafts, class notes and thoughts about their projects. Cartwright, who has been keeping diaries since 1982 and writing for most of his life, found the deadlines and targets set by the course to be

extremely motivating. Cartwright has always wanted to write a book, and so seized this chance when it came along. Last year, only eight students were accepted into the MA Creative Writing course. Admittance to the course is based on the quality of portfolio work submitted by the students, not only their tertiary education (as an Honours degree is usually a prerequisite for Masters). Students were considered on an individual basis. Bernat Kruger, who has no tertiary education, was the 2005 winner of the prestigious Thomas Pringle Literary Award for poetry and was accepted to the MA course in Creative Writing. Past winners include Rhodes English professor Dan Wylie in 2002 under the short story section, and Barry Ronge in 2005 for review writing. This year, the course will expand to accept 20 students. Mason noted the limitations of last year’s course due to the fact that even non-mother tongue speakers were forced to write in only English - this year the course will be open to Xhosa and Afrikaans students. “It will also expand to include a creative non-fiction element,” said Mason.

A typical gondola in Venice in which four to five people can go sightseeing around the many canals. Pic: Mignon van Zyl

The view from a gondola on a canal in Venice. Pic: Mignon van Zyl

The Adriatic sea, which supplies and flows into all the canals in Venice. Pic: Mignon van Zyl

When in Venice…
By Mignon van Zyl


ome is where the heart is. There’s no place like home. Home is a place where you grow up wanting to leave and grow old wanting to get back to. Cheesy lines are not just for wall décor or key ring clichés: they exist because they’re true. For all those kindred spirits who have ‘See Venice and die happy’ on their bucket list, here are a few tips to get by in this beautiful city: There are over 100 churches in Venice. Most of them have similar architecture, history and cover charge, so do some research beforehand and plan which churches you would really like to see. A must to visit, however, is the Basilica in San Marco Square. It is busy throughout the year, during both on- and off-peak seasons, so expect something of a queue – but also prepare to be amazed by one of the most intricate churches in Italy. A ride on a gondola is a must when in Venice. The gondola operators are easy to spot with their black and white or black and red striped jerseys and their friendly smiles. An operator usually offers two trips; a 30 and 40 minute one, the best one to choose is the former. Venice is pretty similar all over and you will see

exactly the same things on a 30 minute trip as you will on a 40 minute trip whilst saving you about R300. If you are travelling into Venice by car from a neighbouring country or city and want to stay there for a few days, make sure you drop your car off in a parking garage before actually going to Venice. This will save you a whopping R1500 a day and will also give you an opportunity to experience real Italian public transport. Most restaurants in Venice have a cover charge which the waiters only tell you about once they have sneakily added it to your bill. The best thing to do is check the menu on the door or ask before you decide to go big and order the most exquisite pasta on the menu. The people in Venice are mostly friendly, but do not have the same level of patience when it comes to language barriers as South Africans do. I would advise keeping a dictionary handy or downloading a translator application on your phone. Foreigners are impatient and are not as impressed with us rainbow nation people as we think they will be. Finally, although you can never be prepared enough for a foreign country and you are bound to come across some set-backs and scams, you should try to enjoy every second. The architecture, the sea, the food, the dogs and their poop on the sidewalks, the smokers and the high prices.

6 February 2012

17 Features

Hilltop residences renamed after activists
By Marc Davies


everal champions of human rights are set to be honoured by Rhodes University in March when Hilltop Hall and its residences receive new names. The university’s newest hall will become Desmond Tutu Hall, after the revered South African Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Hilltop 1, 2 and 3 and New Res 2 will become Ellen Kuzwayo House, Amina Cachalia House, Calata House and Rosa Parks House respectively. Ellen Kuzwayo worked as an educator for a number of years before becoming involved in South African politics. Following the brutality of the 1976 Soweto uprising, she became an active participant of the anti-apartheid movement. Kuzwayo also become known as a social worker and stern defender of women’s rights through her work at voluntary organisations such as the YWCA, which she did after refusing to work with apartheid government agencies. Popularly known as ‘Ma K’, she spent months in detention after leading a campaign to encourage private sector funding through land ownership, for, township housing. Kuzwayo then became the first black woman to receive an honorary degree from the University of Witwatersrand as well as the first black writer to win the coveted CNA literary award. Amina Cachalia was a member of the Transvaal Indian Congress (TIC) from a young age, later becoming involved with the African National Congress. An individual of many accolades, Cachalia is possibly most revered for her instrumental position in co-launching the Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW) which campaigned to oppose the extension of pass laws to black females. This campaign saw the iconic march of 20 000 women to the Union Buildings in Pretoria where their petition was presented. Cachalia was banned from political activity following the Rivonia Trial and placed under house arrest which lasted for a number of years. The apartheid government’s attempt to gain support from Indian and Coloured communities through granting a limited measure of political rights was then opposed by Cachalia and others in the 1980s. This saw the revival of the TIC and the formation of the United Democratic Front. Fort Calata’s political journey began in Cradock where he was employed by the local municipality. Dissatisfied with the appalling working conditions, Calata was soon arrested after sending a complaint to his employers. While

teaching in Dimbaza in 1979, he met Matthew Goniwe, the co-founder of the Cradock Residents Association, who shared similar abhorrence for the discrimination of the apartheid government. He joined the United Democratic Front in the early 1980s and was promptly targeted by police. In 1985, following activism work, Calata, Goniwe and two other Cradock activists were brutally executed by apartheid security police. 40 000 mourners gathered to pay respects to the activists following their shocking deaths. Fort is the grandson of James Calata, leader of the African National Congress in 1956. Renowned all over the world for her civil rights activism, Rosa Parks is famously remembered and revered for her bus boycott in Montgomery in the United States’ Deep South. A Two of the Hilltop Hall residences which have recently been named after human rights activists. Pic: Anton member of the National Association Scholtz for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), she became close friends with activists from a number of against apartheid outside the South African embassy in Washington D.C. organisations. The activists collectively supported civil rights for AfricanAsked of the importance of naming residences after these figures, Ellen Americans and an end to racist customs, particularly in the country’s south. Kuzwayo House resident Michelle Avenant said it, “Encourages research and On 1 December 1955, Rosa Parks boarded her regular bus in Montgomery commemoration of the figures.” Avenant commented that she had previously Fair. Forced to sit in the rear ‘black’ section of the bus as usual, Parks was not heard of Kuzwayo before the renaming, adding that she was delighted to approached by the bus driver who instructed her to give her seat to a white know and honour her activism and sacrifices for South Africa. Sub-warden passenger. After refusing, Parks was forced off the bus and arrested. Along of the same residence, Vimbai Midzi, said that while it may take some time with Martin Luther King, Parks organised protests against bus segregation, for people to warm up to these names, it is nevertheless crucial, “That ultimately culminating in a 17 000-strong protest by black people who refused we recognise the importance of people like Kuzwayo and their role in the to use the bus service, causing massive revenue losses. The bus company was transformation of South Africa.” forced by the Supreme Court to accept racial integration. Parks became known A member of each of the families is expected to attend the naming ceremony as the “mother of the Civil Rights Movement”. She is also known for protesting which will take place in March of this year.

18 Arts & Entertainment

O-Week Edition

Painting it purple – Your guide to Grahamstown night spots
By Elna Schütz, Cait Stobie and Maude Sandham


rahamstown may be small, but there's always a party to be found. From sports bars to clubs, from drinking holes to illicit res room bashes, there's a place for every kind of person. Here's all you need to know about the best part of Rhodent student life.

House of Pirates

Who better to run a student bar than students themselves? What started as an illegal res business is now a regular hang-out for most Rhodents and the scene of many a memorable party. Cougar Mondays are known by all, while Tuesday’s pizza specials are the best excuse to skip the dining hall. The House of Pirates is the place to go for a chilled evening that may end up as a great night out.

Otherwise known as SSS, Slipstream has long been the prime hangout for those who love the alternative vibe. It’s worth the long walk down New Street for regular live gigs showing off local and often national talent. After an expansion and renovation, Slipstream now offers even more pool tables and dance poles. With a recent change in management, we can only wait and see what this year holds for SSS. Friar’s is right off New Street and the best club to dance to all the latest hits and local DJs. There are regular drink specials and most weekends the dance floor is packed. This year Friar’s is also initiating a loyalty card programme, which will allow you free entrance for the whole year. With the 10% discount this gives you at the bar, there’s even more reason to come have a good jol.

Slipstream Sports Bar

Mon Astery

Friar Tuck’s

Although it is a new addition to the Grahamstown scene, Mon Astery is already a firm favourite for many. The converted digs on the way to Slipstream may seem a little ominous from the sidewalk, but beyond the alley awaits an intense parts. The dance floor is often pumping with dubstep and is great for letting loose, however it does transform into a relaxed acoustic gig venue at times. The big yard outside is perfect for taking a break from the party and chilling out.

The Rat and Parrot

The Rat is probably Grahamstown’s best known pub. If you like rugby or football, you’re probably going to end up here every weekend, watching the game with your mates. It’s also a good place to start a night. It’s more than likely that you might end up singing along to some catchy songs with people you hardly know. Yet, the Rat is deceptively calm during the day and early evening, making it a good place for lunch or a chilled beer without a hint of the craziness it saves for late Friday nights.

The newly reopened Champs Action Bar on Scott’s Avenue hosts a cosy outdoor area and pool tables, foosball and an all-new menu. You can look forward to live music events throughout the year as well as reggae nights, karaoke, and DnB, dubstep and trance DJs. Grotto Mojito is a cocktail bar with a bit of everything. Situated just across the road from the Drostdy Arch, it always has something to offer, whether you’re playing pool and dancing inside or chilling and socialising in the island-themed outdoor area. Grotto is known for its laid back atmosphere, good bottomless coffee and student friendly food specials, but evenings get crazy with 2 for 1 cocktails and Friday night Vodka specials.


Grotto Mojito

If you’re still up for more... Situated right on campus in the Stephen Biko building, the Union bar should be your first stop for a good night. With themed nights, amazing closing sales every term and regular gigs, you might not want to leave. A favourite on New Street, EQ, was recently been transformed into Prime, holding much promise as the new ‘place to be’ on a night out. Prime kicks off its reputation with a great O-week line up including Gareth Cliff and Plush, placed right at your fingertips with their nifty ‘O-week pass’ special. Most Rhodents will tell you that any party at the Tunnels farm is an epic one. Although it’s quite a walk from campus, you won’t want to miss dancing like crazy inside the tunnel, listening to awesome tunes from the stage or just chilling at the bonfires. Keep a look out for posters.

6 February 2012

19 Horoscope
Best Valentine’s Day gift: An expensive bottle of wine Your love for Rhodes is tied to your love for drinking - a fact you prove by once again waking up in your favourite pub. Valentine’s Day means love, wine and beautiful bodies. You will find all you desire as long as you change your ringtone to a Disney theme song before the 12th.



By Sarisha Dhaya


Best Valentine’s Day gift: A toy unicorn It’s your birthday month! According to your stars you are destined to enjoy a magical night on the 16th – but only if you wear a top hat and whistle as you walk down to town. The 15th, 18th and 20th will prove to be the best days for buying textbooks, provided you haven’t spent all your cash already. Your love life will come alive when you accept your partner’s predisposition towards pet rocks.


Best Valentine’s Day gift: A soulful love song Festivities will be held in your honour on the 15th and the 23rd. You and all your good-looking friends will spend this month soaking up vitamin D and eating too many marshmallows. You will be dared to walk through the arch on the 25th – do not do it! You will find an attractive barman or lady to spend Valentine’s Day with, and you will be showered with champagne and love.


Best Valentine’s Day gift: A puppy So last year didn’t work out too well for you, but this year it looks like things are shaping up – just as long as you stick to your gym resolutions. Stay away from sidewalks on the 16th and put sunblock on your bald spot as it’s a tender area. The 20th and 23rd are good days to purchase horse shampoo and peanut butter. Your finances are always low because of your inability to stay away from buying pointless things, like Crocs.


Best Valentine’s Day gift: A love letter signed ‘your valentine’ You are the Man, and you are more than ready for this year. You will have everything sorted by the 15th, including a drawer filled with any Rhodent’s favourite beverages and a sweet ride to get you and your lady-friends up and down the hill. A good time to start a relationship is between the 16th to the 18th. Beautiful twins will visit you on the 25th and on the 27h you stand a good chance to win a year’s supply of bubble bath.


Best Valentine’s Day gift: Someone yummy and sushi You are all about finding a hot date and sifting though the first years this month. A trip to the bot gardens will leave you with fleas and a nasty rash. Your finances will be looking up when you start playing snakes and ladders with your res-mates for money. An afternoon of high tea will be best enjoyed by the pool on the 21st.


Best Valentine’s Day gift: A fishing rod You will win a competition on the 26th. Drink vodka on the 28th and burp the alphabet from the letter ‘m’ onwards; this will help you perfect your Hamlet accent for your next English tut. The girl you dig will be all over it and your manly moustache.


Best Valentine’s Day gift: 12 red roses You keep moaning about how awful registration is, but you will find a potential life-mate in the queue. Try using a cheesy pick-up line rather than something that springs from your own creativity – you can get quite tongue-tied. Good days to choose new room sprays include the 10th an 27th. A very hairy man will offer you a lift from Pick ‘n Pay to your res, but be warned: he saw the cookies you purchased and has ulterior motives. You should tell him that good days to get waxed to reduce hair growth are the 27th, 28th and 30th, depending on the moon phase on the day of his birth.


Best Valentine’s Day gift: Case of beer Someone special from your past will steal your heart again - just go with it. Baked goods will be given to you from an unusually short friend on the 23rd. Wear polka dots and slippers on the 18th to gain good luck and weird stares. A haircut on the 25th will make you feel better, but the feeling will be temporary. A stray animal will follow you home after a night of festivities on the 27th.


Best Valentine’s Day gift: Chocolate Love at first sight will happen in the dining room on the 16th at 17:43, provided you pretend to eat all your veggies and brush your teeth that day. Remember to sign out when you have naps on the 23rd, since your res will have a fire drill and you are likely to get hours for being absent. Be wary of any funnysmelling brownies you are given around the end of the month.


Best Valentine’s Day gift: French champagne You live for days that celebrate love. Valentine’s Day will be a bit of a let down this year if you don’t learn how to love. A package will be posted to you on the 16th but it’s not going to be what you expected. You will be given a gift of some sausages or frozen meat by a local butcher who will fall head over heels for you on the 23rd.


Best Valentine’s Day gift: A massage Someone will steal your milk and bananas from the fridge on the 17th. Your favourite piece of clothing will not come out of the washing machine the same colour as when you put it in. The best time to go shopping is the 29th. To marry rich so as to avoid domestic chores, it is advised that you only wear white floral dresses for the remainder of the month and a purple shade of lipstick. Watch out when you cross the road on the 30th, as the rising moon is in its third orbit around Saturn and your luck is looking down.


20 Lifestyle

O-Week Edition

The parent trap
By Elri Steenkamp


rahamstown has always been considered to be a ‘student town’, and while most students shudder at the thought of dragging their parents to one of the local watering holes, there are many restaurants, pubs and coffee shops in town that are off the beaten track. “The B&Bs in this town are suited for families or adults, so I could recommend a number of them,” said Litha Mpondwana, a 4th year Journalism student. They are perfect for getting visiting parents out of your hair, and can provide a break from the usual for those who tend to get over it (read: any Rhodes student who has been here for longer than a month). A number of second-year students recommended La Trattoria for a delicious Italian-style meal with which to satisfy a parent’s discerning palate, “I’ve been there before and I really like the classy atmosphere,” said secondyear drama student Mapz Gabang. “I think my parents would like that too. I especially like it on a Tuesday when they have a two-for-one pasta special.” Most Rhodes students would have, at at least one point during their university careers, found themselves at The Rat and Parrot, Grahamstown’s famous pub. But would The Rat, as it is colloquially known amongst students, be an appropriate place to take your parents to? “I’d take my parents to the Rat, depending on the time,” said third-year BCom student Nonhlanhla Mabuza. “I wouldn’t think about taking them there late on a busy Friday night, but maybe for an early evening supper or a quick quiet drink in the afternoon. Many people don’t know how good the food at the Rat actually is.” Fourth-year journalism student Anele Ngwenya said that when her parents came to visit her in second year, they stayed at 137 High Street, a guest house and restaurant. “It was perfect. It offers accommodation and their meals are truly amazing,” she said. “Another great place to eat at is Haricotts, [situated at the French Quarter on New Street], especially if your family is from a big city and they want to get a feel of good food in a small town.” Living in a town in which they seem to be in the majority can cause students to get stuck in a routine,

The Rat & Parrot is both a popular stuent drinking spot as well as a good place for students to take their parents for a meal. Pic: Anton Scholtz. frequenting their favourite places without knowing what else is out there. This backfires when it comes time to show their parents or guardians around and Friar’s isn’t exactly mom’s idea of a good time. The simplest way to find out is to ask older students for recommendations and to explore a wide variety of restaurants during the term so that you have a better idea of what your parents would like next time they come for a visit.

Surviving Residence 101
By Michelle Avenant


fter two weeks at res, your mom’s cooking will become a sweet but distant memory and you may start to feel as though life in res can be a little dismal. Here are some survival tips from the second-years who have been there and (barely) survived: Just chill. This is the piece of advice journalism student Elri Steenkamp felt was most important for keeping a cool head in res. “Accept the fact that the bathrooms, dining hall food and noise levels suck,” she said. These things aren’t going to change, so the sooner you learn to make peace with them, the better. Don’t get grumpy with loud, drunk and annoying people. “Learn to live with them,” advised Carissa Govender. “Almost everyone has that one night when they drink too much and need someone to help them out – and that someone might just be that older student you were complaining about before…” Be nice to your resmates. They’ll be the ones who lend you milk and sugar when you’re too lazy (or broke)

for Pick ‘n Pay. Find out who does the same subjects as you in your res. It helps to live near someone who can lend you their notes, and group study-sessions at exam-time are a major plus! Find a nap-buddy who lives closer to campus and will let you crash on their bed between lectures and who can offer you that crucial tea-break if you live up the Hill, advised Stacey West. Having to attend lectures after pulling an all-nighter is a reality at Rhodes. Buy food for your res room. You’re going to get hungry when you have to stay up late doing assignments and supper closed at 18h30. If you’re low on cash, be careful of buying delicious, expensive food that you’ll finish quickly: rather buy cheaper and blander food that will last longer, like two-minute noodles and Oatso-Easy. A pack of Pro-vitas and a jar of Marmite can go a long way! Buy a fan. Grahamstown is truly sweltering during the summer! And, lastly, watch out for fast food, warned Georgia Humphrey. “First-year spread is evil!”

Campus essentials
By Sarisha Dhaya


Rhodes students Robyn Wertheim (Left) and Aaron Lynch show their style on campus. Pic: Activateonline.co.za

lthough clothes are a basic need and a form of self-expression for many, Rhodes students find themselves more often than not slaves to the weather rather than fashion labels. As first years will soon learn, it can be quite temperamental – this is why any serious Rhodent knows exactly what to keep in their closet. Before anything, you need to know that the first few months are usually scorching hot. It is best to be prepared with an array of summer dresses, shorts and flats. Sunblock, bathers and swimming towels should have a drawer of their own too. Azeem Batty, a fourth-year pharmacy student who has seen his fair share of Grahamstown summers, calls the weather erratic. He suggested a wardrobe which consists of, “Shorts, jeans and t-shirts and lots of swimming clothes.” Psychology student Maria Bennett pointed to simple T-shirts and shorts as must-have staples: “Something comfy enough to wear to lectures, but also something that can easily be dressed up for a late night out on the town!” Dresses also come in handy when you are looking for something cute and quick to slip on. Bennett also recommended a coat as the essential Rhodes winter investment, “Get one you could wear during the day as well as in the evening – go for black!” Within your first week on the Rhodes campus, you and your shoes will have learnt a valuable lesson about the amount

of walking that goes into being a rhodent. Your shoes not only have to make it through the weather, but they have to survive countless trips around campus as well. Most girls you ask will sadly admit that they have stopped counting the number of shoes they have had to throw away because of the worn out soles. Bennett suggests affordable ‘tommy takkies’ as the perfect all-rounder: good enough for lectures, a night on the town and a perfect match for a pair of purple overalls. “A pair or two of comfy flip-flops and gladiator sandals are necessary for those unbearably hot summer days when you can’t avoid going to class,” Babalwa Bongeka Nyembezi, a journalism student, advised. “A pair of bright wellies is essential, as they keeps your feet dry and add cheer to your day,” she recommended for surviving the notoriously wet, freezing Grahamstown months. Her other winter recommendations include a couple of jerseys. Nyembezi suggested accessorising your outfit with a pair of shades and a versatile scarf. “You can use [it] for your hair, as a belt or a pretty extra on a bag”. Besides the essentials, hopefully you have already invested in some neon paint, glitter and dress-up items that you can use for the wide array of ‘mares’ that form an integral part of the Rhodes social scene… Also, make sure to get a pair of plain overalls sooner rather than later! Check out our Campus Fashion Section at activateonline.co.za to see some of our favourite street styles.

6 February 2012

21 Science & Technology

YouTube your dreams
By Kayla Roux


e’ve all had those dreams. You know – the epic ones you wish you could remember forever but probably never will? With a new breakthrough in brain imaging technology, this might change. You could, in the near future, be able to record that dreams of yourself fighting off that sabretoothed tiger or finally getting the girl and watch them again, and again, show your friends, and even share them on the Internet. With a cutting-edge mixture of brain imaging and computer simulation, scientists at the University of California (UC) are working on making this a possibility. So far, the technology only has the ability of reconstructing images and movie clips people have already seen and watched, but scientists see it as a step towards turning the internal images of the brain that nobody else sees, such as dreams and memories, into visible images. “This is a major leap toward reconstructing internal imagery,” said Professor Jack Gallant, a UC neuroscientist and coauthor of the study published online in the journal Current Biology. “We are opening a window into the movies in our minds.” While watching two separate sets of movie trailers, three different subjects were monitored and the blood flow to their visual cortices measured. Digitally, the brain was divided into small 3D cubes known as volumetric pixels. Each volumetric pixel, or ‘voxel’, was connected to a model that described how shape and motion

in the movie was mapped into brain activity. Then this information was fed into a computer that was able to learn, second by second, to associate visual patterns in movies with corresponding brain activity. Next, 18 million seconds of random YouTube videos were fed into the computer to predict the brain activity that each clip would evoke in the subjects. This information was finally used to create a blurry reconstruction of the original clip. Although the leap between movie clips and our own ‘brain movies’ might seem huge, the brain experience is much the same. “Our natural visual experience is like watching a movie,” said Shinji Nishimoto, lead author of the study and a post-doctoral researcher in the lab. “In order for this technology to have wide applicability, we must understand how the brain processes these dynamic visual experiences.” Although it already sounds pretty awesome to be able to record and watch our dreams as though they were being broadcast on TV, this technology has much wider implications that may change the world of healthcare. For the first time, scientists will be able to gain a better understanding of what goes on in the minds of people who cannot communicate verbally, such as stroke victims, coma patients, and people with neurodegenerative diseases. “It may also lay the groundwork for brainmachine interface so that people with cerebral palsy or paralysis, for example, can guide computers with their minds,” speculated Yasmin Aswar, Media Relations officer for the UC News Centre.

Thanks to the scientific discovery of a certain kind of synthetic material that scatters microwaves, the fabled Harry Potter ‘invisibility cloak’ might not be as far fetched as you thought. Pic: Flickr

‘Invisibility cloak’ one step closer after breakthrough
By Kayla Roux


cientists in the US have come one step closer to creating the technology of the celebrated ‘invisibility cloak’ made famous by JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. By using materials that manipulate and reflect light, they have been able to mask a large, freestanding object in three dimensions. Although Harry Potter fans would be disappointed – the 18-centimentre cylindrical tube was able to be seen with the naked eye – science and military communities across the world see the breakthrough as one of tremendous interest. “The experiment is important proof of a principle that so-called plasmonic meta-materials can achieve a cloaking effect,” Sapa reported the researchers as saying. Plasmonic meta-materials are made of metals and other non-conducive synthetic materials consisting of nanometre-sized structures that are smaller than the wavelength of the light that shines on them. Because of this, when incoming photons come into

contact with this material, they agitate currents that ‘scatter’ light waves. When the cylinder – which was encased in a shell of plasmonic meta-materials – was exposed to microwaves, the waves scattered and this prevented a signal from returning to the viewer. “When the scattered fields from the cloak and the object interfere, they cancel each other out, and the overall effect is transparency and invisibility at all angles of observations,” said co-lead investigator Andrea Alu in a report. Previous attempts at masking objects have relied on bending light around 2D or using reflective surfaces and mirrors in a process called “carpet cloaking”. This new technology could have many uses, one of which has garnered much public attention. “Camouflaging to radar is one important application, a super-stealth device to make objects invisible to radar,” Alu said in a telephonic interview with Sapa. “What we are thinking about is not necessarily cloaking the whole warplane but some hotspots, a part such as the tailplane…because it reflects most of the energy (from microwave radar)”.

22 Environment

O-Week Edition

Your Rhodes The green girls’ guide environmental A orientation
By Kayla Roux By Shirley Erasmus


hodes University provides its students with ample opportunity to familiarise themselves with their surrounding environment and to learn how to live in an environmentally friendly manner. Ranging from the numerous environmental societies managing green projects to the growing acceptance of veganism and vegetarianism within residence dining halls, Rhodes is steadily growing in its environmental awareness and concern. As a new or returning student, it is necessary to reach this year’s goals for creating an environmentally active and aware university in which each student contributes to this awareness. While it may appear a monumental task, it requires only small changes on each student’s part to make a huge difference. For example, throwing cigarette butts into a nearby bin rather than in the nearest flowerbed, eating less meat and turning off any unnecessary lights in your residence will help immeasurably. The Rhodes calendar also features many upcoming environmental events which students can look forward to such as Earth Hour, Environmental Week, Meat-free Mondays and numerous other initiatives, which will be organised with the help of SRC Environment Councillor Ruth Kruger. One of these exciting new initiatives includes the introduction of a recycling station at the Day Kaif and Library area. Dining halls are also committed to decreasing food wastage and providing

complete, healthy and balanced meals for vegetarians and vegans. Doing your part is about more than just switching off lights or not littering. Environmental awareness encompasses each individual component of your lifestyle. By wearing locally produced clothes and jewellery you are supporting the community and helping to create a more sustainable economy. By making sure you buy food and other groceries from your surrounding area, you also cut down on harmful fuel emissions released in the transport of these items across the country and sometimes even the world. Grahamstown is full of local stores such as Under The Arch which provides recycled products such as earrings, books and clothes. The Mustard Seed, a health store located in Pepper Grove Mall, provides everything from environmentally friendly toothpaste, body wash and makeup to super healthy snacks, meals and supplements. Lungi and Ingram’s Farm Stall, a small store at the same shopping centre, started out as just that: a small stall selling healthy fresh fruit and vegetables from nearby sources outside the Old Gaol. Buy your fresh foodstuff here to support these local entrepreneurs – you can also go shopping at the market every Saturday morning for everything from delicious cheeses to artisan breads, meat and flowers. Students are encouraged to be acutely aware of their environmental impact on the world around them and what we as a university – and a generation – can do to promote a greater awareness and understanding of our earth.

lthough most of us have adopted some eco-friendly practices around our homes, we remain unaware of the products and habits lurking in our beauty routines that are destructive to our health and that of the rest of the planet. In 2012, be beautiful – naturally.  While more and more households are separating their paper from their glass and turning off unnecessary lights, painfully few are aware of the dangers our daily health, beauty and skincare routines hold not only to our health, but to that of our fellow animals and the earth as well. From toxic ingredients to nonbiodegradable containers, from soapy effluence to inhumane and degrading animal testing, our beauty routines need to be shaken down for their nastiest habits and given a complete green makeover: DIY-style. Not only will you lessen your carbon footprint on the planet (and your face), you’ll notice that eco-friendly practices are often purse-friendly as well.

You don’t have to venture far from your own kitchen for healthy beauty treats that are as good for the environment as they are for your skin. Pic: Flickr

Good for the planet

Plastic containers and other packaging and disposable items such as razors, nappies, sanitary pads and tampons contribute greatly to the growing pollution of the earth. Most popular products are contained in non-biodegradable materials, and are often made from them too. Get your bathroom ready for a revamp – if you haven’t done so already – by firstly installing some kind of recycling system in your home, dividing paper, plastic, organic waste, tin and trash. Now, take stock of the products you use in your beauty routine, and look for ways you could cut down on the packaging you use. Whether you use refillable containers for your cosmetics, cut your liquid soap with water to make it last longer, or make new bars of soap from old ones, there is always something you can do to lessen the impact of your ‘me-time’ on the earth. Packaging, however, is not the only danger it holds to the environment. Diminish your ecological footprint by seeking out products that are ‘friendly’ to the earth, using natural ingredients and biodegradable packaging. Even personal hygiene products have their equally effective – but much less destructive – eco-friendly counterparts. Try to support locally produced and distributed products if this is possible, as this will cut down industrial costs dramatically– environmentally as well as financially.

Good for animals

As respected and acknowledged members of the natural world, animals undergo incomprehensible suffering in the name of beauty. Do not assume that your beauty products are animal-friendly – make sure that it is clearly indicated before you choose.

Great for you

When taking into account the damaging effects of many beauty products on the earth and animals, the last

thing we expect them to affect negatively is our own health, but toxic ingredients are rife in the products we use every day. To date, 89% of the 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products have not been evaluated for safety by the FDA, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (an in-house panel appointed by the cosmetics industry), or anyone else. Is this really what we want to be slathering onto our bodies? There is a myriad of different products that are already in your home – found in your kitchen and even your garden – that can substitute or at least supplement the chemically laden products you are using right now.  • Try olive oil as a hand or face moisturiser, or even as a conditioning treatment for your hair. • Body scrubs from sugar can help to exfoliate and perk up tired skin, and delicious ingredients such as honey, oats and fruits can be whipped into luxurious facial masks. • The more you wash with conventional shampoo and conditioner, the more oil your scalp produces – creating a viciously slick cycle. A simple paste of water and baking soda can break your hair’s addiction to its daily washing ritual. • Another unexpected beauty saviour? Coffee grounds. Use these in body scrubs, rub them into the scalp to increase hair shine, give brunette hair a colour boost, and wake up puffy eyes with ‘coffee bags’ of thin material. The caffeine in coffee grounds even acts as an anti-cellulite treatment when massaged into the skin!  • A mixture of white wine vinegar and water removes oily product residue from hair, and lemon juice can accentuate beautiful summery highlights all year round.  • If you want a golden glow that can’t be fake-‘nbaked, mix turmeric and whole milk into a paste for your face and body.   If you are pressed for time and do not envision yourself making your own skincare and beauty products, make sure you buy products with natural and certifiably eco-friendly ingredients.

6 February 2012

23 Sport

A year of sport to savour in 2012
By Xand Venturas


n the past few years, the world of sport has seen momentous, controversial events have kept the world of sport on the minds of the masses. To name but a few, Bryce Lawrence’s performance in the semi-final of the Rugby World Cup in which the Springboks lost to Australia; the incredibly successful and highly entertaining 2010 FIFA World Cup that our fine country hosted just 19 months ago; Novak Djokovic’s absolute domination of the 2011 tennis season; Seb Vettel’s wild romp to the Formula 1 world title; Tiger Wood’s slip down the golfing ladder as a result of private scandal and world football’s inability to stamp out racism. If SuperSport is to be believed, 2012 promises to be a bumper year of sporting action. This year our shores have already seen the Sri Lankan cricket team, yielding exciting test and ODI series results. The Proteas are soon to start their tour of New Zealand and later go to England. Add to that the international cricket currently in progress with the Aussies dominating the world champion Indians while England and Pakistan battle it out in Abu Dhabi. With all that cricket going on, one could easily be forgiven for forgetting that the Africa Cup of Nations is in its final stages in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, and although Bafana Bafana aren’t taking part, there is still plenty of top quality football on show. The Barclays Premier League is in full swing with the two clubs from Manchester leading the pack with Tottenham Hotspur, the dark horse, in the race for the title. Arsenal and Chelsea are the only English teams left in the Champions League but face the possibility of coming up against Real Madrid or Barcelona should they progress into the quarter and semi-finals of the competition. The Premier Soccer League continues as Orlando Pirates attempt to hold onto their titles after a clean sweep of all tournaments last season. The main football highlight of 2012 has to be the European Championships that are due to take place in Poland and Ukraine during the European off-season. Spain will be defending their title, with the Netherlands and Germany looking to snatch the trophy from the world champions. After the appointment of Heyneke Meyer as the new Springbok coach, South African rugby fans will be looking to the upcoming Super Rugby season to see if one of our franchises can reclaim the trophy from the Reds. Rugby fans can also look forward to the inaugural Rugby Championship, which sees the addition of Argentina to what was previously known as the Tri-Nations. Along with all that you can also look forward to the next instalment of the Currie Cup starting in August. Aside from all that, sport lovers still have the Tour de France; Formula 1; ATP and WTA tennis; MotoGP; the PGA; European and Sunshine Tour golf and loads more. One thing is for sure – you’re well catered for in the sporting department in 2012 so head down to The Rat, buy a draught, and enjoy the big screen.

Prepare thyself: the zombies cometh down from the hills
By Matthew Kynaston


umans vs. Zombies is back! Rhodes will once more become a brain-riddled battleground as the massive, extremely fun and often intricately involved game of tag takes place in the second week of lectures, from 20 to 24 February. Last year, the game saw more than 400 students attempt to repel the swathes of undead that took over campus. The game starts off with just one zombie, but the virus is spread so quickly that by the end of the first day, venturing outside alone can be perilous. Humans can throw (clean) rolled-up socks at zombies to stun them, but watch out! – by the end of the week there are many more zombies than humans and socks run out rather quickly. Perhaps a little fitness training beforehand will stand you in good stead.

The original Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ) game was invented in 2005 at Goucher College in the US. It quickly spread across the globe and is today played at over 650 colleges and universities, as well as high schools, military bases, summer camps, and even public libraries. The game takes place the whole day, every day – there is no respite for weary humans, except indoors and designated ‘safe-zones’. To earn extra ‘lives’ and plenty esteem and respect, successfully complete various covert operations and challenges with other humans. So if you want to learn to find your way around campus quickly, meet new people (or new zombies) and get a hectic workout, you will need to attend one of the security briefings held from 13 to 17 February and receive your bandana and ID card. Remember, zombies don’t discriminate by race, gender, or sexual preference – they will eat you unless you work together.

The world’s best keep getting better
By Matthew Kynaston


lthough calling FC Barcelona the best team in the world might seem like a subjective opinion, to deny it would technically be to deny reality: of the 16 trophies they could possibly have won over the past three and a half years, they have won 13, including two UEFA Champions League titles. They go into every game as favourites and have been hailed as one of the best teams the world has ever seen. Many expected Barça’s dominance to be challenged by Real Madrid this season, especially as José Mourinho – Madrid’s current manager – is known for excelling in his second season as manager. Indeed, Madrid have done well: they are five points clear of Barça and were unbeaten in the Champions League group stage. But the real test lies in El Clásico, and that’s were Barça have shown their quality. Of the last 10 El Clásicos, Barça have won

five and lost just one. They have conceded 11 and scored an impressive 21 against a team considered to have the best squad in Europe. Most people consider the two teams to be the forerunners in the world of football, but the gap in class in still very much in evidence. The only time Los Blancos have won was in the Copa del Rey last season, when Cristiano Ronaldo’s extra-time header gave Madrid its only trophy in the past three years. Nine of the 11 players in the FIFA World XI come from these two clubs, and the revenue generated by each puts them amongst the wealthiest clubs in the world. Mourinho won the best coach award in 2010 and Pep Guardiola, Barcelona’s coach, claimed the award last year. Clearly they are the two undisuted two best teams in Europe, and the world. With another Clásico scheduled for 22 April and the probability of two more in the Champions League, the footballing world

The two best players from the two best clubs: Messi and Ronaldo haven’t finished yet. Pic: Sourced

will be watching avidly. After all, El Clásico is the second-most followed club football match in the world after the Champions League final. Perhaps it would be fitting for

the two great rivals to meet in this year’s final – although if Barça continue in this fashion, not many fans would bet too much money on Madrid beating their lifelong rivals.

SA excels in off-road motorsport
By Daneel Büchner


outh African sports have a tradition of going toe-to-toe with the biggest names in the international arena and holding its own quite well. Rugby, cricket and swimming are not the only sports at which we excel, however: this year South Africa was represented at the 2012 Dakar Rally in South America with a 3rd place finish overall by Giniel de Villiers. De Villiers and German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz drove a locally developed Toyota Hilux bakkie across the 8000 kilometre off-road course held on some of the worst terrain

in Argentina, Chile and Peru. The race featured some 742 competitors from 50 different nationalities in 472 individual cars, trucks, motorbikes and quad-bikes. At the end of the two-week event, the results featured a further 11th and 24th place finish by South African duos in South African vehicles. It is hoped that this strong showing in one of motorsport’s most respected, arduous and fiercely competitive events will not only encourage future SA entries into the race, but also encourage a stronger following at home. That being said, you don’t have to wait until next year or travel half way around the world to witness some of the world’s

finest motor racing talent. The official South African National Rally Championship is coming to the Eastern Cape in June this year, as well as the 2012 round of the SA National Motocross, which will feature a championship race at the Rover Motocross Circuit in PE on Saturday 24 March. If you haven’t attended a motorsport event before, pack a cooler-bag and some lunch and marvel at the skill and bravery of these sportsmen. With strong support at home for what is a booming class of sport, it would be great to see what we can achieve in the future and what international interest in SA’s motorsport industries will mean for the country’s economy.


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