Without a doubt, the number of blonde coloured braids and extensions has increased this semester at Wits.
So with such an ostentatious trend, it’s hard not to take note or have an opinion on the matter. I don’t have a problem with people voicing their views but I can’t help but get frustrated when I hear this-“it is sad how many black girls are trying to be white with their blonde hair”. I find this such an archaic and banal way of thinking especially when thrown around by students.
When I see blonde on an African girl, I see confidence and courage, because I think it’s safe to admit, dyeing African hair blonde or having blonde extensions is a risky move that has the potential to go horrifically wrong. So when a select few view blonde extensions as “conformity to western ideals” and a “loss of culture”, I am completely dumbfounded. [pullquote align=”right”]”Breaking free from the shackles of generic racial constructs and stereotypes”[/pullquote]
Everyone should be allowed the freedom to express themselves and not have to be subjected to other people’s insecurities of their ethnicity. I treat my hair as an extension of my character and personality and NOT as a tribute to my heritage. One day I might be rocking long Caribbean style braids (even tho I do not come from a line of Caribbean descendants) and the next day I might be showing off an untamed (but racially appropriate) afro.
A person’s hair choice should not be turned into a heated cultural debate, it’s just hair. To me blonde on an African girl is not an “adoption” of a biological trait but an acceptance of ones individuality; It takes courage to break the mould of what is accepted and to be free. Being “Blonde” isn’t just genetic; It’s a state of mind … it’s breaking free from the shackles of generic racial constructs and stereotypes.
LEGENDARY former Bafana Bafana coach Clive “The Dog” Barker is looking to improve the fortunes of the Clever Boys this season as their new head coach.
Barker officially replaced Anthony Lopez as head coach of Bidvest Wits in January 2013.
Lopez’ contract was terminated at the end of last season by a “mutual agreement”. During his 5 month tenure Lopez guided the team to four wins, seven draws and five losses, with his last match in a 1-1 draw with Free State Stars in December 2012.
With two wins after three matches, Barker has led Wits to climb two positions on the Premiership log from 9th place to 7th place. The second win was over Chippa United on Wednesday night at the Bidvest Stadium on east campus.
Goals by Matthew Pattison and Ryan Chapman secured a 2-1 the victory in a game that saw the opposition team make it to the scoreboard first.
Barker guided Bafana Bafana to their only African Nations Cup title in 1996, eventually leaving Bafana Bafana after a string of losses.
After a three year absence from coaching, the 68-year-old is happy to have returned to PSL after his last coaching job at with Amazulu.
Speaking to IOL.com Barker said: “This is a club with great infrastructure and lots of quality players. It’s the first time I have taken a coaching position in Joburg. I’m here to try and improve the team.”
Wits goalkeeper Steven Hoffman told Wits Vuvuzela that Barker is a good coach because he instills positivity in the players.
“His aim is to win the league and he just makes sure he gives us that motivation. He lets the players play their own game but still finds a way to make us come together so we can play like a team,” Hoffman said.
The Clever Boys next match will be against top-ranked Kaizer Chiefs on March 2 at FNB Stadium.
Medical school applicants are now accepted partly on the basis of how underprivileged they are, and not on the basis of race, according to Dean of the Health Sciences Faculty Professor Ahmed Wadee.
Wadee was responding to claims from rejected students who said they were not accepted because they were “not the right colour”.
One applicant, who asked to remain anonymous, said she was rejected because the faculty was not allowing any more Indian people having reached their “quota”.
However, Wadee denies race plays a role in the selection on students.
Selection is based on a combination of academic and non-academic scores which determines who is offered a place at the health faculty. However, as some students point out, having “straight A’s” is not a guarantee of getting into medicine.
“The ‘straight A student’ story isn’t always true. There are other things that they consider, like compassion and charity,” said fourth year medical student Creaghan Eddey.
Wadee said the academic criteria only accounts for 80% of the total percentage of the entrance criteria.
He said the downfall of most applicants is the National Benchmark Test (NBT) which counts for 40% of the score.
The other 20% comes from non-academic criteria and uses a questionnaire that determines whether a person comes from a rich or poor background.
“Now, you could be yellow, you could be white, you could be coloured, you could be Indian, [but] if you have no water and no lights you have an under-resourced environment,” Wadee said.
According to Wadee, the Wits Medical School had previously used a racial quota system that was abandoned so that socio-economic conditions could be given priority.
“We acknowledged that system of accepting [race quotas] was incorrect then we changed it,” said Wadee.
Some schools, such as the University of Cape Town, still makes use of the racial quota system.
Wadee said his faculty receives complaints from applicants who feel they were unfairly rejected. “If someone says ‘so-and-so got in and I didn’t’ I say ‘give me the person’s name’, we look it up and show the complainant why they didn’t get in while the other one did.”
“Personal appeals to the Dean or anybody in the faculty do not work,” said Wadee. “In reality, we have 6 000 applicants and in medicine only 250 get in,” said Wadee.
Another fourth year Medical student said: “The faculty has to redress the past. We have to acknowledge our past.” But she added that promoting underprivileged applicants should not trump academic knowledge.
“I think our school gets flack because the process isn’t transparent, no one ever explains this selection criteria to us. That’s why people target [medical school] about acceptance more than others,” Eddey said.
“But If I didn’t get in I would have bitched too,” he added.
Story and Caption by Jay Caboz
Caryn Upton spent four years of her varsity career tutoring and trying to make a little cash. She would earn, on average, R100 per hour and at the time she thought she was lucky to be paid that. Then she says she had a brainwave and “Study Doctor” tutoring was born.
What makes you a cool kid?
Well I am a sixth year med student who has been running a successful business for four years. I work hard and I play hard.
Why study medicine?
Initially, I was studying another degree, but then I found it was too easy and I wanted a challenge. I found working with people rewarding and then I knew that medicine was the right place for me.
Why open your own tutoring company?
One day, I was talking with my friend Claire Keene (now her business partner) who had also been a tutor and we said: “Hey, how come we work so hard and yet the company’s take a R300 profit? We could do a better job of this and make sure students get paid properly.” We were both med students and wanted to help people. We knew what it was like to be a tutor and were tired of getting screwed over by tutoring companies. So we thought “why not?”.
What makes your business cool?
It was started by two students who created something from nothing. We wanted to pay people for what they were worth.
How many tutors are you involved with?
At the moment we have about 70 to 80 tutors in our company.
How do you study and run a business?
Initially we were a lot smaller and I managed to fit it all in. But now we have grown so large, we have been able to hire someone and are currently looking to expand even further.
What achievements has Study Doctor made?
In 2012 we were voted as 94.7 FM’s business of the week. This year we are looking to pay back even further to the community and are trying to organise a charity that will give free tutoring for matrics.
SOME Wits students have complained about not being able to gain access to prayer facilities administered by the Muslim Students Association (MSA).
A student who had paid their membership fee to the religious club during O-week period ranted on Twitter about being unable to use the musallah, the prayer room.
Gaining entry into the facilities situated near the cricket oval on East Campus is done by swiping a card on a sensor.
This is the same way students get into the different campuses. However, this was not the case a few years ago, as the prayer room was open to students at any time of the day.
Sabeeha Jhetam of MSA said the prayer rooms were now “restricted” to those who had registered their details with the ICAM offices because they had been previously vandalised by other students who were not part of the religious group.
“We had to get a turnstile in there because you would find that other students urinated in the rooms and trashed the place,” said Jhetam. She observed that male Muslim students were less affected by the lack of access to the university prayer room as they preferred to go to mosques off-campus, particularly on Fridays. Jhetam said the lack of access for Muslim students was not for the MSA to deal with alone.
She said it was also an administrative matter on the university’s part. However, Jhetam stresses that the prayer rooms can be used by Muslims who are not members of the MSA. However, if they are not on the system it becomes hard for them to gain access.
“Those whose cards that haven’t been activated can still use the premises. “It’s easier for them if they find someone inside already so they can open for them,” added Jhetam.
The high influx of new students also does not help with the institution’s administration office.
For students to gain admission into places that have turnstiles or security on campus, students need to have their ICAM number sent to the specific person or office delegated to deal with processing the information.
“The problem usually arises at the beginning of the year where new students do not know what to do or where to go when their cards do not work,” she said.
FORMER Wits SRC president Morris Masutha has made it to the top six of local reality television show One Day Leader.
One Day Leader promotes young leaders by giving contestants a topic and having them debate and argue their positions. Contestants also go on challenges to different neighbourhoods.
Masuthu said the show was “very challenging” because they only talk about the topic on the day of the show.
Masuthu lives in a house with his fellow top six contestants in Cresta. While he lauds the abilities of some of his competitors “others you obviously wonder how they got there.”
“Sometimes you can be the best guy but if people don’t vote for you then it doesn’t matter,” Masuthu said. One Day Leader is in its second season on SABC1.
The previous winner of the show was a Witsie, Lesley Masibi.
Masutha said he joined the show to advocate free education and to put the spotlight on the plight of rural youth through his non-profit organisation, the Thusanani Foundation.
Hailing from a rural village in Limpopo, Masutha said he started the foundation because he felt the need to bridge the information gap between rural youths and their urban counterparts. He said Wits was his salvation and ticket out of the village but when he arrived on the campus for his first year he felt intimidated by his lack of knowledge.
“When I came to Wits, I felt embarrassed to speak in class because I didn’t want to embarrass myself,” said Masutha. “I could barely speak English so for a while I was this quiet guy at the back of the class.”
One day a fellow student made a comment that offended Masutha and he was moved to speak up for the first time ever. “At that point I didn’t care that my English wasn’t good,” said Masutha. From that day forward, Masutha has not stopped speaking up for what he believes in.
He spoke in large lectures when there was a racist or ignorant comment made, he spoke his way to his SRC presidency in 2011 and now he speaks on a national TV show. Masutha said the hardships he faced at Wits gave him the confidence to speak the way that he does.
“I love Wits, it’s made me into the person I am today, and it really does ‘give you the edge’,” said Masutha. “You go into an interview and you find you are interviewing the interviewer.”
Masutha said education was the only hope of anyone who comes from a rural area.
“Those of you Witsies coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, you will encounter many stumbling blocks at university but if you work harder, your marks will pay for your fees.”
The 2011 winner was given an “internship in the office of the NYDA, a trip to visit a South African ambassador of a country of their choice, a day spent with the State President and a R70 000 budget to spend on a project in a community of their choice” and R20 000 cash.
Published in the Witsvuvuzela
By Charlotte Chipangura
Photos by Jay Caboz
WITS students and staff have been left seeing triple with the addition of identical triplets Alicia, Delicia and Felicia Arjunan to the campus.
“At first glance, people can’t tell us apart but after two weeks they begin to see the differences, after a while they will so see that our personalities are similar, though not identical,” explained the chirpy Alicia.
Born 19 years ago on the 17th of August in Durban, the Alicia, Delicia and Felicia are studying BComm Philosophy, Politics & Economics, BA International Relations and BComm General, respectively.
According to Wikipedia, identical triplets are extremely rare, something that occurs only once in every 500 000 births. But multiple births are becoming more common because of the increased use of fertility treatments.
Triplets or twins are born when either an egg is fertilised more than once or if the mother has more than one egg at the same time.
According to Alicia, their mother named them in alphabetic order after they were born. But somehow Delicia, who developed in her own embryo, was born second while Alicia and Felicia shared their own embryo and came out apart.
The Arjunans say they hope to be involved in modelling and advertising where their status as triplets could be put to good use.
Peter Maher, Wits alumni relations director, said his office had no record of twins or triplets studying at Wits at the same time.
“Unfortunately our database isn’t able to capture or indicate family relationships,” he said
The Arjunans always move around campus together and say it is normal for them to be seen as a collective and not as individuals.
“This is what we have always known since we were born. Maybe it will be a hard knock when we start working and have to go our separate ways,” said Felicia.
The girls celebrate their birthdays by dressing in identical outfits. They share the same interests and friends as they make a point of introducing new friends to each other.
“Because we spend so much time together, we have formed similar likes and dislikes,” said Alicia.
Being twins, and moving around in a group, also affects their love life and how boys approach them.
“They become our friends first, and then they get to know us,” said Alicia.
“They find something they are attracted to, and then they start spending time with the particular person they like,” added Delicia.
Felicia said guys who say they wouldn’t mind dating any of the sisters did not amuse her and her siblings.
By Jay Caboz
Wits Men Hockey still intend to push for a first place finish regardless of narrowly losing their first game of the season 4-7 against Wanderers A.
The students “never say die” attitude was just not enough to scrape an upset against a Wanderers side that could field a full bench of former and current South African national hockey players.
Wits started the game well with a number of positive manoeuvres through the field. They seemed likely to open the scoring but could not find a gap to the back of the net through Wanderers keeper Michael Smith.
Shots were exchanged in both halves but with little effect until Wanderers won a penalty corner in the 8th minute. Wits keeper Cole Zondagh rushed the top of the Wanderers castle but was not quick enough to intercept a slip which was then slammed home courtesy of a Wanderers drag flick.
The shot was contested by the Wits side after it looked like it was illegally hit but the goal was not overturned.
Wits were able to shake off the goal and came back with a response in the 12th minute when Wits’ Jared Povall executed a slip drag of his own during a penalty corner that finally beat Smith.
Wanderers’ adopted an unconventional press system which gave Wits a number of problems. As a result Wits’ conceded a number of turnovers in their own half. A succession of dubious tackles resulted in Wits giving away a field goal in the 13th minute and then another in a penalty corner in the 15th to put Wanderers two goals ahead.
The cushion was broken in the final minute before half-time when Wits’ Stuart Philip managed to scramble a shot on target during an overtime penalty corner. It was Wanderers’ turn to contend the goal after the ball had “left the playing circle twice” rendering the corner over. Their query was ignored by the referees.
Wanderers dominated the opening period of the second half and Wits, uncharacteristically, did not seem to have an answer. Wits conceded two more field goals and another goal from a penalty corner to put the score at 2-6 in the 34th minute, with six minutes of play.
But the game was not quite set and buried. Wanderers’ Lance Louw was sent marching off with a five minute penalty for complaining to the referee, and gave Wits a chance of coming back.
Povall slotted a penalty corner and then three minutes later in the 40th minute made a brilliant deflection to beat Smith and score a hat trick. But it was too late for the Witsies who conceded another goal in the dying seconds to end the game 4-7 against the students.
Story and Photos by Jay Caboz
FNB Wits took a beating after FNB NWU-Pukke ran in a haul of 10 tries to, losing 71-25 on Monday nights Varsity Cup match held at the Wits Rugby Stadium.
Despite the overwhelming score line, Wits put up a good show and for the majority of the game were in running contention. But the visitors from North-West University tore through Wits defence in the second half with 5 unanswered tries leaving Wits in the dust and one try short of a salvaged bonus point.
“We were incredibly happy with our performance in the first half, we just have to learn to play for 80 minutes,” said Wits captain Devin Montgomery.
The score line opened a minute after the starting whistle when Wits flanker Thato Mavundla ran the ball over the line from a driving maul deep in Pukke’s half.
The ball continued to roll in Wits’ favour after Carel Greeff broke through Pukke’s defensive line and put another try in.In the 15th minute Pukke shook off their shock and responded with a try of their own to bring the score to 16-5.
Pukke put another eight points on the board when SJ Niemand drove over the try line.
Wits were able to extend their lead by another two points after converting a long-ranged penalty to end the first quarter. The home team managed to extend their lead to 10 points when they scored what would be their last try of the match.
Play continued to swing in both halves with Wits making some crunching tackles. But Pukke gained some level footing after scoring another try to decrease the deficit. The final nail on the coffin was drawn when Pukke put in two more tries to end the half 31-25.
The second half remained a contest until 15 minutes in when the floodgates opened. Pukke ran in five more tries which completely overwhelmed Wits’ defence. The visitors size and field play was just too much for Wits to handle.
“Yes we took a beating, but a lot of the points we conceded were from mistakes on our own behalf and turning over the ball,” said Montgomery. “We have UJ [University of Johannesburg] next week and it’s a more familiar game to us than this week. We are looking forward to it.”
The result leaves Wits hanging in last place on the log, two points behind 7th Ikeys (UCT). Wits will need to put in a good performance against UJ, who are currently sitting 3rd, to draw some points ahead of their clashes with bottom of the log teams.
A Wits medical student disagrees with claims in the media that a simulation unit for medical schools will give their students the edge.
The University of Free State opened its doors to its simulation training unit where simulation dolls are used to teach medical students, The New Age reported this week.
Unit head Dr Mathys Labuschagne proudly showed members of the media how the human patient simulators come alive during a tour of the unit.
Caryn Upton, a 6th year MBBch at Wits, said the simulation dolls don’t give UFS medical school an upper hand over other medical schools.
“In first year you don’t know enough about the human body to work with it. The best experience comes from working with people like we do at Wits. Maybe for universities that don’t have enough hospitals and doctors to work with, these dolls can be useful,” she said.
The simulation dolls known as the “Sim man”, “Sim woman” and “Sim baby” are attached to computers that control and monitor them. The simulation dolls breathe, blink and are able to react to resuscitation and medication administered to them.
Labuschagne explained that the Sims give the students an opportunity to interact with real-life situations in their first year. Previously, medical students would have their first encounter with a human body when they worked on cadavers in their second year.
“The purpose is for students to learn in a safe non-threatening environment to manage emergency situations” he said.
The Sim woman doll will be used for simulating birth, natural as well as a Caesarean procedure.
“When the woman gives birth, she makes noises simulating pain and effort. Water and blood come out,” Labuschagne said.
Baby Sim can be treated in an intensive care unit linked to a monitor and computer, can simulate basic heart and lung functions, and will allow medical students to practice resuscitation, a lumbar puncture and how to insert drips with artificial blood in the veins.
The new system gives lecturers the ability to monitor students via computer in another room and add a level of difficulty by changing the condition of the Sim. When the condition of the Sim deteriorates, the student has to act quickly as they would in a real-life situation. The lecturers then assess the student based on how they handle the situation.
The unit will also be open to give refresher courses to doctors and other health professionals who have already qualified.
Members of the Wits disabled community have expressed dismay over the fall from grace of Oscar Pistorius and say the Paralympian should not get special treatment because of his disability.
Pistorius was arrested on February 14, for the killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
His earlier successes on the track have made him an inspiration to people living with disabilities.
Ricardo De Sao Joao, a Wits master’s student living with a disability, said the news is especially shocking because disabled people are seen as meek and subdued when all they want is to be treated equally.
“One of the main issues about Oscar’s situation is whether he should get special treatment because he is disabled or famous. In the eyes of the law he should be treated in the same way as anybody else,” said De Sao Joao.
De Sao Joao, who is an international relations student, said some things are inescapable when you live with a disability.
“You will never be considered normal, if anything this incident shows that disabled people are prone to anger issues just like anybody else,” he said.
Mthokozisi Ndaba, a first year BA student living with a disability, said he felt sorry for Pistorius because his life had been changed forever.
“His disability might have made him feel vulnerable at the time but he shouldn’t use his disability to get special treatment in court now,” said Ndaba.
Ndaba said that for him, as someone living with a disability, special treatment would be “two steps forward and ten steps back”.
Steenkamp was shot in the head, arm, hand and hip. According to City Press, Pistorius’ father received a call from his son just after 3am on Thursday, asking him to come to his house.
When his family arrived, Oscar was carrying Steenkamp’s body down the stairs from his bedroom to the entrance hall. Her head and arms were “dangling”. He allegedly told his sister, Aimee, that something terrible had happened and that he had mistaken Steenkamp for a burglar.
Police sources told the paper that Steenkamp was shot through the bathroom door. It is argued by Barry Roux, Pistorius’ defence lawyer, that the athlete broke down the bathroom door to help Steenkamp after he mistakenly shot her.
According to the state prosecutor Gerry Nel, Steenkamp had arrived at the house between 5pm and 6pm on Wednesday night, February 13. He argued there were no signs of forced entry or evidence to support Pistorius ‘claims that he mistook Steenkamp for a burglar.