Steam punk bar opens in Melville

Steam punk bar opens in Melville

A brand new steam punk bar opened in Melville this past week to a raging success, but what do they have to offer?


Kicking it punk style: The brand new bar at The Countess oozes steam punk. Photo: Sam Slabbert.

This past weekend saw a new hot spot opening in Melville, oozing a fresh steam punk style.

The Countess situated in 27 boxes opened to a very successful weekend sporting a steel and copper look that gave it a trendy vibe. Head bar tender Julian Short said they want to introduce something different and unique to Melville. “We want to introduce incredibly wholesome food that people will remember and drinks that are engaging and different to what everybody else is doing.”

He said they chose the steam punk style “because copper and brass are sexy”.

The bar offers a short and sweet Cocktail list, as well as a DIY Cocktail section created “in order to educate the customer about what cocktails are and how to drink them” said short.

Food prices range from R35 -R170 and drinks range from R16 – R80. This bar offers something for everyone, serving American style smokehouse foods, cocktails from every corner of the globe, and has a sandwich and coffee bar.

Short said they chose 27 boxes because it “is an amazing centre filled with forward thinking creatives. It has an amazing energy and we feel as though we fit right in here.”

“We have something for everybody here. Our target market is anybody with an open mind who is looking for good food and drink.”

University of KwaZulu Natal on fire

The University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) has been riddled with protests in recent years. The reasons for the protests vary from poor accommodation, low staff salary increases and increasing student fees, but the main reason behind most protest action has been uncertainty around the  National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), which has been a concern on campuses around the country. The timeline below takes a look at the  protests that have occurred at UKZN’s different campuses over the past 15 years.



When it was still called the University of Durban in the Westville campus, a 23 year old student, Michael Makhabane was shot dead during a chaotic strike at the University premises. Rubber bullets had been fired by police but Makhabane was shot with live ammunition from a shotgun. The students were protesting against the de-registration of more than 500 students who could not afford to pay their fees.


In 2006, workers at the university backed by a number of worker unions and students, protested low worker wages and “sub-inflationary wage increases of the general staff while senior management were given bonuses.”  The workers, were also protesting the increasing corporate nature of the university. The strike went on for two weeks, before workers and management reached an agreement.


Two student leaders were arrested during a strike in the UKZN Westville campus after a strike that focused on the lack of transport between the university campus and the Durban CBD and dilapidated and inadequate accommodation on the Westville and Pietermaritzburg campuses.


During the year of the soccer world cup, grievances surrounding poor accommodation and transport services at the University continued. Thanduxolo Sabelo, the SRC president at the time said, “There were issues over accommodation at some campuses because they don’t have proper facilities. About 200 students also applied for financial aid, but they have not received it. There were also complaints over the high prices of cafeteria food.”


This year, the University closed it’s doors after students pelted rocks and burned tyres on the campus. As student complaints continued, the University hardened its hand in disciplining ‘dissident’ students.


The recent strikes at the University have become more violent. The funding and financial aid issue, which affects mostly poor black students, has been at the centre of the protests this year as well.



Black Twitter responds to #IAmStellenbosch with #IAmNotStellenbosch

The #IAmStellenbosch campaign, where students of different races at Stellenbosch University took pictures with messages meant to “breakdown perceived social barriers”, received harsh criticism from Black Twitter last Friday.


HARSH REBUTTALS: Black students at the University of Stellenbosch responded harshly to the recent social media campaign #IAmStellenbosch.                                                                                                                  Photo:Twitter/@_Kwenama

On Wednesday, September 23 students who call themselves, I Am Stellenbosch posted pictures of students with messages about their identities on their Facebook page with the hashtag, #IAmStellenbosch.

Black Twitter soon took notice of the hashtag and pictures, and quickly challenged and changed the hashtag to #IAmNotStellenbosch.

While some of the messages in the original hashtag focused on celebrating the rainbow nation and different cultural identities in South Africa, Black Twitter problematised the images and ideas carried by the images, with one twitter user saying, “There are no “Born frees” in SA that term suggests that had no residual effect .”

The responses by Black Twitter claimed that the I Am Stellenbosch messages were “tone deaf” and had no understanding of white privilege and institutional racism,



The Open Stellenbosch movement released a statement condemning #IAmStellenbosch. In the statement they say, “we can reasonably conclude that the university actively creates an enabling environment for the intellectual vacuity which results in such racist tropes as #whereisthelove and #IAmStellenbosch.” While the Twitter campaign was going on, students on the campus engaged in a peaceful protest, meant to showcase the negative side of black student’s experiences at the university,


That is, until campus security came:


Q&A with Mosiah Moshe Tau

Q&A with Mosiah Moshe Tau

Mosiah Moshe Tau serves as the current Miss Limpopo Province. This third-year Civil Engineering student is one of the few black South African women to have won a major pageant with their natural hair. Wits Vuvuzela sat down with her to pick her brain on African beauty and beauty pageants.

Photo supplied

Photo supplied

What is the role of beauty pageants in African societies in 2015?
The aim of pageants in general is to empower women and create role models, most especially for our young people. We encourage being happy in our own skin. But nowadays, we are steering in a direction where the title holder is an ambassador, rather than a beauty queen. It’s not just a beauty contest, it’s ‘beauty with a purpose’. So it is more about what the woman can do with the title to better the society than her own physical beauty.

Are beauty pageants in S.A a reflection of South African beauty?
No. I think they tend to be a bit superficial and most of them still miss the point. I wasn’t aware of how many pageants there are out there until I was crowned. I get invitations to come judge local pageants and sometimes when I ask the organisers what the pageant is about I realise that they don’t really have a real intention, but to make money but they hide behind “we just want to motivate the young girls”.

Following the cancellation of swimsuit wear in the Miss World pageant, do you think that South African pageants should adopt the same principle?
Yes, definitely. Like I said it’s not just a beauty contest, it’s ‘beauty with a purpose’. The beauty we are promoting is the beauty that is within the heart and mind, and I think with swimsuits it is more focused on the outside, on who is more physically appealing than the other, so I don’t think we need to have a swimsuit section. As for the outside beauty, we are saying let’s love ourselves and be comfortable and happy in our own skins.
I think it is commendable what the Miss World board did, because it is a step closer to sending the message of what pageants in these modern days stand for. Beauty with brains.

As a beauty pageant ‘queen’, in an African community, how do you celebrate African traditional values without conflicting the ‘beauty standard of the pageant world’?
By being myself I think I have already conflicted those standards *jokes*, for instance, I was the first person to be crowned Miss Limpopo with short, natural hair as opposed to popular belief that a beauty queen has to have long [sexy] hair, because that is what is more appealing apparently.
I am an African and I am beautiful. I see myself as an agent of societal change than just a ‘beauty queen’. I have come to learn that there are really no rules of being a beauty queen, but just perceptions and a mentality that people have developed over the years and I am rebellious to those ‘standards’.