“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”- Coco Chanel
Boho-Chic is back for Spring 2015. The style is inspired by Bohemianism and the Hippie movement that took charge in late 60’s and early 70’s. It brings out the flavour of the 60’s and 70’s unconventional ‘artiste’ lifestyle.
The style is infused with bell sleeves, embroidered detailing, fringe, all shades of brown, tunics and wooden jewellery.
Lubabalo Qoboshiyana, left, is wearing a cut-out sleeve tunic patterned dress and black strap sandals. She has complemented her outfit with a trendy classic washed out denim jacket and a brown fringe statement bag. Qoboshiyana says spring is her favourite season, “I love colour and I try to infuse that with my love for vintage style”. She completed her outfit with big curls and cat-eye glasses to bring out the chic.
Sampa Nakamba, right, is rocking the chic flower-crown trend and a floral print skater skirt. “I just threw it on. I buy my clothes at the thrift shop and sometimes I get them made like this skirt.”
The discovery and existence of Homo Naledi has shed light on the origins and diversity of the human lineage. Initially discovered in 2013 in the ‘Rising Star’ cave located in the Cradle of Human World Heritage site, the official reveal was held at Maropeng Centre by the team led by Wits Professor Lee Berger.
Wits Vuvuzela sat down with Homo Naledi to catch up on some of the history of the last 2.5 million years.
Many people are fascinated by your name. Can you tell us the meaning behind it?
The name ‘Naledi’ means ‘star’ in Sesotho. The scientists are saying that my bones were ‘found’ in a chamber cave (my lofty home) named ‘Dinaledi’ at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. Also, seeing that I am causing many talks in the media, I consider myself a ‘rising star’.
It must be really great to be found after a 2.5 million year hiatus. What’s it like mingling with all your grandchildren?
My long sleep was so peaceful. So much has changed now. I mean what’s this wheel thing that everyone has been using for the last 10 000 years? Other than that it’s good to be getting all this media attention, and it’s been good giving humans something to talk about, other than themselves.
Speaking of the media, #HomoNaledi was trending on twitter. How was that experience?
To grab such attention from humans was nothing short of amazing. Although I knew I always had it in me, I mean have you seen me? But grabbing such attention after a marathon 2.5 million year game of hide and seek is really fun. I am warming up to the reception.
You have been described as the most primitive member of our kind. Any thoughts on that?
First of all, have you seen my slender body? I am 1.5 metres tall and I weigh about 45 kilograms. I am said to have ‘human-like features’, my carved fingers, my teeth and my small feet, and my legs are to die for. All I’m saying is that I am flawless, like Beyoncé would say.
Your facial expression has been used for quite a lot of memes on social media, your thoughts about that?
I think it’s hilarious, as long as I am giving humans something to laugh about.
The Critical Thinking Reading Group (CTRG) held its weekly meeting at the CALS Seminar room on Monday. However instead of adhering to the group’s regular program a screening of the documentary, Lusiter and a discussion around it occurred instead.
While many students expressed their heartbreak and disgust with what they saw, Anele Nzimande, fourth-year LLB student highlighted how it is hard to be black and to be a black student in South Africa because some of the things you go through don’t have vocabulary to articulate.
Nzimande also emphasized how it is problematic to demonise Stellenbosch and the language policy, pointing out that we are dealing with white people, whether they are British or Afrikaans.
“I think sometimes we get lost in the demonization of Afrikaans because we think 1976 and the Afrikaans policy, but, I think being at Wits is as violent.”
One of the points highlighted at the screening was how there is a lack of cultural adaptation at Universities.
She added that, “Wits’ vision is a global one, what does that even mean for a university that is in Africa. I think that we really need to interrogate [that idea] because as black people we have become very sensitized to Afrikaans dominance and the Wits, UCT kind of dominance always slips through the cracks because it’s much more subtle and gentle. It strokes us as opposed to the very harsh brutality of Afrikaans.”
CRITICAL THINKER: PhD Constitutional Law student Sanele Sibanda highlighted that we are living in a confounding time in South Africa, especially as black people. Photo: Sibongile Machika
PhD Constitutional Law student Sanele Sibanda highlighted that we are living in a confounding time in South Africa. “Different places have different issues but have similarities especially if you are a black person living in these spaces.”
Sibanda critiques how TranformWits as a movement has not gelled. “Why is that in this particular time at UCT a movement managed to form, and why OpenStellenbosch has managed to grow some feet and continue? What is it about Wits that makes it different?”
Sibanada told the reading group that is made up largely of black students that “This is not a black critical thinking group. This is an open group for everybody on this campus. But you look around this room and what do you see?”
One of the highlighted questions was the issue of ‘intellectualizing’ suffering. Sibanda notes there are talks about institutional culture that is oppressive what does this mean?
“The idea that there is no vocabulary to articulate this space we’re in, the suffering we feel, the victimization- what does this ultimately mean for struggle because I identify with this notion, but what does it mean for struggle at wits?”
With the burning issues of transformation at hand, Anele Nzimande pointed out how university education does not deal with black issues.
“I think the problem with many of the Vice Chancellors and students have been produced in the past twenty years, it hasn’t produced the kind of Vice Chancellors, Alumni’s and students that can deal or speak directly to black issues,”
Nzimande also said that she has wasted four years of her life on education that has done nothing for her. “For me, the fact that I cannot explain some of the things I know to my father is problematic and highlights how this education is not very useful.”
The Lusiter documentary was created in collaboration with Open Stellenbosch. The documentary shares the lived experiences of black students at Stellenbosch. It highlights the white violence, discrimination, exclusion and racism black students go through at the university.
Stellenbosch has recently been in hot water for their language policy, a policy described as “a clear intention not to transform and a way for Stellenbosch to maintain the status quo while pretending to change,” by CTRG speaker Nomonde Nyembe.
CTRG at the Wits Law School was formed in 2013 as a desire to establish a platform for intellectual stimulation that extends beyond the lecture and tutorial domains.
The CTRG members hold weekly meetings to discuss and critique thought provoking materials that will stimulate intellectual conversations among Wits students.
Parisian Chic style or “chic Parisiennes” originated in France, a wardrobe filled with not-so-basic statement pieces, perfectly tailored blazers and classic coloured crisp pants is the way forward for this style. The style encompasses very simple but polished combinations, elegantly down-to-earth neutrals tailored with stripes or statement patterns. This style is not about fitting into clothes, it is about the clothes fitting you.
Same Mdluli: PhD History of Art
Art historian Same Mdluli is wearing a crisp white shirt, complemented with classic timeless pearl necklace and a black Barret, a statement piece for the outfit. She describes her style as ‘Parisian classic’. Mdluli added a beige pressed straight leg pants with brown brogues. Her statement piece for this outfit is her structured brown bag, a complement for her stylish chic brogues.
Nineteen year old actor, film and television student Travis Hornsby is young but no rookie. He has already rubbed shoulders with A-list actor John Cleese. A pole fitness enthusiast and dance instructor, Hornsby says he “wakes up like Beyoncé and falls asleep like Buscemi”. The Spud actor sat down with Wits Vuvuzela and this is what he had to say.
RISING STAR: Travis Hornsby aka ‘Boggo’ is a rising star. Hornsby has featured in ‘Spud’ the movie and has rubbed shoulders with A-list actor John Cleese. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa
Did you read the book (Spud) before auditioning?
Indeed, I read the series, and had to re-read the first book to get a grip on the character. Reading the fourth book was a surreal experience for us all, though. John Van Der Ruit wrote it with us in mind, so it was disconcerting at times to discover what he truly thought of us.
You auditioned on Youtube, why?
I only got wind of the auditions several weeks into the casting process, when call-backs had already been held. I messaged the producer directly and requested a late entry, and he suggested I write and upload a Spud-inspired monologue to YouTube. The result was a campy blend of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Spud and Mean Girls. In retrospect, it was absurd.
When you first got the news about getting the part, what did you do?
Forged an ID and burn my Afrikaans essay due the next day.
How was the experience of playing the character ‘Boggo’?
I found the character difficult to reach at first. Boggo represents a lot of things I strive to avoid. He is crass, arrogant and stylish. Eventually I grew to love him. Even if he smuggles poor-quality pornography under his mattress and swindles schoolchildren.
How was filming with the Crazy 8 members?
We became a second family to one another. We are all still in regular contact with one another, even though we’re so far apart – separated by a continent, with regards to Troye (Spud). We’ve seen each other grow and mature, as professionals and individuals. Having lived together for so many months, there are no secrets amongst us, regardless of our different backgrounds, ages and disciplines.
How was the experience of working with legendary actor John Cleese?
John is phenomenal, both professionally and socially. He holds himself with an unbreakable charisma while still boasting a familiar modesty that is, in a word, inspiring. He went out of his way to mingle with everyone on set, no matter their role, and readily shared his witty, often dark humour. A crew member bore an uncanny resemblance to Hugh Laurie – one day Mr Cleese took a selfie with him, sent it to Hugh on twitter and captioned it ‘Posing with a fan :)”.
It must be hard to memorise lines as an actor. Any tricks for aspiring actors?
On film it’s incredibly easy. We learnt our lines for the day every morning while in the makeup and wardrobe trucks. One rarely gets an opportunity to say much before a shot is cut, and the camera angle is changed. In theatre I find that lines are only learnt through repetition and a genuine
Is there space for young actors in South Africa?
Yes, yes, yes. The industry is as competitive as the Hunger Games, but passion never fails to benefit. The beauty of the art is in the sacrifice. Actors sacrifice their financial security, they sacrifice relationships, their petrol, driving to and from castings, and ultimately themselves.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learnt from John Van Der Ruit’s Spud books?
Everyone is insecure. Don’t miss an opportunity to place yourself amongst people you know nothing about, and open up. Therapy is free. And if you want to get away with murder at an all boys’ boarding school, don’t keep a diary detailing your exploits under your bed. Amateur.
NARRATIVES OF A YOUNG BLACK WOMAN: Editor and founder of Vanguard Magazine and Ruth First Fellow, Panashe Chigumadzi is shaping the African women’s narrative one step at a time. The Zimbabwean born recently explored the concept of ‘Coconuts, Consciousness & Cecil John Rhodes’. Photo: Reuven Blignault
A young visionary from Zimbabwe, Panashe Chigumadzi is the founder and editor of Vanguard Magazine, a platform that aims to speak life to young black women. Chigumadzi is shaping the African women’s narrative one step at a time. The Ruth First fellow recently reflected on the dialogue around the theme: “Race: Lived Experiences and Contemporary Conversations” by exploring the concept of ‘coconuts’ in post-apartheid South Africa.
Vanguard has become a critical voice for many young black women. What was the inspiration behind it?
The inspiration was to not seeing myself represented in media, on the covers, on the mastheads, and on the way stories were told. If they were stories about black women they were often anthropological in the way in which we talk about things, the full nuance was never there. And if you find a black women represented it was either Lupita, Beyoncé or Bonang, so for us it was really to say we want a space where we can celebrate black womanhood in all of its manifestations. So we wanted to have a space where we can have our joy, our tears, fears and our anger everything there in a way where we don’t have to censor, italicise or explain ourselves.
You are part of the Feminist Stokvel. Why is the subject of hair important?
The subject of hair for me is a gateway to a whole range of issues within Black Consciousness, Womanisms and Intersectional Feminism because it speaks to the way which the black female body is ‘humanised/institutionalised’. In the way in which it is meant to conform to a very white supremacist and patriarchal view and the way we have an idea of straight shiny long hair and not hair in the way it grows out of our heads. That’s not just purely a self-esteem issue for black people, it’s specifically because the structures of the South African economy, the fact that we still don’t own spaces that we inhabit. It’s the institutions that we’re in, the schools that are still predominantly white run that will say ‘no Afro’s for example, no dreadlocks, and those are the schools code of conduct.
In the work space where you’ll see some women are forced to have a specific hairstyle because that is what is seen as presentable in those spaces so it’s not specifically I speak about hair, but as a way of making a commentary about just the way blackness is coerced in South Africa because we’re still so very white dominated in many of our institutions and that’s why I don’t like to victim blame and critique people who wear weaves. I am more interested in critiquing the structures that say women cannot have natural hair, that’s a very important part of the discussion that we have to be having, as opposed to having the silly Afro versus weave conversation.
What are some of the issues your radical approach to being a pro-black young woman brought you?
The first thing people say is by being ‘pro-black’ it automatically means being racist and people shy away from that, people will say that being pro-black is anti-white. I’m not interested in trying to make white people feel better about my politics because whiteness is premised on the expense of black people, it is built on the backs of black people and obviously you make a whole lot of people uncomfortable by saying that I want to have a full life as a black person and I don’t want to be apologetic. It makes a lot of people feel uncomfortable.
There are many people that will want to silence you, it’s important to continue to work on creating these spaces that we do. One of the spaces that we support the amazing initiative by ‘The Black Love Sessions’ which is done by an amazing young woman by the name of Sivu Siwisa. They have and event called For Black Girls Only and that’s specifically because they want to have a space where black women can find support and find creative ways to heal and create a movement around themselves but they get a lot of slack because you’re not allowed- in a very white society- to have black only spaces, we’re not allowed to have spaces where we are allowed to speak about our pain outside the gaze of whiteness. And if so people will continue to have problems with that it means that we are doing the right things if people are angry or upset with what we are doing. It means we are really challenging the structures within- a way it hasn’t been challenged before.
Do you think radical feminists or radical feminism is celebrated in Africa?
I don’t want to make statements for the continent but what I can say is that there are many amazing African feminists that aren’t celebrated enough and there are so many just beyond individual feminisms, because there are different ways which people express and define their feminisms. But you have a lot of these great movements, for example the African Feminist Forum that is really great and we’ve also got HOLAA Africa, they are a great feminist organisation and. There are so many incredible feminist organisations there but we do not hear nearly enough but definitely there are women who are doing great things whether its writing, activism, sex workers drives, campaigns against female genital mutilation and speak about the experiences of black women. It’s just a matter of they don’t get enough praise and spotlight they should be getting.
Do you see a danger in the glorification and fetishism of black feminists?
There is a danger in individuals being celebrated. I think it’s important to highlight peoples work because I think people take a lot of risks, it’s difficult to put themselves out there but at the same time I think we have an individualistic culture, that’s also as a result of what we would call Neoliberalism, a sort of economic order. Making it to the top of the corporate ladder by yourself as opposed to speaking about how we create movements.
It is important for us to bring a movement otherwise we can decide that we praise Panashe today and we don’t like what she says we simply put her down but if we have an entire movement it doesn’t stop because of one person, the message continues and I think that’s really important. To create a movement as opposed to a culture of glorifying individuals. We need to find ways of creating a solidarity and that’s why I’m interested in Vanguard as being a space where we can create a movement of black writers and new black voices. We want to develop new voices within this space because there is a culture of wanting to individualise as opposed to creating a movement.
Mainstream media views black women as bodies of subjects of fetishism opposed to white women being paragons of virtue and desire. What are your thoughts about this?
I almost don’t have anything to say because it’s tiring. That is why I am interested in how do we create spaces and reclaim spaces such that we can have agency to create ourselves in our image and see ourselves in our image, that’s where I am. I just get tired of talking about it because we all know it’s a problem. I am interested in saying how do we create the new spaces and create those new images of black women because we are not a homogeneous body of people, there are so many different sexualities and body types. There are so many different ways of being as black people that’s why we want to create more spaces.
What would you say to young black women who are constantly told they are not enough?
I would want them to know that they are enough, they don’t need to embellish their story, you don’t need all kinds of things to make your story valid or your perspective valid and that’s the important lesson. It’s difficult in an anti-black, anti-woman, anti-poor world where your wounds are constantly needing to be legitimised all the time and constantly being silenced but I think that’s what we are trying to do. We want to let young black women know that they are enough and we are going to fight to create the spaces that are going to continue to affirm you.
KARATE KID: Simba Tevera is one of five Witsies featured on the Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans list. Tevera hopes his nomination will allow him to impact and inspire the youth. Photo: Zimasa Mpemnyama
Wits Vuvuzela sat down with Simba Tevera who is featured on the Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans list. This list features young achievers who are making an impact in civil society, education and sports, to name a few. Simba is an Honours student majoring in Psychology. He describes himself as a hard working person who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.
The Mandela Rhodes Scholar is nominated in the sports category and tells Wits Vuvuzela that he feels quite privileged to be among amazing individuals that are shaping the country.
“I think for me it reaffirms that everything is possible if you set your mind to it, but you’ve got to believe in yourself. I think for me it’s important to be associated with these people, some of these people are doing phenomenal things, so I think for me it’s a call to responsibility.”
When asked about why he started Karate, Tevera gloated and said “It’s a funny story because when I was young I was so overweight and sport wasn’t my thing.”
It was this that led his mother to push Simba to take Karate, a decision he thanks his mother for.
“When I got to Wits I fell in love with their karate society. The instructors are amazing, the team is strong and Wits is one of the best Karate teams in South Africa.”
With three years under his belt, Tevera has been a recipient of many Karate awards.
He holds 11 gold medals, six silver and three bronze. He has also received his Half and Full Colours in Karate, USSA University Sport Karate Champion and has been the Japanese Karate Associate National Champion for South Africa for three years.
While holding many awards, Simba has been selected for the South African National team and is set to compete in the Africa Cup in September this year, an experience he describes as ‘overwhelming’.
“I’m putting in the training and the effort, my team believes in me and I’ve got an amazing instructor Sensei JP. He pushes me and the team pushes me, so I’m privileged. I can’t believe it.” he said.
Tevera hopes his nomination will make a positive impact and influence the youth to go for everything they set their minds to.
“I believe sport plays a great role in the youth. In Karate for example, we learn morals around character, etiquette, effort, sincerity, self-control and respect. So I really think sports can help develop the youth and get people believing in themselves.”
“You can never be overdressed or overeducated”- Oscar Wilde
It is Women’s Month, Vuvu Styles is focusing on stylish young women and how they empower themselves through the clothes they wear. Fashion is largely a male-dominated career, and women are constantly shamed for what they wear. Vuvu Styles embraces every women and how they express themselves through the clothes and their style.
LEFT: Yollande Tshimbombo: Third-year BA Law
Yollande is rocking the street style trend with an oversized denim jacket, basketball vest and crisp white sneakers. She describes her style as “Very eclectic, it usually depends on my mood. I’m a non-conformist and I sometimes dress androgynous, a twist of femininity and masculinity.
RIGHT: Jodie Maxted: Second-year LLB
Jodie is wearing faux fur black coat, trendy high-waist black jeans and Nike Roshe’s. She describes her style as very quirky, very practical and very urban. “I like being comfortable and my style fits that very well. I wear sneakers because I’m always on the run.”
This week we are celebrating women and how they express themselves through their different styles. Women like pop star Rihanna, television personality Bonang Matheba and former ELLE magazine editor Jackie Burger have continued to influence for young women.
“Give a girl shoes and she can conquer the world”- Marilyn Monroe
Nandipha Patience Mangisana
Nandipha is wearing a black crop top, leggings and a kimono to keep her warm from the nippy Autumn breeze. Her main accessory is her black hat which has been a popular trend for both men and women. To add some colour she is wearing red and black platform shoes.
She explains her style as “sexy with a click of vintage”. When asked about going bra-less, she says that she is “embracing her nipples”
Takalani is sporting a grey woollen dress paired with a black corduroy jacket. Her olive Nike Roshe sneakers compliment her colourful socks perfectly. She accessorises with a light brown scarf and a yellow bag. Although purple braids are in trend, in her case it was simply an honest mistake (she bought the wrong colour).
This second-year BA student describes her style as “street, punky and easy-going.”
The Wits financial aid and scholarships office held a prize giving to reward students who have signed their lease forms in time. A lucky draw with student names was used to select the winners of the voucher.
The South Point and NSFAS team gathered quickly inside Senate House after the students name to pose for a picture. From the Left: Luthando Falakahla (From South Point), Khodani Ramukumba (winner), Zahraa Badrodin (winner), Nombini Nteyi (NSFAS) and Lehlohonolo Bhulane (winner). Photo: Anelisa Tuswa
Financial Aid Office Manager, Ennie Kubeka said that students don’t sign their lease forms on time and this creates a problem with them getting their allowance, registration fees and accommodation payment.
According to Kubeka, 3282 students were offered loans, but only 3017 came to sign.
“The 266 students that didn’t sign on time are worth R12 million,” she said.
One of the problems she raised is that students get funding somewhere else and this leads to them not signing their forms. “Now the problem with that is that we’ve got students that do qualify for the loans but we couldn’t give them anything because the funds were depleted.”
This Prize giving was to thank the 92 percent who have signed their lease forms on time and to motivate other students to do the same.
The winners were given South Point sponsored Pick n Pay vouchers valued at R1 000.
South Point Bursary Administrator, Luthando Falakahla told Wits Vuvuzela that “As South Point we thought we should contribute and make sure that the students are signing leases on time just to smooth up the progress and make sure that they get what they are actually looking for in funding.”
When asked about why they were giving students food vouchers, Falakahla said “we as South Point need to guide the students. If we give them food vouchers they will actually get food and you cannot study very well if you are hungry. So getting that voucher will actually help.”
The winners include first-year Biological Sciences student Lehlohonolo Bhulane, Accounting Sciences student, Khodani Ramukumba and first-year BA Law student, Zahraa Badrodin.
The winners expressed their excitement and joy on winning the vouchers. BA Law student, Zahraa Badrodin said “I feel very lucky because I don’t really win anything, so it’s my first time winning, so it’s quite cool. I was told to buy healthy things so I think I’m going to do that.”
“Street Style is a palette of inspiration, a mutable canvas for all of us to draw on”- Elle Editor, Emilie Gambade
This week the Vuvu Style Diaries theme is street style. Street style has become a popular trend and influence for many run way looks this season. Many prominent designers have adapted the style and have started incorporating it to their collections on the run way.The team went out looking for the most stylish students on campus, and this is what we found.
Matthew Kara: First-year BA Psychology
Matthew is sporting the ‘all black’ trend with an oversized grey sweater. He describes his style as: “The way I dress is how I express myself and I am conscious of how I step out. I take time to construct my outfits, that’s why I look cool. My style is very laid back.” His outfit is paired with black ripped jeans, which is favourite for street style looks and black sneakers.
Tatum Venter: Second-year LLB
Tatum describes her style as “chic, inspired by rock n roll and very laid back”. She is wearing the classic British Footwear and very popular in the streets Dr. Martens, which she paired with grunge inspired leather jacket, and a brown suede fringe back pack which creates a statement for her outfit.
Nicholas Nabil Tebogo Rawhani: Second year Electrical Engineer
The Photographer and top 10 Superbalist 100 young South Africans who are helping to shape our scene and youth culture, is wearing a classic tartan pattern navy coat, nude brogues, paired with brown handbag and a red sweater. He describes his style as ‘uncultured’ and is not afraid to try out new things with his style.
Every Tuesday the team will be outside the Matrix at lunch time. See you there!