Author: Mduduzi Manyandi
MDUDUZI MANYANDI’S selfpublished is loaded with the kind of f***-boy humour that will make you either hate it or find it extremely entertaining – for all the
wrong reasons I might add. It is in 10 short chapters about “one night stands” (Chapter 3), “hiding cheating evidence” (Chapter 2), “How women speak” (Chapter 7), “Why you should stay hygienically clean” (Chapter 8), and “Revenge” (Chapter 11).
The book off ers tired insights and clichés about “what women want” and “good guys vs bad guys”. Tired, yet dangerous. That said, however, Manyandi has a skill for gutter humour, if not simply by exposing his ignorance. So, instead of attempting to review this book, let me share some of the writer’s wisdoms:
Chapter 1: One night stands “Let’s get to how quickly you can spot that girl you want to pick and take home. This should be an easy task … for example, bet on someone whose behaviour gives off ‘slutty’ vibes … look for girls who seem as if they are saying ‘come get it’.”
Chapter 4: How to end a relationship without being rude to your partner “Some people do dangerous things when they are hurt. Imagine telling someone you have been with for more than five years that you don’t love them anymore. Bang! Just like that. That person can have you bewitched thinking they wasted their time on you for nothing. You must dump your partner is such a way that she must think you are a loser in the whole thing” – the author goes on to suggest some of his strategies – “The last strategy I have for you is what I call Victim- Victor Rule … You will have to cry pretending you are hurt now that she is leaving you, yet deep down you are in celebratory mode.”
Chapter 8: The power of money “Don’t be fooled by the saying that money cannot buy love. Money is power and it plays a crucial role in relationships. I wonder if there are still guys out there who are obsessed with enlarging their penises so they can pleasure women. If such guys still exist, I have this to tell you: you guys are living in [the] dark ages. Large penises do not swipe at News Café. And they certainly do not buy you a German sports car.”
So what happens when a “wife” or “partner” cheats? Manyandi suggests revenge. In Chapter 11, a chapter that the author treats as an aha! moment, we are told that if the unforgivable were to happen the player should “leave her [the cheating spouse] and give her a lifetime of punishment. “It is not easy but this will eat her like a cankerworm,” the author writes. “When you are ready to date again, go for someone half her age, slender and extremely beautiful and watch your ex die a slow death.”
Cheating: The ultimate guide for players reads more like the ultimate guide for wankers but Manyandi must be commended for writing and self-publishing what comes across like a wank-fest at Men’s Res.
I recently deactivated and deleted all my social media accounts. The idea struck me on my drive home to the Eastern Cape for December holidays late last year. I drove down the Smithfield/Rouxville/Aliwal North route. Those who’ve gone down that part of the world will agree that there exists an abundance of land and sky and clean air, a welcome reprieve from the corrosive claustrophobia of the city.
A closer look at those large swathes of land along the N6 reveals barbed fences behind which spacious pastoral homesteads, concealed by clumps of trees, form the core building units from which the fulcrum of small towns like Aliwal North spreads out like a spider’s web.
Mud and corrugated iron townships dart the rims of this web, supplying farms and farm owners with black bodies to command and possess. Wikipedia says Aliwal North was named in tribute to Sir Harry Smith who was the governor of the Cape Colony when he established the town in 1849. According to the same Wiki entry he named the town “Aliwal” in memory of his victory over the Sikhs at the Battle of Aliwal during the First Sikh War in India in 1846. The entry doesn’t mention whether there were people already living in the area when Smith made it his own. Our so-called South African history is a compendium of subtractions and erasures. Our own collective amnesia further compounded by urgency of the politics of now.
This sudden realisation – sudden for I’d been preoccupied with Donald Trump and whatever else passes for a punchline on my social media timeliness – made me think, seriously, about what I choose to subtract from my everyday experience of the world. At that moment I was either going to instagram Umtali Inn (where I spent the evening) or I was going to google it and discover that it was more than 60 years old.
That in its colourful history people of my skin colour weren’t allowed to shack up in its tastelessly decorated rooms that still reeked of 80s apartheid aesthetic. My companion and I went for a swim in the unlit pool that evening and watched the stars stare back at our scantily privileged black bodies enjoying the exclusive decadence of apartheid in this small town where white men still call a black man ‘boy’.
In my bag I’d packed Paul Beatty’s The Sellout. It was sheer coincidence. In the book the narrator, Bonbon, re-instates segregation in a fictional Los Angeles town of Dickens. And here we were in this softly segregated town, no more segregated than the suburbs from the townships in the city. I wondered if there is much difference between class segregation and other institutional segregations. My thoughts recalled that old Orwellian metaphor about some animals being more equal than others.
I imagined there are books that make sense of post-colonies in current global capitalism and culture. I began to suspect that in these books I’d probably make sense of my place in the current form of the world. A world I have helped create whether by choice, by force, or by necessity. Later, I deactivated Instagram and its carefully curated scenes of happy, interesting lives. I thought of Aliwal North and relics like Rouxville and pondered how they performed non-racial, non-sexist post-apartheid democracy. And so, instead of looking for another world calamity or gossip on Twitter during the holidays I spent time at home reading Mahmood Mamdani’s Citizen and Subject and argued politics with my uncle over beers. The internet is bloated with free e-books and essays and lectures and good journalism. I’ve been downloading, borrowing from the library and jacking free music online. At times when I’m in the library reading a novel or a short story or a play (Parentheses of Blood by Sony Labou Tansi is worth a look) I wonder what I have been doing with my life these past 3 years.
The Wits Student Representative Committee (SRC) is elected annually to represent the student body at all levels of the university.
FEE HEADACHES: Parents and students queue outside Fees Office for fee waiver agreements. Photo: Lwandile Fikeni
The Wits University’s new fee waiver policy has been set up to help students with debt to register, however, some students are finding even this concession does not go far enough.
According to the policy, “all students who owe R10 000 or less will have their debt automatically rolled into their 2017 fees and will be allowed to register. Students who have debt higher than R10 000 will be requested to pay half the outstanding balance and enter into a payment plan for the remainder of the funds, before being allowed to register”.
Lauren Theys, a third year architectural studies student, says the provision is not so helpful to her. She owed the university R 30 000 and had difficulty raising the R15 000 she needed to pay in order to be allowed to register.
Her circumstances are typical for the so-called “missing middle”. Her mother, Hazel Theys, 61, is a retired teacher who supports Lauren and her brother who’s studying at university in the Northern Cape.
“Her [Lauren] father passed away two years ago, I am the one responsible for her fees now and I’m retired. I have her at varsity and my other son in varsity in Kimberly at Sol Plaatje, plus I’m paying off my bond, which takes half of my pension. So it’s very difficult to keep both children at university at this stage.
“I had to get a loan and luckily it was approved,” said Hazel.
The other issue the Theys family raises is what they say is the lack of assistance from the university after Lauren fell ill last July. She was advised by her doctor to stay at home for the rest of the second semester. Despite this, the university still held her liable for the entire second semester fees.
“When I was still sick I contacted and emailed the relevant people, telling them this is my situation in terms of fees,” she said.
“Instead of being told, ‘come to this office, speak to this person, do this or do that,’ I was told that ‘well, you didn’t fill out this form’ and that was the end of the email instead of being given proper guidance.”
Lauren has three courses outstanding on her degree and she will apply for a fee waiver after paying the 50% required although she doesn’t know how she will pay back the remainder of last year’s fees and this year’s tuition.
Wits Vuvuzela contacted the university to ask whether there are other options available to students who, like Lauren, owe more that R 10 000 but cannot afford to pay the 50% to qualify for a ‘fee waiver’, but there was no response to our emails.
We also asked what steps the university will take in the case of a student who fails to pay off the debt after signing the fee waiver agreement, but the fees office had not responded to this question either by the time of going to press.
University can be a daunting experience, especially if you’re a newbie on campus. So to help first years navigate their new environment the Wits Vuvuzela team has put together a list of crucial contacts with which we all need to be familiar. (more…)