A home away from home, a club from Wits hopes to create a space of care, comfort and support.  

The Wits Bapedi Renabile club , whose name loosely translates to Pedi people who are relaxed, welcomed new and old members at a braai at Zoo Lake in Johannesburg, with the aim of developing a sense of belonging for those in attendance.  

This was the club’s first event of the year, Phuti Mokgehle, a committee member of the club said:  “We were eager to meet our fellow Bapedi students, get to know each other, and witness their happiness.”   

Preparations were not without hiccups, as the group only had access to a portion of the money needed for food ahead of the event.  Mokgehle said they had to abandon half of their supplies at the tills at Makro, as they were told “Wits owes money” to the retailer.  

The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office (Faso) is responsible for disbursing funds to registered clubs and societies. An estimated R11 000 was needed, but the committee only got R7 000.  

When students subscribe to clubs and societies, fees are paid to Faso, which then administers those funds. Club members paid R20 each for the braai, plus a once-off membership fee of R100 at the beginning of the year. 

Different games were played from 30 seconds to indigenous games such as childhood favorite diketo, in which a circle is drawn on the floor and filled with small rocks and stones, the aim being to gracefully draw them in and out while holding back one, two or three outside of said circle.  

Pedi wedding songs were the highlight of the braai as members sang and danced along to tunes like Pleasure wa Manyalo and Maredi. 

Attendee, Mmatlanya Lepadima, said: “I enjoyed the dance floor, vibes, and music… I am exceptionally content.”

The braai also strived to also create an environment where members could easily find people who speak their language and find solace in their shared experiences. Pollen Maloba, the club’s chairperson, said, “Friendships have flourished among the members.”  

FEATURED IMAGE: A member of the club, braaing some meat at the Zoo Lake. Photo: Patience Masalesa