Wits staff members cycle for charity

Two Wits staff members will be participating in the 15th annual Cape Town Cycle Tour that will be taking place over the weekend to raise awareness and money for the HI HOPES, the university’s Centre for Deaf Studies’ community outreach programme. (more…)

When nobody calls 911

A student with epilepsy who had a seizure in class last week has thrown the spotlight on campus preparedness for medical emergencies.

Wits students tweeted about a student suffering an epileptic seizure during a fourth-year law lecture at the FNB Building, West Campus.

According to an eye-witness, in a state of panic the lecturer did not know what to do or who to call.

The university website states that in a case of emergency, there are emergency panic buttons at numerous locations throughout the campus.

It says these can be identified by the orange panel surrounding the buttons and students and staff are encouraged, in the case of a genuine emergency, to press the button to speak to Campus Control.

“From my experiences, some don’t know what’s going on,” said Witsie Olwethu Twala, who suffers from epilepsy.

Twala said dealing with epilepsy on campus has been a daunting task.

“The first episode I had was in Psychology and luckily the lecturer had an idea of what was going on. I then had episodes in Anthropology and African Languages where the lecturer left because she didn’t know what to do,” said Twala.

Wits Campus Health told Wits Vuvuzela that, in the case of medical emergencies, students are to be taken to the clinic.

If the student is able to walk they should make their way down to the medical centre immediately. In the case where a student is unable to make their way to them, a nurse will be sent to assist.

While Campus Health may be available to assist, some students like Twala have resorted to creating a buddy system to ensure their safety on campus. “If you don’t have a friend who knows about your condition, you will find yourself in serious danger. I had to tell and train a friend in each of my classes to know what to do in case I have a seizure,” said Twala.

But despite this, Twala believes more should be done by the university. “The university needs to create awareness and help for the health centre and disabilities unit.”

Twala said: “A lot of the time people don’t think an episode is as serious as it is. Some think you’re just hungry, seeking attention or just faking it to get out of an assignment.”

Campus Control was not available for comment at the time of publication to confirm how well equipped the university and staff are to deal with medical emergencies.

#Ask Ous Kudu

Dear Ous Kudu

I’ve been with my girlfriend for a few years now and everything has been good. But lately we have been having problems. We got into an altercation which ended in a physical fight and a trip to the emergency room. I don’t know what to do because I love her and I don’t believe in hitting anyone let alone women. I can’t continue to let her hit me when she gets upset. Please help.
-Anonymous Witsie

Ous Kudu says:

When arguments end up in physical fights, it’s never a good thing. I think that maybe it’s time you and your partner decide if you should call it quits.
Sometimes you need to disagree without getting physical. And you are probably starting to see the effects of these fights in other spheres of your life. I really think you and your partner need to sit down like the rational adults I know you are and decide what your way forward is.
Now I know you are thinking: ‘but I love her Ous Kudu!!’, but love shouldn’t hurt. Physically or emotionally. You should be building memories with your person, not sending each other to emergency rooms.
Have a burning question to ask or an unresolveable problem You can send your anonymous relationship dilemmas to Ous Kudu at editor@witsvuvuzela or tweet her @OusKudu.

Q and A with Zareef Minty

Zareef Minty is a final-year LLB student, he was in the Mail & Guardian Top Young 200 in 2014 and he made the top 50 of South African GQ magazine’s Best Dressed in 2015. He is an author of a book called Empire and he was the chairperson of the Black Lawyers Association in 2014, he was the treasurer of the Law Students Council previously.He is currently participating in a show called One Day Leader on SABC 1.

Why did you decide to enter One Day Leader?
Ok, so what happened was that I tried to enter the year before, I didn’t even make it to top 90. I just always wanted to enter, I watched the show, before, saw Season 3, and I really enjoyed it. I felt it’s a really good platform for someone to build their leadership.

So far, what have you found challenging in being a part of the show?
So far it’s literally been just our vision statements and it’s quite simple. It’s what you believe in. We also tackled the #FeesMustFall campaign and we presented our solutions to the department of higher education into how can we solve the financial crisis. We looked at removing failing parastatals and cutting down the state wage bill. We also looked at how we can use solar energy for instance and cut down on the expensive way electricity is made at the moment. So these are all different concepts we’re looking at to make enough money available so that students will then have access to free education.

How has the journey so far affected your personal life?
I’m really starting to feel the leadership. I’m starting to feel the whole concept of being more accountable. I used to give myself a longer time limit to get things done, I think now being on the show and noticing that you have two days to do a task, and things need to be implemented, it can happen [in a shorter time].

What do you hate most about the show?
I really don’t have any huge criticisms of the show, I think it’s produced very well. The team that’s running behind the show is phenomenal. The tasks are very uplifting, so I really don’t see any cons to the show. Some room for improvement could be maybe lengthening the time of our debates. [This means] giving us more time to engage because you can’t say that much in two minutes.

What do you want people to know about Zareef by the end of the show?
I want people to know I’m here to stay. I’m not a one-hit-wonder that’s going to appear on a reality show then disappear, I’m going to be around for years to come. I’m here mainly to uplift society, show people the positive change you can create, but to also build a brand that people can understand that this is a future leader, and people [will be able to] identify in 5-10 years from now. I want to be an important stakeholder looking after society and making sure that communities succeed.

Quick Note: HIV Testing Days

THE CAMPUS Health and Wellness Centre (CHWC), which is based on the University’s East Campus, recently announced it will be having a number of days for HIV/Aids testing.
The centre, which will be working with other stakeholders such as New Start, is rolling out this project in line with the national health minister’s 90/90 strategy. The strategy aims to have 90 percent of people tested as well as 90 percent of those found to be HIV positive on treatment.
Sister Yvonne Matimba of Campus Health says it’s important that students become used to testing regularly, so that if there’s a need, students can receive the necessary support from Campus Wellness. So, look out on your campus for the counselling and testing stations and get tested so you know where you stand.
Some of the testing dates include:
04-08 April 2016
10-13 May 2016
19-22 July 2016
16-19 August 2016


Dear Ous Kudu

I have a problem and I hope you can help me. I decide to propose to my long-time boyfriend on Valentine’s Day this year because the old Irish tradition that says women can propose on leap year. After getting the ring and even arranging a romantic spot to ask him, he said ‘no’. Now it’s awkward between us especially because we live in the same complex and study together. Should we break up or should I just get over it and act like nothings happened?

Ous Kudu says:

Firstly, just because its tradition it doesn’t mean you should do it. Girl, what were you thinking? Did he show signs of wanting to be engaged, let alone get married to you? Maybe you should have asked the right questions before you popped the big question?

Now honestly, your next step should be to just put this relationship into the “lessons learned” box. Your boyfriend clearly just said that he does not want to marry you and, in contrast, marriage seems to be what you want. So put your big girl pants on and move on. If you do not want to be the “eternal girlfriend,” don’t be.  Know what you want and what you deserve, then get it!

Have a burning question to ask or an unresolvable problem? You can send your anonymous relationship dilemmas to Ous Kudu at editor@witsvuvuzela.com or tweet her at @OusKudu

Q&A with Thamsanqa Pooe

Thamsanqa Pooe is a member of the Student Representative Council for the 2015/2016 academic year as the Social and Community Development Officer, an Allan Gray Orbis Fellow and considers himself a “servant leader”. He is currently doing his BA in Politics and International Relations. He is one of the founding members of the West Rand Debating Union that teaches young people the skills of public speaking and debate in the area. He is now participating in a popular reality television show, One Day Leader.