VowFM scoops five radio awards

Wits campus radio station VowFM  has continued their winning streak by taking five awards at the annual MTN Radio Awards held at the Sandton Convention Centre on Saturday evening.

HEAR IT, FEEL IT, LIVE IT: MTN Radio Award winners Felicity Mdhuli and Mpumi Mlambo. Photo: Michelle Gumede

HEAR IT, FEEL IT, LIVE IT: MTN Radio Award winners Felicity Mdhuli and Mpumi Mlambo with their award. Photo: Michelle Gumede

Campus radio station VowFM walked away with five MTN Radio awards this part Saturday after being nominated for 14 awards. In the campus radio category K’pop Experience Fridays on Mugging Beats won Best Music Show while Mpumi Mlambo took the award for the Best Breakfast Show presenter. The Best News and Actuality presenter award was won by Paul McNally for The Science Inside. 

McNally, who works with the Wits Justice Project, also scooped the award for Best Radio Documentary for his work on The Story of Farouk Meyer and Oscar Pistorius. In the campus and community category The Science Inside also received the award for Best News and Actuality show.

“Using radio strengths and intimacy with listeners”

McNally, who scooped three out of the five awards that VowFM won was thrilled with his success at the awards. “Using radio’s strengths and intimacy with listeners” is part of his winning formula, acording to McNally. He says that it was a really good moment for the station and credits his own success to his hard working team.

HEAR IT, FEEL IT, LIVE IT: Paul McNally holding one of his awards. Photo: provided

HEAR IT, FEEL IT, LIVE IT: Paul McNally holding one of his awards. Photo: provided

VowFM station manager Michael Smurthwaite says that the awards show that the station’s standard has improved regardless of  the competition. “Between us and TuksFM and MFM it’s really tough,” Smurthwaite said referring to Vow’s closest campus competitors.

University of Johannesburg’s UJFM won four awards while UCTRadio (of the University of Cape Town), won an award for the their breakfast show Rise and Grind.  While VowFM and the University of Pretoria’s TuksFM took the same number of awards, TuksFM walked away with coveted Campus Radio Station of the Year award for the fourth year in a row.

 

Wits student in xenophobic attack

A Wits student was attacked by four men in a taxi on Tuesday in what apears to be an incident of xenophobia.

“I know how xenophobic attacks feel. Yesternight, on my way home, I got into a taxi where I was assaulted, (spent the night in hospital), and robbed,” read the Facebook status of Elvis Munatswa last Wednesday.

Munatswa, a Wits PhD student, was physically attacked inside the taxi by four men including the driver. Speaking to Wits Vuvuzela, Munatswa says the attacks started after he asked the driver whether the taxi was going to Cresta, which is when driver realised Munatswa was not familiar with Johannesburg taxi routes. 

 “They said that I was a dog and that I deserve to die”

After discovering that Munatswa hailed from Zimbabwe, the men started making remarks in Zulu. “They said that I was a dog and that I  deserve to die,” Munatswa says.

As the three other occupants started to hit him, he realised the driver had changed his route and was no longer heading to Cresta. After driving around, the four men left him in Mayfair where he was helped by a tow truck driver. The attack left Munatswa with an injured thigh and some of his valuables including his cellphone, wallet, laptop and shoes taken from him. The tow truck driver gave him a lift to the hospital and after he was discharged, he laid a complaint at Hillbrow police station. Chairperson of the Zimbabwean Student Association, Tashinga Sakwiya says that students fear for their lives because of xenophobia. “It’s affecting our school work when we live in fear,” Sakwiya said.

In a statement on the xenophobic attacks around the country these past two weeks, Wits Vice Chancellor Prof Adam Habib said provisions would be made to ensure that students are not affected by the attacks. Habib states that there will be “…allowances for the absence, early departure, late arrival, or erratic attendance until the situation has stabilised”, for international students. He also urged students to exercise extreme caution at all times.

For any on-campus incidents, students should contact Campus Control on 011 717-4444.

Ghandi Must Fall

Yet another statue has been defaced this past weekend.

The Statue of Indian Liberation figure Mahatma Ghandi was smeared with white paint, in Ghandi Square, Johannesburg.

“Police will patrol areas where statues are and protect the property of the state”

The suspect, a 21-year-old man has been arrested. It is not clear why he defaced the statue, according to Police Spokesperson Kay Makhubela.The man was charged with malicious damage to property and will appear in court today.

Going forth “Police will patrol areas where statues are and protect the property of the state,” Makubela said.

GHANDI MUST FALL: An observer looking at the defaced statue of Indian philosopher Mahatma Ghandi.

GHANDI DEFACED: An observer looking at the vandalised statue of Mahatma Ghandi. Photo: Queenin Masuabi

Mahatma Ghandi’s fight against segregation

Ghandi was a prominent leader of the Indian Independence Movement in a previously British-ruled India. In 1893 he came to South Africa on a year’s contract for an Indian firm in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Despite arriving on a year’s contract, Gandhi spent the next 21 years living in South Africa, and was an activist against the injustice and racial segregation. One of Ghandi’s most popular quotes is “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

Ghandi was killed on his way to a prayer meeting in Dheli in 1948. Although has been nominated for a Noble Peace Prize five times but has never won the award.

On the other hand, Ghandi is also known for his condescending attitude towards black people which could be the reason why his statue has been defaced. He was quoted at a meeting in Bombay in 1896 saying that Europeans sought to degrade Indians to the level of the “raw kaffir, whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness”. ‘#GhandiMustFall’ has been a trending topic on social media from this past weekend with people expressing their dislike for the Indian Philosopher.

The defacing of statues has reached momentum after the vandalism and eventual removal of the Cecil Johns Rhodes statue at the University of Cape Town.

 

GHANDI DEFACED: The statue of Mahatma Ghandi smeared with white paint.

GHANDI STATUE UNDER ATTACK: The statue of Mahatma Ghandi smeared with white paint. Photo: Queenin Masuabi

 

Project W SRC members in transformation flap

SRC members Thamsanqa Pooe and Tanya Otto have been accused of not receiving permission to do an interview on news channel ANN7 on behalf of Transform Wits and the Wits SRC. 

Two Project W SRC members  have received flak from the SRC leadership and a transformation group at Wits who have accused the duo of misrepresenting their organisations in a television interview on ANN7.

Thamsanqa Pooe and Tanya Otto did the interview on Straight Talk with Ralph Mathekga this past Sunday. They spoke on issues of transformation and activist organisation Transform Wits.

The SRC claims that they were not informed that two of its members would be doing an interview on transformation at Wits this past weekend. Transform Wits and RhodesMustFall also tweeted the Wits SRC to express their dissatisfaction.

Transform Wits member Fatima Mukaddam said the movement feels offended by Pooe and Otto and accused them of speaking for her organisation.

“As a former SRC member I believe that Thami’s actions were disrespectful towards the rest of the SRC,” Mukaddam said.

She added that Pooe and Otto were also not the right people to be interviewed about the transformation about Wits because they were ill-formed about the subject.

“They did not know the statistics which was embarrassing and problematic,” said Mukaddam.

SRC deputy president Shaeera Kalla said that Transform Wits should have been interviewed, not any SRC members. “The SRC endorses the views expressed by Transform Wits but we are not leading the movement,” she said.

The RhodesMustFall movement at the University of Cape Town also tweeted its displeasure about Pooe and Otto’s interview to the Wits SRC, prompting the SRC to distance itself from the Project W members.

“There were complaints from the Rhodes Must Fall movement … It was legitimate for the SRC to distance themselves,” Kalla said.

DISTANCED FROM SRC: Thamsanqa Pooe one of the SRC members  who failed to follow protocol concerning interviews.

DISTANCED FROM SRC: Thamsanqa Pooe is one of the SRC members who failed to follow protocol concerning interviews. photo: file photo

Pooe admited that he was wrong by not informing the SRC and Transform Wits about the interview but doesn’t feel he should have been criticised publically on Twitter. “I made a mistake but there was no need for the public isolation,” he said.

Pooe, who is the SRC transformation officer, said that he and Otto did not contradict any views that were already aligned to the SRC and Transform Wits and he would not apologise anything said during the interview.

On Wednesday, repsponding to criticism on Twitter, Otto defended herself an accused the Progressive Youth Alliance, who form the majority on the SRC, of double standards.

“If PYA members did the same thing and received the same hate, SRC would be defending them,” Otto said.

Transform Wits

Transform Wits was started last month by Politics postgraduate students. However, Pooe said that he had started a movement called “Transformation Wits”. He said his views were aligned withTransform Wits.

But Kalla scoffed at Pooe’s group. “Nobody knows about Thami’s organisation,” she said.

Abiding by protocol

According to Kalla, Pooe and Otto did not abide by the rules set out by the SRC for public announcements, whether on behalf of the SRC or their own private capacity. However, she said the SRC does not plan to take disciplinary action against the two.

 

Wits honours Bram Fischer

The life of anti-apartheid activist Bram Fischer was celebrated at Wits University this past week.

by Sinikiwe Mqadi & Queenin Masuabi

Wits honoured, anti-apartheid activist and Rivonia Trial defence lawyer Bram ‘Mr Black’ Fischer.  A posthumous honorary doctorate in law was received by his daughters, Ruth Rice and Ilse Wilson, this past Thursday.

Fischer was an Afrikaner communist who defended many anti-apartheid activists like Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki from a government which had been seeking the death penalty for the crime of sabotage.

Wits Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Habib said that Fischer best represents the best traditions of Wits, South Africa and the future. “Fischer represented Afrikaner royalty, transcended the negative parts of the environment, defended Nelson Mandela,” Habib said.

Wits also hosted a colloquium to honour Fischer’s work. The panel consisted of Fischer’s former clients, family and friends.  Ahmed Kathrada, Max Sisulu, Andrew Mlangeni, Denis Goldberg and George Bizos were just some of the people who were part of the panel.

Fischer was an Afrikaner Communist who defended many anti-apartheid activists like Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki from a government which had been seeking the death penalty for the crime of sabotage.

“We stood for our liberty and our rights, and if Bram said something it carried weight,” Bizos said of his friend.

Max Sisulu, whose father, Walter, was a friend and client of Fischer, recalled the moments he shared with Fischer’s family. Sisulu said that Fischer would always be remembered for the influence he had on the outcomes of the trials of anti-apartheid activists.

BRAM FISCHER: Panel at the  Colloquium at the Wits University, including Lorraine Chaskalson, Ruth Rice,  Max Sisulu, Ilse Wilson, Sir Nicholas Stadlen, Professor Stephan Clingman, Dr Sholto Cross,  Ahmed Kathrada, Lord Joel Joffe, Andrew Mlangeni, Denis Goldberg, Lesley Schermbrucker, George Bizos, Mosie Moolla not pictured here) and Yvonne Malan not pictured here). Photo: Tanisha Heiberg

BRAM FISCHER: Panel at the Colloquium at the Wits University, including Lorraine Chaskalson, Ruth Rice, Max Sisulu, Ilse Wilson, Sir Nicholas Stadlen, Professor Stephan Clingman, Dr Sholto Cross, Ahmed Kathrada, Lord Joel Joffe, Andrew Mlangeni, Denis Goldberg, Lesley Schermbrucker, George Bizos, Mosie Moolla not pictured here) and Yvonne Malan not pictured here). Photo: Tanisha Heiberg

The Rivonia Trial

The Rivonia Trial took place in South Africa Between 1963 and 1964. Ten leaders of the African National Congress were tried for two hundred and twenty one acts of sabotage designed to overthrow the apartheid system.

Fischer was arrested in 1966 and and also charged with sabotage. The prosecution called for the death penalty but he was eventually sentenced to life imprisonment. He died on 8 May 1975 from cancer.

 

VowFM nominated for 14 MTN Radio Awards

Wits campus radio station VowFM is celebrating the news of 14 nominations in the MTN Radio Awards. VowFM is the second most nominated station in the campus radio section of the awards. 

The finalists for the 2015 MTN Radio Awards have been announced and Wits campus radio station, Voice of Wits (VowFM), has been nominated 14 times.

The shows which were nominated are The Morning Shake-up, Breaking Ground, La Bonne Vie, The Science Inside, Kpop Fridays and Sports Hub. The News and Actuality feature Today in SA has also been nominated, as well as packages and documentaries from Law Focus.

The Morning Shake-Up presenter, Mpumi Mlambo has been nominated for the Breakfast Show Presenter award.

“I didn’t believe it, I thought there was a mistake,” Mlambo said.  She says that people can now understand why she wakes up early every morning to do her show although she is not getting paid for it.

Kpop Experience is a Korean Pop music show and it’s interesting that it was recognised by the panel.”

VowFM Programme’s Manager, Lerato Makate said, “I am excited about every nomination. It is interesting that VowFM is one of the few campus stations that has talk shows and we are getting recognition for them. Kpop Experience is a Korean Pop music show and it’s interesting that it was recognised by the panel.”

Last year VowFM won four awards and they are hoping to get even more this year.

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HEAR IT, FEEL IT, LIVE IT: Ziyanda Ngcobo, Samkele Kaase, Mpumi Mlambo and Macthomas Ntuli are some of the the Vowfm presenters whose shows have been nominated for the MTN Radio Awards 2015. Photo: Queenin Masuabi

VowFM’s strongest competitor, University of Pretoria’s TuksFM, has been nominated nineteen times. This has made TuksFM the most nominated in the campus radio category. TuksFM dominated the category in 2014 winning nine awards, including Station of the year.

TuksFM Station Manager Dewald Noel says they are excited to be nominated for the Programme Innovation Award.

“We are nominated along with commercial radio … We are really proud,” Noel said.

Other stations which were nominated in the campus radio category include the University of Stellenbosch’s MFM, with fourteen nominations and the University of Johannesburg’s UJFM, with ten nominations.

The awards were open to all ICASA-licensed radio stations in South Africa and this year there were 1 750 entries. A category was added for Field News Reporter following suggestions by constituents within the radio industry.

The finalists in the Station of the Year category, the inductees for Bright Stars, Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achiever will be announced on March 31. The finalist in the “My Station listener” competition will be announced on April 8.

The 2015 MTN Radio Awards Gala Banquet will take place on April 18 at the Sandton Convention Centre.

Braamfontein’s Bannister Hotel bar shut down

The Bannister Hotel in Braamfontein was forced to shut down its bar last night after police found the establishment did not have the required liquor and entertainment licenses.

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NO ALCOHOL, NO PARTY: The bar at the Bannister Hotel was left empty after it was found that they did not have the required liquor license. Photo: Queenin Masuabi

A popular student hangout in Braamfontein was closed down yesterday after failing to abide by licensing regulations.

The bar at De Beer Street’s Bannister Hotel was closed down last night following a police inspection. According to one of the barmen working at the hotel, police found the establishment was not in possession of  liquor or entertainment licences.

Patrons who left after the police shut down the bar shortly after 8:30 pm assembled on the street outside to drink and dance.

Rumours dismissed

Initial rumours about the bar being closed because of a stabbing incident have been dismissed by the Bannister Hotel’s staff.

The hotel’s entertainment area opened this morning but no alcohol was sold to patrons.

The Bannister Hotel’s bar is a popular spot among students and is well-known for its good music and affordability.