Steam punk bar opens in Melville

A brand new steam punk bar opened in Melville this past week to a raging success, but what do they have to offer?


Kicking it punk style: The brand new bar at The Countess oozes steam punk. Photo: Sam Slabbert.

This past weekend saw a new hot spot opening in Melville, oozing a fresh steam punk style.

The Countess situated in 27 boxes opened to a very successful weekend sporting a steel and copper look that gave it a trendy vibe. Head bar tender Julian Short said they want to introduce something different and unique to Melville. “We want to introduce incredibly wholesome food that people will remember and drinks that are engaging and different to what everybody else is doing.”

He said they chose the steam punk style “because copper and brass are sexy”.

The bar offers a short and sweet Cocktail list, as well as a DIY Cocktail section created “in order to educate the customer about what cocktails are and how to drink them” said short.

Food prices range from R35 -R170 and drinks range from R16 – R80. This bar offers something for everyone, serving American style smokehouse foods, cocktails from every corner of the globe, and has a sandwich and coffee bar.

Short said they chose 27 boxes because it “is an amazing centre filled with forward thinking creatives. It has an amazing energy and we feel as though we fit right in here.”

“We have something for everybody here. Our target market is anybody with an open mind who is looking for good food and drink.”

Rugby world cup: what to expect

Tonight is the opening of the highly anticipated world cup, with the Boks playing their first match tomorrow, are armed with the right details?

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 02: The Webb Ellis Cup sits on the pitch during the IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Schedule Annoucement held at Twickenham Stadium on May 2, 2013 in London, England. The 13 Match Venues and Host Cities selected are: Twickenham Stadium (London), Wembley Stadium (London), Olympic Stadium (London), Millennium Stadium (Cardiff), Manchester City Stadium (Manchester), St James Park (Newcastle), Elland Road (Leeds), Leicester City Stadium (Leicester), Villa Park (Birmingham), Kingsholm Stadium (Gloucester), stadiummk (Milton Keynes), Brighton Community Stadium (Brighton) and Sandy Park (Exeter). (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images for IRB)

 The world awaits: The rugby world cup will kick off in London tonight, with Twickenham stadium the stage for opening game. Photo: David Rogers.

The 2015 Rugby world cup will kick off tonight, when hosts England will face Fiji at 21:00.

The opening ceremony will start at 20:00 and will tell the story of the sport’s birth. Expected to be included is the story of William Webb Ellis, who in 1823 picked up a football and started running with it and is often credited as the creator of the sport.

Today the world cup’s trophy is named the Webb Ellis Cup. The show is expected to last 20 minutes and will end 40 minutes before the first match will kick off.

South Africa will play their first game tomorrow against Japan. All South Africa’s pool games are scheduled to take place at 17:45 making it convenient for most of us to catch the game.

Also joining us in Pool B will be Samoa, USA and Scotland. Most predictions point to us progressing from the group stages. But the problem starts after that. With their being a very good chance that we will be facing either hosts England or Australia in the quarter-finals, or perhaps even New-Zealand in the semi-finals.

If this is the case many believe the finals might be too predictable an outcome with all the tension placed in the previous rounds.

The obvious teams to keep an eye on are Australia and England in Pool A, New-Zealand, Argentina, France.

This will be the 4th World Cup for veteran Boks Schalk Burger and Victor Matfield. It was clear at their welcoming event, last Sunday, that the team have supporters backing them in England. More than a hundred people were stranded when the venue in Eastbourne reached full capacity, as crowds fill the stadium to cheer on the Boks.


Review: A Night at the Ballet

Vuvu Rating: 8/10

The Joburg Ballet is proving yet again why it is considered the country’s largest and most prestigious professional ballet company, with its latest offering, the classic Don Quixote.

The romantic comedy is masterfully staged at the Joburg Theatre through vibrant costumes and scenery transporting the viewer into the world of 17th century Spain.

Don Quixote tells the story of a Don who is obsessed with finding adventure. On his quest for this adventure he meets the beautiful Kitri who is in love with a poor young barber, Basilio.

Kitri’s father does not approve of the match and has more ambitious marriage plans for her. The Don decides that Kitri is worth of his protection from all who may harm the young lady.

Prima-ballerina Burnise Silvius lived up to her reputation of being a vision of perfection, with every delicate move she made in the lead female role.

Jean Carlos Osma, as a toreador, and Javier Monier as a street boy, were notable as standout performers.

But despite the visual perfection of the dancers, their performances were not matched by that of the sound technicians at the theatre.

At times the music was too soft and transitions between tracks, usually seemless, were obvious to the audience. The sound issues were  clearly distracting and broke the “illusion” of the imaginary world created through the performance.

Despite this though, the show remains a must see, and ends its run this Sunday, September 13.

Wits Academics the best in the business


Three Wits professors were ranked under the highest in the world his past week according to  the National Researchers Foundation (NRF).

Prof Isabel Hofmeyr, Prof Christopher Henshilwood and Prof Bruce Rubidge received the highest honour of becoming A-Rated Researchers and are considered to be international leaders in their respective fields.

The NRF ranks researchers from across the world based on their recent research outputs and impact in their respective fields. The rating of academic researchers is done by committees who consist of members of academia. There is the 22 Specialist Committees who are coordinated by a convener, the executive committee and the Appeals committee.

Hofmeyr specialises in the field of Postcolonial Literary Studies. Her work deals with the ideas surrounding Africa’s intellectual place in the world and the material and aesthetic history of texts and their transnational circulation. She has won multiple prizes for her articles and books, sits on numerous editorial boards and has had fellowships in various parts of the world.

Henshilwood specialises in African Archaeology and holds a 10 year NRF-funded research chair and professorship at Wits. Henshilwood has published over 40 papers in leading peer reviewed journals, volumes and books. His work deals with evidence for an African origin connected with Homo sapiens from about 100 000 years ago. His research deals with Africa being the birthplace for the early development of modern human.

Rubidge’s research specialisation includes Karoo biostratigraphy, Basin analysis, Karoo sedimentology, Permo-Triassic therapsids, Vertebrate paleontology. His work deals with understanding the environment of the earliest land-living reptiles during the Middle and late Permian Periods. Rubidge is the director of the ESI and the Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences. He is the grandson of Sidney Rubidge and his family even has several creatures named after it. Most of these creatures originate from the Permian period more than 252 million years ago.



Coolkid on campus


head and shoulder side clicks

Photo: Provided

Mpumi Mlambo is a Wits BA Industrial psychology graduate who has a keen interest in entertaining the masses. She also studied entrepreneurship and development at the Raymond Ackerman Academy.  This move was inspired by her business orientated family. With so much confidence, this multi-talented actress has managed to grab the attention of casting directors from an early age. She is part of the vibrant Alcatel One Touch SA team, where she has been a brand ambassador for the last couple of months. This year she won an MTN radio Award for the Best Breakfast show presenter for The Morning Shake Up on Vowfm. She has also been part of a television series on SABC. Recently she starred in a Dove advertisement for DSTV which has made her even more visible in the entertainment industry.

When did you realise that you were interested in acting or presenting?

 I didn’t have specific interests but I loved entertaining people, so when other kids left school to go home. I stayed behind because we had to practice for a school concert. I was involved in every school concert in primary school. I was always participating in most of the Drama productions as well as mc’ing school events if not dancing at the school concert. Oh and how could I forget pageants? Every girl wanted to be a queen at some point, right and I became one too (laughs).

 Who or what has been your inspiration? Why?

My mother and sister. My mother was able to put all of us through University with the little that she had. My sister is a warrior; she showed me that where you come from has little to do with your success. She taught me that with drive and hard work you can be whatever you want to be. She also taught me that it is important to fail because we learn through failure and become better at whatever it is we do.

When was your first big break?

When I was on Sokhulu & Partners at the age of 16. It was not a big break but it was great to work with people I had never thought I would even meet in my life. I am from a small Township where even making it to matric is a privilege, being on TV seemed highly impossible but it happened.

How does it feel to be a recipient of an MTN Radio Award? How has it changed your presence as a presenter?

It feels absolutely amazing to know that as a woman I was able to prove to a lot of people who think that women can’t host a prime time slot like a breakfast show and do great at it. I feel highly blessed to be a part of a great platform like Vowfm, it would have never happened without my bosses constantly critiquing me! I speak with way more purpose than I did before. I keep growing each and every day. I realised that a lot of people listen and I have the power to share empowering information with them instead of meaningless content.

Acting or presenting?

I can’t choose, if I had to choose it would really suck. The reason why I can’t choose is because the two are intertwined. As a radio host, I often have to be in character and prank people on air. I love the two just as much as I love My Mom and Jesus.

How do you juggle everything that you are doing at the moment?

The weirdest thing is I really have no idea. I just make sure that I do what I have to do. Get work done.

What are the struggles that you face in the entertainment industry on a daily?

It is very hard to be taken seriously as a female in the industry. When you are taken seriously, a number of men want to mix business with pleasure.

What can we expect from you in the future?

What do celebrities say again when asked this question, watch the space? I’m joking, I am looking forward to being a part of the biggest events this spring and summer with my Alcatel One Touch SA team as well as winning or rather slaying like the Cool Kids would say every single day.

Movie Review: Bland Paper (Towns )

Cast: Cara Delevingne, Nat Wolff, Cara Buono

Director: Jake Schreier

Vuvu Rating: 5/10

Yes Paper Towns does star supermodel turned actress Cara Delevingne but before you rush off to go see it, maybe you should know there is no need.

Quentin (Nat Wolff) has always seen Margo Roth Spiegelman (Cara Delevingne) as a “miracle”. Despite being close as children they have drifted apart and Quentin has admired Margo from a far.

The enigmatic, free-spirited, punkish (and sometimes annoying) Margo shows up one night at Quentin’s window to take him on one last adventure after which she disappears. Quentin finds clues that Margo leaves behind, which he uses to find her.

To help him he has his two best friends Radar (Justice Smith) and Ben (Austin Abrams), Margo’s friend Lacey (Halston Sage) and Radar’s girlfriend Angela (Jaz Sinclair). To a large extent this supporting cast is the highlight of the film. The group go on an epic road trip from Florida to New York State in an attempt to find her. Along the way relationships blossom and we are taken on a journey to rediscover friendships.

The film is based on a book that was written by the author of The Fault in our Stars. Even though there are many similarities between the two, this film takes the viewer on a very different journey.

Both films have characters who are nearing the end of their adolescence and approaching adulthood. The films are also very similarly shot in terms of style, narration and trying to pass on a bigger message.

The story shows the dangers of putting someone on a pedestal whilst one of the best aspects of the film is the portrayal of friendship between Quentin and his two buddies.

Paper Towns gets an ‘okayish’ review. It entertains and brings across a bigger message, but you won’t always find yourself at the edge of your seat. So if you are looking for a pleasant film outing, go for it! But it won’t hurt to wait for this one to come to our television screens.

The world to descend on a Braam bar tonight

Braam will tonight play host for a event to kick off the ‘World Cup’ of bartending, taking place for the first time in Africa.

The best in world bartending will be on show in Braamfontein tonight. World Class, known as the ‘World Cup’ of bartending competitions, will kick off in Joburg.

Tonight five bars that have been selected as the best in Johannesburg, have each been assigned a premium product. Specialised cocktails will be made from this and the competition winners will be measured using social media.

Anti Est. in Braamfontien has been selected as one of the five bars to take part in this event for World Class.

In attendance will be the best in the bartending business from across the world. It is the first time that this prestigious event is being held in Africa and over 50 countries take part.

According to Anti Est. bartender George Hunter, “World Class is the largest and most prestigious bartending competition out there. It is the World Cup of bartenders. It’s a platform to display pure passion, excitement and skill for your industry.”

Next week the bartender competitors from around the world will start performing challenges in Joburg, and will then progress to Cape Town where the final will be held.

The event will take place between 9 and 11pm and will include a raffle to be held on social media with a prize valued at R3000.

I would not recommend missing this one, as chances are this is a once in a lifetime opportunity right in our back yard.

Idols SA judge suspended after twitter rant

Idols SA judge and Metro FM presenter, Unathi Msengana, has been suspended from the radion station following a Twitter spat in which she called a Wits student a “psycho bi**h”.

Popular Idols SA judge and  Metro FM breakfast DJ,  Unathi Msengana, was suspended from her show this week following a twitter rant that was directed at a Wits student.

The twar erupted following an on-air interview the DJ conducted with Stellenbosch University student Anelisiwe Mdube about the documentary Luister, and the student’s experiences of being lectured in Afrikaans.

The hashtag #UnathiBeLike trended as social media users criticised the DJ for not allowing Mdube to properly express her views.

Wits University student, Palomino Jama, tweeted: “Wife gets beaten by husband. Unathi: Why didn’t you become a lesbian? You married him knowing men can be abusive”.

Jama’s timeline indicates that the she received a number of private direct messages from Msengana the next morning.

“You’re a fu**ing idiot if you think so … You are fu**ing delusional if you think you can get personal. Fu** your stupid mind. No amount is going to change our realities. You psycho bi**h. Fu** you twice over,” read some of the messages.

Jama then responded on Twitter with: “Nothing warrants me being fu**ed twice over or being called a psycho bi**h by a woman who is old enough to be my mother. Someone I had respect for.”

SABC spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, told Destiny magazine that “the questions she (Msengana) asked on air were valid and there was nothing wrong with her questions. We have no control over DJs and what they do in their private space, but our DJs should know that they are representatives of the brand”.

Following Msengana’s suspension Jama tweeted: “ I am not happy about what has happened to Sis Unathi. I honestly just wish the whole thing never happened.”

Jama told Wits Vuvuzela “I regret the outcome of her being suspended. That was never the intention. Mine is just raising awareness for Luister, clarifying the misconceptions and helping people understand so we can all stand in solidarity evoking change for the Black students of Stellies.”

It is still unclear when, or if Msengana will be returning to her show as the SABC says they first need to discuss the matter with her. Msengana has since released a statement in which she apologised for her reaction on Twitter. “I felt badly violated in my personal life and my personal beliefs … However, as upset as I was at that time, I should not have used offensive language”.

What’s the deal with DASO?

With DASO being occasionally mocked on social media and at circuses leading up to the SRC elections this year many are wondering, what’s the deal with DASO?


DASO who?: Floyd Nyalungu explaining why DASO is the way it is at Wits. Taken at Medical Campus during elections earlier this week.  Photo: Tanisha Heiberg

It’s the last circus before the SRC elections, a Project W member got up to tell the Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO) that he thought it was “cute” that they are trying to run.

The comment shows the dismissive attitude that many student politicians have towards the DASO candidates, as the organisation has struggled to gain any traction during this election.

When DASO’s campaign manager, Floyd Nyalungu, was asked about this particular incident he laughed and joked that “other students even call us ‘DASO The Legacy” in reference to the popular TV soapie Generations, now known Generations The Legacy.

But Nyalungu, PG Law, is looking on the bright side, “cute represents something good”, he said.

DASO have only six candidates running for SRC while rival organisations Project W and the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) each have a full slate of 15.

One of the points raised at the circus was the view that DASO is ‘dying’ and Nyalungu attributes this to their lack of visibility. “The reason people say DASO is dying is because they didn’t see it on campus and that is because previous structures could not coordinate activities.”

Nyalungu added that the graduation of some executive members on an annual basis has affected the depth of leadership of the organisation.

“The important part is that we are here now and if we see a problem why not try and address that issue.”

Despite Nyalungu positive outlook, many Wits students seem to feel sorry for the organisation. The DASO tent has been a point they have been mocked and criticised when some people noticed that it appeared to be a DA tent with an additional “SO” handwritten in white paint.

But Nyalungu said that what looked haphazard was a conscious decision so students can see where they come from and who they are.

“Most student didn’t know what DASO is, but there is branding for DASO … and I believe next year we will actually be using our DASO gazebo,” Nyalungu said.

Even with the eventful lead up to these elections—loud debates, fights, scuffles and lawsuits—DASO seems to be missing from the action, a move that Nyalungu said is part of their philosophy.

“I remember even at the Great Hall when people were fighting we were just sitting there, just folding our arms, but ja that’s how we believe leadership should be. When you have a problem you sit down and solve the issue instead of physically confronting each other,” said Nyalungu.

“We are hoping we can share much of the office with Project W and [the Progressive Youth Alliance], but unfortunately EFF is not here,” he said.

When asked how they have been experiencing the reaction to DASO running for SRC again he said it was very “positive”. Nyalungu said there have even been calls made to the Cape Town office asking where DASO Wits is.

Shivambu calls for a “proper vice chancellor” at Wits

Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters visited Wits University yesterday to show their support for the suspended Wits EFF and students. The organisation is planning to take the university to court over the suspensions.


SUPPORT FOR THE SUSPENDED: Protestors made themselves heard yesterday in Senate House as they took a stand aginst the suspension of 7 Wits students last week. Photo: Tanisha Heiberg.

Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have stepped in to assist members of the suspended Wits branch and in the process, have called for a “proper vice chancellor”, at Wits University. EFF deputy president, Floyd Shivambu, together with national chairperson, Advocate Dali Mpofu, visited the campus yesterday and declared that the suspension of seven Wits students, and their elimination from this year’s SRC (Student Representative Council) elections, will be challenged in court. 

Speaking to EFF supporters in Senate House, Shivambu declared that Wits vice chancellor, Professor Adam Habib, will not last much longer. “ I can assure you he is not staying here for a very long time”, he said.

“This university must get a proper vice chancellor, which is going to protect the students and make sure that the interests of students are at the forefront and not about themselves only”, he said. “You can’t disqualify students on the basis of your own imagination.” 

“He removes SRC presidents (referring to Mcebo Dlamini), he charges students as he wishes without a proper process, and we must never allow such to happen. That is why we say that Habib, and all who support him, must fall,” said the former Witsie.

Shivambu went on to say that EFF will be lodging an urgent court interdict this morning. Through this they hope to compel Habib to allow all students to stand for elections if they are candidates.

The protest was arranged and attended by members of Wits Men’s Res. Vuyani Pambo, president of the now suspended Wits EFF, and one of the students suspended was also in attendance.

Shivambu ended his address by saying, “We must continue to fight together and unite even from all political parties, unite and defend students”.

Silent protest breaks the silence on sexual abuse

Wits students took a stand against sexual violence Wednesday, showing solidarity for survivors and raising awareness.

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Witsies marched in solidarity at the Wits silent protest on Wednesday, lead by the organisers. Photo: Valerie Robinson.


Sexual abuse, violence and rape is something that is a reality. The person sitting next to you in class could be a victim or a perpetrator. This week’s silent protest took a stand to break the cycle of silence.

A 3rd Year Law student speaking to WitsVuvuzela told how she was raped at a party in March this year. The person was not a stranger but rather one of her boyfriend’s friends. “I am doing this to break the cycle. Knowing I have a voice, and other women have a voice” she said.

One of the major issues the protest dealt with is the ‘shaming’ that takes place, when the victim might want to report it.

The student said when she reported it to the police their response was, because there was alcohol involved it simply comes down to her word against his.

A second Wits honours student also told her story of Sexual abuse. She was subject to sexual abuse by someone very close to her over an extended period of time. The abuse began when she was just 11 years old.

Unlike the first student she did not report the incident to the authorities. She said she was too ashamed and insecure to be able to talk about it.

Neither of the students sought any type of counselling.  Bertrand Leopeng, an event organiser and an intern psychologist working at the CCDU said that they are starting a rape survivors group at the CCDU in order to accommodate students who require it.

The dean of students, Dr Pamela Dube, addressed the crowd at the start of the march, on Wednesday.

Reading a letter from one of the founders of the protest she said, “The testimony by survivors is eerily similar, whether it comes from a second year Wits student, or from a 70 year old Umlazi pensioner. All the stories speak of fear, of shame, of hopelessness. Very few of the stories feature the police, hardly any end with jail time for the perpetrators.”

The Tweak of Oppi

Tweak playing on the main stage at Oppi Koppi. Photo: Valerie Robinson

Tweak playing on the main stage at Oppi Koppi. Photo: Valerie Robinson

This past weekend saw over 20 000 people rediscovering the true meaning of roughing it. Oppikoppi 2015 saw the rise of new bands, some have never even been heard of, and the return of old time favourites.
One that really stood out of course was Tweak. Many of us will remember this band from our teenage years for singing songs about Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears in a hot tub, which really rocked the festival.
Oppikoppi was the stage for their big 10 year reunion. “When we realised it had been 10 years since Tweak ended we started throwing around ideas. We chatted to the guys from Oppikoppi and they we’re super keen for us to play the festival. It really just snowballed from there and now we are doing a whole tour!” according to the guys.
They confessed that “To be honest, we were terrified no one would care. When Oppikoppi made the announcement on social media the response was crazy! Everyone was genuinely excited.”
They said that the acts they enjoyed watching most was Scottish band Twin Atlantic and Johnny Clegg.Their favourite part of Oppi was, “Showering the crowd with 100 000 confetti dicks! haha! And hearing everyone scream the lyrics of the tracks back at us.”
Tweak is one of those bands that don’t take themselves too seriously and even admit to making the biggest blunders live. “We’ve made them all. The great thing about Tweak is that we never pretended to be shredding, awesome musicians. It’s about having fun and connecting with the crowd.”
Looking to the future and present not many people know that Crash Car Burn found its origins in Tweak. “Tweak was us being teenagers. We were young and stupid and it was a shit load of fun. CrashCarBurn is Garth and I growing up” said drummer Brendan Barnes referring to his brother and the lead singer for both bands.

They will be performing in Joburg again tonight the 14th of August at Rumours Lounge, for those who could not make Oppi or even for those that just want to relive the experience.The band joked that people can expect “All the hits, a healthy dose of nostalgia and a hangover.”