Cool Kid

This week’s cool kid features Marco Rademeyer and his very cool hover board.

Fourth year Film and TV student, Marco Rademeyer.

Fourth year Film and TV student, Marco Rademeyer.

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Cool Kid on campus: Homo Naledi

The discovery and existence of Homo Naledi has shed light on the origins and diversity of the human lineage. Initially discovered in 2013 in the ‘Rising Star’ cave located in the Cradle of Human World Heritage site, the official reveal was held at Maropeng Centre by the team led by Wits Professor Lee Berger.

Wits Vuvuzela sat down with Homo Naledi to catch up on some of the history of the last 2.5 million years.  

Photo: File

                                                                                                                                   Photo: File

 

Many people are fascinated by your name. Can you tell us the meaning behind it?

The name ‘Naledi’ means ‘star’ in Sesotho. The scientists are saying that my bones were ‘found’ in a chamber cave (my lofty home) named ‘Dinaledi’ at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. Also, seeing that I am causing many talks in the media, I consider myself a ‘rising star’.

It must be really great to be found after a 2.5 million year hiatus. What’s it like mingling with all your grandchildren?

My long sleep was so peaceful. So much has changed now. I mean what’s this wheel thing that everyone has been using for the last 10 000 years? Other than that it’s good to be getting all this media attention, and it’s been good giving humans something to talk about, other than themselves.

Speaking of the media, #HomoNaledi was trending on twitter. How was that experience?

To grab such attention from humans was nothing short of amazing. Although I knew I always had it in me, I mean have you seen me? But grabbing such attention after a marathon 2.5 million year game of hide and seek is really fun. I am warming up to the reception.

You have been described as the most primitive member of our kind. Any thoughts on that?

First of all, have you seen my slender body? I am 1.5 metres tall and I weigh about 45 kilograms. I am said to have ‘human-like features’, my carved fingers, my teeth and my small feet, and my legs are to die for. All I’m saying is that I am flawless, like Beyoncé would say.

Your facial expression has been used for quite a lot of memes on social media, your thoughts about that?

I think it’s hilarious, as long as I am giving humans something to laugh about.

COOL KID ON CAMPUS: TITUS MASIKE

Titus Masike. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

Titus Masike. Photo: Tendai Dube

Titus Masike just completed his BSc Nuclear Sciences and Engineering degree and is now studying Industrial Engineering. He is a model with Boss Model Management and plays the guitar when he isn’t on the runway or in class.

How did you start modelling?
I started last year around August/September. My friend Fuaad introduced me to Adrian Abrahams (photographer) and suggested I take some test photos with him. So I did and Adrian liked my photos and as a result he sent them through to Boss and other modelling agencies. Boss were the first to respond and they wanted to sign me up.

Does being a male model mean you get girls easily?
[Laughs] I don’t know. I don’t even know what that means because I don’t really pay much attention to all of that. Honestly, you’re asking the wrong person, I have a girlfriend and “Hi, I’m Titus” is what I consider a pick-up line.

Is modelling hard?
I wouldn’t say that, the act of modelling itself isn’t hard. But getting booked is the hardest part. I think I’m lucky more than anything. The bearded look seems to be in.

What’s the last thing you ate?
A chicken sandwich.

What is your favourite song right now?
It would have to be a song by Dawn Golden – Discoloration.

What is your favourite accessory?
Bags. Leather bags are a good accessory. I also like watches and a whole lot of other things like spectacles.

What are your tips for the runway?
When you walk make sure you keep your feet straight, so you don’t look like a clown.

What is your gym regime?
I go four or five times a week and I do martial arts at Wits.

Who is the most interesting person you have worked with?
Khanyi Mbau at the Jet summer fashion show. She’s actually really sweet.

Cool Kid on Campus: Nicole Daniella

SOULFUL SISTER: Third-year B.A student Nicole Daniella sings her way to the top. Photo: Ilanit Chernick

SOULFUL SISTER: Third-year B.A student Nicole Daniella sings her way to the top. Photo: Ilanit Chernick

Third-year B.A student Nicole Davie aka Nicole Daniella, is a neo-soul jazz singer and songwriter who travels between Johannesburg and Cape Town performing her music at the local hang-out spots. This hippie-chic artist is currently working on her EP whilst juggling student life. Her family calls her Boskasie, meaning wild and unruly, which she says refers both to her hair and nature.

Why did you choose music?

Music chose me, I didn’t choose music at all. Like with anything I feel like I was born with that kind of passion inside of me. People know me as a musician now it cultivated itself for the past two years and it’s become an outlet for me. It’s become a place where I can be real, be true. I can write what I feel and sing what I feel and play what I feel, that’s what I love about any creative outlet.

How do you balance being both an artist who’s currently working on her EP and a student?

Recording takes so much out of me, it’s emotionally draining – because it’s coming from a true and real place and your sitting there till the early hours of the next morning and I might have an assignment due the next day, it’s going to be challenging but it’s two things that I love the most and I know that I’m going to find the time to balance.

What do you think makes you a cool kid?

I don’t think I’m a cool kid [laughs]. It’s being myself, being true being real. In terms of style a lot of people sees one being cool because of their style and my style is based on completely what I feel. People call it street style, but my style can change from day-to-day. So being a cool kid is about being you and letting people see your aura your vibe and expressing that to the universe.

Who do you want Witsies to know you as?

First of all I want them to have their own interpretation of me, I don’t want to enforce a kind of ‘being’ to them. But they must see me as someone chilled, cool, focused- focusing on school focusing on what I love – someone real, someone authentic. Someone they can come talk to if they see me sitting alone.

You have a manager what’s that like?  

It’s cool first of all because with workloads he’s the first person I would call and say “ok where do I start” because I have assignments and a gig on Saturday and he’ll kind of put it into perspective and direct me. But at the same time it’s tough because now I always have to report to him, I always have to make sure he knows what I’m doing as well.

A medical student and a waiter – meet Thabani Msiza

 

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WORK SWAGGER: Thabani Msiza works the counter as a customer pays for order. Photo: Percy Matshoba

Thabani Msiza is a 20 year old  first year medical student at Wits University who spends his time reading medical books and serving food at artisan cafe Daleahs.  In light of Workers Day, Wits Vuvuzela sat down with the working student  to ask him how he balances student and work life.

  1. What sets you apart from the rest?

I’ve been told i have a weird accent which doesn’t really match my look. Not really sure if that sets me apart, but i think its just mostly the way I am in general. Not many people can figure me out, which I guess is a good and bad, and i think my sense of humour.

  1. What are the challenges you come across between being a student and a worker? 

Mainly it’s just time management and prioritisation. Maintaining the energy to work, study and socialise 7 days a week.

 

  1. Why did you decide to work? 

Well I realised I would have a lot of free time this year. I also wanted the freedom and independence that comes from earning your own money.

 

  1. Do you find it difficult to manage your time as a medical student and as a worker? 

I do to a certain extent. It’s not a huge difficulty in my life, I’m just really lazy.

 

  1. What will you be doing on Workers Day? 

I will be working on Worker’s Day. The irony, I know. The plus side is that I get to meet really  weird and interesting people on a daily basis, so even working on the day designated for us workers is not that much of an awful thing.

 

6. Which do you find more interesting, working or being a student? 

Definitely working. Being a student is a lot more fun, but being a waiter you are forced to interact with so many people a day. That just makes the days really interesting especially since I love meeting different characters.

 

COOL KID: Kirsten Morley-Jepson

ALL ROUNDER: Kirsten Morley-Jepson- sports star and doctor in the making poses with her hockey kit during practice.

ALL ROUNDER: Kirsten Morley-Jepson- sports star and doctor in the making poses with her hockey kit during practice. Photo: Luca Kotton

As Wits Hockey player of the year for 2013 and the longest-serving player on the team, Kirsten Morley-Jepson finds time to juggle practice and her degree in medicine. The 24-year old is in her sixth year studying a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBCH) degree and is looking to specialise in general medicine.

Why did you decide to play hockey?
I think I’d be miserable if I didn’t play hockey and I only studied medicine. It is a good social sport, particularly at Wits. It sets us apart from other varsities.

What do you do in your extra time?
I like to go on Nike runs and spend time with my friends. I go out to Great Dane and Greenside. I also work at the pathology lab, Gritzman and Thatcher.

What is the most rewarding thing about playing hockey?
I like the game and the Wits coaches are very cool. I played for four years for Southern Gauteng provincial hockey Ladies B team and our team at Wits is always improving. We have had a 20% influx of girls participating at trials this year. Also Wits has invested a lot of money into the sports department and now we have better facilities.

What makes the hockey club different from other clubs at Wits?
The club has a good social atmosphere. We are very proud of our social events.
What is the most challenging part of the sport? The sport doesn’t get as much attention as other sports. Women’s hockey isnt as televised as other sports. We need more people to be aware of our matches.

What is your advice to first year students who want to play hockey?
I would say don’t miss out on the Wits hockey experience because it’s been the highlight of my student years.

Cool Kid on Campus: Prudence Makololo

Prudence tells Wits Vuvuzela that she aspires to be the next governor of the South African reserve bank. Photo: Nolwazi Mjwara

Prudence tells Wits Vuvuzela that she aspires to be the next governor of the South African reserve bank. Photo: Nolwazi Mjwara

 

Prudence Makololo is head of the Wits Association for Black Security and Investment Professionals (ABSIP). When she is not fulfilling those duties, or focusing on finance and women empowerment, this second-year BComm Finance and Economics student jet-sets across the continent to attend youth development conferences.

Malokolo has recently returned from Nigeria after winning a competition to attend the fourth annual Pan African Youth Leadership Forum (PAYLF) in Abuja.

 

What was the conference about?

The conference was a pan-African conference where each African country was represented by five students. We each had to submit five essays in order for us to be invited to attend the conference. The conference gave us the opportunity to meet CEOs from global companies and ambassadors in order to engage about topics that affect our continent.

What would you ultimately like to be when you are more grown up?

The first young, female black governor of the Reserve Bank in South Africa. The governors are always pretty old so I would like to add a bit of youth and female energy to the Reserve Bank.

What was the highlight of your trip?

This was my first time going to Nigeria and it was amazing to be there as it is such a beautiful country. The nightlife is also so much fun and the people there are incredibly hospitable. I felt like royalty because they were so hospitable.

What was a low from your trip?

The low was definitely the humidity and the lack of punctuality from the community as a whole. I am a very punctual person and this frustrated me a lot. But you know, at least the humidity helped with my skin.

What do you think is the biggest thing holding the youth back?

Education and unemployment. I also think that often the youth expects things to be placed into their laps as opposed to going out to get the opportunities. Like when we were out at the conference, there were many CEOs who were willing to give the youth funding for their ideas. I think that often the youth are lazy to write proposals and everything.

How do you manage being head of ABSIP society and not seeing academic flames?

I meet my commitments for Golden Key and the society in the afternoons and work on school work in the mornings and evenings. My weekends are also filled up by my academic work.

 

 

 

 

Urban politics: thrifting in Jozi

Mpumelelo Mfula organises Babatunde gear at his RHTC stall at The Grove Market in Braamfontein

Mpumelelo Mfula organises Babatunde gear at his RHTC stall at The Grove Market in Braamfontein

On Sunday mornings, while most people go to church, inner-city Jozi becomes a refuge for urban youth looking for spaces to express themselves.

The Grove Market in Braamfontein turns into a platform where urban cool kids like Mpumelelo Mfula and Andile Jila meet to further their cause.  Vintage print jackets and tweed pencil skirts constitute their voice of protest – affordability and exclusivity providing them with a weapon against urban consumerism.

Thrift shopping or “thrifting”, as it is commonly called, is the art of finding one-of-a-kind items of clothing at markets and buying them for next to nothing.

A stall owner, who would give her name only as S’ponono, sees thrifting as her way of sharing her sense of style with the world. While doing her regular price negotiations she said: “I just feel like, if I’ve seen a piece for too long, I have to give it away.”

This is at the centre of thrifting culture – the sharing of exclusive items with people who share your passion for being different.

While profit is not the main goal, thrifters benefit from the income they make. Andile Jila, 1st year BA, uses the money he makes from thrifting to pay his fees.

“I’m paying the NSFAS interest, I buy my own books and I have to live. I’m surviving, though. Girls love clothes.”

Thrift stores have evolved from selling women’s clothing only, to becoming mini-department stores in their own right.

Bright African wax print bow ties and colourful clutch bags are some signature Babatunde brand items sold by Mfula, who started wearing the bright hats and matching ‘90s style sweaters when he was a Witsie years ago.

“It all started from varsity culture and wanting to be unique. I started wearing certain things before they were popular and that became my form of expression.”

Mfula, who has an honours degree in Politics, admits that thrifting is an unusual career choice for a graduate.

“People always say: ‘You have two degrees, you could do so much with that’, and I could be, but I’d be dying on the inside. I believe I’m part of a movement of urban politics.

“About five years ago we would take our money and spend it at the malls. Now our money stays in these circles and we benefit from our culture by developing an economy. It’s quite progressive.”

Asked if he felt the money from thrifting could sustain him long-term, Mfula admitted the average person would not think so but that it was good enough for the lifestyle he preferred – a “humble” one.

Mfula plans to grow his online store and one day develop pop-up stores around the country. “I want to promote the street culture that comes with thrifting and have stores for a few months in different spaces.”

He said it was important to remember that living with purpose wasn’t easy. “I’m building from the ground up and taking a stand in what I feel is an urban politics.”

 

buyisiwe@witsvuvuzela.com