ELECTIONS: Born to vote

Pre=recorded videos and live streams from the other provinces were projected onto the wall behind the panel. From left to right: Khadija Patel, DJ Fresh, Kagiso Lediga, Shaka Sisulu and facilitator Tumelo Mothotoane. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Pre-recorded videos and live-streams from the other provinces were projected onto the wall behind the panel. From left to right: Khadija Patel, DJ Fresh, Kagiso Lediga, Shaka Sisulu and facilitator Tumelo Mothotoane. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

For a group of people largely labelled apathetic, the youth in attendance at a debate on a Tuesday morning, braving the temperamental and rainy Joburg weather – were anything but apathetic.

Yesterday, JoziHub in Milpark was the venue for the To Vote or not to Vote debate aimed at so-called ‘born-frees’.

Bornfrees stand up

There is a particular fascination with this year’s youth vote as this year the “born-free” generation, children born in 1994, when South Africa became a democracy, will vote for the first time. How they vote and who they plan on voting for are of particular interest because they have grown up in a democratic South Africa.

Lesedi Molefi of the organisers Live magazine said in the past three months they have interviewed a number of born-frees and found that, “we’re not apathetic and have an incredible role to play,” not only in these elections but in steering the country’s future.

The panel consisted of comedian Kagiso Lediga, journalist Khadija Patel (@khadijapatel), DJ and tweleb DJ Fresh (@DJFreshSA) and social activist Shaka Sisulu (@shakasisulu). The panelists were chosen because they are seen as accessible to the youth and their ideas. 

[pullquote]”we’re not apathetic and have an incredible role to play”[/pullquote]

Why should born-frees vote?

Addressing the question, why should born-frees vote, Lediga said: “If you’re not voting, you’re not participating.” DJ Fresh added that participation goes beyond just voting, part of that civic duty is to hold politicians accountable. Sisulu provided an anecdote to explain further: “If you’re dating someone, you can’t see them once every five years – it won’t work, it’s a one night stand then. Put your ballot in the box but make sure to maintain and nurture that relationship over the five years coming.”

The debate was live streamed from Johannesburg to Cape Town and Ginsberg, King Williams Town with questions coming from all three places to the panel. A common complaint from all three provinces was that the youth were never heard. DJ Fresh responded by saying the onus was on political parties to appeal to the youth on their level through channels like twitter and instagram: “Politicians talk at young people and not to them.”

The focus in the latter part of the debate was on what the born-free vote can achieve and individual agency. Patel said, “agency is important – it means having the power within yourself to do something.” The crowd responded well to this and the conversation started to look at ground level solutions and social activism that gear them in that direction.

Lethabo Bogatsu, a self proclaimed born-free said the talk left her feeling empowered and keen to be an active citizen, “I was always going to vote but now I’m not going to stop there. It’s not just the vote and then I’m done. I’m going to work on the relationship, my man is going to be my vote, my political involvement is going to be my man. I’m going to have a relationship there because being single is rough.”

The entire debate can be viewed here.

Wits has got talent

SHE'S GOT THE X FACTOR: Talent show judges with the winner of competition (From Left)DJ Fresh, Erica Da Silva Mpho Osei Tutu and Thuso Mbedu

SHE’S GOT THE X FACTOR: Talent show judges with the winner of competition (From Left)DJ Fresh, Erica Da Silva Mpho Osei Tutu and Thuso Mbedu                                      Photo: Nokuthula Manyathi

Idols season nine started last month and it seems everybody has caught the bug, even Witsies. Royal Mndani’s Dining Hall on West campus hosted the Convocation Talent Show, this past Saturday.

Singers, poets and dancers came prepared to battle it out for the grand prize of R1 500 and the all important bragging rights.  On the judging panel was DJ Fresh, Thuso Mbedu and Mpho Osei Tutu had the difficult task of crowning the sole winner.

The students are super talented 

Mbasa Tsetsana, chief organiser of the event, said he was overwhelmed by the talent and the number of people who arrived to watch the show. “The students are super talented and really good. I am just so impressed by the great turn out today,” he said.

The talent show had more than a dozen performers who fought through nerves to be crowned victorious.  Ongie Gusha, 2nd year Media and Anthropology, walked off the stage after she fumbled the lyrics to her song, but was encouraged by the audience to carry on singing.  [pullquote align=”right”]I think I sucked because I forgot my lyrics[/pullquote]

“I think I sucked because I forgot my lyrics. But I am happy that the audience encouraged me to carry on,” she said.

Hip hop dancing duo “Genie and Walle” entertained the crowd with performance that included classic Michael Jackson dance moves such the moon walk and the crotch thrust.  Zewande Bhengu, 4th year BADA, slowed the festivities down with a poem he dedicated to his loved ones that had lost their battle with HIV. “She was my muse, my mentor, my dream,” said a captivating Bhengu in the final stanza of his poem.

And the winner is…

After 40 minutes of deliberation, the judges announced Erica Da Silva as the winner. Da Silva, honours forensic entomology student, sang an original composition called ‘I will rise’.  Her win came as no surprise as she was the clear fan favourite receiving a standing ovation after her performance.

[pullquote]Whore yourself because no one else can[/pullquote] Da Silva who has been singing since she was three-years-old, predicted her win before the results were announced. “I think I will win,” she said during the results interval.

Some Fresh advice

During the prize giving ceremony, DJ Fresh encouraged students to nurture their talents and to pursue their passion. “Find your talent, nurture it and see if you can get paid for it,” he said.

DJ Fresh encouraged students to network while in university and to also use the internet to market themselves. “Whore yourself because no one else can,” he said

Warm up this winter: winter events guide

Rooftop Concerts

Skyroomlive.com presents a series of shows by major local artists this month, performed on the roof of Jo’burg’s Lister Building. These exclusive events will cost a pretty penny (R300), but if you don’t want to miss out on acts such as The Parlotones, Prime Circle and Jack Parow, simply log on to www.skyroomlive.com or Facebook to watch the show via live streaming. All shows will be streamed live from 7pm to 8pm. The line-up is as follows:

22 April                      CrashCarBurn

23 April                      Arno Carstens

24 April                      The Parlotones

25 April                     Prime Circle

26 April                     Newtown Knife Gang (7pm) and Jack Parow (9pm)

29 April                     aKING

30 April                     Dan Patlansky

Look out for some of the Vuvuzela team on Sunday 22 April – we’ll be covering the CrashCarBurn show.

Circus Street Party

On April 26, Nicci Beach at Wild Waters will play host to DJ Fresh, Ricardo Da Costa, Harael Salkow, Kyle Worde, and Deepgroove, among others, who will play to crowds across three dance floors. Nicci Beach promises “an audio-visual banquet in an electrifying circus atmosphere”. Five hundred “early bird” tickets are available at R100, pre-sale tickets cost R120, and tickets bought at the door cost R150. The party is set to run from 8pm to the early hours of Freedom Day.

MK By Die Dam

MK music channel is hosting 33 top local artists at the Vaal Marina Waterfront in Vanderbijlpark from Friday April 27 to Sunday April 29. This is first of what MK hopes will be an annual event. Performances start at 10am and a DJ will take the estimated 30 000 fans on to 4am. The event also boasts jet ski rides, para-sailing and a showcase by the world champ wakeboarding team. The full three days will cost R450, while a one-day pass is R180. The line-up includes The Black Hotels, Jack Parow, Flash Republic, Goodluck and aKING. For more details, visit www.mkbydiedam.co.za.

Johannesburg food and wine show

For the more cultured student, the Jo’burg Wine Show is happening from May 4 to 6 at the Coca-Cola Dome. The event promises “a fun, interactive and educational celebration of all things wine”, and offers tastings from popular estates, as well as from boutique wineries. Tickets range from R100 to R180. For more information, visit www.goodfoodandwineshow.co.za


The Colour of Music is Green

The Colour of Music is Green Festival, the “world’s first global warming festival”, is happening at Huntersfield Stadium in Katlehong on Saturday May 5. The line up includes Micasa, DJ Fresh, DJ Kent and Teargas. Tickets will set you back R120 or R250 for a VIP ticket. See www.rudzconcepts.co.za.

Mystery Ghost Bus Tour

Get your heart racing and your blood pumping on Jo’burg’s very own Ghost Bus. The tour begins at 7pm at Pound & Penny Pub, at the Sunnyside Park Hotel, and returns at midnight. In between, the bus will make stops at Jo’burg’s most haunted sites, and offers participation with dowsing rods used to find “energy fields”, which might indicate an otherworldly presence. Details and photos of the tours can be found at www.mysteryghostbus.co.za. The next tour is scheduled for Saturday May 12. Tickets cost R295.