GALLERY: O, What a jol!

By Pheladi Sethusa and MfunekoToyana

The weather wasn’t warm but thank God neither was the beer.  The atmosphere in the beer garden was positively sizzling.  O-week offered students a great way to start the year, explore the campus and get to know each other.  The fun isn’t over yet, with tonight’s  Fresher’s Bash sure to be a razzmatazz humdinger. Ziyawa Mo.

GALLERY: Highlights from Power Reporting 2013

This year’s Power Reporting Conference hosted by Wits Journalism was the biggest they’ve hosted to date. Three days saw close to 300 delegates from around the world coming together to discuss abd debate issues central to investigative journalism.


These banners were littered all over the FNB on West Campus to welcome all delegates to the conference. Photo: Prelene Singh


Delegates eager to read the special Power Reporting edition of the Wits Vuvuzela. Photo: Prelene Singh


Michael Salzwedel gave a class on Google tools and showed attendees how to use them. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa


Delegates taking notes and asking speakers questions. Pictured are Anina Mumm (left) and Izak Minnaar. Photo: Caro Malherbe


Alex Kotlowitz awed and inspired delegates with his opening talk that spoke to non-fiction storytelling. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa


Nigerian delegates arriving on the first day of the conference. Photo: Nolwazi Mjwara


Data journalism classes proved popular this year, most sessions were as well attended as the one pictured. Photo: Shandukani Mulaudzi


Luc Hermann gave a powerful session on pharmacutical drugs. Photo: Shandukani Mulaudzi

GALLERY: Oppikoppi 2013

By Caro Malherbe, Pheladi Sethusa and Shandukani Mulaudzi

This year’s Bewilderbeast festival treated 20 000 fans to a wide range of local and international acts. Team Vuvu got to experience it and documented it with their lenses.

What is the Qbsta deal?

An exclusive venue that has not been opened officially was the perfect setting for the launch of a new cellphone app and website for the students in Johannesburg.

Qbsta [pronounced: cube-stah] was launched at I-Lounge in Braamfontein.

The app allows students to sign up and get discounts on some of their favourite buys.

Once the founders, Elias Sikazwe and Kyle Porter saw how students reacted to Qbsta, they decided to go national and naturally Gauteng is the starting point.

“The vision for the app is to spread it across the country and keep ahead of the innovation curve and keep improving on what we already have,” said Sizakwe.

Sikazwe said they hoped to keep the app free as long as it is in existence and said this was a non-negotiable for them.

Sikazwe said: “We were once broke students and we realised that students need to get the stuff they want but at a better deal.”

Qbsta Brand Ambassadors

Invited guests were referred to as Supernovas.

Mishka Phillips, marketing assistant at Qbsta, said a Supernova is an explosion of stars that often shines brighter than all other stars in the galaxy.

Phillips said to Qbsta Supernovas are those people who shine brighter than others in their social settings and serve as brand ambassadors for Qbsta.

Neo Leburu, a Supernova from the University of Johannesburg said: “I think this is a really amazing idea.”

Witsie, Itshekeng Kungoane said she thought it was a great idea too.

“I’m very impressed with it. Being able to have discounts saves a lot for students and we are always looking to save.

Porter said they wanted Qbsta to be “frequently useful and convenient, whether we are looking for something to eat, new clothes, entertainment or while out socialising”.

Qbsta launched in Pretoria last month. In Johannesburg students can look forward to deals at places such as Spur, McDonald’s and Liquid Chefs.

The website can be accessed and used from any phone while Android users can already download the app from Google Play Store.

The app is still being developed for Blackberry and Apple.

[GALLERY] Golden Key Society members shine


Award winning photo-journalist Greg Marinovich was inducted into the Golden Key Society as an honorary member on Monday at Wits University.

National Planning Commission, communication specialist Zamandlovu Ndlovu, strategist and thought leader Abdullah Verachia were also inducted.

The society welcomes members every year into its induction event.

Golden Key is the an internationally recognised honour society that is affiliated with universities in Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Bahamas and the United States.


[GALLERY] Fans turn out for soccer season opener

On Monday afternoon Wits University faced North West University (NWU)  in the kick-off game for the Varsity Football tournament.

The game took place at the Milpark stadium where hundreds of fans came fully geared up in support of their teams. Wits University got a white-wash from NWU 4-0.

Francois Pienaar, captain of the 1995 Rugby World Cup winning Springbok team could be seen supporting the players.

The stadium shook with cheering fans stamping their feet and blowing their vuvuzelas.


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High tech Braam city

Wits is set to transform a cluster of five abandoned buildings in Braamfontein into technology hubs.

The project is called Tshimologong, a Sesotho word for “new beginnings”.

It will be a space for software design, innovation and technological development.

Located near East Campus, the tech hubs will be equipped with advanced internet connectivity, offer technology courses and spaces for the collaboration of new business ideas.

Director of the Wits Joburg Centre for Software Engineering, Prof Barry Dwolatzky, is driving the transformation of this Braamfontein precinct into a technology city.

“It’s not our intention to tear down buildings and rebuild them. It would be too easy and very expensive. We are planning to repurpose existing buildings, as it’s much cheaper and we are trying to show what can be done with old buildings,” Dwolatzky told Wits Vuvuzela.

Braamfontein’s location is favourable to business and the availability of different types of transport make it attractive for hosting the tech hubs.

“Would it make sense to put it [tech hubs] at Sandton or Soweto? Young South Africans are more drawn to Joburg as a place to work, live and play”.

Dwolatzky also said Braamfontein is a city which attracts young, dynamic and smart people.

With a price tag of “R20 to R40 million” the two-phase rollout of tech hubs might sound like a geek’s paradise, or targeted only at Wits students who are techno-savvy, but Dwolatzky said this was not the case.

He said the tech hubs are targeted at “anyone who can get into Braamfontein. From school kids to old people who just want to interact in this space”.

He said the tech hubs in Braamfontein would “create the same energy that Silicon Valley has”.

Dwolatzky raised concerns about Wits being isolated from Braamfontein.

He said people do not acquaint themselves with the city and security concerns have led to the erection of high fences and stricter controls on access cards to campus.

“We are not interacting with our neighbourhood. Part of this project is to get Wits to jump the fence, get Wits to start to operate, not only on our campus but inner city Braamfontein.”

When the tech hubs gain traction and support from the public, Dwolatzky hopes to replicate the model in other provinces and later explore the continent.