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The Oppidan Press

Edition 11, 8 October 2014


Energy sources
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Game development
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National Parks
Week at Addo
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News Features
2 Te Oppidan Press 8 October 2014
Thandi Bombi
As the end of the academic year draws closer, prospective
students and those currently attending Rhodes University are
carefully considering their accommodation for 2015. Te choice
to live in residence or in digs raises the question of whether
the attention given by the University to residence and Oppidan
students varies.
Te Oppidan common room, dining hall and transportation
services have been provided by the University to ensure that Oppi-
dan students have the necessary resources to enjoy and be a part of
campus life. Tese facilities however, remain unused by most of the
Oppidan students. Oppidan students are aware of those facilities
but some students choose to go home or simply dont have the time
to use them, said SRC Vice President Victor Mafuku.
Im absolutely not connected, it is too much admin to keep up
with everything, said Oppidan student Lifalethu Nthenteni. I
dont really beneft from the Oppidan Union and I would rather
look to my parents who live in town than to anyone from the
University.
Moreover, some Oppidan students are simply not aware of
the resources at their disposal. I honestly have never heard of
the Oppidan common room and generally never know what is
going on with any Oppidan-related things, said Oppidan student
Bongeka Mfeka.
Like students in residence, the Oppidan students have a warden
as well as a representative in the SRC. Unlike residence, these
Oppidan representatives communicate via email which makes it
difcult for some of the students to keep up to date with Oppidan
matters because they do not have internet access outside of campus.
I get emails to keep me informed but I have to wait to check them
on campus and I fnd I usually have more pressing ones to deal
with, explained Mfeka.
Tis could be problematic when crises arise such as the recent
water outage that lef Grahamstown with no water for nearly two
weeks. When there was no water we really struggled, said Mfeka.
We had to collect water in fve litre bottles at the Jac lab toilets to
use for drinking and cooking. Mfeka added that she and her digs
mate were forced to sneak into their friends residences to get a
warm shower every night.
Te inconvenience that some of these students went through
was due to the lack of knowledge they have about the assistance
available the Oppidan Union. I did not know about any tanks on
campus for us, said Mfeka. I also dont know where to seek as-
sistance, so even though Im sure they do what they can to assist us,
our ignorance stops us from actually getting help.
Oppidan students could be aforded the chance to experience a
wholesome learning environment and inclusive campus life if they
became more involved in the matters of the Oppidan Union. It
would be great if there was a situation where Oppi students attend-
ed forums organised by their committee religiously so that they
are aware of the wonderful work being done on security, transport,
sport and entertainment, said Mafuku. Tis information could be
very useful during crisis situations like water outages.
Neglected Oppidan students speak out
The Oppidan common room is a place for Oppidan students to enjoy, but many students are unaware of or choose not to use the facility. Image: SHEILA DAVID
Leila Stein
S
tudents from foreign countries at Rhodes
University are required by law and the
University to have medical aid coverage
before they can register for a student visa. How-
ever, many students have found the medical
aids ofered to them to be insufcient and have
had to pay out more money than they expected.
Tis medical aid may be in addition to
another, internationally-based medical aid that
students may have, but the Government simply
will not allow us to register non-South African
citizens who do not have at least minimal cover
with a South African medical aid, explained
International Ofcer for Rhodes Universitys
International Ofce Aidan Prinsloo.
Although the University says that it will ac-
cept any medical aid scheme listed on the South
African Council for Medical Scheme, it encour-
ages students to sign with schemes advised by the
Absa Health Care consultants as the University is
partnered with them for consultations.
Te reason the University chose to go through
Absa Health Care consultants is because doing so
makes it easier when dealing with complaints or
issues from a large group of students, explained
Rodney Stein, Financial Advisor at Rodney Stein
Financial Services in Cape Town. As a result, the
University has two medical aid schemes that stu-
dents are directed to choose from for a number of
reasons. Tese two are Momentums Ingwe access
option, and Compcare Health.
Over the years, these two companies
have gone out of their way to assist Rhodes,
even agreeing to send consultants through to
Grahamstown during Orientation Week and once
every two weeks thereafer for the course of the
year, said Prinsloo. No medical aid schemes
have ofces in Grahamstown.
Although this is not a forced requirement and
students are free to choose another medical aid
scheme, many international students do not seem
aware of this. I chose Momentum because it is
one of the two recognised by Rhodes, said Jena
Meyer, a student from Swaziland.
However, there are some serious drawbacks to
the coverage ofered by these ofcial medical aid
schemes. Te frst of these is that the schemes are
only accepted by one doctor in Grahamstown,
who is situated at the Colcade complex at the end
of High Street.
It is ridiculous to expect all international stu-
dents to have access to health care when only one
doctor takes the medical aid, said Tanya Ross, an
international student from Zimbabwe.
Te University does acknowledge that this is
a common complaint from students but it is not
something that they are able to change. Because
these minimal coverages are hospital plans, not
all the doctors in Grahamstown accept them,
explained Prinsloo.
Here the second issue arises: cost over cover-
age. Te minimal health care coverage costs
range from R3450 per year to R3490 per year. As
students choose to add benefts, the cost per year
goes up in order to pay for these services. Most
students opt for the minimal coverage to save
money, said Prinsloo.
Tis attempt to save money results in them not
being covered for certain incidents and ultimately
students might end up having to pay for medical
treatment they did not foresee or thought that
they were covered for. What is covered or what
is not covered is always problematic, said Stein.
People always think that they are covered for
things that they are not no matter what the
scheme.
Although the University is attempting to make
the system as painless and simple as possible for
international students, it appears that there is an
issue of clarity with regards to which medical aids
are allowed and what each choice realistically
means for the students.
When International students are applying for medical aid they are given two main recommenda-
tions by Rhodes University. These medical aid options have their own drawbacks and are not
compulsory though international students remain largely unaware of the alternatives.
Photo: KELLAN BOTHA
Medical aid for international students insufcient
News Features
8 October 2014 Te Oppidan Press 3
Neglected Oppidan students speak out
Gemma Middleton
In the afermath of last years water
troubles, Rhodes University has
implemented a new protocol which
seeks to ensure that a relatively
normal life can be maintained by
students in residence during water
outages. However, inconsistencies in
the way that this protocol is imple-
mented by residences are an increas-
ing cause for concern.
During the recent outage, the major-
ity of upper campus was without water
for the entirety of the crisis, while
many of the lower campus residences
had access to water the whole time.
While the upper campus residences
made use of the recently-installed
water tanks, lower campus residences
implemented water restrictions.
Many students were understanding
of the fact that other students did not
have water and therefore it was neces-
sary for us to use water sparingly, said
Prince Alfred House Warden Cath-
erine Deiner. Obviously, however,
there were some unhappy students.
Some lower campus residences did
not implement any water restrictions
and continued with their regular daily
activities. Tis was in direct violation
of a message sent to all residence war-
dens which requested that residences
lock their laundries to prevent stu-
dents from doing any washing.
It was also a direct violation of Uni-
versity protocol. Water restrictions are
not a recommendation, they are part
of the University water protocol, said
Hall Warden for Desmond Tutu Hall
Dr Swantje Zschernack.
Tis discrepancy was not met fa-
vourably by the students, as it was
seen as unfair that not all residences
were following the correct protocol as
it lef lower campus having to make do
with less. It [water restrictions] afects
daily life and with everyone paying
the same fees, they should receive
equal use of the facilities[which utilise
water], said Milner House resident
Kristine Botha.
While some students were unhappy
with this unequal implementation of
restrictions in the lower residences, it
has to be understood that the protocol
is new. Te University is attempting
to address the situation as best it can
and so relies on the cooperation of the
inhabitants of each hall and residence.
Rhodes residences handle water crisis
It afects daily
life, and with
everyone
paying the
same fees,
they should
receive equal
use of the
facilities
Kristine Botha,
student in residence

Ongoing water shortages in Grahamstown have forced many residences to implement new water saving measures, but
a lack of consistent protocol has left many confused or resentful. Photo: ASHLIEGH MAY
Leila Stein
R
hodes University held its annual HIV/Aids
Awareness Week from 18 to 22 August last term.
Organised in conjunction with the Department
of Health, Foundation for Professional Development and
the Raphael Centre, the week is advertised
as a way to get tested and know your status. While the
initiative saw approximately 1500 students and staf
get tested this year, the testing stations lacked a major
component of knowing your status: knowing what to do
about it.
Knowing your status is helpful but if you havent been
counselled you may be reckless because you lack knowl-
edge, explained Malibongwe Nqanqase, ex-counsellor at
New Start HIV/Aids testing centre in Cape Town.
Reckless behaviour is especially problematic with those
who have tested positive for HIV. Tey [the testers] dont
tell you much if you dont know anything, and if you were
positive I dont know what you would have done, explained
Georgina Edwards, who was tested at the Union lawns dur-
ing this years HIV/Aids Awareness Week.
A positive result is concerning enough for any person to
experience, but indiferent or unhelpful responses from a
tester could be disastrous. Counselling is very important. It
prepares an individual for a life lived with sexual responsi-
bility, explained Nqanqase.
Tis lack of information during the testing process is
concerning because, despite the increase in access to treat-
ment through the governments anti-retroviral treatment
(ART) programme, the Human Science Research Council
reported an increase in infection rates between 2008 and
2014. Although the report showed that more people are get-
ting tested, it also found that the knowledge on how HIV is
transmitted and prevented has lessened signifcantly in this
time period.
Te whole HIV testing process is still an in and out
procedure, explained Discovery Health evaluative tester
and former New Start tester Michele Stein. Many facilities
such as university campuses claim they just do not have the
time to do proper counselling.
Even though this quick procedure has ensured that more
people can fnd out their status in a fast and convenient
manner, it is not in line with the recommendations of HIV
testing procedures as put down by the Aids Foundation of
South Africa.
Every person who takes an HIV test must receive coun-
selling when their test results are given, regardless of the
test result, their website stated. Tis model sees counsel-
ling and testing as both a primary and secondary preven-
tion strategy, reducing risk of HIV exposure and onward
transmission.
While testing drives can sometimes be problematic, for-
mal testing facilities on university campuses follow proper
procedure. Information about HIV/Aids, where to get tested
and the importance of testing are usually given to frst years
upon their arrival. HIV/Aids testing at the Rhodes Health
Care Centre is much the same as at other South African
university centres.
Te testing session is 20 minutes long, which includes
the pre-counselling, actual testing and post counselling.
When testing an individual HIV positive it easily runs
over 20 minutes, explained Natasha Williams, HIV/Aids
Counsellor at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Universitys
(NMMU) Missionvale campus. Te same procedure is
carried out at the Rhodes Health Clinic, with students and
staf able to make appointments to be tested.
However, Williams confrmed that the same procedure
would occur in any setting at NMMU, not just within the
health care centre. Counselling is crucial with all testing
procedures. Even during outdoor campaigns we would h
ave group counselling sessions before testing, she said.
No student will have testing done without any prior
counselling.
HIV/Aids testing protocol not followed
Despite the importance of HIV/Aids testing in South Africa, many students feel
the counselling procedure is inadequate and that they are not treated in ac-
cordance with Aid Foundation of South Africa regulations. Image: SOURCED
schemes. Te frst of these is that the schemes are
only accepted by one doctor in Grahamstown,
who is situated at the Colcade complex at the end
of High Street.
It is ridiculous to expect all international stu-
dents to have access to health care when only one
doctor takes the medical aid, said Tanya Ross, an
international student from Zimbabwe.
Te University does acknowledge that this is
a common complaint from students but it is not
something that they are able to change. Because
these minimal coverages are hospital plans, not
all the doctors in Grahamstown accept them,
explained Prinsloo.
Here the second issue arises: cost over cover-
age. Te minimal health care coverage costs
range from R3450 per year to R3490 per year. As
students choose to add benefts, the cost per year
goes up in order to pay for these services. Most
students opt for the minimal coverage to save
money, said Prinsloo.
Tis attempt to save money results in them not
being covered for certain incidents and ultimately
students might end up having to pay for medical
treatment they did not foresee or thought that
they were covered for. What is covered or what
is not covered is always problematic, said Stein.
People always think that they are covered for
things that they are not no matter what the
scheme.
Although the University is attempting to make
the system as painless and simple as possible for
international students, it appears that there is an
issue of clarity with regards to which medical aids
are allowed and what each choice realistically
means for the students.
Politics
4 Te Oppidan Press 8 October 2014
Mikaela Erskog
Review: Revolution at Point Zero:
Housework, Reproduction and Feminist
Struggles by Silvia Federici (2012)
With feminism becoming increasingly
visible in recent popular debates, public
discourse and mainstream media, Silvia
Federicis Revolution at Point Zero: House-
work, Reproduction and Feminist Struggles
(2012) is a text that newly-proclaimed
feminist advocates and critics alike would
beneft from reading.
While the likes of Beyonc, Taylor Swif
and Emma Stone might have planted the
seed of feminism in the consciousness of a
wider global audience and brought the con-
versation to previously indiferent groups,
their particular conceptions of the feminist
are ofen read in isolation from the historical
weight of international feminist movements.
Revolution at Point Zero provides a much
needed contextual and conceptual frame-
work within which feminist struggles can be
understood.
In this compilation of over 40 years of
work, Federici explores old and new feminist
thought and action in an attempt to consider
what feminism has meant in the past and
present and what it could mean in the future.
Drawing from a variety of feminist tradi-
tions, Federici considers central areas around
which feminist struggles were built - such as
housework, reproduction and sexuality.
Inspired by Egyptian feminist Nawal El
Saadawis seminal text Women at Point Zero
(1975), Federicis work sees that all feminist
struggles emanate from point zero: Te
moment in which all illusions are gone
the realisation that there is no justice in the
world of the protagonist. Yet at the same
time it is also the moment of realisation, of
consciousness rising, of becoming aware that
in fact the present state of being has to be
radically changed. Tat there has to [be] a
revolutionary transformation.
Federicis considerations of point zero
illuminate not only the problematic dimen-
sions of womens existence but also estab-
lish the need to conceptualise the feminist
struggle in revolutionary terms. Pointing to
gendered inequalities that result from the
oppressive functioning of the global capital-
ist order, Federicis book describes how the
practices of women refect ofen implicit and
depoliticised power dynamics cultivated by
capitalisms exploitative bottom-line.
Federicis book makes apparent the way in
which activities within the depoliticised,
marginalised private spaces that women
inhabit refect, build and enforce public (po-
litical) conceptions, institutions and relations
of patriarchal, capitalist power.
A lucid and engaging political document,
Revolution at Point Zero should be in any
critical thinkers library.
Fezi Mthonti
Review: Memoirs of a Born Free by Malaika
wa Azania (2014)
Written as a letter to the African Na-
tional Congress, Malaika wa Azanias
book Memoirs of a Born Free underpins
the many pitfalls in our national con-
sciousness that have been glazed over by
South African politicians and have been
superfcially recast as a good story to
tell through an intimate and personal
biography.
Hers is a story that points to the many
fssures in the multiracialism rhetoric that
is so prominent in the Desmond Tutu-spon-
sored Rainbow Nation discourse. With her
experiences of racism, classism and sexism
being so discordant with the supposedly
harmonious post-democratic South Africa,
wa Azania lets us into the awkwardness of
dancing to the rhythm-less tune of freedom
while the songs of an unfnished revolution
are echoed in the multiple inequalities in
our country. She points to the fact that in
the midst of that euphoric moment in which
South Africans proclaimed their freedom,
the conception of a land for all who lived in
it was lost in the commotion.
In positioning herself as protagonist,
wa Azania is able to speak to some of the
socio-political problems that afict this
country through an honest and searing
refection of her own life. Tis enables her
to problematise and disrupt this concep-
tion of a born free generation. In writing
her memoirs, wa Azania is making a critical
intervention by foregrounding the story of
a black female who has been systematically
dispossessed and othered and in so doing is
able to stake a claim in the archival process-
es of South African historiography.
Coloured by contradiction and paradox,
Memoirs of a Born Free is intrinsically hu-
man. It is a story about how the personal is
inadvertently political: born Malaika Mahl-
atsi and projecting herself onto the world as
wa Azania, this is a story of a woman who
has embodied her call for a country that is
not yet on the horizon. A country that can
and should still be fought for.
Tarryn de Kock
Review: From Foreign Natives to Native
Foreigners by Michael Neocosmos (2010)
Xenophobia is a topic that has remained in
the South African psyche following the out-
burst of xenophobic violence in the coun-
trys townships and cities in 2008. Ofen it
is reduced to a random event, or a failure of
the government to provide for its citizens to
the point that they felt threatened and act
out against the most obvious threat to their
survival the outsider.
Avoiding such a reductionist discussion of
South African politics, From Foreign Natives
to Native Foreigners tracks the rise of xeno-
phobia in South Africa from the late colonial
period to the apartheid and post-1994 eras.
Trough a discussion of the history of the
South African state and the false dichotomy
created between urban and rural spaces,
Neocosmos shows how violent political at-
titudes have been transmitted, managed and
mobilised by the state as well as how these
have corresponded with, infuenced and
legitimised the patterns of thought of people
on the ground.
One of his most important arguments is
that while South Africans would be mis-
taken to believe in the exceptionalism of our
countrys story, the attitude of exceptionalism
deployed at both a state and societal level
has contributed to the development and
continuation of xenophobic ideas even
afer the end of apartheid.
Understanding xenophobia is necessary
to understanding how South Africa has
positioned itself in relation to the rest of the
continent, and also how its internal politics
have recreated antagonistic ideas about out-
siders due to the insecurity of South African
citizenship itself.
Rather than making xenophobia some-
thing only experienced in more economical-
ly desperate sectors of society, From Foreign
Natives provides an exceptional, insightful
and comprehensive look at how Fortress
South Africa has tried to keep outsiders
out even while trying to manage the con-
tradictions of a racially and economically
fractured society.
This is from the politics desk
We take a look at three books covering contemporary political issues
Politics
8 October 2014 Te Oppidan Press 5
Ashleigh Dean
C
onversations about race
and gender ofen feature
the familiar catchphrase
check your privilege. Although
privilege of all forms is glaringly
obvious to some, particularly those
lacking privileges, many people
remain oblivious to how privilege
operates in society. Tis is ofen
because it works in unseen ways.
According to Politics lecturer
Siphokazi Magadla, it is the privi-
leged members of society that ofen
have control over language and
monopoly over the constructions
used to express ideas about people.
In response to incidents such as the
recent blackface scandals, Magadla
explained that although these events
were intended as a joke, they have
serious racist implications and it is
up to the same white people that can
aford to be silent to educate others
on the implications of their racism.
When a black person dresses as
or similarly to a white person, they
are seen as more respectable, due
the rewards associated with white-
ness, explained Magadla. However,
a white person dressing as a black
person is derogatory due to the
representation of centuries of insti-
tutionalised racism and systematic
dehumanisation.
Because of the trajectory of global
history, whiteness is still associated
with respectability, dignity and
civilisation, making it necessary
for people to assimilate in order
to beneft from social and political
systems that are organised according
to white normativity. Tis includes
things as personal as standards of
beauty. As a result of these kinds of
pressures, Magadla explained that
black people having to educate white
people about racism is a kind of vio-
lence akin to that of women having
to educate men about feminism.
Academic Alison Bailey consid-
ers privilege to be unearned assets
conferred systematically. In this
light, South Africas history shows
that the allocation of privilege has
been institutionally biased in favour
of white people; meaning that even
if people consider themselves to not
have very much materially, they still
have access to particular social re-
sources, including the assumptions
that have been made and perpetu-
ated about specifc race groups and
their behaviours.
South Africas political landscape
is such that asking people to interro-
gate their positions of privilege ofen
requires a personal refection on
the intersections of race, economic
position and spatial location, and
how these contribute to perpetuat-
ing patterns of privilege and the
benefts of belonging to a particular
social group.
Te power of white values has
had a marked impact on our history,
meaning that we need to accept the
existence of privileges relating to be-
ing white and assimilating to white
culture such as speaking a certain
way that have continued even afer
apartheid. It also means that being
educated represents belonging to an-
other kind of social elite because of
the way education has been denied
to the majority of the population,
meaning that even black academics
have to be careful who they try to
speak for and for what purpose.
People must understand that
there are some things that are just
not right, and who is always having
to forgive and be understanding
says a lot about where privilege is
located, said Magadla.
Check your privilege:
starting the conversation
Bradley Bense
Ofce of the Presidency
L
ast week Grace Moyo and I travelled to Cape Town
as the Rhodes University delegation to take part in
the drafing of a fnal document to be presented to
Higher Education South Africa and Department of High-
er Education Training, Parliament and all Post School
and Higher Education institutions in South Africa. Te
document is to be known as the South African Student
Rights Charter.
A Charter is a written grant by the sovereign or legisla-
tive power of a country, by which a body such as a borough,
company or university is created or its rights and privileges
defned. Within the United Nations (UN) enforcement
mechanisms on womens rights, there are diferent catego-
ries including charter-based mechanisms, such as the UN
Commission on the Status of Women. Te Freedom Charter
adopted at the Congress of the People in Kliptown on 26
June 1955 within the context of apartheid South Africa
declared that South Africa belongs to all those who live in
it, be it black and white, no government can justify claim on
authority unless it is based on the will of all people. It was
further stated that only a democratic state based on the will
of all the people can secure to all their birthright without
distinction of colour, race, sex or belief .
In light of the above and within the context of South
African Higher Education, having a Student Rights Charter
is a positive development. Although it is not legally enforce-
able in the present day, the Freedom Charters ideals against
racial, sexual or religious discrimination are embedded in
the Constitution. It is argued that although the Students
Rights Charter may not be directly enforceable against
Higher Education Institutions (HEI) or the Department of
Higher Education, the document must represent the true
aspirations of students in South Africa. Te document must
make history by recording the voices of students within the
context of transformation of higher education through a
student lens.
It is further argued that most of the rights mentioned in
the Charter fall within the ambit of socio-economic rights
mentioned in the Constitution. To promote the rights to
adequate housing, access to water, healthcare, food and
security, the Constitution obliges that the state must take
reasonable measures within its available resources to
achieve the progressive realisation of these rights. Te
Students Rights Charter cannot unreasonably expect the
HEIs to provide free services where there is unavailability
of resources. It must inform the current Higher Education
policy framework that there is need for students rights to be
enforced progressively within reasonable time frames.
Te draf document was found to be redundant in many
cases. Because of this, the Rhodes University SRC redrafed
the document to assist in creating a diferent perspective for
critical engagement.
In a memorandum sent to the steering committee, it was
stated by our institution that: Te Rhodes SRC does not
agree with any clauses around deadlocks and voting rights.
Tere must be consensus if there should be any adoption of
a document that is representative of all Institutions of High-
er Education. Tis charter should be written and adopted in
the spirit of representing students rather than any political
agendas. We must assume full consensus. All FET colleges
must be given opportunity for fair comment. Te Rhodes
SRC are advocating that proof be given (minutes of Student
Parliament/Institutional Forum/Council/SRC) of the discus-
sion of the document to ratify all suggestions.
Should there be any evident non-student agendas, the
Rhodes SRC will reconsider signing the charter.
Te conference was attended by 10 University SRCs, four
Further Education and Training Colleges, the South African
Union of Students and the South African Further Educa-
tion Training Student Association. Te Rhodes Document
was the only submission received. Te fnal document was
mainly adapted from our submission and key points were
made against rights to violent protest, fee standardisation,
demographic access as well as institutional culture.
This is from the politics desk
Soon-to-be former SRC president, Bradley Bense, gives his exiting speech at this years SRC inauguration. Bense recently
travelled to Cape Town to help in drafting the South African Student Rights Charter. Photo: VUYELWA MFEKA
The document must make
history by recording the
voices of students within the
context of transformation of
higher education through
a student lens.

South African Student


Rights Charter Refection
Photo Series
6 Te Oppidan Press 8 October 2014
The Addo Elephant National Park near Port Elizabeth, which usually sees around 120 000 visitors annually, permitted
South African citizens to enter on day-trips free of charge last month during SANParks ninth annual South African
National Parks Week.
Addo Elephant National Park has a population of around 600 African elephants
(Loxodonta africana), which have been known to exhibit many characteris-
tics of social communication and empathy, communicating predominantly
through touch, sound and body-language.
Kellan Botha
I
t has been a month since the conclusion of the ninth
annual South African National Parks Week during
which South Africas 19 national parks either lowered
or entirely waived their usual entry fees in an efort to
draw South Africa visitors to the parks and promote con-
sevation. One of the national parks to permit free entry
during the week, which ran from 8 to 12 September, sits
virtually on the doorstep of Makana Municipality: Addo
Elephant National Park.
Founded in 1931 as a means of protecting the last 11
African elephants in the region, Addo has expanded to be
the third-largest national park in the country (behind the
Kruger and Kalahari National Parks, which themselves
form part of the Limpopo and Kgalagadi Transfontier Parks
respectively). Te parks creation has seen the local elephant
population balloon to well over 600 individuals. Signifcant
populations also exist for a number of other creatures and
by the end of a planned further extension of the park to the
Greater Addo Elephant National Park, it will be the only
reserve on the continent to lay claim to Africas Big Seven:
elephant, rhinoceros, bufalo, lion, leopard, southern right
whale and great white shark.
Currently, the park receives around 120 000 visitors a
year. With more than half of those being foreign tourists,
National Parks Week served to attract more South Africans
to view the wildlife so close to their homes, as well as learn
about the history and current practices of the park in a local
interpretive centre. Te centre hosts everything from the
mounted head of Hapoor, the deadly bull elephant, to a tank
of endemic fightless dung beetles, and a statue of the tiny
Nqwebasaurus discovered by palaeontologists in the Eastern
Capes Kirkwood geological formation.
Several tarred and gravel roads branch out from the main
camp, allowing visitors to explore the region and search for
game, and before long they are usually rewarded with an
abundance of birds and smaller animals, as well as the so-
called megafauna such as elephants and bufalo.
Elephants themselves have been shown to cause very par-
ticular ecological damage to Addo and other national parks,
however, in that their increased population has led to severe
overgrazing in areas, forcing park authorities to relocate
some of the animals to other reserves or alternatively cull
them to reduce numbers. Despite these eforts it is not un-
common for visitors to see snapped or uprooted acacia trees
beside the road where a herd of elephants has passed by.
By increasing South African interest in issues surround-
ing conservation through endeavours such as National
Parks Week, SANParks hopes to raise funding and aware-
ness for issues such as poaching of rhinoceros throughout
the country, climate change and overgrazing by elephants in
Addo and elsewhere.
National Parks Week with Addo on our doorstep
Meerkats (Suricata suricatta) are common in Addo Elephant National Park, and
can often be seen striking their iconic upright poses near their colony burrows
as they scan the area for both predators and prey.
A Kori Bustard (Ardeotis kori) wanders through an open plain in search of insects and small lizards on which to prey.
Amongst the heaviest birds able to fy, Kori Bustards move predominantly on foot to save energy and search more
efectively for food.
Photos: KELLAN BOTHA
Photo Series
8 October 2014 Te Oppidan Press 7
Addo Elephant National Park has a population of around 600 African elephants
(Loxodonta africana), which have been known to exhibit many characteris-
tics of social communication and empathy, communicating predominantly
through touch, sound and body-language.
National Parks Week with Addo on our doorstep
A female ostrich (Struthio camelus) preens her underwing amidst some spring blossoms, exposing
the naked thigh and fank beneath the fightless birds wings.
More fearful of cars and humans than the older zebras (Equus quagga), a foal moves in closer to its
parents in search of safety.
One of several antelope species in the region and the hornless version of the SANParks ofcial
logo a female kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) peers out of the dense brush before crossing one of
the parks busier roads.
One of the smaller species in the reserve, leopard tortoises (Stigmochelys pardalis) are often at risk
of being run over whenever they cross Addos roads due to their slow pace and camoufage.
Territorial and aggressive, a warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) throws up dirt and grass in its search
for roots or anything edible after successfully fending of a rival.
Opinion
8 Te Oppidan Press 8 October 2014
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The Oppidan Press
Ben Rule
T
owards the end of last term I attended a talk
hosted by the Rhodes chapter of the Black Man-
agement Forum (BMF). Tey have been hosting
talks with diferent speakers throughout the year, provid-
ing a chance for students to engage on an intimate level
with minds such as Advocate Vusi Pikoli and Prof Barney
Pityana. I was impressed with Adv Pikolis talk, but I was
much more impressed by the level of engagement from
the audience once the foor was opened for questions.
If you take a broader view, it is possible to gauge the in-
terests of the student body by considering what the various
societies are geared towards. From this overview, students
are clearly interested in religion, varieties of outreach or
activism, and a number of diferent hobby-based activities
such as debating or model United Nations.
But it is also safe to say that many of the biggest and most
visible societies on campus are recognised through their
ability to throw good quality parties. Greek Soc nights out
are something of legend: Zulusoc and Zimsoc have just
thrown a party big enough to attract 5fm DJs and Live Mu-
sic Society has been responsible for bringing good bands to
town so we can all drink to a good soundtrack for a number
of years. Te AGMs of many societies are more punch than
procedure, more canoodling than constitutions.
Tis is the landscape on campus that I walked into in
2011 many societies distinct in the activities around
which they are built, but unifed in what seems to be the
Rhodes social culture. Societies provide a space for students
to ensure that their lives are better-rounded than simply
academics and sleep, punctuated by the odd BP run and
weekend of series-watching. Societies are spaces where we
congregate with our people, who are blessed with the natu-
ral similarities which we may not share with our classmates
or neighbours in res.
One of the chief reasons I was looking forward to univer-
sity before I got here was the attraction to the intellectual
community that I was sure Rhodes would have. Having
completed a degree here, I can retrospectively say that I
was lucky enough to fnd just that - mostly through my
classmates in Law and Philosophy, as well as haphazardly
bumping into lovely people in the social whirlwind that is
this campus. But there was a lot of luck involved in that. If I
had not stumbled across classmates or bumped into people
socially, I would defnitely have felt like my mind was not
being expanded outside of the classroom.
Sitting in that talk hosted by BMF, I sensed that I was in
the middle of an intellectual community. I was surrounded
by hungry minds and a society that makes a point of regu-
larly providing food for thought. Inviting a guest speaker to
engage with students more resembles the behaviour of an
academic department than that of a student society. Why is
this? Why are our student societies more focused on drink-
ing spaces than thinking spaces? Have we all made a pact to
leave our intellectual engagement at the door of our
lecture halls?
Do we only think
in our classrooms?
The AGMs of many
societies are more
punch than procedure,
more canoodling than
constitutions.

While many student societies seem to focus almost exclusively on drinking and parties, there are more intellectual op-
portunities available to students. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA
Across the world, the month of October has been a month of strong politi-
cal signifcance. Despite the fact that we are a week into the month, people
around the globe have already witnessed the Occupy Hong Kong move-
ment unfurl as the people of Hong Kong demand their right to self-deter-
mination and democracy. Te presently non-violent protests have been
universally commended as an example of successful non-violent politics, as
the people of Hong Kong have engaged with the authorities in an untradi-
tionally polite and civil manner.
Tese non-violent interactions in Hong Kong can be seen as a dispersal of
the discourse surrounding protest movements where participants are tradi-
tionally seen as criminal and civically disobedient. However, Chinas reneging
on its promise of truly democratic elections for Hong Kong in 2017 can be
seen as a politically, socially and economically-charged act that could have
unforeseen global consequences.
Te West African region continues in its struggle against the deadliest Ebola
virus epidemic in history. At present, Ebola has spread to the Democratic
Republic of Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone, with
reported death tolls going up to 3000 in the region. Te case of an Ameri-
can man getting infected with Ebola spread unprecedented panic across the
Western world, with many countries questioning the safety and security of
their citizens in these Ebola-ridden states. Tis response has once again raised
questions about the hypocritical nature of international relations; where the
value of life in developing countries is still clearly not considered as important
as life in developed countries. Tere seems to be no realistic solution to the
Ebola outbreak, as many states in West Africa simply do not have the adequate
resources to tackle the virus fully. Te non-committal nature of foreign aid
into West Africa continues to delay the treatment process.
October also serves as one of the busiest times at Te Oppidan Press as we
not only welcome our new editorial, managerial and OppiTv teams for 2015,
but also take the time to celebrate some of Rhodes Universitys hardest workers
and brightest students. Te Investec Top 100 edition is a moment for Te Op-
pidan Press to acknowledge the rewarding feeling that comes with hard work
and commitment, for some of our best students. We would like to extend our
sincerest thanks to Investec, the Careers Centre and the Director of Student
Afairs ofce for their support and encouragement of this process.
Te Top 100 edition features 16-pages of content from our outgoing and
incoming teams. One can expect to fnd work discussing protest art and its rel-
evance in 2014, an increase in environmentally-focused student participation,
and the Rhodes Soccer Womens First Teams struggle to keep their coach from
being fred. In addition to this, we take a moment to celebrate some of Rhodes
best students with the Top 100 insert, where their achievements are more than
deserving of this prestigious award.
Opinion
8 October 2014 Te Oppidan Press 9
Ben Rule
A
point was made to me by a good friend some time ago
why do we refer to it as normal or ordinary tea? Rather
the correct term is Ceylon tea. Somehow our language
has made that the normal option, to the point where we consider
the types of tea to be normal, rooibos, Earl Grey, chai tea or
whatever other strange-favoured nonsense foats your breakfast.
Tis is an established classifcation which is so embedded in our
normality that we do not think about it. Let us think.
Ceylon tea is normal. Rooibos tea is not Ceylon tea. Terefore
rooibos tea is not normal. Tis is rather bizarre, considering that
Ceylon tea is from Sri Lanka and rooibos is indigenous to the
Western Cape. Why is the South African tea not normal? In addi-
tion to this, none of the other types of tea are normal. We are at a
point where Ceylon tea has almost achieved a hegemonic domina-
tion over the word tea. Any other type must be specifed; otherwise
Ceylon will be assumed where the word tea is used. Tis is not
a storm in a teacup, it is merely an interesting thought. But it is a
thought whose logic applies to another set of names much closer
to home.
Unless your belief system requires from you a special diet, your
meals when you arrive at Rhodes are automatically booked as being
the meal option labelled default. Tis is the diet assumed of all of
us. Tis is normal. Ordinary. Standard. Regular. Given that the con-
tent of this set of meals doesnt lend itself to an accurate interpreta-
tion of what is normal, one can just as easily establish what is not
normal by looking at all of the other options. Tese are as follows:
African: Tis meal seldom comes with vegetables. Its emphasis is
on meat. Why would they call this African? African: meaning peo-
ple of the African continent. Considering all of the meal options
below, that interpretation can be refned. African, meaning black
people. Tis seems to be who the meal was designed for.
Te consequence of the naming: African is not default. African
is not normal. Black is not normal.
Hindu/Halaal: Prepared in the appropriate manner so as to
comply with the requirements set out by Hindu and Islamic law.
Not as generalising or controversial as the other names, but simply
a meal designed to cater for any Hindu or Muslim students in the
residence system.
Te consequence of the naming: Hindu/Halaal is not default.
Hindu/Halaal is not normal. Hinduism is not normal. Islam is
not normal.
Vegetarian: implies that those who, for whatever reason, refuse
to eat meat as part of their diet are not normal.
Te other options names carry similar implications with them.
Health Platter implies that people who pay attention to their diet
and health are not normal; all of the various Fast Food options
imply that people who do not like vegetables are not normal. All
of this has been caused by simply having a meal option which is
labelled default if the naming of that meal was diferent, then
the names of the rest of them would no longer be a comment on
the deviation of certain groups from this perceived normality.
Tis is probably a storm in a teacup. We are not being racially
profled by our dining hall meal bookings. Tey are not segregat-
ing us. Tis is simply a system which is designed to deal with the
diversity of the student body.
However the point that is raised here is legitimate. Tere has
long been scholarship about the efects of prejudices inherent in
our language. As it stands, the English language is subtly racist,
sexist, size-ist and ageist, at least. By having our dining hall meal
names run a commentary on what is not normal on this campus,
we are subtly perpetuating an idea of normal. And we wonder why
the still-dominant identity and perception of the Rhodes student
is one of a white, excessively drinking, overall-wearing, politically
apathetic Humanities student.
Being judged by our meal bookings
The names of meal options highlight the diference and other-
ness of these meals from the default option, represented in
some dining halls by a colourful array of meal-tokens.
Photo: SHEILA DAVID
The Oppidan Press
is hiring
...and we want you!
We hope to hear from you!
We are looking for candidates to fll editorial and managerial
positions on our team for 2015.
The vacancies arise as a result of our normal terms of service
coming to a close and we are looking for talented individuals
from within our team and beyond to apply.
The available positions are as follows:
Editorial Managerial
Business Editor Community Engagement Ofcer
Chief Sub-Editor (Online) Financial Manager
Designers Marketing Manager
Sub-Editors Managing Editor
Appicants must submit a CV and a short motivational letter
to editor@oppidanpress.com before midnight on 12 October
2014.
They will then be scheduled for an interview on one of the
evenings the following week between 6pm and 8pm.
Successful candidates will be notifed by email and will be
expected a full year term which will include a shadow period
under the current person in their particular position.
Scitech
10 Te Oppidan Press 8 October 2014
Getting into game development
Bradley Prior
M
any video game enthusiasts would
consider game development to be
their dream job because they could
help create the very thing that they themselves
love to be immersed in. While many may be-
lieve that the opportunities aforded by this line
of work are limited, especially in South Africa,
there are actually many opportunities available
in the industry - starting at Rhodes.
For Rhodes students there is GameDev, a sub-
set of the Rhodes University Computer Users So-
ciety (RUCUS), which is focused purely on game
development. It is chaired by David Yates and is
designed to allow members to test the boundaries
of their game development.
Tey have recently been working on creating a
card game similar to those such as Hearthstone
and Magic: Te Gathering. However, instead of
fghting fctitious creatures to win, the players
aim to win the game by earning their degrees.
Te developers of GameDev are mostly Com-
puter Science majors and Yates believes that being
a part of this project greatly prepares them for a
future in game development. I think developing
a game like this will give people very valuable
experience in working on a largish-scale sofware
project in a team, he explained.
And the opportunities for game develop-
ment in South Africa are blossoming as the feld
becomes more popular. According to a study
Synapp: Meaningful
online communication
Bracken Lee-Rudolph
T
he SRC is an organisation
which sometimes struggles to
gauge student interest, despite
existing to serve the student body.
Some attribute this to a lack of inter-
est from the student body itself, but
it may be that the SRC does not have
a proper platform to engage with stu-
dents. Te new Synapp project aims
to remedy this.
Led by Politics Masters student
James Danielsen, Synapp is a platform
which seeks to encourage students to
engage in the online sphere on eve-
ryday issues like the transport debate
and the now-past SRC elections. Te
platform will also eventually expand
into education in an efort to enhance
students academic skills.
Chief among these skills will be
to assist students in improving their
academic numeracy and literacy. In
order to do this, it is argued [that] we
frst need to create a cycle of sustained
dialogue and engagement among...
students themselves and... between the
students and the university institution,
explained Danielsen.
Synapps 2014 aims are simply to
get feedback on their system and its
approach to issues on campus as well
as the sites functionality. Teir 2015
aims are signifcantly more ambitious,
especially with regard to the SRC. We
want a fully functional platform that
allows students to discuss, debate,
vote, play, argue, share and learn, said
Danielsen. We want such a platform
to generate a large pool of potential
[SRC] candidates, long before the of-
fcial nominations begin.
We want to allow students a clear
line of communication between
themselves and the SRC, continued
Danielsen. [Tis will ensure] that
the highlighting of issues and the
implementation of solutions becomes a
student-driven process.
Te groups reason for placing
emphasis on student involvement is
to improve the standard of response
possible from the SRC. Quorum the
minimum student voting required in
SRC elections sits at 33.3%, a total
which Synapps developers think is
concerning given that it means that
two-thirds of students needs could
potentially go unaddressed.
Tey hope to improve this through
a close link with Rhodes systems,
specifcally RUConnected. Users are
required to sign in to Synapp with
Rhodes Single Sign-In login, which
allows Synapp to track that the service
is being used exclusively by students.
Tis will allow for more detailed data
interpretation later into development,
as developers will be able to analyse
the groups using their service and
determine which demographics they
will need to appeal to.
Whether Synapp succeeds or fails
will be determined by how successful
it is in achieving its aim of emulating
several existing networks and engaging
students. However, it is an ambitious
project, the success of which could
ofer a huge boost to communication
between the SRC and the student body.
Bracken Lee-Rudolph
Livestreaming refers to the act of
capturing a video, be it recorded
from a camera or duplicated from
a screen, and broadcasting it live
to viewers over the internet. It
difers from the traditional flm-
ing of YouTube videos in that it
is broadcast without any editing
immediately afer being captured.
As the availability of high-speed
broadband expands, this online
sharing system is rapidly gaining
traction in South Africa.
Tis process has become espe-
cially popular within the video
gaming community, where Twitch.tv
has allowed users to broadcast their
gameplay online. Twitch is usable on
any current generation platform, in-
cluding PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Additionally, personal computers al-
low the use of third-party recording
sofware to capture in-game footage.
One of the most novel uses of this
service is Twitch Plays Pokmon
(TPP). TPP is an interactive stream
which allows viewers to issue com-
mands in the game chat, which are
then picked up by a program and
implemented in-game.
Te project started with Pokmon
Red, which took the Twitch com-
munity over 16 days of continuous
gameplay to complete. Te stream
received a total of 55 million views
throughout the playthrough of
Pokmon Red, and 1.16 million of
those viewers directly participated
in the game.
Although gaming has been one
of the frst industries to embrace
the concept, livestreaming is not
limited to video games. Tis is best
shown in the broadcasts of sports
events. Te Superbowl, an interna-
tionally broadcast American football
event, recently received a viewership
of three million unique viewers
via livestream services.
Streaming has also allowed
classical distribution methods to be
somewhat augmented by the digital
services.
Services such as Netfix (an online
television and movie distributor)
and CrunchyRoll (an online anim
service) provide an alternative to
traditionally licensed television and
YouTube culture. Tese services
allow you to pay a subscription fee
to gain access to libraries of licensed
series and flms which you can
download or watch online.
Tese services provide an
alternative to services like DSTV
and provide content tailored more
to your personal choice, since
you can choose what you want to
watch more easily. While Netfix
has not ofcially been launched in
South Africa to date, it is possible
to use alternative methods to get it
working afer which it will work
perfectly well.
Streaming is not a perfect concept
yet, but it is a largely expense-free
form of entertainment once you
have the infrastructure set up to use
it. With streams increasing drastical-
ly in size annually, the live entertain-
ment and reality TV industry may
one day make way for the live online
stream community.
Livestreaming is fast becoming a new and inexpensive
method of watching videos as an alternative to You-
Tube and television. Photo: SHEILA DAVID
Beyond YouTube:
Streaming culture

Somethings fshy near campus


Duncan Pike
Te South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity
(SAIAB) is one of Grahamstowns lesser-known facilities.
Situated on Somerset Street, this institution operates at
internationally-recognised standards to provide invalu-
able resources to the surrounding scientifc community.
Te SAIAB stacks up well technologically, boasting
impressive facilities including the National Fish Collection,
the African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme (ACEP),
a marine platform and Acoustic Tracking Array Platform
(ATAP), as well as genetics and isotope laboratories.
All of this allows it to maintain a high standard of work.
[Te high scientifc standard] is evidenced by the fact that
all SAIAB scientifc papers by our researchers and students
are published in [Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure]
rated journals, said Manager of Communications & Gov-
ernance at the SAIAB Penny Haworth.
Tis high standard is augmented by the multi-disciplinary
research, including the ACEP and the institutes extensive
history in southern African ichthyological work which
attracts academics from around the world. Tis is
especially useful as the institute works in close collabora-
tion with the Rhodes University Department of Icthyology
postgraduate programmes.
ACEP, the SAIABs fagship programme, is operated joint-
ly by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the
Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries and the
Department of Environmental Afairs. Currently in its
third phase, the programme conducts ecosystem-related
research in the South-Western Indian Ocean on multiple
platforms, one of which is a state-of-the-art DST-funded
ACEP Marine Platform.
One of the SAIABs main attractions is its legacy associ-
ated with the 1938 discovery of the living coelacanth by
Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer and JLB Smith (whose wife
founded the institute).
However, the SAIAB is not a display museum and is
generally not open to the public. Only students from the
Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, other
science faculty students and the occasional Fine Art student
(to view specimens) generally visit the institute.
Tis changes during Scifest Africa, when the staf and
interns at the institute set up exhibits and ofer workshops
and lectures on a wide range of aquatic topics. Te institute
also provides exhibition space for other organisations of the
same nature to create what Haworth refers to as a focused,
themed exhibition space.
Te SAIAB attracts the public in during the National Arts
Festival by providing exhibition space for artists, provided
their work refects the aquatic environment ofered by the
institute. Despite not being the most well-known institution
in Grahamstown, the SAIAB remains and interesting and
unique part of the community of Grahamstown.
The South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity
(SAIAB) in Grahamstown has a range of aquatic collec-
tions, including a coelacanth discovered in 1938 (centre).
Photos: KELLAN BOTHA
Although
gaming has
been one
of the frst
industries to
embrace
the concept,
livestreaming
is not lim-
ited to video
games.
Scitech
8 October 2014 Te Oppidan Press 11
Getting into game development
Bradley Prior
M
any video game enthusiasts would
consider game development to be
their dream job because they could
help create the very thing that they themselves
love to be immersed in. While many may be-
lieve that the opportunities aforded by this line
of work are limited, especially in South Africa,
there are actually many opportunities available
in the industry - starting at Rhodes.
For Rhodes students there is GameDev, a sub-
set of the Rhodes University Computer Users So-
ciety (RUCUS), which is focused purely on game
development. It is chaired by David Yates and is
designed to allow members to test the boundaries
of their game development.
Tey have recently been working on creating a
card game similar to those such as Hearthstone
and Magic: Te Gathering. However, instead of
fghting fctitious creatures to win, the players
aim to win the game by earning their degrees.
Te developers of GameDev are mostly Com-
puter Science majors and Yates believes that being
a part of this project greatly prepares them for a
future in game development. I think developing
a game like this will give people very valuable
experience in working on a largish-scale sofware
project in a team, he explained.
And the opportunities for game develop-
ment in South Africa are blossoming as the feld
becomes more popular. According to a study
done by Make Games South Africa in 2013, there
are nearly 200 full-time and 400 part-time game
developers in South Africa.
Te study also claimed that South African
game development studios had a cumulative
income of R30 million in 2013. Tis is a clear
indication that there is already money in develop-
ing games in South Africa, and the market looks
set to expand in coming years.
Tere will be an opportunity for prospective
game developers to speak to some of these stu-
dios at rAge Expo, South Africas largest gaming
and technology expo. rAge is taking place in
Johannesburg from 10 to 12 October and there
will be a stand where prospective game develop-
ers can discover more about the feld. Te stand
is called the NAG home_coded stand. Tose who
visit it will be able to talk to developers and try
out some of the games that they are developing.
Additionally, visitors can fnd out more about
Learn 3D, an institution in Gauteng that allows
people to study game development in either full-
or part-time courses.
For those with a more global taste, Riot Games
has opened applications for its 2015 internships.
Riot Games is the company that developed and
maintains League of Legends, one of the most
widely played video games in the world.
Among many diferent options is the oppor-
tunity to be an intern in production. To quote
Riot Games, interning in production could
entail leading high-powered Riot development
teams to create game features, content, tools, and
technology. Te downside to the internship is
that one would have to obtain a work permit to
move to the United States of America, but it is a
great opportunity to get a foot in the door of the
gaming industry.
Game development is a growing market in
South Africa. If you are passionate about develop-
ing video games, you have found yourself in the
right place at the right time. Take the frst step
and get involved in the opportunities available
to you.
Toxic Bunny HD, created by Johannesburg-based Celestial, is one of several internationally
marketed videogames produced in South Africa and follows the exploits of Toxic a trigger-happy
cofee-loving bunny. Photo: SOURCED
Smart Watches: Worth it or worthless?
Bracken Lee-Rudolph
Te rise of Android and iOS-powered
smartphones has done a lot of good
for the mobile industry, especially in
terms of application development. In
more recent times, this has included
the development of peripheral devic-
es including armbands and watches
which connect to mobile devices.
Two of the more prominent brands
available on the market currently are
the Samsung Gear and Sony Smart-
wear ranges of smartbands and
watches. Tese devices connect to
a cellphone or tablet via Near-Field
Communication or Bluetooth connec-
tion, and allow either input commands
or movement data from the arm-worn
peripheral to be transmitted to the
mobile device.
What you are willing to pay for such
devices will depend on what you want:
the Smartband ofers basic movement
tracking and notifcation settings,
while devices such as the Galaxy Gear
V7000 comes with a host of frst-party
applications, an onboard screen and
processor, and even a camera in some
cases. Te question is whether these
devices are worth the grand sums they
go for. Te Sony Smartband SWR10
retails at R915 (Kalahari.com) and is
functionally lacking in that it does very
little other than vibrate when you have
a message and tell you how many steps
you have taken in a day.
Te only real selling point for the
SWR10 is the alarm function, which
allows you to set a time period in
which you would like to be woken
up. Te device will then detect when
you are sleeping lightly and vibrate to
wake you up. Tis is a handy feature,
undoubtedly, but not worth the hefy
asking price of the device.
Te prices of the higher-end
Samsung Gear range may also seem
excessive when compared to what
else is available in that price range. At
over R3,000, the price of the watch is
drifing into the realm of mid-range
smartphones such as the S3 Mini
(usually R2,787 on Kalahari.com) - a
reliable Android phone with markedly
better technical specifcations than the
V7000, albeit not in a wearable form.
Apple are set to join the smartwatch
market with the Apple Watch, which
will release in early 2015 according to
the company. Te watch ofers a dif-
ferent approach to the wearable device
market, as it will be the frst device to
focus on an exclusive set of products
- the iPhone range, in this instance.
Te Apple Watch is focused on provid-
ing an easily accessible window into
your phone, rather than just a simple
notifcation and timekeeping device.
Apple may not be able to escape all
the limitations which previous smart-
watches have had, but if their model is
successful, it could spawn a whole new
range of wearable devices - ones which
will better allow for more competi-
tive pricing, useful features and better
functional design. For now though,
the smartwatch market remains one
with lots of potential but very few
worthy products.
Smartbands and similar devices from Sony and other companies seem unnecessarily expensive when considering their
inherent lack of features and uses, often performing only a fraction of the same tasks as the cellphones they are linked
to, such as measuring footsteps or acting as alarms, but little more. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA
Environment
12 Te Oppidan Press 8 October 2014
Alexa Sedgwick
A
s the hills lining the N2 just
past Jefreys Bay rise up be-
fore you, several alien-look-
ing machines dominate the skyline.
Each blade that spins with the wind
lends its strength to creating renew-
able energy.
Te Jefreys Bay Wind Farm has
been in operation since July this year
and, with 60 functioning turbines, is
the largest operating wind energy plant
on the continent at present. Situated
between Jefreys Bay and Humans-
dorp, the farms location allows it to
harness the optimal wind conditions in
the area and ideally does not interfere
with any possible bird breeding or
migration sites.
Te machines, standing 80 meters
from the ground, are higher than
a ten storey building and the plant
provides enough clean electrical en-
ergy to power 100000 South African
households (about 460 000MWh per
year). Te wind farm also provides the
surrounding community with a stable
electrical supply.
However, plant manager of the Jef-
freys Bay site Hannes Bester explained
that it is a common misconception to
believe that being closer to the farm
gives access to the farms energy. Te
power generated by the turbines is
actually fed through to the Eskom
national grid, meaning that it may be
used elsewhere in the country.
While the farm itself may be a new
addition to the Eastern Cape, its con-
cept is not. According to Bester, it took
about six years for plans for the plant
to come to fruition. Te delay can be
attributed to the Environmental Im-
pact Assessment (EIA) process, which
scrutinised all aspects of the plant
including the potential environmental
impacts of the farm, infuences on the
surrounding bird and animal life, and
visual design and appeal.
Construction of the wind farm
began in December 2012 and was
initially met with some opposition
from the surrounding communi-
ties. Bester said this was mainly due
to ignorance and that those who
complained at the start of the process
have come to accept and even enjoy
the wind turbines now. We try to be
as open as we can about what happens
on the site and we try to be responsible
and thats an important goal to have
[both] safety-wise and environmen-
taly, he explained.
Te farm currently takes school and
local community groups on tours in an
efort to educate the public about wind
energy and how the turbines work.
Plans for an ofcial visitors centre are
also underway.
Bester further explained: Because
we are one of the biggest and frst wind
farms in the country, its our respon-
sibility to make sure that the right
message about wind energy gets put
out there and that there are no miscon-
ceptions about what we do and how we
generate energy.
Bronwyn Pretorius
T
he 1980s were a turbulent time in world
history and as such gave rise to resist-
ance art that sought to encompass the
revolutionary ideas and shifing mindsets
of the era. Tis platform is still available to
todays artists who wish to express societys
burning frustrations.
Resistance art is fne art that takes on the
purpose of having content and a conceptual
departure point, said Head of Fine Art at Rhodes
University Dominic Torburn. It has to do with
social commentary and political resistance.
Such political resistance has been common
throughout the decades, but many historical
resistance art symbols have since been repur-
posed for more commercial purposes. Symbols
like the peace sign and Che Guevaras face can be
seen on hundreds of t-shirts, bags and hats today.
But many people do not know that the peace sign
was originally used in the British Campaign for
Nuclear Disarmament, while Guevara organised
over 1100 executions and jailed homosexuals and
Jehovahs Witnesses in Bolivia.
In terms of its marketability, it has been
diluted to the point of not having any revolu-
tionary potential, said Eben Lochner, a former
Rhodes student who is doing his PhD in Critical
African Humanism. But at the time, those issues
were enough of a threat for that symbol to mean
something, he added.
The new Jefreys Bay wind farm is the largest on the continent and has the
capacity to power 100 000 South African homes. However, as the turbines
energy is fed into Eskoms national grid, local communities will not necessarily
be the main benefciaries. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA
Winds of change
Dillon Lutchman
South Africans were recently encouraged to visit South African
National Parks (SANParks) during National Parks Week, which
ran from 8 to 12 September. Tis week foregrounded issues sur-
rounding the complex relationship between game reserves and
their local impoverished communities.
Te debate surrounding ecotourism is ongoing, especially in the
face of increased poaching and the reopening of the land restitu-
tion process, whereby people displaced during apartheid are able
to reclaim land. Te relationship between conservation and land
extension is in question as the demand from international tour-
ists who bring in revenue is infuencing the way land in South
Africa is constituted.
Te majority of game reserves in South Africa, both private and
those that are part of SANParks, ofen emphasise the importance
of involving local communities. Te Protected Area Act of 2003,
which enforces this notion, states that, provision for the People
and Parks Programme has made it possible for co-management
agreements to be developed between claimants and protected area
management authorities.
As game reserves expand, labour is ofen sourced from local
communities. However, these jobs are ofen seasonal and do not
bring in the revenue needed, or promised, by park management.
Te displaced communities which previously relied on the land for
things like frewood, herbs and spiritual acts are ofen forced to give
up their self-sufciency in favour of a salary-dependent lifestyle.
I have no problem with the conservation of natural resources,
so long as the ones enforcing it are also adhering to the laws and
contracts they have agreed to, said leading expert in people-park
relations at Rhodes Universitys Environmental Science Depart-
ment Dr Gladman Tondklana. Tese situations cause confict
among locals and authorities, ofen resulting in long-term battles
which lead to poaching and illegal harvesting of medicinal compo-
nents as alternative sources of former income.
Strato Copteros, activist and staf member at Rhodes University
School of Journalism and Media Studies, agrees that communi-
ties in dire straits ofen turn to poaching as a means of income.
A member of anti-rhino poaching project Cliptivisits, Copteros
argues that the people behind rhino poaching are desperate, im-
poverished individuals rather than inhumane monsters.
One of the major issues, at least in South Africa, is balancing
local people with ecological integrity, stated Tondhlana. However,
the Protected Areas Act 31 concerning land reconciliation fails to
take into consideration the social hierarchy present in many rural/
traditional villages, ofen resulting in money not materialising
or being controlled by one higher power (such as chiefs or game
reserve management).
Finding a balance between people and parks requires serious
dialogue between peoples immediate needs and national, ecologi-
cal concerns. However, environmental protection initiatives also
need to continually refect on where eco-tourist parks economic
bottom-line may be undermining and curtailing the human inhab-
itants within that space.
Finding the balance between parks and people
Lauren Buckle
Recent research has shown that more students
are choosing to study environmental subjects
at university. As a result, there will likely be an
increase in the number of students moving into
environmental careers in years to come and
this in turn could increase the environmental
sustainability of the South African economy in
the future.
Research provided by Head of Environmental
Science at South African Rhodes Universities
Professor Sheona Shackleton revealed that there
has been a steady increase in the number of stu-
dents studying Environmental Science between
2000 and 2012 at Rhodes University. Possible
environmental careers range from energy
engineering to environmental law. More gradu-
ates in environmental disciplines will potentially
provide greater environmental services, but the
increased supply of practitioners would reduce
the fees that might be charged, said lecturer
Geofrey Antrobus.
While not all people can aford to study envi-
ronmental careers in tertiary education, certain
projects are available for potential students
hoping to study in the feld. One such initiative is
the Groen Sebenza Project which aims to employ
800 unemployed graduates and non-graduates
in sustainable environmental careers. Someleze
Mgcuwa, a student in the Groen Sebenza Project
commented, Te project changed everything
for me. I can now put a plate of food on the table
for my family. It taught me to appreciate nature,
because nature is life.
People can also become involved in projects
such as the Marine Research Internship ofered
by Oceans Research. As stated by the Internship
brochure, [Volunteers] join dedicated scientists
and postgraduate students who are conducting
ground-breaking marine research projects
in some of Africas most challenging and beauti-
ful environments. Te programme provides
people with the opportunities to further their
education while engaging with the practical side
of the environment.
South African National Parks (SANParks),
which is responsible for 22 national parks, made
a large contribution towards environmental
education in 2007 and 2008. Tey trained and
temporarily employed 2059 people through the
funding of the Department of Environmental Af-
fairs and the Department of Water Afairs.
Te increase in interest that people have in
the environment is likely to encourage sustain-
ability of the environment as well as nature
conservation resulting from an increase
in knowledge of the environment. Tis is
expected to have a positive efect on the South
African economy.
Many South African National Parks - such as the Addo Elephant
National Park - pride themselves on their community involve-
ment in the conservation process. However, limited access to
resources in conservation areas for communities and the reo-
pening of the land restitution process has led to several conficts
of interest throughout the country. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA
The rise in South African green education
Arts & Entertainment
8 October 2014 Te Oppidan Press 13
Rhodes students have found that certain issues deserve social commentary and have also involved themselves in various forms of protest art. Photos: BRONWYN PRETORIUS (LEFT), KELLAN BOTHA
Bronwyn Pretorius
T
he 1980s were a turbulent time in world
history and as such gave rise to resist-
ance art that sought to encompass the
revolutionary ideas and shifing mindsets
of the era. Tis platform is still available to
todays artists who wish to express societys
burning frustrations.
Resistance art is fne art that takes on the
purpose of having content and a conceptual
departure point, said Head of Fine Art at Rhodes
University Dominic Torburn. It has to do with
social commentary and political resistance.
Such political resistance has been common
throughout the decades, but many historical
resistance art symbols have since been repur-
posed for more commercial purposes. Symbols
like the peace sign and Che Guevaras face can be
seen on hundreds of t-shirts, bags and hats today.
But many people do not know that the peace sign
was originally used in the British Campaign for
Nuclear Disarmament, while Guevara organised
over 1100 executions and jailed homosexuals and
Jehovahs Witnesses in Bolivia.
In terms of its marketability, it has been
diluted to the point of not having any revolu-
tionary potential, said Eben Lochner, a former
Rhodes student who is doing his PhD in Critical
African Humanism. But at the time, those issues
were enough of a threat for that symbol to mean
something, he added.
South Africas own turbulent history has also
caused a number of symbols to be drawn into
the resistance art movement. Protest art peaked
in South Africa during the pre-1994 strug-
gle, despite the strict censorship on freedom of
expression. Many artists shaped and represented
societys anger through art forms such as grafti,
paintings, cartoons and posters.
During those years, many visual artists
realised it was a means to be able to express their
political ideology and resistance, said Torburn.
As a student in the 80s, you were always on
a mission.
Although modern societys struggles against
discrimination are arguably not as turbulent as
they were in the past, the present does have its
own set of pressing issues. Protest art always has,
and always will be, important, said Politics lec-
turer Dr Richard Pithouse. Of course, the forms
that it takes and the issues it raises do change over
time.
Te well-known visual columnist, Jonathan
Zapiro Shapiro, stands out as a controversial
protest artist in South Africa. Zapiro said that
according to the American-based organisa-
tion Cartoonists Rights Network International,
cartooning is very infuential in South Africa.
Out of all the democracies they looked at, South
Africa is the one where cartoons have formed the
biggest part of the national debate, Zapiro said.
[Protest art] is no less relevant than it was in the
apartheid era.
Zapiros cartoons focus on political and social
topics that he feels should be brought into the
public space. Cartooning is a combination of
issues of the public and ones own ideas and opin-
ions, he said. What tends to motivate cartoon-
ists is outrage. Cartoonists can start debates, join
debates and connect diferent issues in society. All
those ways can help people think diferently and
make up their minds.
Grafti is another art form that ofen gener-
ates social commentary. Former Rhodes Fine
Arts student Dan Nel has experience in grafti
art and has previously painted on the wall behind
the library. Grafti art can be seen as important
because it is a practice which connects the people
who do it, Nel said. It also constitutes another
voice in the conversation of images and text that
exists in the public sphere and provides an outlet
for feelings of disenchantment towards society.
Rhodes students have shown that not only
well-known artists can express their views of mat-
ters in society. Te plaques on the Drostdy Lawns
that display the number of child deaths in Pales-
tine is one way in which the Rhodes community
has created their own resistance art. According
to Torburn, hearing the number of deaths on a
radio is incomparable to the visual representa-
tion of the atrocities. One of the roles of artists
is to shif peoples consciousness and make them
look at things diferently, he said. It is not just
good subject matter, but real issues for artists to
comment on.
Certain Rhodes students have shown that the
Marikana strike is also an issue that deserves
visual commentary. A Marikana Fist has been
graftied on the wall outside the administration
building to support black power and solidarity.
People are using [the Marikana fst] as a symbol
for artistic interventions because it carries so
much currency in terms of the shock and horror
of it, Lochner said. Torburn also believes that
the Marikana strikes provide a springboard for
artists to work with.
Resistance art may have burned at its brightest
during the 1980s, but with the increase in politi-
cal and social awareness, it is going to be around
for years to come. Torburn also does not see
protest art as a dying fame. Tere will always be
resistance art or art that has some type of role as
social commentary, he said.
The new Jefreys Bay wind farm is the largest on the continent and has the
capacity to power 100 000 South African homes. However, as the turbines
energy is fed into Eskoms national grid, local communities will not necessarily
be the main benefciaries. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA
What tends to
motivate cartoonists
is outrage. Cartoonists
can start debates,
join debates and
connect diferent
issues in society.

Jonathan Zapiro Shapiro,


visual columnist
Articulating anger through art
For many years, artists have used resistance art to encourage citizens to question issues in contemporary society and change their mindsets on certain topics. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA
Nkosazana Hlalethwa

Rhodes alumnus Unathi Msengana per-
formed at Guy Butler Teatre in the 1820
Settlers Monument on 3 October. Te cur-
rent Metro FM DJ and Idols SA judge held
a beneft concert in order to raise money
for Rhodes Universitys Annual Fund for
Bursaries.
Msengana began her journey at Rhodes
University in 1997 and was part of the frst
group of girls to live in New House Resi-
dence when it was re-designated as a female
residence. Msengana was a Sub-Warden for
the residence before moving of campus in
her fnal year. She majored in Journalism but
also studied Drama, Anthropology and Eng-
lish African Literature a course no longer
ofered by Rhodes.
Msengana added that she enjoyed her
studies so much that she cannot isolate
one moment as her most memorable and
referred to her university years as some of
the best years of her life. Msengana said
this was because Rhodes presented her with
problems that assisted in her self-discovery
as a musician.
Te radio DJ/songstress cannot choose
between working on radio and performing,
saying that Both feed my soul in diferent
ways. She went on to say that both careers
fulfl her love of storytelling as she is able
to express her opinions through her work
on radio and that she strives to make music
with a message.
Prior to the beneft concert, Msengana
provided students who attend her alma
mater, Victoria Girls High School, with
fnancial aid to continue their studies no
matter their socio-economic circumstances.
Education is everything to me, explained
Msengana. Since the Annual Fund gave
her the opportunity to obtain her degree,
she wanted to do the same for current
Rhodes students. Afer receiving the Emerg-
ing Rhodian award, Msengana saw the
Beneft Concert as an opportunity to not
only raise funds but to also pay homage to
Rhodes University for making her success
possible.
Tose who attended the concert enjoyed
Msengana and her live band performing
songs from her previous and upcoming al-
bum Alive, which is scheduled for release on
20 October. In addition to this, the audience
received complimentary transport to and
from the Steve Biko building.
Arts & Entertainment
14 Te Oppidan Press 8 October 2014
I am African
Kamogelo Molobye says that as a black African performer, he is faced with many racial issues within theatre and that
there will only be change once other artists create works that critique the issues. Photo: SHEILA DAVID
Pumla Kalipa
A
cknowledged as a country with a rich and painful
history, South Africa has worked hard to over-
come the legacy of apartheid. However, twenty
years afer democracy, a number of young black South
Africans still feel subjected to issues of class and race
within the theatrical sphere.
Drama Honours student Kamogelo Molobye recalls the
challenges that he continues to face as a black performer in
contemporary South Africa. Molobye, a choreography and
contemporary performance student, has been subjected to
racial issues within the theatre space, which have inspired
his thesis I Am African.
Te frst time I took drama as a subject in 2011 a tutor of
mine said to me, You are a black man in South Africa with
a good body. You will never struggle to fnd a job in this
industry, said Molobye.
Tis is something that has always haunted me because in
a country that has sufered a deep history of racial segrega-
tion and continues to struggle with issues of class and race,
what she said was on the basis of my race and not of my
talents or capabilities, he explained.
Prior to 1994, South African theatre was utilised by
black performers as a space in which to comment on issues
inherent to the apartheid regime. South African playwrights
and directors such as Athol Fugard, John Kani and Barney
Simon contributed to devising theatrical works termed
Protest Teatre that overtly confronted the regime.
South African choreography and performance has
a rich history in protest theatre that aimed to challenge
socio-political issues of the apartheid government. Te
works were far more edgy and engaged people in politi-
cal dialogue that forced them to take the political issues
represented on stage and channel those ideas onto active
platforms for transformative action, Molobye said.
Yet the issues of class and race are an ongoing strug-
gle in South Africa and for Molobye being a black African
performer also seems to be stigmatised. It has been a trend
that when producing works people are typecast; so there
will always be a person that plays the black maid or the
black person from the township who portrays societys
perception of the township dweller. Tis has become the
identity of most artists in the industry due to their race,
Molobye said.
In his thesis, Molobye attempts to understand how being
an African performer makes him unique in relation to the
rest of the world. As a young black performer and cho-
reographer, I am faced with the dilemma of the kinds of
questions I should interrogate and engage in, which would
contribute toward the reshaping of a South African identity,
and whether or not that could be done, he explained.
Molobye believes that the re-shaping of a South African
identity can only be achieved once other artists engage
themselves in this challenge as well. Artists need to start, as
they have, to create works that are critical of the perceptions
that exist and fnd ways of re-educating audiences in order
to correct the perceptions. Artists need to fnd a way of chal-
lenging the existing perceptions without representing them
on stage as that has the potential to continue the harmful
and existing assumptions that objectify the performing
body, he said.
What our monument means
Lili Barras-Hargan
Te Grahamstown skyline is domi-
nated by the 1820 Settlers National
Monument. Rhodes students
throughout the ages have explored
its halls and taken advantage of the
view that it ofers of Grahamstown,
but few are aware of the origins of
the structure and its meaning to
contemporary society.
Te 1820 Settlers National Monu-
ment was erected to commemorate
the contribution the British made to
South African society, most signif-
cantly their contributions towards
cultivating the English language.
Now heavily associated with the Na-
tional Arts Festival, the Monuments
meaning has been revolutionised.
Its current message seems to refect
that of an inclusive society, wherein
people of any background can come
together to appreciate the creative
talents of fellow South Africans.
However, South Africas turbulent
past has led many to question the
value of the Monument. Afer 1994,
the thinking of many South Afri-
cans shifed and their opinions of
national monuments and memorials
were altered. As stated by Al Gore,
Any major public eforts to begin
transforming [monuments] from
within were continually hampered
by the restrictions and mindsets
imposed by the prevailing system
of apartheid.
In the cases of national structures
such as Port Elizabeths Queen
Victoria Statue and the Hans
Strydom Monument in Pretoria,
they have been subject to public
and natural movements. Te for-
mer was vandalised and the latter
ironically collapsed exactly 40 years
afer South Africa was declared
a Republic. Perhaps the liberated
publics lack of disdain for the 1820
Settlers Monument suggests that it
has been successfully translated into
contemporary South Africa.
In 1994, the Monument was
ravaged by a devastating fre and
extensive rebuilding was required.
Shortly thereafer in 1995, Nelson
Mandela rededicated the building,
redefning the Monuments symbol-
ism and moving away from its initial
representation of the diferences
between the privileged settlers and
the indigenous people. In his speech,
Mandela stated, Te Monument is
making a signifcant contribution
to our nations cultural life and the
education of its people.
Te Monument has become
key in terms of its ability to bring
together a diverse group of people
in appreciation of art and culture,
agreed Bachelor of Fine Arts student
Tayla Hoepf.
Te Settlers Monuments contri-
butions to art and culture can be
seen by the fact that it hosts a variety
of events such as the National Arts
Festival and National Science
Festival. However, due to the eco-
nomic and infrastructural scars of
apartheid that remain, not everyone
benefts from the cultural and edu-
cational benefts that it ofers and
transformation is still required to
bring it fully within the scope of the
new South Africa.
Perhaps, as Senior Professor for
the Humanities Department of the
University of the Free State Andre
Wessels has suggested, South Africas
national monuments can hope to
become symbols of a chequered
past and the basis for a better future.
After a fre caused severe damage
to the Settlers Monument, Nelson
Mandela commissioned the recon-
struction of the former colonial
symbol and rededicated it to South
Africas diverse cultural heritage.
Photo: CHRIS KEYWOOD
Rhodes alumnus Unathi Msengana gives back
Unathi Msengana held a beneft concert to al-
low students the opportunity to complete their
degree with the help of the Rhodes Annual
Fund for Bursaries. Photo: SOURCED
Sport
8 October 2014 Te Oppidan Press 15
Womens soccer team fght to keep coach
Kimara Singh
T
he ladies of the Rhodes wom-
ens soccer team have found
themselves fghting to keep
their coach, Brynmor Heemro, as
uncertainties surround his continued
duties in 2015.
Heemros position is under review
by Sports Administration afer he
failed to get his team to qualify for
USSA - one of the goals he was re-
quired to achieve.
Te team has had to gamble with a
lack of interest from the main manager
and head coach of Rhodes Soccer and
this impacted their game time and
opportunities to qualify for the tourna-
ment.
Tis resulted in a disappointing
season for the side. Despite having fve
USSA games scheduled, the team only
managed to play three - of which they
managed to win just one. Two of their
earlier matches were cancelled due to
an unregistered opposition team in
one case and a scheduling mix-up in
the other.
Team captain Oshoveli Kukuri,
who has been part of Rhodes Soccer
for three years, said that very little
efort was shown by previous coaches
compared to this year. Tere has been
tremendous growth and the morale
of the team has been high. Tere is
always fairness, equality, and respect
between the coach and the team,
Kukuri explained.
Ive played soccer at a high school
level and for a club, but my personal
improvement has been far greater and
the understanding of the game has
grown immensely, said vice captain
Mieke Grobler. Both Kukuri and
Grobler feel that Heemro is passionate,
accountable, dedicated and organised.
Our plan is to draf individual
letters, simply stating why we want to
keep the coach and thereafer we are
going to have meetings with the Direc-
tor of Student Afairs and SRC to have
backing before we fnally present to the
Sport Admin, said Kukuri.
Our goal for next year is to win
TriVarsity [InterVarsity] and qualify
for USSA, as we want to be consistent.
Unfortunately, we cannot be consist-
ent if we keep changing our coach,
especially when with [Heemro] its all
about the team and improving all the
time, Kukuri said.
Te team believes that Heemro has
given them a really good base for ex-
pansion and that they have dedicated
team members who want womens
soccer to grow. He really is a great
coach who has inspired and caused us
to play better. If it werent for external
factors we feel like we could have ac-
complished a lot more this year, said
Grobler.
Rosie McLean, also a vice captain,
added that Heemro and Kukuri have
played an important role in helping the
team get past their obstacles.
Luckily our players have a passion
for the game and support one another
so we faced the challenges as a unit,
said McLean.
Te potential discontinuation of
Heemros coaching will have a big im-
pact on the team, as they have shown
enormous progress this year under his
tutelage, compared to previous years in
which the team has underperformed.
A well-shaped column: Masters study connecting body and brain
Douglas Smith
Masters student in Human Kinetics and Ergonom-
ics (HKE) Tendayi Stephen is currently conduct-
ing a study on how mental performance changes
while the body is being physically exerted. Stephen
completed a pilot study last year and has been col-
lecting data throughout this year to complete what
will become his Masters thesis.
Stephen believes that while much is known about
the physical benefts of exercise, there is still much
to be discovered about its mental benefts. I think
that this study will assist in emphasising the benefts
of aerobic exercise, especially in that it enhances
ones mental performance, said Stephen. He hopes
to prove that aerobic exercise produces immediate
efects on information processing.
Te data collection process is done by analysing
the cognitive performance of people as they exercise
over a set period of time. Volunteer test subjects,
who exercise a minimum of twice per week, cycle on
a stationary bike for a period of 50 minutes. Te bike
is set to 60% of the participants maximum aerobic
power and the participant is required to maintain a
cadence of 80-90 revolutions per minute throughout
the experiment.
I chose cycling as the form of aerobic exercise for
this study because it is safer and more convenient
seeing that the participants will need to multitask
with the mental tasks during the exercise, explained
Stephen. Troughout the experiment, participants
are required to complete tasks on a touch-screen
computer. Te tasks test working memory, reaction
time and visual perception. Each participant com-
pletes the tasks repeatedly and their physical states
are monitored by keeping track of their heart rate
and rate of perceived exertion (RPE), or how they
personally feel.
Stephen explained that while research has been
done into the long-term mental benefts of add-
ing exercise into the lifestyles of specifc groups of
people, his study is focused more on the instantane-
ous efects of exercise on the brains performance.
Little can be seen in the results so far, seeing that I
still need a couple more people (males and females)
to complete the data collection process, admitted
Stephen. Te data will only make sense once sum-
marised in an average of everyone once a proper
balance in gender and the permutated conditions
have been established. Te results of Stephens study
could make inroads into understanding the connec-
tion between the mind and the body and this kind
of information is of interest to those who are already
physically active. However, if more evidence is gener-
ated to suggest that exercise has instant mental ben-
efts, then it might just encourage less active people
to lead more active lifestyles.
The Rhodes womens soccer team coach, Brynmor Heemro (left), has found his position under review after failing to get his team to qualify for USSA. The team remains adamant that he is the best man
for the job, however, and plans to fght to keep him on the payroll. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA
Honours student Tendayi Stephen
is studying the efects of physical
exercise on mental capabilities.
Photo: SHEILA DAVID
Sports
Medical woes for
international students
Dining hall
meal prejudice
What were
reading
2 9 4
Muhammad Hussain
R
hodes University prides itself on being an academic insti-
tution rather than a sporting one. However, this year saw
a slight change in this perspective when the university
signed a contract with Varsity Sports South Africa. Tis contract
provides an opportunity for Rhodes to test its sporting mettle
against some of the premier sporting universities in the country.
Hockey has been the primary focus of much of the new emphasis
on sports, as the Mens First Team took part in the inaugural Varsity
Cup Hockey Tournament in the frst semester of this year. It was
also the frst time in six years that they have played in the A-section
of University Sport South Africas (USSA) annual tournament.
Unfortunately, Rhodes fnished last in both tournaments, meaning
that they were relegated to the B-section of USSA and that their
hopes for taking part in the next Varsity Cup remain slim.
Tese results seem to indicate that in order for Rhodes to com-
pete against more established sporting universities in the future, the
university needs to attract more talent and create a more competi-
tive sporting environment.
Many sportsmen argue that the fault certainly does not lie with
the dedication of the teams. We had a group of 20 players putting
in a lot of efort, gym sessions, practice and even giving up their
holidays, said Chairman of the Hockey Club Dean Johnston. I
dont think it was just ourselves that let the team down. I think
it was the structure; I think it was the mentality - we are just not
ready for serious sport.
Te seconds are competing with the frsts which improves the
teams and creates more depth in the squad, said Varsity Squad
and Hockey Club member Waide Jacobs. However, he added that
something was lacking and attributed this to the management and
structure of hockey at Rhodes.
Te question now is whether or not the current structures in
Rhodes sport will be adequate to attract the talent that is necessary.
Considering Rhodes only ofers three sports bursaries, one specif-
cally for rugby and the others based on performance during the
year, this seems unlikely.
Other universities are ofering six or seven bursaries and thats
just for hockey, said Johnston. He mentioned that there were many
talented players who were willing to come to Rhodes, but who were
unable to due to a lack of funding. Old Rhodian Sports Bursary
recipient and Youth Olympic hockey player Cody van Wyk was
therefore the only player who could be brought in by the Rhodes
club this year.
However, this funding issue extends to more than simply at-
tracting promising players. Competing against them [Varsity Cup
universities] is difcult money-wise, explained Johnston. Tey
have a lot of training time, bursaries, coaches, facilities, TV-time
and recording.
It appears that Rhodes has a long way to go before its talented
individuals have a viable platform on which to build their potential.
However, Johnston is being patient and says the Hockey Club will
still be here when changes start to happen.
Being more of an academic than a sporting institution, Rhodes may need to attract more sporting talent and organise greater funding if it is ever to be a real competitor on the professional university
sporting stage. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA
Is Rhodes ready for serious sport?
Ross runs ahead as Sportswoman of the Year nominations approach
Gabi Bellairs-Lombard
Afer being nominated for Sports-
woman of the Year for her eforts in
the Rhodes Athletics Club in 2013,
the spotlight is again on Natalie Ross
following a multitude of successes in
running and Triathlon competitions
throughout 2014.
Since the age of fve, Natalie Ross
talent and evident devotion to the
sport have drawn attention and by the
time Ross arrived at Rhodes in 2009
she was already well-travelled in the
world of running. While at Kingswood
College, Ross was presented with
numerous opportunities to showcase
her talent, including being selected to
represent the Eastern Cape at her frst
Provincial Championships.
Ross, who is currently a Masters
student in Human Kinetics and
Ergonomics, has continued to develop
as an athlete with the help of the Rho-
des Athletics Club. [Te club has] al-
ways been fantastic at organising races,
training and events, she explained.
Te clubs support has allowed Ross
to make a name for herself in the inter-
national arena where she has competed
in Scotland, New Zealand, Canada and
Spain, and made the podium numer-
ous times.
Although running was Ross frst
passion, she was introduced to Tri-
athlon by the 2007 President of the
Athletics Club Mike Irwin. From
then on, I was hooked on Triathlon
and have been competing ever since,
Ross explained.
Ross multisport interest was
expanded even further when Irwin
encouraged her to participate in her
frst duathlon. [Ross] was already an
exceptional runner and was keen on
cycling as a concept, said Irwin.
As one of many coaching infuences
in Ross life, Irwin never once doubted
her attitude or dedication. Her suc-
cess is the epitome of the maximising
of talent through efort, said Irwin,
who admires Ross for being a self-
motivated and passionate athlete.
Irwin explained that part of his sup-
port was lending Ross a bike for races,
but that her talent has since grown
immensely due to her own initiative.
Irwin observed Ross confdence
naturally increase as she became ftter
and performed at more events. Ross
admits that she, like every athlete, has
had some disappointments along the
way, but has enjoyed the adventure
that running has taken her on over the
past few years. She is adamant that she
will continue with these sports for as
long as she enjoys it, a desire echoed
by Irwin who strongly believes that
Ross has yet to tap into her full run-
ning potential.
Natalie Ross is an outstanding
Rhodes athlete, taking part in many
running events. Photo: SOURCED
Her success is
the epitome
of the
maximising
of talent
through
efort

Mike Irwin,
2007 President of
the Athletics Club