10th Apr2017

Disruption Ahead

by admin

Pins

Hi everyone,

I trust that you have all had a restful break. This week our talented group of writers have given us great pieces to read and (perhaps) mull over. Last week proved to be a crazy one for South Africa; with that in mind, Stephanie Schaffrath’s challenges us to appreciate the small blessings we are afforded in our daily lives. Lilitha Mankuntsu reflects on the recent SA Fashion Week (now in its 20th year) and she hopes that SAFW is onto bigger and better things. Charissa Govender gives us a sneak peak into the IPL and the exciting cricket the current season promises us. Zinhle Maeko (in disagreement with Tsholanang Rapoo’s view) argues that Nicki Minaj and Remy Ma’s feud is not exempt from feminist critique.  Naledi Khumalo writes a piece that aims to motivate womxn facing significant challenges. Thabisile Miya reflects on the feelings of vulnerability that accompanied her visit to a gender neutral bathroom. Finally, Veli Mnisi critiques mainstream hip-hop’s hyper-masculine whilst finding solace in artists such as Frank Ocean and Gyre who are quietly dismantling hip-hop’s homophobia and misogyny.

Hope you have a wonderful Easter break.

Enjoy,

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017

10th Apr2017

The Rise of SA Fashion

by admin

From the 28th of March to the 1st of April, all of South Africa’s elite members and those who identify themselves as fashion connoisseurs came out to support our local and guest designers at the 20th SAFW (SA Fashion Week).

Without a doubt this event has gained momentum and more prestige as the years have gone by. It has also been instrumental in putting young South African designers on the international map. SAFW has also become more exclusive in terms of the designers that get to showcase their work; at the same time it has become more accessible as relatively affordable ticket prices mean that ordinary fashionistas can also go watch the shows. Not to mention their incredible partnership with Woolworths South Africa means that more people can buy items that are from the runway.

2017 SAFW was even more amazing with the partnership between Berlin fashion week and SAFW, which combined the showcasing various Nigerian designers with big-names such as Anja Gockel. This goes to show that African designers are capable of competing with international designers too.  For the very first time a resort collection (known for catering to more high-end customers) was showcased by 5 high profile designers at SAFW.

With this being the 20th anniversary, one has to see how far South African fashion has come. SA fashion is taken more seriously not only by those who participate in it but also the international fashion community at large. One hurdle that still needs to be overcome is getting our designers into the big commercial clothing spaces so that they can actually make a stable living off their creations.

Our fashion industry is on the rise and like our country we have a lot of work to do. The industry needs to also realise that it has a large role to play in assisting with social issues and that SAFW can be used as the platform to address those issues. Gert Johan Coetzee has done so before by using fashion to raise awareness on albinism. People also need to realise that SAFW isn’t just for the elites. Tickets are available for people to buy and go watch, we all wear clothes after all; that’s the one thing we have in common in modern society. Hopefully just because SAFW has reached 20 years, this isn’t the pinnacle of the show but, rather, will continue to reach greater heights.

SA Fashion Week

10th Apr2017

Cheers to the Finer Things In Life

by admin

Following recent occurrences in South Africa, I think it is safe to say that our nation is in a state of turmoil. In times like these it is easy to forget what a beautiful country we actually live in because we get so caught up in the negativity of the situation. In times of crisis we often isolate ourselves from others, under false pretenses that others will not understand the complexity of the problems we are facing. Although the state of the economy is causing considerable strain on everyone, the truth of the matter is that we cannot spend every waking hour fighting for a cause. It is also important for us to take a breather and appreciate our many blessings. We need to take time to laugh with each other, kiss the ones we love and chat to our best friends over a glass of wine, rather than wasting all of our free time in isolation staring at and tapping on screens.

white wine

As far as I am concerned, eating a meal with my family and friends is one of the greatest joys of life. What more could you ask for but to spend Sunday afternoons gathered around a table with the ones you love, eating delicious food that just melts in your mouth? When I think of the many Sundays I have sent with my family and friends, one in particular comes to mind. I thought I would share this memory with you today and perhaps it will inspire you to reflect on your own memories. Maybe you also have one memory (of time spent with the ones you love) that stands out over all the others.

 

The day that I remember so clearly, started off at eight o’clock on a Sunday morning when my family and I made our way to the market. Whenever people refer to retail therapy, the farmer’s market is what comes to my mind. It is a place where you can find all of the lovely things that you never even knew you needed. The first stand we stopped at was that of the “Pasta Man”, as we called him. On your arrival you can specify which type of pasta you would like to purchase and he will quickly filter it through his pasta machine for you. Besides the freshest pasta in Johannesburg; on that particular morning, he also had freshly picked wild mushrooms on offer. We passed stalls selling fresh bread, beautifully sweet preserves, aromatic spices and every kind of tea you could ever imagine. Dare I say, the baked goods at the patisserie stand were the cherry on top—excuse the pun! They did look really inviting.

 

Two hours later we left the market with a great selection of delicious goods and excitement brewing in the pits of our stomachs. Once at home, the family chefs started preparing a feast. The smell that hung in the air was simply irresistible. It is no surprise that the rest of the family and our guests were sitting around the kitchen table, all ready to eat an entire hour before the food was even ready.

 

Whilst they sat there in anticipation, playing board games and discussing sport, at the kitchen counter, we made ourselves busy by preparing a baked camembert with rosemary and garlic, along with figs wrapped in Parma ham and baked in a homemade blue cheese sauce. This we later ate with very thinly sliced toast, which we used to scrape up every last little bit of the sauce that remained on our plates. The combination of flavours and textures was like a rainbow in my mouth. The crunchiness of the toast with the oozing texture of the camembert cheese were all part of the sensual experience. When I popped one of those little figs in my mouth an explosion of flavours occurred. The sweetness of the fig contrasted beautifully with the saltiness of the Parma ham. The meal was finished off with a pleasant taste of blue cheese that lingered on the tongue and went down very well with a glass of white wine. Needless to say, after all of that, we were one big, fat, and very happy family surrounded by our dearest friends.

cheese wine and figs

Often I have to wonder why life cannot be like that every day. After all, isn’t that what life is about: Sitting around a big table with people you love, enjoying the finer things in life? I don’t know about you, but often memories like that linger far longer than the memory of the last twenty photos I double tapped on Instagram…

melted camembert

20th Mar2017

Gender and Sexuality Issues Under the Political Lens

by admin

Gender inequality and discrimination based on sexuality have always been issues that have brought with them pertinent discussions and debates. A lot of “important people” debate and deliver speeches about issues on social media platforms; however, the truth is we have never really seen any of these problems being practically addressed. We live in a country where equality and fairness are always encouraged; the representation of all people is something that is highly emphasised. However, this does not reflect the reality for most people. Please note that this article is based on my own personal views and opinions and I do stand to be corrected.

For years we have been about feminism this and feminism that. And I say “we” because I, myself have been a part of those who have considered themselves a feminist without really taking into account the conditions under which feminism exists in this country. After attending the Feminism Indibano organised by SASCO Wits (credit ought to be given to the speakers) I have come to believe that feminism is not only about our social stance; it is also about how our political institutions have a bigger role in reinforcing what the social institutions preach. The social hierarchy pyramid places us black women at the very bottom, with black men right above us. This means that black women have three privileged groups “oppressing” them. For years, non-feminist have not understood the fuss around being “equal” has been about; and have went on complaining about how black women want to be “equal” to men. The truth is that WE DON’T AND HAVE NEVER WANTED TO BE THE SAME AS, AND EQUAL TO, these other groups. Why be equal to a black man who is oppressed on the basis of his race? Why be equal to a white woman, when her gender disadvantages her? And why be equal to a white man who has the ultimate power over our lives and could oppress us at any given time? However, this is a story for another day.

The main issue at hand is, how are our political institutions addressing sexuality inequality and discrimination? As much as we have a women’s league in South Africa, what has its role been in ensuring that women are well represented in state government? Of all the premiers in the current cabinet only one is female. This brings forth the question about what the state is saying about its faith in women leadership and its stance on the patriarchs who constantly take feminist movements two steps back. The political field as a whole is held by men and is also driven by them. And as long as such issues are not reinforced in the one “field” that practically runs everything issues of such importance will never be adequately addressed.

Coming to the representation of sexuality in our country, well, this has been a dismal fail. This is despite there being a youth league that is supposed to be representing the young people as well as ensuring the problems the youth are encountering are addressed by the national government. We are facing a difficult time of being discriminated against on the grounds of our sexuality. We are facing high rates of unemployment. And as students, we are faced with the challenge of high university fees whilst we are making the call for free decolonised education. How is our youth league attempting to address such? We ought to have a division in the youth league which will be mainly run by people who know the struggles which come with being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (part of the LGBT community). We may all be young people; however, we do not all face the same daily challenges. It is for this reason that I believe that political institutions should be inclusive and regularly address issues related to those of genders/sexuality regardless of economic status. And as much as we would like to mostly focus on women, we cannot ignore the fact that there are “men” who identify as women and “women” who identify as men. Thus, we have to consider the discrimination that comes with that identification. Politics practically run this world, and if issues of such importance cannot be addressed using politics, then clearly equality will never exist.

Please do excuse the lack of academic language in this article, but I do hope it provokes thoughts and questions about what role the political arena is, and should, be playing in creating a gender/sexuality inclusive environment in the country.

Gender

20th Mar2017

So on the Issue of Accommodation Huh?

by admin

Wits EFF Protest

It is almost the end of block one and many students are still faced with the problem of not having accommodation. Many endure sleeping in libraries and toilets or travel long distances to get to lectures. The scarcity of accommodation both on and off campus has been a persistent struggle mostly due to university residences being unable to provide spaces for every single applicant and the ludicrous amount of money required to secure a place and meals as well.

I used to live at one of the South Point buildings and I swore I would never go back again due to reasons including high prices, bad customer service, various safety and security issues, maintenance, etc. Despite all of that I found myself back in the same building because on campus accommodation had limited capacity and slightly higher prices compared to off campus accommodation. One has gotten used to this yearly struggle, and the university has not done much to help with this issue. The national student financial aid scheme (NSFAS) also seems to distance itself whilst most of its recipients rely on off and on campus accommodation. Seemingly though, NSFAS continues to accredit certain buildings that charge high prices which they are failing to cover. This results in a huge shortfall that students must top up on from their own pockets. The student representative council (SRC) has made efforts to help alleviate some of the stress caused by this crisis but their efforts have been a drop in the ocean. Last year, we saw some activism and physical action directed at South Point accommodation and their ridiculously high fees with the hashtag #SouthPointFeesSoRidiculous. Moreover, a march to their office for a memorandum handover by the Wits EFF Student Command managed to draw attention to how private accommodation providers charge unfair and unregulated prices; in addition to how these providers have been exploiting poor students who have no alternatives and are forced to pay exorbitant amounts for accommodation of a lesser quality.

Southpoint Fees So Ridiculous

I write this article as I want to alert and inform most students who may be in a sticky situation when it comes to accommodation to not fall prey to people who may want to exploit their desperation. If they are still on the waiting list to get on university residences, they must continue to be proactive and probe the university and the SRC to come up with more effective solutions to the nationwide accommodation crisis.

13th Mar2017

To Grant or Not to Grant: Inside Sassa’s Grant Crisis

by admin

SASSA Card

 

17 million South Africans currently receive social grants from the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa). Until early this year, Sassa was efficient in its provision of social grants to its beneficiaries. In order to decrease the risk of corruption, Sassa has (until now) enlisted the services of Cash Paymaster Systems (CPS) to pay out some R10 billion to the beneficiaries. It has emerged though, that Sassa’s contract with CPS has not been renewed. This means that, come 01 April, the social grants recipients will not receive their payments.

The Sassa crisis has led to the demonization of the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini. What has emerged is that the looming crisis is the result of Sassa’s reported R1 billion in irregular expenditure and financial payments. The Constitutional Court found that Sassa’s initial contract with CPA/Net1  was irregularly awarded, leading to the gross irregular expenditure during CPA/Net1’s tenure as the provider of social grants. The Constitutional Court, following its initial ruling, refuses to allow Sassa to extend its contract with CPA/Net1. Sassa needs The Constitutional Court to authorize its use of CPS as it has not found any viable alternative service providers. However, on the same day Sassa filed papers requesting for The Constitutional Court to authorize its use of CPS, Sassa drew up papers to for a notice to withdraw application.

Moreover, the South African cabinet has failed to address the social grants payment crisis. The Sassa crisis was not mentioned in the post-Cabinet statement, with Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe stating that there had not been enough time to address the matter. Sassa, itself has been plagued by internal difficulties with the current CEO, Thokozani Magwazani, being placed on “sick leave” for twelve days. His, and Bathabile Dlamini’s, notable absence from a meeting between Parliament’s committees on public accounts on 27 February resulted in Themba Godi (chairman on the committee) ending the meeting as there was no one who was able to answer questions about the grant crisis.

Seemingly, the looming crisis does not look to be averted anytime soon. Sassa has only started negotiations with CPS/Net1 on 28 February. Tensions between Dlamini and Godi were apparent at Sassa’s presentation to the social development portfolio committee on 22 February, with Dlamini dominating, leaving no room for Sassa officials to speak. The crisis will affect South Africa’s poorest, resulting in substantial socio-economic crisis. In 1994, the newly-elected South African government stated that its principle interest lay in protecting society’s vulnerable and marginalized. Additionally, the South African Constitution was primarily drafted to protect the rights of all South Africans, who include the poor. South Africa’s high levels of socio-economic inequalities have become more deeply entrenched in the socio-politico-economic order. Sassa was developed in order to address the developmental crisis experienced by South Africa’s poor. The crisis demonstrates that Sassa has failed in its responsibility to South Africa’s poor. The crisis seems to be a more tangible example of how post-apartheid South Africa’s dreams are increasingly not being realized.

13th Mar2017

A Day Trip to the Salty Little Town of Parternoster

by admin

Beach Days

Someone once said that travelling “leaves you speechless, then it turns you into a storyteller”. So here is my story of the day my two travel buddies and I took a road trip to the small fishing town of Parternoster in the Western Cape. A day filled with tear-inducing laughter, stunning views and good food.

Prior to embarking on our journey from our holiday accommodation in Langebaan (45km away), we thought it would be a good idea to put in a load of washing, whilst forgetting to redirect the water drain pipe into the bath. This particular washing machine has a tendency to make a sound similar to one I imagine the Loch Ness Monster makes upon waking from its slumber. We were therefore more than eager to get out of the house and on our way. Happily we made our way to Parternoster, only to realise our mistake 20km down the road. Returning home, we sprinted to the bathroom like mad chickens. Luckily the floor was bone dry and after securely placing the drain pipe in its allocated spot, we embarked on our journey once more.

Parternoster is known to be one of the oldest fishing villages on the West Coast of South Africa. This salty little town is in the vicinity of Vredenburg, just 145km North of Cape Town. It makes for an ideal day trip. In my opinion, Parternoster is defined by just two words: windy and picturesque. Upon arriving, we parked our car on the side of the road and walked up and down the main road which is crammed with quaint little shops and restaurants sporting a sea view. In the streets we saw plenty of young men selling crayfish, some no bigger than the average hand and others absolutely enormous! Locals did, however, warn us to abstain from these illegal crayfish vendors, or else we would attain a hefty fine.

My favourite shop was most definitely Die Winkel op Paternoster. Besides the beautiful leather bags, authentic Veldskoene and homemade preserves; what captured my heart was a little packet of deliciously sweet, syrupy koeksisters. Between the three of us, we polished off the entire packet of golden deliciousness right outside the entrance to the shop. In fact, they were so scrumptious that we even walked right back inside to buy some more—for later of course. After browsing at all of the little shops we returned to the car and made our way to the Seekombuis just inside the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, a mere 7km away. From the parking lot this little restaurant doesn’t look like anything to write home about. But just wait until you walk through the little entrance that has probably seen better days. Seekombuis is exactly that: a kitchen right on the beach. If it was any closer it would be in the sea. Captured by the view, we eagerly made our way to die kerk (as they call it), which is an old fishing boat overlooking the bay and by far the best table on offer. Perhaps it was compliments to the view, but that afternoon I ate the best fish and chips I have tasted in my life!

After lunch we continued to sit on the beach with our toes in the sand and a glass of ice cold wine in hand, as we admired the heavenly blue water before us. I even spotted a school of dolphins cheerfully playing in the distance. After much excitement, we hastily retrieved a pair of binoculars from the car to get a better look. And so the scrutiny began… First my incredible spot was demoted to submerged rocks, and then—to my disgrace—seaweed! To this day I am still convinced that they were indeed dolphins. But then again I guess even if they weren’t, for those precious few moments, those submerged rocks created so much joy in my life, that if anyone ever asks, I will not hesitate to tell them that they were without a doubt, most definitely dolphins.

In the end, the Three Musketeers started on our journey home. We left Parternoster with fiercely knotted hair, sandy feet, full tummies and warm hearts. On our way out we passed a windmill that had clearly worked very hard some few years ago and read “Dead as a doorknob” in Afrikaans. I guess that is quite an accurate description of how we all felt after our memorable adventure In Parternoster. Without a doubt, a bucket list destination!

Contact Details for Places Mentioned Above:

  • Die Winkel op Paternoster, Cnr of St. Augustine Road and R45 (Vredenburg Road), Western Cape, 022 752 2105
  • Seekombuis, Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, Tietiesbaai, Paternoster 7380, 072 258 9041

Paternoster

13th Mar2017

Why Every Young Kid in South Africa Needs to Listen to Okmalumkoolkat’s ‘Mlazi Milano’

by admin

Okmalumkoolkat

Okmalumkoolkat is one of South Africa’s talented artists who is not only a rapper but is also a dancer, fashion influencer and all round creative genius. One look at his Braam-kid-ville aesthetic will give you a sense of what I mean. There is a futuristic element about him and that is present within his sound that has influenced a lot of South African hip-hop artists. Mlazi Milano is a 17-track album featuring the likes of award winning Ricky rick and member of Boyz N Bucks; Mashayabuqe Ka Mamba; Mr. Digital Maskandi; the highly acclaimed the Brother Moves On; as well as young and upcoming musos like Shomadjozi, Reba Red and Amadando . The reason why every young kid needs to listen to this album is because it is pro-South African, it both celebrates and aims to promote our multilingual, diverse and culturally rich nature in a manner that speaks to the youth. The album addresses issues like isintu- the African way of doing things like praising the gods or serving a higher being- which lies beyond the confines of the western conceptualization of religion. In this album Okmalumkoolkat addresses the trend of South African youth looking down upon their cultures, religion and traditions. He smoothly does this by rapping mainly in Isizulu as well as collaborating with Mashayabuqe who has successfully merged maskandi music with trap music and Shomadjozi who raps fluently in Xitsonga. This demonstrates that one does not need to be a pure imitator of mainstream American hip-hop culture. It is obvious that hip hop is at its most successful period in the country. Because it is part of the mainstream, most artists have become monotonous producing music of a lesser quality with everyone adhering to the winning formula. It’s time South African hip hop becomes more inclusive and celebratory of South Africa’s diverse cultures. In our social media-driven age, it is refreshing to see artists who are genuinely making music for a certain cause and act as an inspiration to the youth. One needs to listen to this album to get a sense of what I am talking about.

17th Oct2016

Goodbye for Now

by admin

goodbye

Hi everybody,

We have approached the end of this year’s edition of exPress imPress. It has been a great year sharing our team’s thoughts and ideas with you- our readers. Mamelodi Marakalala has written a piece on how women ought to follow their own paths and not succumb to societal expectations. The last few weeks have been tough, with the militarization of many South African universities in response to the #FeesMustFall2016 movement. Khwezi passed away, having not received the justice she deserved. As South Africans, we are in the midst of one of the most challenging periods in our country’s history. Our finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, is facing fraud charges and there is increasing proof of state resources being misused. This is enough to make us despondent. In some ways, it would be easier to leave South Africa before our country goes up in flames. However, this is our home. We are facing significant challenges but we cannot give up. Our country has so much potential and we, as South Africans, have the power to change the course of our country’s future.

 

Until next year,

Sandiswa and the 2016 exPress imPress team

19th Sep2016

Amandla Ngawethu?

by admin

wits-shutdown

Today, Minister of Higher Education, Blade Ndzimande announced next year’s fee hikes for tertiary education. Minister Ndzimande announced that universities would determine the fee hikes themselves- however, the fee hikes may not exceed 8%. Various South African universities, most notably Wits have protested in response the Minister’s announcement.

It seems as though we are on the precipice of another #FeesMustFall movement. But various questions still remain. Our talented writer, Thabisile Miya, addresses these questions by looking at the legacy of last year’s student protests. Considering the changes in South Africa’s political landscape, will we bear witness to a #FeesMustFallReloaded? If so, will these protests result in meaningful transformation in South Africa’s tertiary education sector? These are the questions, that hopefully, will get some clarity in the coming weeks.

Until the next edition,

Sandiswa and the 2016 exPress imPress Team

Pages:1234567...19»
master thesis writing assignment helper in kl content writing services company how can i do my book report what is the best custom essay writing service