23rd Oct2017

Goodbye

by admin

Hi everyone,

This is our last edition for the year and our team has put together an amazing final edition for you to enjoy. Stephanie Schaffrath advises us on how to develop, and capitalise on, our personal brands. Sandiswa Sondzaba explores how Lupita Nyong’o’s recent revelations of being sexually harassed by the once-invincible film producer Harvey Weinstein, highlights the deep-seated rot of toxic masculinity. Zinhle Maeko shares her recent misadventures with an ex-partner who was less financially comfortable than her. Finally, Sandiswa Tshabalala personally reflects on how the #IBelieveYou and #MeToo hashtags on social media have forced her to validate her own experiences of being sexually harassed.

Thank you for being an amazing audience. Our team has grown in leaps and bounds this year and we are so grateful that you have been a part of our journey.

Until next year,

Sandiswa the exPress imPress team of 2017

Goodbye for Now

23rd Oct2017

Little Known Ways of Working on Your Personal Branding

by admin

Image 3

So the smell of summer is officially in the air and the holiday vibes are so close we can almost taste them. Before you get too excited, remember that exams are just around the corner too! It’s funny how every year, at this time; I dedicate myself to being more diligent, hard-working, studious, and just all-round better…the next year. Perhaps I am alone in this―but I don’t think that I am. However, this year I have come up with an idea, better than ever before; so good that I would like to share it with all of you! Perhaps this time, the “New Me” resolutions will finally come true.

In the 21st century, the internet plays a huge role in not only our personal, but also our professional, lives. Our every move is being digitally recorded, and that is inevitable. We keep hearing that it’s not a matter of whether our future boss will look us up on Facebook; it’s a question of when. So if our professional career is dependent on this, then why aren’t we being more proactive about it? At the end of the day, our digital identity may be just as important as completing our degree. The options are either that we choose to sit back and allow other people to carelessly determine our digital identity for us or we take control of how we are perceived on the World Wide Web and promote our best qualities instead.

Following this thought process I have done a lot of research on creating your own personal brand. Because at the end of the day, the way you represent yourself on the Internet will influence how people perceive you as a professional. In addition to simply keeping face online, brainstorming and creating your own personal brand may also assist you in evaluating your current efforts to become the person whom you aspire to be one day.

According to my research, evaluating your core values is a good place to start. But this is much easier said than done. One thing that I found helpful, was simply googling “list of values” and ticking off the ones that applied to me. Such values may include loyalty, work ethic, achievement, balance etc.

Now you have reached the point at which things get more exciting because it’s time to start planning your actual internet persona. The best advice I came across, was to just keep things real. Don’t try and be someone you’re not because this will just come across as fake. Decide which platforms will best serve your personal brand and be consistent across the platforms. Such platforms may include: writing a weekly blog, starting a professional Instagram/Facebook/Snapchat account or even creating your own website with a brief description of yourself and maybe even a copy of your CV. Decide on what you would like people to see when they first google your name, and create exactly that! Also note that it may be beneficial to keep your personal accounts private and limit your followers to only personal contacts. But all in all, just be you―whilst still keeping it professional. Choose colour combinations that appeal to you, promote your personal beliefs and ideals and represent yourself the way you would like people to view you as a person.

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In a world where digitalisation is inevitable and we can access all information with just the click of a button, we should make sure that people aren’t misinformed about us as human beings. I encourage you to do something useful this year and actually live up to the “New Me” resolutions from the past five years.

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07th Aug2017

Connections

by admin

Hi everyone,

This week, our talented writers have written great pieces for you to enjoy. Leah has written a piece about how our subjective experiences affect our ability to connect with others. Stephanie Schaffrath ponders whether social media is worth the loss of privacy that comes with it. Finally, Veli Mnisi writes about all of the great shows on offer that have come with the current Golden Age of Television.

Have a fantastic week and a Happy Womxn’s Day to all of the strong womxn in your lives.

Enjoy!

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017

Technologies and Connections

07th Aug2017

Truth, Dare and Command

by admin

Is social media truly worth breeching our personal privacy?

social media 4

This month I have decided to play a little round of truth, dare or command. This week we shall begin with truth because I doubt that anyone can truly claim to be innocent when one is asked whether one has Facebook stalked their ex for months after a break-up? Raise your hand if you are guilty, because I most certainly am.

In today’s world, there really is no need to call up a friend anymore; all the information we need is just one click away. If you go through a break-up, the greatest fear is not losing the actual person, but rather the embarrassment of changing your relationship status to the dreaded “Single” option. And heaven forbid you spot their Tinder profile whilst casually checking out social media’s most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. All in all, I think it is safe to say that social media can be rather detrimental to our social lives- how ironic.

social media 2

Not to say that technological developments are all bad. In fact there are plenty of amazing benefits such as keeping in touch with old friends and family members who are living abroad. Plus, we have eliminated the anxiety of waiting for those dreaded high school reunions in order to see just how much everyone else has changed. And now we can even find and befriend people on Facebook, whose names we probably don’t even remember. Thanks to technological advances, Facebook can track exactly where we have been throughout the day, people we are likely to meet, and make friend suggestions. Now that’s what I call service!

But then where do we draw the line? What should or shouldn’t we post on social media? What is deemed private and what is suitable for public knowledge? Last week I went to see a newly released film called “The Circle”, starring Emma Watson, that left me with a sense of wonder combined with fear. Every day I find myself in awe of the technological developments that have been made over the past few decades. But as the famous author C. S. Lewis once said “You have to let go at some point in order to move forward”. So then, what are we having to let go of; our right to personal privacy perhaps? The question we should be asking ourselves is whether the benefits of technology are truly worthy of that kind of sacrifice?

Sociall networking

15th May2017

Goodbye for Now

by admin

Hi everyone,

This week is our last edition for the semester and our talented team have written amazing articles for you to enjoy. Stephanie Schaffrath, inspired by the five lion fugitives in Nelspruit, has written a lighthearted piece discussing misguided stereotypes of Africa. Thabisile Miya has a list of South African YouTube vloggers that we all need to check out- because as they say, local truly is lekker. We have also included Sandiswa Tshabalala’s Response to “The Millenial Question” which won the Wits Mail & Guardian writing competition. The recent murder in Coligny,North West has inspired Jabulile Mbatha to write a piece decrying the presence of anti-black racism in post-apartheid South Africa. Finally, Veli Mnisi reflects on how #MenAreTrash demonstrates the violence of heteronormative, hegemonic masculine norms.

We hope that you enjoy this edition and good luck to everyone writing exams during this exam period.

Until next semester.

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017

Tech Savvy

15th May2017

Lions in the Streets of Africa

by admin

Some things just never get old. For example, the look you get when you travel abroad, proudly announcing that you are indeed from Africa; as in THE Africa. You know that dark and dusty place where you go on safari to observe wild animals and meet tall, thin, starving people? Yes, that’s where I live!

MAGALIESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 07:  Children play football in front of the setting sun on June 7, 2010 in Magaliesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

First the eyes get wider, then the chin pokes forward in amazement and finally you get the scan: top to bottom and back up again; just to make sure that you’re not some kind of fictional creature.

Once I even went so far as to elaborate on our local elephant transportation system (Ele Vaya) and my two pet lions that I keep in the bushveld south of my clay hut.

Lion

Despite my little jokes about western ignorance, given some recent occurrences, I have to wonder if the Western idea of deepest, darkest Africa is perhaps more accurate than we would like to believe. Apparently nowadays it is normal to have three pet lions in your backyard. Did I perhaps miss the memo?

And on top of that, we now have a new tourist attraction. Get your cameras ready folks; we have lions walking the streets. I have to wonder what Mother Africa has up her sleeve for next week’s headlines.

Lions in road

10th Apr2017

Disruption Ahead

by admin

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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

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

27th Mar2017

Identity

by admin

Identity

Hi everyone,

In this week’s edition of the blog, our talented writers have explored the issue of identity. Stephanie Schaffrath, after walking past the Israeli Apartheid Week exhibitions, wonders as to whether we can live in a world without any labels. Obvious Nomaele derides Christianity’s judgement of members of the LGBTIAQ+ community and makes a call for greater compassion for members of the community. Sandiswa Sondzaba discusses how Brenda Fassie complicated our understanding of the ideal black womxnhood in post-apartheid South Africa. Sandiswa Tshabalala discusses the toxicity of hegemonic masculinity. Finally, Sandiswa Tshabalala shares a poem which celebrates the strength of black womxn.

I hope that you will have a restful research break.

Until the next edition,

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017.

27th Mar2017

A World Without Labels

by admin

When you go to the grocery store, everything seems to have its place. The apples belong in the fruit and vegetable aisle; the flour in the baking aisle; and the window cleaning products in the housekeeping aisle. You will even find multiple brands of the same product neatly placed next to each other in order to allow for a fair comparison of brands. Furthermore, some customers even go to the effort of comparing the packaging of two identical products to determine which one is the better option. I trust that I am not alone in recalling an occasion where I walked into a store to buy a measly little packet of sugar, only to discover, in the previous week, the store underwent a serious makeover. This resulted in me trekking up and down every aisle in search of that packet of sugar. Of course it would be on the very bottom shelf of the seventh aisle, just as you turn the corner where all of the Easter eggs have been displayed. How silly of me for not thinking of that in the first place! The point of arranging a store in such a painfully rigid manner is to make the customer’s shopping experience a pleasant one—now that’s what I call good service!

Grocery store 1

Problems arise, however, when we try to replicate this kind of organisation and structure in the real world. I do not blame people for trying to label others and categorise them accordingly as this makes life a lot more comprehensible. The world is a very big place that is home to many different people. It can be very confusing at times, however, the real world is not a macrocosm of the grocery store. The real world is a mess; a beautifully chaotic mess!

 

Following the recent Israeli Apartheid Week that took place on WITS campus at the beginning of March 2017, the question of religion has been highlighted. According to The Daily Vox the aim of Israeli Apartheid week is to bring attention to the apartheid-like crimes committed by the state of Israel against Palestinians. Every year this annual campaign creates some tension between students who sympathise with Zionist and Palestinian groups. As a Christian, I found myself subconsciously picking up the pace as I walked past the collection of people handing out fliers and voicing their opinions to anyone who would listen. Although I feel that this campaign makes a valid point, I also feel like one should promote the rights of humankind as a whole, rather than just one particular group of people.

 

I believe that religion is a very personal decision, possibly even the most personal decision a person ever makes. Initially the whole idea of religion was to create a sense of community. People would turn to a higher power in times of need and desperation. The point is to not feel alone in the world. Why then do we continue to discriminate against people of a different race, gender or religion? Everyone is different. Even if we had to compare two identical bottles of Tomato Sauce we are bound to find some differences between the two.

Labels

Often we place too much emphasis on labels such as race, sexual orientation, and religion. Throughout history religion has been a game of power but at the end of the day, we are all human and our religion is our personal choice. We need to stop reducing people to labels. When I look around I just see many different human beings going about their daily duties. What do you see?

Skeltons

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