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

YouTube is the Future

by admin

YouTube

In our current age of millennials and freedom of speech where online resources are easily accessible and everyone is obsessed about documenting their lives online, it does not come as a shock that the next big thing that everyone is raving about after Snap Chat and Instagram is vlogging. Vlogging is the act of taking video blogs where creators upload content on YouTube about an array of topics including tutorials about literally anything under the sun, music video reactions, entertainment, lifestyle, politics, food, fashion and updates or short clips of their lives. In sum, vlogging includes basically anything that can have someone’s eyes glued to their laptop or phone screens for days. This act is quite popular and profitable for most creators giving rise to a space called the vlogosphere where all it takes is simply a camera and a burning topic you want to address or your simply enjoy taking pictures and videos. If you feel that you have a story to tell- the platform is yours.

I would not consider this as the latest trend because vlogging has been around for some time with many people slowly embracing it. Particularly in South Africa, it is considered relatively new in comparison to America or Europe. Vlogging has some benefits such as profitability and everyone can participate there are no rules, it is easy for everyone to be connected since YouTube is accessible worldwide. But the most interesting part is that one can make profit by just having a camera.      If you already enjoy recording yourself doing something interesting and getting a certain number of views and subscribers, Google Adsense or Adprogram (a special program by google that permits publishers and content creators to serve media texts or interactive advertisements along their channels and vlogs which are targeted to a certain audience) which allows vloggers to generate revenue. There it is guys, another way to be a millionaire without slaving away in university. It is not as easy it seems anyways most people have ridden this wave and are slowly getting onto the money train that is YouTube and creating content whilst working with brand advertisers and becoming the voices and faces for the issues directed to an array of audiences.

In South Africa, I have my own list of vloggers and their YouTube channels that are totally worth checking out, firstly Ich Bin Siv by Siv Greyson, she is in her second- year at the University of Cape Town. She is queer and vocal about the issues that affect queer people in spaces such as UCT. There is series of poems in her vlogs known as vloetry and I am absolutely in love with them. She is fun loving and documents her life as she artistically documents her daily experiences of what it means to be black and queer. I am constantly in awe of her creativity in terms aesthetic and the different elements that re visually pleasing on her vlogs.

Pennyroad Cruising

Next is Cynthia Gwebu with her self- titled channel. This lady specializes in make-up tutorials and I attribute my newfound make up face to her.  Her tutorials are always so informative and she has knowledge on the latest makeup tricks and buys that are affordable yet magical. I suggest you do yourself a favour and check her channel out as you will no longer be excused for walking around with bad eyebrows.

Bad Boujee Tutorial

The next vlogger is a creative in the truest sense of the word. With a graphic design background and an eye for visual aesthetic, he has a series of vlogs on his channel which feature a group of his friends called “broke niggaz”, “confessions of my Instagram”, and the most recent and quite successful in terms of viewership, “microwave boys” which, to be honest, is my favourite. It features Vuzu entertainment presenter Larryngitis, radio DJ Sipho and event MC and host Sphaka who tackle trending weekly stories from social media and give them a fun twist filled with laughs, shade and just random boy foolery nice after a hectic long day on campus.

Microwave Boys

Sibu Mpanza is a vlogger who has been trending quite recently on twitter after being involved in a public spat with another South African vlogger Renaldo Gouws. Gouws accused Sibu Mpanza of being a fraud and fake but that did not seem to knock Mpanza down. After announcing that he dropped out of UCT to pursue his YouTube career and build his channel as a fulltime job, Sibu Mpanza serves as a reminder of how passionate and determined one needs to be in pursuing the things they love. I enjoy watching Sibu’s vlogs as he is vocal about social injustice, racism etc. He, much like Siv, has been actively taking a firm stance on issues that continuously affect the youth of South Africa post- apartheid. And trust me nothing is more interesting than a serving of shade and sarcasm occasionally, so I suggest that you grab a chair and let this brother teach you on how to generate revenue from YouTube.

Sibu Mpanza

This last group of vloggers is one of my all-time favourites. They are the true embodiment of black girl magic and it is pleasing to see young, black females taking a stance on a myriad of issues affecting girls all over. These three are such a chatty bunch, bubbly, and forever silly with well thought-out and laid out vlogs that are stimulating and force someone to take a stand on something. Recently, they have managed to go on a “ride along” with one of this country’s talented musician Thandiswa Mazwai and they have been able to showcase a side of celebrities that only a few television shows have been able to depict. These girls are going places. Watch this space.

Black girl magic

These are among a few of the vloggers and channels I keep up with. There are plenty more and it would be an absolute pleasure if more people were to create their own content and happily share it like these vloggers are successfully doing. Vlogging does not many have requirements and rules; it is all about passion and having fun, and hopefully the South African vlogosphere grows in leaps and bounds.

Vlogging is Lit Fam

 

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 Presence of Gender Neutral Bathrooms

by admin

Gender Neutral

I was at a conference in a building I wasn’t familiar with. I was desperate for the bathroom, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to endure going down six floors to find a ladies’ bathroom; this was when I decided to use a gender neutral bathroom. I found myself being highly uncomfortable during the experience; I kept worrying about whether a man would walk in on my using the bathroom. Additionally, the fact that there is no sense of privacy didn’t put me at ease during this was one bathroom visit I wished lasted for a second literally a second.  I still don’t understand the source of my fears; could it be from the number of times women are molested in restrooms or was it just my own insecurities manifesting?  At home, we have one bathroom and isn’t that gender neutral since everyone uses it? So the structural enforcement of how the different genders ought to interact has pretty much been dictated to us in spaces such as schools, universities, the workplace etc. Which brings me to question the reasons for the presence of gender neutral bathrooms; are they there simply because a company wants to appear more inclusive to the broader public or do they genuinely respect the growing needs of groups like transgender people, non-binary and gender fluid people?  I’d like to pose the question of how comfortable people are with using gender neutral bathrooms?

20th Mar2017

Wanderlust

by admin

Hi everyone,

We have another great edition this week with many stories from our talented team. Thabisile Miya discusses the nationwide students’ accommodation which has culminated in the rise of movements such as #Shackville and #SouthPointFeesSoRidiculous. Lindokuhle Kolanisi questions whether the post-apartheid political order could be more inclusive of gender and sexuality. Tsholanang Rapoo explains why she believes the recent feud between Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj is not anti-feminist. Molebogeng Mokoka explores the continuous devaluation of the BA degree; is it really worth nothing? Veli Mnisi gives us an in-depth look into how thrift shopping has, culturally and economically, transformed itself. He also gives us an insider’s perspective of Braamfontein’s newest thrift shop- haunt, The Thrift Vintage Shop (T V Shop). We’re also featuring Sandiswa Tshabalala’s poem, titled Black Girl Magic. Finally, Charissa Govender gives us the ultimate traveller’s guide for exploring New York City.

Hope you enjoy what we have to offer. Have a wonderful Human Rights’ Day tomorrow.

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017

Wanderlust

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

Welcome Everybody

by admin

Hi everyone,

Welcome to the first edition of exPress imPress for 2017. As always, we have a talented team of writers who are sharing their writing with you, our cherished readers. In this week’s edition of the blog, we have six articles that reveal to us our writer’s anxieties, wishes, reflections, passions, and favourite restaurants to haunt. Naledi Khumalo explains why women need to play key roles in their own empowerment. Obvious Nomaele discusses how university life has been different from his initial expectations. Adalizwa Dlova reflects on the often painful changes the accompany growing up. Thabisile Miya presents us with her manifesto of why South Africa’s youth ought to listen to Okmalumkoolkat’s album, Mlazi Milano. Stephanie Schaffrath gives a sneak-peak into her adventures at the lazy seaside town Parternoster. Finally, yours truly tries to understand the looming Sassa social grants crisis. Plenty of reads to entertain, inform, and challenge you.

Enjoy

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017

2017

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.

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

19th Sep2016

Fees Must Fall Reloaded

by admin

fees-must-fall

We all know that last year for almost all institutions of higher learning in the country and some abroad when students from all races and backgrounds joined forces and heeded the call for transformation, the call for free education and every single injustice imposed by structural hierarchy, white supremacy and racial injustice that refused previously disadvantaged students a chance to acquire education. It was such an exciting time and it was reminiscent of the class of 1976. The unity exhibited showed the collective power of  social media and student politics ;and the need for the betterment or access to higher free quality education.

So many social movements took place last year. These movements included the #FeesMustFall protests; Open Stellenbosch’s call for transformation and amendment of their language policy; a similar situation took place as well at the University of Pretoria; #RhodesMustFall and many others. These movements not only looked at student politics but also to the issues faced by the predominantly black workers of universities. With that, we saw the Wits  SRC call for the end to outsourcing of university workers. All of these protests brought a sense of hope to me as a young person in this country. I may not have been directly or indirectly affected by all these issues but the fact that everyone had reached a consensus and called out the government and the leadership of the country to intervene or play their part simply showed how active, mobilized and conscious the youth of today, Despite our generation  having been dubbed the instant generation to bunch of  thoughtless vacuums, what happened last year solidified my place as part of an active youth.

The inspiration behind this piece is me recently stumbling across two short films depicting an array of issues including racism, financial exclusion, structural racism, patriarchy and colonization amongst many others  faced by students at institutions of higher learning, the film Luister that was shot by a group of white University of Stellenbosch students after the Open Stellenbosch transformation protests took place. Decolonising Wits by Africa Rise Foundation followed calls for decolonization and transformation at Wits University. Both these film made me realize how both powerful and essential those movements were.

It will be a year since these movements occurred; however, there seems to be little progressive change in all these institutions. It was common knowledge that the call for free education wouldn’t be an overnight reality – it would obviously take time. It still feels as though young students were sold dreams. Various questions remain around what will eventually happen as we wait for free education. Will it eventually happen when the budget for education in this country is not prioritized? What is happening at Stellenbosch and University of Pretoria? Has there been a multilingual policy implemented?  Has there been any money set aside for resources to establish that students with the difficulties of the language predicament are taken care of? All of these issues leave me with one final question-when is fees must fall reloaded coming back?

 

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