#teamvuvu: Sibusisiwe Nyanda

Today you get to meet the stunning, Busi/Sibu. Another one of the awesome people from teamvuvu 2013.

Sibusisiwe Nyanda looking gorg. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa
Sibusisiwe Nyanda looking gorg. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Me: How would you describe your outfit today?

Busi: Summery, fun. It has a little touch of class, it’s a little chic.

Me: How would you describe your style in general?

Busi: I think my style in general is representative of the above. I like to look cute and pretty but there’s always a sense of my personal style in that. While I’m interested in what’s trending and what’s hot, I think it’s always important to have your own sense of style. I actually like a lot of my mom’s stuff, her style is on point.

Me: Now that we’ve broken the ice, are you sure about this journalism thing?

Busi: To be honest with you, I’m sure that journalism is still something that I love. I’m just not sure that journalism is something that I would be good at and that scares me. I know that it’s got a lot to do with, you know, how I performed this year – I don’t think that I put myself out there and gave it as much as I could have. And that’s led to my questioning whether or not this is something I can do. I don’t question whether or not I love it, I question my ability to actually do it as well as I’d like to.

Me: That said, if you weren’t doing what you doing this, what would you be doing?

Busi: I would definitely be doing music. When I left high school I wanted to go to UCT and do music and my parents were just like listen, no – get a real career. That’s how I ended up doing Media Studies and Journalism. I’m still interested in doing music at some point in my life.

Me: How have you found your honours year?

Busi: It’s been challenging, demanding but it’s also been the best year of all my studying. Um, I’ve met awesome people and I feel like I’ve been exposed to the kind of practical, how to you apply theory stuff that I’ve always spoken about. When I started in my first year, I expected Media Studies to be like Journalism and I felt like it was a great waste of time when all that theory was being thrown at me without any place to actually apply it. I think in hindsight it was useful but this year has definitely been the best year. It’s been that kind of put yourself in the deep end and swim type of year, and I’ve loved that.

Me: What’s been the most challenging thing and the most rewarding thing for you this year?

Busi: The most challenging thing has been the Monday pitches. Having to always have your brain switched on and have your finger on the pulse on what’s happening in the community, to be able to come back with something on Monday morning with an idea of what you’re going to put in the paper and making sure that it’s relevant.

The kind of feedback we get from people has been rewarding. People who like the stories that you put out or even for me, what matters more is my own peers telling me “that was cool, I liked the way you did this, I liked the way you did that”. To have your peers respect and admire some of the stuff that you’ve done, when you all started out knowing absolutely nothing was really rewarding for me.

Me: Where will you be next year and what will you be doing?

Busi: I’m going to be an intern-journalist at Drum magazine, in Sandton.

Me: How would you describe #teamvuvu in three words?

Busi: Loud, opinionated and trailblazers. This has been the group that decided that just because this is how things have been done all this time doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. Where some of the traditions and structures made sense I think the group conceded but where things didn’t, this group wasn’t afraid to speak out. Whether it was in the department or in terms of Wits  and the community’s attitude towards certain issues – this has just been that group. I think that’s really important because that’s what the industry needs, so ya.

[how quickly  3 words can turn into 100 :P]

Me: A word of advice for the incoming team for 2014?

Busi: Don’t pay attention to people who tell you that what you’re doing is a waste of time, because half the time you’ll find that those people are applying for the course anyway. Where there’s constructive criticism, definitely yield towards it and listen. But make sure that you aren’t paying attention to people who have shallow, empty criticism. Those are just people who have too much time on their hands. Also try not to compete with each other as a group. Have fun yo, enjoy your time here – it’s over before you know it.

A day in the shoes of a Witsie

SMILES ALL ROUND: Wits mentors each got some highschool pupils to take under their wing for a day, From left to right: Philile Mashele, Palesa Mokoena, Tanyani Daku and Kedibone Rapoo. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa
SMILES ALL ROUND: Wits mentors each got some highschool pupils to take under their wing for a day, From left to right: Philile Mashele, Palesa Mokoena, Tanyani Daku and Kedibone Rapoo. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Sixty uniformed pupils were beaming from ear to ear as they got a chance to walk up the steps, sit in the lecture halls and walk amongst ‘real’ students – things and people they had only ever seen on Wits’ promotional brochures.

A rare opportunity provided by the Wits Rag society made that possible. This year’s Take a Child to Varsity day was bigger and better. Last year only ten kids got to spend a day with a mentor, this year that number more than doubled said Wits Rag Chairperson, Siphe Mkize.

The pupils

“We take kids from underdeveloped area’s… To help them get an idea of what to study when they come to varsity, as well as what they need to do to get there,” said Mkize.

A teacher from Lesebogo Girls High School in Soweto, Humbulani Mavhunga who ordinarily teaches grade 10’s and 11’s maths, accompanied pupils on their visit this past Wednesday.

“I took a range of learners, mostly the highest achievers and some who are sitting in the middle. I also took some low achieving learners, to show them what is possible if they work hard,” said Mavhunga.

Mentees and mentors

The selected pupils were allocated a mentor from Wits, anyone from any faculty could volunteer their services for the day. The mentors who availed themselves this year were “very keen and patient with their kids,” said Mkize.

Tanyani Daku, a Media Studies mentor took three girls under her wing and spent her time giving advice from her personal experiences and answering questions posed by her inquisitive bunch.

Daku said she loved being a mentor and getting a chance to help kids with complicated social situations, focus on their academic lives and improvement thereof.

The pupils she took under her wing could do nothing but sing her praises. Although not all of them wanted a media studies mentor, they were glad they all said what they learnt from their mentor was invaluable.

Stop going to the zoo!

“We must stop going to the zoo for school trips, rather come to varsity,” said an impassioned Daku, making her mentees roar with laughter.

Echoing words in the same vein, Mavhunga said that she hoped Wits Rag would continue with this initiative. “This opportunity helps kids to make informed decisions about their futures,” she said.

She said it was important to break down the legacy of students choosing careers within very narrow confines, Mavhunga wishes she had the chance to be exposed to university beforehand.

“All we knew was teaching, nursing and being a policeman or woman,” said Mavhunga.


“Today blew me away. I thought Wits was very serious and just for people who want to pursue maths or physics but it’s not,” said grade 11 pupil, Philile Mashele. She cannot wait to come to varsity now that she has had a taste of what it’s really like.

Another pupil, Palesa Mokoena said that she was impressed with the way people seemed very “focused” on campus, she said it inspired her.

On a slightly different note, fellow classmate, Kedibone Rapoo said that she was by no means prepared for varsity life and the pressures that come with it. However, “I am prepared to try by studying hard,” she said.

Big five in the posts

Keegan Boulle, Tuks reserve, scores the fourth goal in their game against UCT on Monday. Photo: Provided
Keegan Boulle, Tuks reserve, scores the fourth goal in their game against UCT on Monday. Photo: Provided

A RESOUNDING defeat on Monday night took away any hopes the University of Cape Town (UCT) team had of moving up from the bottom of the Varsity Football log.

Goal after goal, it became obvious that the University of Pretoria (Tuks) players were not going to let the UCT team squeeze in one redeeming goal for themselves.

The team from the coast were at a slight disadvantage as Tuks played on their home ground, the Ama Tuks Stadium, with their fans cheering them on every step of the way.

UCT goalkeeper Bevan Adonis showed some promise in the fifth minute of the game with an impressive diving save. The opening goal by Tuks’s Desmond Khuzwayo was the catalyst that kept Adonis diving and sliding in the goalposts.

Man of the match Dean Wilkinson then scored a clean shot on goal, which made it obvious that Tuks were out to win.

Mbongeni Masilela put his boot in with a third goal.

Keegan Boulle, a reserve put on late in the game, added two more goals to Tuks’s tally. By the 90th minute the outwitted UCT team had watched five flashes of fire go off, signalling five goals at their goalposts.

Back home

More disappointment took place on the field closer to home at Milpark Stadium. Wits were beaten by the visiting team from the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

The 2-0 victory pushed the Wits team down to seventh spot on the log after the gains they had made last week with their 1-0 win over UCT.

Wits Solar Car team gear up for take off

A GROUP of students are going to enter their very own solar car into the Sasol Solar Challenge in 2014.

Bradley Rautenbach, 4th year Mechanical Engineering, said the new Wits Solar Car will cost about R3 million to build if the team is to stand a chance of winning.
The core team members consist of three engineers and an accountant. They have 25 other people assisting them.
Chase Mitchel, 3rd year Mechanical Engineering, said that it was great that they have so many people on board at the moment but said he was certain that at least half of those people “will bail” along the way.

“We really need other people from different faculties whose different specialities will help the team,” said Kabelo Ngwenya, 3rd year Mechanical Engineering. Those specialists include Nick von Rovetz, 3rd year Accounting, who joined the team to help out with the financial side of things.

WITS SOLAR CAR: Bradley Rautenbach in the driving seat of last year’s solar car.Photo: Provided
WITS SOLAR CAR: Bradley Rautenbach in the driving seat of last year’s solar car.
Photo: Provided

Last year, the team entered the same biannual competition and their solar car came in fourth place in their category.
The team was unanimous in their claim that funding was one of their biggest stumbling blocks. They simply did not have enough money to build a car that could compete with the winning car which had a $20 million budget.

“The new solar car will feature a semi-monocoque carbon fibre chassis bringing the total weight of the car to 150 kg where as the last car weighed 339 kg” said Bradley. Carbon fibre is most commonly used in Formula One racing cars.
“The materials needed this time around cost a lot more but will ultimately make for a better quality car,” said Ngwenya.
The design concept for the solar car drawn by Rautenbach can be seen on their posters all over campus.
The solar car will be named “Parhelion” which is the name of an atmospheric phenomenon, much like the one last year when there was a halo around the sun.

Pheladi Sethusa 


peuf_20120514_26-247x300This year the Wits Arts and Literature Experience (WALE) had a number of interesting events on offer. Of all the events I managed to attend, one in particular stood out. I wouldn’t call this piece a review but rather an abstruse comment on the play.It was a fairly warm and pleasant afternoon, the 10th of May 2012. This changed completely when we were ushered into the Nunnery. A Wits theatre space which has quite an eerie feel to it. It felt like we had just walked into a dungeon. This was cemented when the huge black doors where bolted shut for the performance to begin. The lights were dimmed, all whispers faded and The Line began.

It was an amazing play to watch. Even though it only ran for 50 minutes, one was not left wanting. The storyline was robust, intricate and full of devastating truths. Truths about who we are as so called South African citizens. Citizens who are so caught up in the ideas of their superior nationality that they burn, torture and destroy the lives of their fellow brothers and sisters. The play was primarily about the heinous acts committed during the xenophobic attacks in South Africa in 2008.

The script and most of the dialogue in the play was made up by a number of interviews conducted by the director, Gina Shumulker. This made for a far more transparent and sincere opportunity to identify with the characters. There were only two actors (Khutso Green and Gabi Harris) on stage but they managed to tell the stories of several interviewees. Ms Green played five vastly different characters. Just by changing her voice and mannerisms, she managed to play each character with spellbinding conviction. Her physical appearance was but a mirage on that stage. We ‘saw’ a different character every time she opened her mouth.

We got an insight into the kinds of people who propelled the violence, in this case an ANC councillor, a young thug and a Johannesburg-20120510-00071-300x225woman who was a victim of the hype incited by mob mentality. We got to see people who just stood by and watched, stopping only to take photographs (people like us). But most importantly we got to see the victims of the xenophobic violence. The innocent people we all let down.

There was a discussion after the play. Most of the audience members were moved by the performance. Moved in that they had never taken the xenophobic attitudes and actions seriously up until this point. There was a common feel around the room that the time of shifting the responsibility of dealing with such issues to government is over. The onus is on us as individuals to say to one another that ‘this is wrong and we will not tolerate it’. We can’t stand back anymore and watch such atrocities take place right under our noses. There are a lot of things that we put up with and ‘let slide’. The killing of innocent people should not be one of them.

The Line left me feeling guilty and ashamed. Ashamed of being a South African citizen and guilty in my complicity of inaction. However, there was a trickle of hope in all of this. There was a character who was involved in the violence who was rather remorseful after the fact. Her guilt is a sign that our people haven’t completely lost their humanity. That we still have the ability to feel for others, that all is not lost.

**NOTE: Post first appeared on exPress imPress on May 22 2014.