TAYLA-PAIGE VAN SITTERT: Music is a muse. The mind-heart roving along various soundscapes is directly and immediately exerted upon the soul as inspiration. Listening to a mix of African folk, country, Flamenco, world music, acoustic rock, classical, ragas, Cape jazz, bluegrass, and Celtic music with a little neo-soul and swamp blues, is enough to make me want to do beautiful things in the world.
These sounds culminated at the annual Cape Town Folk ‘n Acoustic Music Festival, staged at the Baxter Theatre’s Concert Hall on 30 August. The evening included collaborations from 24 local artists including Ard Matthews, Vusi Mahlasela, Derek Gripper, Dave Ferguson, Mark Haze, Farryl Purkiss, and Reza Khota. This a glorious celebration of genre-bending, inspiration-kindling, afro-jazz and folk-acoustic mingling. Yes please.
Every voice is rich and novel. The opening two acts were artists that won the Music Experience competition; solo-artist Jennifer Eaves and the band Hatchet Man, whose music is as dazzling as the Baxter theatre’s roof of tea-candle lights.
SHANNON KRAUSEY: I was prepared. I had spent predrinks listening to Britney Spears, painting my nails with glitter nail polish, and drinking copious amounts of wine. Truth be told, that’s an ordinary predrinks for me; but this was no ordinary night – I was going to Crew.
The first thing I noticed was the bouncers. I was taken aback by how polite they were: the greeted us, didn’t ask for ID, and insisted on calling us a cab when we left. Not at all like Tiger, where the bouncers look at you like you’ve just peed on their red carpet, and bounce you for wearing the wrong shoes.
SHANNON HOLCROFT: Learning to knit in technology class may have seemed entirely pointless. But those needlework skills can be put to use in the Me-a-mama Knit-a-row-and-go campaign to make this winter a little less harsh for underprivileged Western Cape children.
Me-a-Mama is an online maternity wear store, but the company’s concerns go beyond keeping moms-to-be from looking frumpy. For the past three years, their public knitting relay has helped meet basic winter clothing needs for local children in impoverished areas. The company places wool and needles in local hangouts. These are participating restaurants around the city and the supplies are donated by Elle Yarns. People simply knit what they can and leave their work behind for the next person to continue.
ALI FINDLAY: As a student, life can get busy. Days flash by as you do assignment after assignment and test after test. It’s easy to forget about things that aren’t part of your usual routine and suddenly you find yourself doing the same things every week. Your focus can become limited to your own little bubble. Pop that bubble. Have a new experience, help people, get to know people and have some fun outside of your usual routine.
This year I started volunteering at the South African Riding for the Disabled Association (SARDA) in Constantia. The organisation provides free horse riding lessons for over 200 physically and/or mentally disabled children from around Cape Town every week. Working with horses and children leads to a very unique bond developing between horse, rider, and volunteer – a bond that is unforgettable.
ASHLEY VAN HEERDEN: The World Federations of United Nations Association (WFUNA) hosted a five day human rights training program in Geneva, Switzerland from July 21st to July 25th. The training was attended by 33 participants from 25 different countries. The goal of the training program, held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, was to empower young individuals to take leading roles in upholding human rights in their communities, countries and, ultimately, around the world.
I was shocked when I was endorsed by United Nations of South Africa, UCT Chapter (UNASA-UCT) and later by the United Nations of South Africa’s (UNASA) national board. Firstly, because I’m not a Politics or International Relations student; I’m a psychology student. Secondly, because I was younger than the other applicants. And thirdly, because during my Skype interview with UNASA I accidently made a three-way call and the line dropped three or four times.
DEAN HORWITZ: Over the past year a new food culture has descended on Cape Town. The Low Carb, High Fat Diet has swept across the City, forcing restaurants to adapt their menus and supermarkets to re-think what they sell. The diet, although not new, owes its resurgence to Professor Tim Noakes who, along with a team of professionals from various disciplines, co-authored a book called Real Meal Revolution, which is flying off the shelves. It is a part-cookbook and part-science book and it takes you through all the science behind the diet before enticing you with some incredible recipes.
ANNA INSAM: Forget pricey places and countless calories, and say hello to cafés dedicated to bringing you nutritious and delicious dishes, focused on fresh and wholesome ingredients. Health foodies beware, you're going to have to carve out some time in your schedules to visit these incredible spots.
1. Skinny Legs and All
70 Loop Street, CBD. A quirky minimalist space, with walls dressed in cheeky larger-than-life artworks, where breakfast can entail a "porridge of the gods" or "prosciutto soft scrambled eggs" and much more! Breakfast is served all day, upping the anti of this hotspot. It’s the perfect 11am brunch spot for lazy mornings. Inventive salads, open sandwiches and a mains section all jostle for your attention. Utilize the free wifi and dig into a mouth-watering dish while enjoying the vibrant chatter of fellow diners and the bustle of the city streets. As if this luxury café didn’t have us sold already, their service is impeccable, so you’re guaranteed a satisfied tummy and a happy heart.
ALI FINDLAY: “OK. Stop! Stop the car, I really can’t hold it anymore.” The car pulls over onto the rocky ground next to the dirt road. Before the car comes to a stop I yank the door open and sprint out onto the rocks. The air is so cold that I am instantly covered with goose bumps. I find my little area and do what I gotta do in the bushes, staring at the Lesotho sunset. Never Have I Ever been that desperate for the toilet.
Our first Afriski morning brought cold, and lots of it. I bundled myself up in layer upon layer of clothing and waddled down to the rent shop with the others. My feet were measured, my weight was recorded and I was handed a pair of heavy red boots, two poles and a pair of skis. I didn’t know where to start. Fumbling with my equipment, we strode up to the slopes where I met up with my ski instructor, Mariana, from Slovakia. As soon as the skis were attached to my feet, I slid slowly backwards down the slope, stopping myself by dragging my hands in the snow. Most of the other people in the lesson followed my lead and some completed the show by crashing into the safety netting. At first learning to manoeuvre myself on the slippery snow was difficult, but the more I persevered the better I got. I soon realised that this is a type of fun that you can’t experience doing anything else. The adrenaline rush is completely unique.
KATELYN MOSTERT: Scrolling through UCT Ikeys Crushes, you secretly hope (but don’t expect) to find your name at the top of a post, followed by a description of you, or your habits, or your crusher’s desire for you. It would come as quite a surprise to have your name attached to one of the more graphic posts, especially if you aren’t looking but simply get directed there by a friend who finds your name. What happens when you do?
He doesn’t believe it. Denial. Is there another person at UCT with my name? He’s shocked, confused. The content is surprising. Why is my name here? Who put my name here? What made them write that?
VARSITY has produced many a great exam survival article. Read our favourite ones here - this is guilt-free procrastination.
Under-rated Exam Tips: The 1st Steps to Getting a First: http://bit.ly/1n8fXQw
The Party-Animal’s guide to studying for exams: http://bit.ly/1nxGbu2