We need to talk

Spring has sprung and if you are as much a fan (read: not a fan) of winter as I am, you’re probably rejoicing in your ability to wear shorts and slops. But as much as spring is a time of renewal and new beginnings, there are also more sinister tones underlying the season.
It took me no time at all to read up on how numeourous studies have indicated that suicide rates increase during spring. This may seem ironic but with a little thought, you can see how the current social climate and this particular semester can introduce pressures that may get too much for people. The third semester brings specific realities for students: fees and funding may not have come through and students may have no money to continue with their studies, second semester marks may not have been high enough for a student to transfer into their dream degree, uncertainty about the following year may arise in terms of accommodation or a job. These are coupled with standard student pressures like relationships, assignments, family, and change.

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Stuck in a slump

As August draws to an end, the second semester slump has hit everyone with enough force to leave them flat on their backs. Clearly this was the case last Friday when campus was so empty, you could only assume that it was in fact Saturday and everyone was sleeping in.

Apart from the mountains of assignments everyone has been wading through, semester tests have filled our evenings. Suddenly life feels like a whole lot of work and very little downtime.

Perdeby hasn’t been exempt from this supernatural force and this edition can only be described as a real push. While everyone else was sleeping in on Friday, our News and Features editors were busy typing away, attempting miracles with content. But we made it, the worst is over, and we have some great pieces.

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Are we putting our best foot forward?

This week I have been annoyed by one thing in two particular circumstances. One relates directly to Perdeby, and the other to the university.

As Editor, it is my job to ensure our paper is as representative of as many groups and individuals as possible. I have probably failed at this many times, but I do feel I try. This week’s first “frustration in the lack of representation” comes in the form of the Entertainment section, more specifically, our Oppikoppi coverage. Over the last few years, Oppi has made an effort to diversify itself and break away from the “white people, rock music” image it had. It’s taken care to invite artists from many different genres. I wish I could show you the festival’s efforts in this edition, but I can’t. I really tried. I applied for interviews with artists Riky Rick, Jack Parow, Yelawolf, Petite Noir, Nakhane Toure, August Burns Red, Nonku Phiri, Reason, and Satanic Dagga Orgy. The interview requests that were approved already cut out half of my efforts to have content that catered to everyone. For the interview requests that were granted, Reason didn’t pitch for our scheduled interview and Nonku had to cancel at the last minute. Great. What do we have now? Exactly what our critics expect us to have. It’s incredibly frustrating for me when we get criticised (and I won’t argue with that criticism) but it’s equally frustrating that our efforts fall through, too. We can’t do this without the support of artist managers and the artists themselves. It also concerns me that artists would turn down an opportunity for publicity. They also have a role to play in creating representative content. Either way, it makes me feel as if we have failed some of our readers, and I really do apologise for this.

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The top ten: things you missed at Serenade


1 John Snow’s red uggs. Never has a medieval TV character been more fashionable (or more white girl).

2 The smooth as butter vocals from Olympus’s Stephen Sass. (And how the judges all leaned closer each time he came forward.)

3 The fact that Zinnia only had 16 girls, but at least half of them were incredible soloists.

4 Luminous ladies’ beatboxer. She made the performance with her impressive skill.

5 Erika’s facial expressions. If you’re looking for extras in the new season of Prison Break...

6 Two Kollege men in skin tight corsets for their rendition of the Rocky Horror Picture Show’s “Sweet transvestite”.

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Back to the dust

Each year I leave Oppikoppi and think, “Thank goodness I will never have to do that again.” I don’t particularly enjoy Oppi-style camping (read: having a friend occupy your sleeping bag and mattress without your permission) and I am definitely not a fan of being dusty, having to use porta-loos and being woken by drunken festivalgoers shouting “Oppi!”, hoping for the response of “Koppi!”, at 03:00.

And yet, I find myself returning to Oppi again and again, this year included. Maybe it’s the delicious cheese roosterkoek from Kobus se Gat, the Ray Ban top stage or just the fact that their mascot is a bull terrier that brings me back. For many, it may be something entirely different, but there’s no denying that Oppi makes repeat visitors of many students, a large portion of whom will eat dry two minute noodles for months in order to scrape together the money for a ticket.

I really do think that this year’s festival will be my last and I’m grateful that the line-up is looking better than the past few years (the rand-dollar exchange is no event organiser’s friend but they’ve managed well this year). I’ve secretly always been a metalcore fan and first-year me is still upset that she couldn’t witness Kongos first hand at the Rag afterparty because it took place in the Square and she wasn’t allowed there.

Let’s not forget the excellent local talent. Some heavyweights are at the festival this year and there’s nothing better than the opportunity to see so many of them all in one weekend.

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