Student innovators and entrepreneurs

Katherine Atkinson

For South Africa to achieve economic growth we need between “twenty and twenty-five out every hundred people to be entrepreneurs” says UP’s webpage Entrepre­neurship 101. However, only about 7% of South African citizens are entrepreneurs. Despite these statistics, UP has several students who have started their own platforms or businesses.

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Back to School Student Drive


Menlyn Park Shopping Centre together with UP, ran a Back to School Student Drive. TuksFM also participated in this drive to create awareness. On 7 February, TuksFM broadcasters Quintus Potgieter and Brendon Sabau from The Driveway, along with The Quintessential show broadcasted live in the mall’s Aviary Square. With the show running from 15:00 to 18:00, topics regarding textbook prices, improvised student meals (for example noodles and baked beans) and other student expenses (such as accommodation, transport, food, clothing and books) were discussed.

The Back to School Student Drive ran from 18 January to 11 February. Donations of clothing, stationery, non-perishable foods and toiletries were accepted.

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Hearing loss: the invisible epidemic

Gemma Gatticchi

Perdeby sat down with hearX group co-found­er, Professor De Wet Swanepoel from UP in conjunction with World Hearing Day, which will take place on 3 March. According to the South African Journal of Communication Disorders (SAJCD), the need for urgent action to prevent ear and hearing problems is a priority, especially because in many cases permanent hearing loss is preventable.

Can you elaborate on some of the major hear­ing problems faced by South Africans?

There're obviously children who often have hearing loss which is quite common in young­sters entering the schooling system, and hearing is the gateway to learning. If you can't hear well at school then you are not going to be able to learn well. Childhood hearing loss is an important contributor. Some of it is permanent, in other words, there is damage to the hearing organ. Some of it may not be permanent, it may be an infection they might have, like middle ear infection for example. Then we have adult hearing loss. The most important causes of adult hearing loss are aging and noise exposure. The problem with most hearing losses is once you lose it you can't get it back.

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The dangers of eating disorders

Katherine Atkinson

Eating disorder awareness week will take place from 26 February to 4 March 2018. February is therefore dedicated to creating awareness of and breaking the stigmas which surround eating disorders.

The National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC) say that eating disorders are “serious mental illnesses” and are not simply “diets that have gone ‘too far’.” Hanlé Kirkcaldy, a clinical psychologist at Student Support and Counselling at the University of Pretoria, says that academically speaking, “an eating disorder is when an individual displays a persistent disturbance of eating or eating related behaviour”. This includes Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating and Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). Kirkcaldy says that eating disorders are not only about “eating and dieting” and can more accurately be thought of as “a way for someone to [express] unhappiness about themselves and who they are”. This unhappiness then reflects through “the way the person manages food and eating.”

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Inxeba controversy splits population

Lorinda Marrian and Una Mudimeli

The nationwide release of Inxeba (The Wound) was met with mixed responses in parts of the country for its portrayal of Xhosa rituals and culture earlier this month. The movie follows the story of a closeted homosexual couple during the Xhosa initiation of ulwaluko which sees the sacred transition of boys into manhood.

Upon its release, various complaints and threats have been launched against its cast members and local protests from the Xhosa community in the Eastern Cape have caused certain cinemas to stop screening the film. The complaints centre around what many say is an incorrect portrayal of the initiation ceremony which should only be known to those that have taken part in it.

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