By Nqobile Shoba and Lula Hlatshwayo
Our campus is a very comfortable environment, but you can’t really say you’ve experienced Grahamstown until you’ve ventured off campus and seen some of what the rest of town has to offer.
Challenge yourself; make it your mission to introduce yourself to the local flavours. For example, the Rhodes Mapantsula Society has introduced us students to a local mapantsula dancing group from Hlalani township. They are made up of six schoolboys, and have nicknames such as Jisce, Blood and Rocky.
Their performances are a theatrical musical of sort, which flows like liquid. So if the new environment seems to be taking too much out of you, rejuvenate yourself with the arts that Grahamstown has to offer. One could find these artists at various events on campus and could possible request to have them at a function of their own, to get hold of the group simply make contact with the Mapantsula Society for further information.
Another exciting avenue to explore here in Grahamstown is the lively and informed world of poetry and the spoken word which has captured the hearts of young and old in Joza. The poetry group, which meets weekly at the Duna library, has a talented group of individuals who get together and share their individual thoughts and experiences in what has become a “safe haven” for freedom of speech. Sandile “Dudu” Saki has been a member of the group since 1995 and emphasized that the group is aiming at expanding and building and hopes to soon register as a non-profit organization. This in turn will help to strengthen the group pulling in more members and audiences in order to cause a change in the community, “the community needs to be enlightened about the power of the spoken word which has the ability to change and influence minds,” says Saki.
The group is certainly on its way to achieving this. It’s an experience watching these talented poets and performance artists at work as they entertain and inform through their tantalizing words and sounds. It’s definitely an experience I would encourage and recommend. So if you have the time or just want to escape the compressive bubble of reality that we seem to live in, we would recommend that you see these talented individuals at work. Who knows, you may just be inspired. Catch the Poetic Tuesday meetings at Duna Library, Joza on Tuesdays at 6pm.