DANI VAN DER HORST
The University of Pretoria’s annual 1NSYNC concert took place on Saturday, 1 February on Hatfield campus. Hundreds of first year students took to the stage to represent their residences. It is always remarkable to see what a team can deliver with just over a week’s practice behind them. The event takes place at the end of Orientation Week and is the first time that the University of Pretoria is officially introduced to the residences’ first years. The event was successfully hosted by the Student Culture Committee (STUKU) and was enjoyed by those in attendance. Each team brought something exciting to the stage, so be sure to keep an eye on PDBY’s YouTube channel to catch the various performances.
House Erica took home the Overall Winner title, as well as: Best Female Performance and Best Female Theme. This year’s theme was “The Purple Purge” and it was eerily brilliant. Their near-perfect coordination sent chills through the audience and ensured that jaws hit the floor once they were finished. Their “purge” masks unified the group and their rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was breathtaking. It was a remarkable performance to watch, albeit slightly terrifying. Erica accomplished what they set out to do and “killed” their performance.
House Tau won Best Male Performance this year. Their theme was titled “Umqombothi Flavoured Bachelor” and was an interesting take on a time travelling bachelor’s party. Their rendition of The Weather Girl’s “It’s Raining Men” included well-choreographed dance moves equiped with black umbrellas. Another highlight included the best man taking on the form of Kevin Hart. All of the young men were kitted in funky socks that were on full display towards the end of their performance. The performance emphasised the importance of brotherhood and showcased the true power of “bromance”. House Tau’s performance was a pleasure to watch.
House Mopane did not disappoint and lived up to their usual standards. They won the titles of Best Overall Theme and Best Male Theme. Their “Flat Earth Society” was a major hit and had the audience in hysteria. Their choice of music ranged from Fall Out Boy to High School Musical and their skit included many corny lines, a favourite being: “the Flat Earth Society has members all around the globe”. The camaraderie between the young men made this performance really enjoyable to watch. It was clear that everyone enjoyed performing. House Mopane proved that having fun is the most important part of 1NSYNC.
Luminous won the Best Mixed Performance and Best Mixed Theme titles. Their theme “Find Your Light” was wholesome and slightly cheesy. It followed the journey of a Luminous firefly who couldn’t find his light. As the skit progressed, he managed to discover this missing light through love. The costume design was lovely, and the use of lights made this a visually appealing performance. Luminous proved that numbers are not a crucial aspect of performing and you can make an impact with a small team.
House Mags and Vividus came second and third, respectively, in the Best Female Performance category. House Mags stunned with their “Diner Divas” theme and quirky stage presence. Highlights from their performance included a nod to Mean Girls and an energetic rendition of “You’re the One that I Want” from Grease. Vividus chose to celebrate the African continent with the theme “Africa”. Their colourful skirts and golden ponytails lit up the stage and their rendition of Johnny Clegg’s “Impi” were just some of the highlights that scored them a spot in the top three.
Blossoms Delight and Tuks Ekhaya were placed second and third, respectively in the category of Best Male Performance. Blossoms Delight’s “Western” theme was a crowd favourite. Their batwing doors prop, and the speaker’s dedication to a “western” accent truly made their performance unforgettable.
Tuks Ekhaya’s “Murder Mystery” was also a major hit. The performance was exceptionally well coordinated and their energy on stage was remarkable.
OP Village and Docendo were placed second and third, respectively, in the category of Best Mixed Performance. OP Village’s “The Cats of OP” theme was confusing at times, but still managed to be enjoyable. Their belting out of Frozen’s “Let It Go” made their performance unique. Docendo’s “around the world” theme was well received by the audience and proved yet again that you do not need huge numbers to put together a performance.
College made their usual mark as they hit the stage, scantily clad in notorious black togas. They entertained the audience with a theme titled “Keep it College”. A theme that bears striking resemblance to last year’s “College pronounced Kollege”, although this year it centred more around their name change frustration and less around the history of College that was emphasised last year.
Asterhof’s claim that SRC President, David Kabwa, is better than any James Bond had the audience beaming. The banter was further emphasised when Kabwa made his way back onto stage and announced that he hoped everyone had taken note of the statement.
Morula Legae theme “#imstaying” was another crowd pleaser and was topped with their very own “Faf”, complete with a wig and makeshift South African flag “speedo”. Morula Legae put on a stellar performance and had their transitions been slightly smoother, could have easily placed in the top three male performances.
Sarah Coertzen, a first year at House Nerina, describes the experience as “exciting and a lot of fun”. She claims that 1NSYNC is an important part of “res culture” and that it builds a friendly, competitive relationship between the various residences. She says that it’s all about participating and getting involved, even if you feel like you can’t dance. It’s more about the experience than it is about performing the moves perfectly.
Dylan Spies, Tuks Ekhaya first year, states that: “1NSYNC was a really fun way for us to get to know each other and come together as one big group”. He says that watching everything fall into place and perfecting the difficult moves was an extremely satisfying experience. According to Spies, they based their practice on the notion that “it is better to have everyone look like one big idiot than to have a single person stand out”. 1NSYNC is truly about becoming a unit.
Watching the proud House Committee members cheer their teams on from the stands is always a highlight. 1NSYNC may only take up a short period of time during one’s university career, but the memories made, and relationships forged truly last a lifetime. The bonds that are formed between the students during the 1NSYNC experience, lay the foundation for the year ahead. This is what the competition is actually about: becoming an integral part of your residence.
Photo: Darec Hall