New year, new resolutions, new first years. Tuks’s annual Ienkmelodienk was held last week Monday and everyone had their own resolutions to meet with a new group of first years. This year’s event saw a few interesting twists and changes among the usual singing, dancing and (for some) acrobatics.

Maritze Lubbe, chairperson of Stuku, told Perdeby at the beginning of the event that this year’s Ienkmelodienk was very challenging. Not only did everything happen very quickly, but Stuku also took on a whole other venue.

Lubbe said that the high demand for tickets led to Stuku using the Aula as a second venue for Ienkmelodienk which allowed an extra

1 005 tickets to be sold. And tickets still sold out. Olienhout’s State President Tebatso Rampedi said that the extra venue was a good addition to the event. “The first performance really helped with shaking the nerves from the first years and it gave them a better understanding of what was expected of them before they could be judged.”

Other changes to Ienkmelodienk included the incorporation of a video category which allowed residences to introduce themselves and their theme, and an official hashtag for everyone to comment on the night’s performances on Twitter. Near the end of the evening #Ienkmelodienk2013 was trending in South Africa. Way to go, Tuks.

Warren le Grange, a judge at the event and the creative director at performing arts company 13th Floor, told Perdeby that he was looking for performances with tight formations, energy and for those residences who could entertain the crowd. Mudinda Denga, Tuks’s RAG Queen of 2012 who was also a judge on the evening, said that she was looking for “joy in the faces of the participants”. “I’ve been in that place where you feel like you’re forced to have fun, so when it [seemed] authentic, then I gave them a higher score,” she said.

At the end of the evening Curlitzia and Olienhout were announced Ienk winners with Olienhout named the overall winner.

Jacqueline Webb, Curlitzia’s Primaria, told Perdeby that everyone in her residence was extremely proud when they were announced winners of the evening. “A lot of hard work was put in and it paid off,” she said. “We would like to congratulate all the residences on their performance this year, and a special congratulations goes to our RAG partners Olienhout on their win.”

Rampedi said that he was very proud of his first years and his Ambassador of External Culture Jean-Marc Kruger. “I know for a fact that he put in a lot of effort and work into the Ienkmelodienk and it was pleasing to see his hard work acknowledged and rewarded,” he said.

“I think it [Ienkmelodienk] was very good. There’s a couple of male performances that I was disappointed in, but the girls really showed up this year, which is amazing,” Le Grange said at the end of the evening.

Rampedi said that he wanted to thank Stuku for organising a great event and stated that next year will be better. He added, “Now that Ienkmelodienk is done it’s time for the seniors to come and play … Serrie time.”

Photos: Eleanor Harding and Lourens Smit

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