The fantastic a cappella singing of the night aside, there is one thing that really stood out like a sore thumb at this year’s Serenade, especially when you place it in the context of the new South Africa. And that was how each Serenade group had to sing Afrikaans songs. I understand that the ATKV arranges the national Serenade and is an Afrikaans culture group, but if this event is going to be held at Tuks, an inclusive university, then they might have to consider transforming and including more South Africans.
Now I have nothing against Afrikaans, or Afrikaans music. Afrikaans-speaking people are not only part of the country but also have certain traditions that add value to South African heritage and should not be forgotten or ignored. But I do have a problem with events that are supposed to represent the entire university and are only inclusive of certain groups at Tuks. If you want to make a black student sing Afrikaans songs, and make them learn lyrics that they might not understand, then surely the group can sing one song in an African language? Isn’t that what becoming inclusive is about?
I don’t think this is a radical question. In this year’s Serrie and Ienkmelodienk performances some of the residences started doing this by themselves anyway. Medleys from those competitions included English, Afrikaans and African-language songs. Why can’t Serenade do the same? This isn’t about destroying tradition either, but is about making appropriate changes so that we can include as many students in an activity as possible. I don’t believe that we should eradicate Serenade and its history, but why can’t we include other facets to it to add to the event’s longevity? I have heard people say that the only traditions or events that survive are those that change and adapt to the times. That should be something to look at when discussing events at the university. And if that’s a problem, then only English songs should be allowed in the competition. In that way most people will understand all the songs all the time. There are enough South African bands and artists (English bands and artists) to fill medleys if the aim of the event is to promote South African talent. Oppikoppi illustrates this fact perfectly.
This is our Oppikoppi edition. We have worked all week on the Oppi pages, and I think our entertainment editor, Melina Meletakos, can be very proud. We interviewed artists, captured people in strange outfits and reported on news events that happened over the weekend. It’s a different approach to last year and I’d love to hear what you think about it. This week’s edition also contains some other cool information. There is a piece in news about changes in res, which gives the basic rundown of what the university has said about the whole issue, and this coming week we are going to take a closer look at what students are saying. We also have some disconcerting news about the Steers at the Square and we have an EPL football preview on the back page for sport lovers.
Until next time,