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Tuesday, 01 April 2008

A busy first term for arts and culture


It has been a busy year so far for the Arts and Culture Development Department. From its office on the Bellville Campus, this subsidiary of Student Affairs has co-ordinated several well-received arts events over the previous months, and has an exciting line-up planned for the rest of 2008.

The role of the Arts and Culture Development Department is to broaden the minds of students studying at CPUT by exposing them to a variety of art forms such as music, poetry, dance and drama. By bringing performers onto campus and organising cultural outings, the students’ academic experience is enhanced and personal development is assisted. The Department also plays a role in establishing and growing new cultural organisations. Among its affiliates are groups offering debating, ballroom dancing and choral singing.

Included in the Department’s first term programme have been several theatre experiences. In February, a group of students spent the evening at the Baxter Theatre enjoying the local comedy Joe Barber 4. In March, a performance of the South African classic Woza Albert was held at the Bellville auditorium. For many students, this was an important lesson in history and a chance to experience “struggle theatre”. Another highlight was a trip to the Little Theatre to see the Afrikaans play “Kanna hy ko huistoe” by Adam Small. In this, the students were partnered by learners from Florida High School, Ravensmead, who are studying the play as a setwork.

Music has been an important part of the year’s activities. CPUT has been visited by several high-profile local performers including SAMA winner Loyiso Bala, Idols finalist Ezra Lingeveldt and Idols winner Jodi Williams. On the classical side, thirty students attended a production of the Opera Rigolletto at the Joseph Stone Auditorium in February. For many, it was their first “night at the opera.” During Orientation Week at the beginning of the year, students were entertained by a classical trio and a jazz band.

Other cultural events have included an Orientation Week Program by the Afrikaans Culture Group and an open mic poetry session hosted by the Poetry Group. The Debating Society’s first public debating competition was held on the 16th of March and was viewed by a packed audience in the Bellville Campus Student Centre.

Arts and culture activities are temporarily slowing down as many students have exams, but there is plenty planned for the second term. In the pipeline are the annual visit to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, a trip to the National Debating Competition and several arts and culture workshops.

For more information about arts and culture activities at CPUT, contact Eugene Malan at 021 959 6041 or e-mail

By Eugene Malan and Ilana Abratt

Photograph: SRC culture representative Lovuyo Nontsele (centre) is flanked by Woza Albert cast members

Written by CPUT News