Campus Highlights

06 March 2006

Poppie's travails

UCT's drama department is presenting a production of Poppie in the Arena Theatre as part of the Little Theatre's 75th anniversary celebrations.

In 1978, Tafelberg Publishers published Die Swerfjare van Poppie Nongena written by Elsa Joubert.

The book, which was later adapted for the stage by Sandra Kotze, caused a stir as it documented the personal, day-to-day struggle for survival of an ordinary woman against the backdrop of apartheid South Africa in the 1970s.

Poppie is a set-work for grade 11 learners across the Western Cape, but most grade 11 learners have not yet seen this important production, which is the reason behind its choice.

Director Sandra Temmingh explains: "For our students, this piece of theatre is very close to their hearts. All of them have a Poppie in their families - a woman who, for the survival and education of her children, would struggle and fight with all her worth. "The talented young actors, through their research into the play, found a new sense of respect for their parents and grandparents as they discovered the horrors of the implications of the terrible pass laws in place in the 70s".

Deon Nebulane, one of the young actors, says: "We want to do this play as a symbol of respect for our parents and grandparents."

Poppie runs at the Arena Theatre, Orange Street from March 10 to 25 (with no performances on Monday evenings) at 19h30. For bookings and information please call or email Susan on 021 480 7129.

The disabled continent?

This is the topic of the first of the Awake the Spirit of Africa seminars planned for 2006. Sociologist Associate Professor Melissa Steyn will look at the relatively new field of critical cultural and social theory in disability studies which has explanatory potential for understanding some of the dynamics of how Africa has been, and is, positioned relative to other parts of the world.

Steyn is the director of Intercultural and Diversity Studies (iNCUDISA). Her book, Whiteness just isn't what it used to be: White identity in a changing South Africa (Suny Press, 2001), won the Outstanding Scholarship Book Award, International and Intercultural Communication, National Communication Association, in 2002.

In addition to her work on whiteness, Melissa has published on several aspects of diversity in post-apartheid South Africa.

The seminar will be held at 18h00 on March 9 at All Africa House. For more information, contact

Irma Stern exhibits

Orient'ation; bearing east is Brett Kebble finalist (2004) Jane Eppel's first exhibition. The evocative paintings reflect etched memories of her travels from Bombay to Kyoto, exploring worlds of sensory difference. Orient'tation is on at the UCT Irma Stern Museum from February 28 to March 11. There will be a walkabout on Saturday, March 4, at 11h00.

Also at Irma Stern you can see an exhibition of screen prints titled Persons and Places by Peter Heck until March 29.

Heck, who was born in Swakop-mund, Namibia, gained experience across a broad spectrum of design by working as an architect in practices in Zurich and Frankfurt, as well as in countries in the Middle East and North Africa. He now lives in Simon's Town and devotes his time to painting and screen-and embossed paper-printing.

More information on these exhibitions can be obtained directly from the Irma Stern at 685 5686.

Beloved staff member dies

Bobbie Lewis, who over his many years at UCT became one of the most beloved members of the Communication and Marketing Department, died unexpectedly on February 16, aged 62. Always cheerful, Lewis served tirelessly as a driver in the department until his retirement in 2004, chauffeuring guests, carting parcels and boxes across UCT, dropping off Monday Paper, and coming to the aid of many a stranded colleague. In so doing, he became one of the most recognisable faces around campus. "Bobbie, an institution at UCT, was always obliging, helpful and willing to tackle the tasks of the day," says former colleague Isabella Scholtz. "His intimate knowledge of the campus and surrounds was immeasurable in the distribution of Monday Paper. His other duties, which included fetching and collecting and driving VIPs, senior executives and staff of the university was always handled professionally. He will be sadly missed by those who worked with him at Welgelegen."

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