For many of us, being a postgraduate student have become synonymous with not setting aside time for ourselves given the demanding nature of the degrees which we are enrolled for. You simply must make time for yourself. We all know that those who do this tend to find being a student less stressful and let’s face it: finding something relaxing, stimulating yet exciting to do in Stellenbosch is not that difficult, especially this time of the year. If you do find it a bit challenging or if you just happen to be very selective about how you choose to spend your time, I have outlined some activities which will definitely be worth your while.
InZync Poetry Sessions
If you like spoken word poetry, this is by far the coolest event to attend. The sessions are hosted in Kayamandi at AmaZink Live, organized by Adrian van Wyk, himself a postgraduate student and spoken word poet. A monthly gathering, it provides an interactive space for poets to share their thoughts with an attentive, enthusiastic and diverse crowd. If you are feeling brave, you could also sign up and “spit a few rhymes” during the Open Mic segment. While you mull over and discuss some of the thoughts and experiences shared you can also enjoy scrumptious boerewors rolls and icy beverages served by the AmaZink kitchen. The diverse crowd always guarantees interesting conversations and stimulating debates. For more information about the next session visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/InZyncPoetry/.
Koleka Putuma, a young poet who you should make it your duty to listen to
This is one of the most popular and eclectic festivals in South Africa. Aimed at celebrating the arts, the festival provides a platform for actors, musicians, poets and artists to express themselves and celebrate art in all its forms. In doing so, these artists also become catalysts for conversation around South African history, current affairs and future developments. This year’s program is packed with thought provoking discussions facilitated by prominent historians such as Professor Grundlingh, on stage performances by the crème de la crème of the South African acting world, film screenings such as the recently Oscar-nominated “Noem my Skollie”, visual art exhibitions and many other interesting activities. Although some activities are free of charge, most of them require a fee and it is also advised that you book your tickets in advance through Computicket for some of the more popular events. More information can be found on their website http://woordfees.co.za/.
This talented individual will be providing some comic relief at this year’s festival
Back your Boytjies!
Stellenbosch University is home to one of the oldest and revered rugby clubs in the country, known for molding excellent rugby players, whose talents are on display every year during Varsity Cup. Prominent names in the game such as Gio Aplon, Juan De Jongh, Breyton Paulse and Jean De Villiers, are all alumni of the prestigious Stellenbosch Rugby Club. It is hence essential that you go out and support the boytjies during Varsity Cup and expresses some sympathy towards their opponents, however reluctantly. Tickets and shirts are available in the Neelsie.
Our Boytjies in action, no doubt dominating the game (if you listen carefully you can hear their opponents wailing in the distance… Shame.)
The Botanical Garden and J.M. Marais Nature Reserve
Whether you need some quiet time, a place to escape to where you can finally start reading that novel or if you’re simply interested in admiring the diverse collection of flora Stellenbosch has to offer – these are sanctuaries which will fulfill each one of those needs. The Stellenbosch Botanical Garden is the oldest university botanical garden in the country. It is home to several indigenous and introduced plant species, as well as the popular Katjiepiering Restaurant (which borrows its name from the fragrant Gardenia jasminoides plant, more commonly known as Cape Jasmine). The restaurant serves delicious light meals and thirst quenching beverages. Entry is free!
Enticing, isn’t it?
A stroll through the J.M. Marais Nature Reserve usually proves to be very relaxing (but it could become stressful if you come across some of its slithery, yet tolerant residentssssss…). You might also make a few furry friends along the way. If you find yourself in the very fortunate position of having a significant other, the lush green lawns are populated with shady trees which makes for an ideal picnic setting. What I do know though is that this is an ideal trail for that early morning/late evening jog! And that walking the labyrinth is only a good idea if you do it slowly. Access is free. Check out their Facebook page for some useful info: https://www.facebook.com/Jan-Marais-Nature-Reserve-516681321711688/