By Sihle Jack
Starting a whole new chapter is not always an easy thing to do, especially when you do not know what exactly lies ahead. Getting to Rhodes in February and being part of the famous O-Week (orientation week) does not always help in understanding the ways of the university system. I remember when I got here, terms like “arb”, “DP” and “LOA” were all foreign concepts to me. As if understanding the language was not stressful enough, there was also the stress of writing my first university exams, which I had been warned were designed to see that students fail.
Unzip Your Knowledge, a theatre piece put together by the UBOM! Drama Company is now in its second year running and was a success regardless of the many postponed shows due to load shedding. The show, which is the brain child of Professor Chrissie Boughey, is aimed at educating first years about the academic and social issues faced by students.
In it, topics such as exams, plagiarism, #Rhodesmustfall, drunken student nights and any other business associated with the Rhodes University experience are all covered.
Khanya Ngaki was quick to say that she gained a lot from watching the play and that she loved the way in which everything played out. “I thought it was educational and fun both at the same time. It covered things I wasn’t sure of as well,” said Ngaki.
The show, which was well executed, put to rest most fears that the first years had. It took them into every aspect of university life.
“I didn’t get a chance to see the show last year because of bad arrangements regarding seating. I feel like I would’ve done better if I had seen it and cried less because of stress,” said second year Silungile Ncama.
Mpho Matross said that she was not really stressed before watching the show but appreciated having gone to see it because she learnt about things which could potentially happen to her if she is not serious about school such as exclusion. She further added that it was helpful and that maybe having it at the beginning of the year would help.
Yolanda Dyantyi thought differently to Matross and said that maybe having it closer to exams would help alleviate stress.
Being a third year I think that had I seen the show in my first year I could have done even better and also curbed a lot of stress. The show in my opinion was a brilliant collaboration between the drama department and UBOM! and should go on for years to come.
Sarah Knight, Smangaliso Ngwenya and Chelsea Sanford were there to capture what happened in this educational work of art and this is what they got.