News

This UCT Lecturer is willing to Excuse Students from a Test to go to Rocking the Daisies festival

If they could supply evidence of having booked for the festival well in advance.

A UCT lecturer told his students they could miss a class test scheduled for the same time as Rocking the Daisies music festival if they could supply evidence of having booked for the festival in advance, IOL reports.

READ: Stormzy Will Headline South Africa's 'Rocking the Daisies' Festival 2020

Below is the email Dr Tom Angier of the philosophy department sent to students:

“Owing to the unusual term structure this year, there is a clash between the second test on October 6 and Rocking the Daisies.If you can supply evidence of having booked the festival well in advance, you will be excused attendance at the test, and your other course work will count more towards your final result.
You must bring such evidence to Philosophy reception and fill out the usual forms."

The lecturer has received criticism for his move, from both staff and student representatives.

Student activist Simon Rakei was quoted by IOL as saying, “The first thing I thought of were the many stories of black students who were refused exemptions from tests or assignments happening after they'd experienced a dire tragedy or been through a traumatic event.

“The cultural norms and traditions of the university are very much geared towards white sensibilities–in the sense that Rocking the Daisies, which is a historically exclusionary and white festival, is something that the university can make room in accommodating for."

Head over to IOL to read the full story.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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