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By Mabette van Heerden

Stellenbosch University’s (SU) culture year is officially kicking off with the well-known Molassesêr event. This competition, where first years sing and perform all around campus for fellow Maties, begins on 29 March. 

Molassesêr is being conducted slightly differently this year, due to concerns and challenges which were raised by the COVID-19 regulations. Fortunately, the SU SRC Culture Committee (KuKo) has it covered. After months of extensive planning and careful consideration, the committee feels confident that Molassesêr can still be a success. “I’d love to still have something for the first years – for them to be able to look back and know that they participated in Molassesêr;” said Rewaldo Carolus, chairperson of KuKo.

Normally during the preliminary rounds of Molassesêr, students buy tickets and attend performances at the different competing residences. This year we will see some adjustments. “Because of the residences’ protocols, and everyone’s safety, KuKo has decided that the prelims would be done via recordings, as was done for Vensters,” said Carolus. 

In the preliminary rounds, residences will have to provide a space for their group to perform. One executive KuKo member will attend and record the performance – this will be done in a single take. The KuKo judges will watch the recordings to decide which groups qualify for the final. KuKo is leaning towards the possibility of a live final, if the COVID-19 regulations allow it. The committee believes that this could motivate residences and keep them excited.

Active and direct communication between KuKo and respective HK members will be essential for the successful implementation of this new method of participation. After much planning from their side, KuKo expects each residence to support them in realising the event. “By speaking to them without uncertainty and with optimism, and by setting out exactly how the event will be regulated, the KuKo members tried to convey to the residences that we are prepared, keen and excited. They should be too,” said Carolus. 

“Molassesêr carries the Matie spirit after Vensters and welcoming week. I think it really is this type of event that keeps campus going,” said Kim-Joy Damon, Sonop HK member for culture. If Molassesêr is a success, it can pave the way for many other great culture events this year.”

COVID-19 has taken a toll on all of us. Regardless, it remains important to keep perspective and adapt accordingly. SU, together with KuKo, is doing its best to accommodate everyone. To make this year a success, participation from students will be the deciding factor.  Molassesêr is no exception.

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