By Keziah Meyer
The post-pandemic return to “normalcy” is upon us, and with that comes the return of cultural events in clusters on campus. Between talent shows, debates and plays, there has been no shortage of the arts in clusters.
Culture evenings are events during which students from various residences in a cluster come together and perform, offering them a break from academics. The consensus on campus seems to be that students are eager to get back into embracing the arts.
“[COVID-19] did major damage for many of us, but since the regulations have lessened, we’re really excited to recover from the last two years and finally have these events again,” said Asanele Ndevu, the HC in charge of culture for Irene Women’s Residence.
“It feels so refreshing to have these events again,” said Leonah Marewangepo, the Culture HC for Monica Women’s Residence. “With the participation we’ve been getting, it seems a lot of people were really waiting for culture to come back to life. I think the pandemic made us appreciate art and performing a lot more because for a while we couldn’t really do much of it,” added Marewangepo.
The Victoria cluster evening that was held on 3 May at Wilgenhof Men’s Residence was one of these events. “Victoria cluster is a melting pot of some really talented people, so it’s super cool that we get to showcase that. And, I mean, culture evenings are always a vibe!” said Marewangepo.
There are also plans in place to start a cluster poetry club. “We started up a poetry club this year, which [was] a first for Monica [Residence], and we’re planning to extend that to the rest of the cluster in due time,” added Marewangepo.
The AmaMaties cluster also intends to take advantage of the ability to have more cultural events, according to Elizna Horn, the Culture HC for Nemesia Women’s Residence. “Last year, we weren’t able to have any cultural events, so it’s a big step up that we’ve had two culture evenings with Majuba [Men’s Residence] and Erica [Women’s Residence], and we hope to have more between the three sisters—Nemesia, Erica, and Serruria [Women’s Residences]—in future.”
The Wimbledon Hub is also planning a cultural cluster evening for 24 July at which they hope to showcase the talents and diversity of the cluster. “We’ve been planning a huge talent show where we plan to include all the residences [in] our clusters. We want to embrace each other’s cultures, [as] Stellenbosch has a lot of diversity, and we want to showcase that in the cluster,” said Ndevu.
So, whether students are looking for a creative outlet or an escape from their workload, cultural events provide the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind whilst meeting some new and interesting people along the way.