From 25 to 28 May Stuku hosted their first online event, Nothing but Vernac (NBV) Online Edition. The four-day event ran on Stuku’s Instagram page with the theme of celebrating Africa month. Students submitted pictures of themselves to Stuku in outfits that represented what Africa means to them, and something that represents the structure or residence that they are part of.

Stuku posted the entries to their story and voters had 24 hours to vote on their favourite entries, and the top three were announced on 28 May. In third place was Mbali Mthombeni from House Nerina, and Skye Bester was second, from House Mags. Michelle Kamffer from House Zinnia came in the First place, and concluded NBV Online Edition.

On the challenges of moving NBV online in 2020 due to the COVID-19 lockdown, Stuku said that the success of NBV depended on “people having data”, which has been an on-going concern. Stuku also explained that they strived for “marketing [to] appeal to everyone” and encourage participation. Stuku received many entries, and said that they “were not expecting such a great turn out”, and that “even with the challenges it went way better than expected”. Entries featured a variety of traditional African clothing, tributes to South African and Africa fabrics, patterns and colours, and more abstract interpretations, such as an entry of a make-up look inspired by Africa, submitted by Danelle van Vuuren,. Stuku explained that the theme is significant, “especially during Africa month”, in bringing Africa “back home” to be celebrated in a “world that is extremely Westernised”.

And, as students are studying from home and campus is shut down, Stuku explains that the incorporation of a representation of contestants’ structures or residences was to “keep campus alive”. All of the NBV Online Edition entries can be viewed on Stuku’s Instagram page @stuku_at_tuks.

Image: Kayla Thomas

KAYLA THOMAS

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