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Are students going to survive to receive their degree?  

A drastic increase in Rhodes University student’s consumption of medication and vitamin supplements is leaving the general health of South African students in question. Replacing conventional methods of health such as diet control, exercise and reduced drinking with easier substitutions is resulting in the holistic demise of student health.  

Conventional methods of health ensure the maintenance of the body’s immune system, this needed to protect oneself from infection. The lifestyle choices of students, however, jeopardizes this safety. Poor lifestyle habits together with the increase of stress weakens the bodies defence system against cold and flu, thus if what has become known as the student routine is maintained, our university students might not make it to their graduation.  

In a recent survey I conducted on the preferred health choices of students, a steady 27.27% of students continue with normal lifestyle habits even when they are sick- this including partying, drinking and smoking. The effects of this detrimental on prolonged health. In order to attempt to combat this, students make extensive use of prescription and non-prescription medication, including paracetamol-based painkillers and cough-syrups. Dr. Moray Shirley, a practicing general practitioner, explains that this chosen method is increasingly dangerous, ”there are many agents freely available over the counter that cause addiction as well as many other serious health issues”. Codeine-based cough syrups and paracetamol-based painkillers are explained by Shirley to be two of the most addictive and overlooked medications, Panado in particular affecting the functioning of the liver if used over a prolonged period of time.  

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Lifestyle Choice Graph

Several contributing factors to the degradation of student health are mentioned, however, the most detrimental being the excessive consumption of alcohol with the consumption of medication. Excessive alcohol, as explained by Shirley, ”affects the clearing of agents through the liver”, yet the liver is both needed for the processing of medication and alcohol. Thus, the infamous students of Rhodes University should be weary of their alcohol intake and methods in order to cure a hangover, of which include painkillers and anti-nausea tablets.   

Aside from medication, another preferable method by students to maintain health is the regular consumption of vitamins. The supplementing of vitamins into one’s diet is extensively advertised to be good- this with 50% of Rhodes University students saying that they supplement vitamins into their diet every day. However, the consumption of vitamins that are not intended to supplement a deficiency but substitute other health regulators are problematic. An article written under the publication of the Harvard Health Publications, deduces that the overconsumption of a particular nutrient may result in toxic vitamin levels, this leading to the overall degeneration of a person and moreover, a student’s health. For a more in-depth discussion of whether or not we should be supplementing vitamins into our diet, visit the Harvard Health Publications webpage by clicking here 

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Vitamin Consumption Graph

In the instance of Rhodes University students views on antibiotics, a controversial perspective was explored. 90.91% of Rhodes students replied to needing antibiotics when they are severely sick and a small majority preferring to fight the infection naturally, this again exploring the reliance on medication. However, the overuse of prescribed medication such as antibiotics may lead to a detrimental effect on the body. Drug-resistance is the most common issue with the overuse of antibiotics, Shirley explains that, ”the body gets used to active ingredients in the medication and prolonged exposure lessens its effectiveness”. Together with the lifestyle choices adopted by many students weakening the immune system to begin with, drug-resistance may ensure that recovery is unachievable. For a full explanation on how antibiotics and drug-resistance works, visit the following highlighted links: antibiotics, drug-resistance and medication-alcohol  

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Antibiotic Consumption Graph

Rhodes University students need be careful what they put into their bodies, whether this be alcohol, cigarettes or medications, for the effects may be the end of their university experience.  




The nature of the world

Increased violence, terrorism and political unrest takes a knock at tourism in some of the most beautiful and interesting countries. Here we are taking a look at both the dangers and the beauty that these countries have.

People fear for their lives when traveling in modern day times as airports and big tourism attractions not only attract the curious masses but also the revenge ridden, such as Al Qaeda. Here is a list of the top 4 most overlooked countries in terms of political strife and travel.

Firstly, South Africa: known for its high crime rate and corrupt government. Yet, South Africa has some of the greatest offers in terms of travel. The rocky exchange rate makes it one of the best value-for-money destinations. There are enriching cultural experiences along with something to do for everyone!

Secondly, Turkey: the abundance of historical sites and azure blue waters make it both a beautiful and educational experience, however, with current situations of Turkey being involved with the conflicts in Iran, Russia and Syria there is an infiltration of terrorists and extremists. The most affected areas are usually located within the cities and it is still possible to visit Turkey without being affected.


Thirdly, Mexico: a country so full of energy and life along with hearty culture. Mexico is a great destination and includes one of the 7 wonders of the world “Chichen Itza” along with beautiful beaches and forests with lots to explore. Mexico is also known for their drug cartels and their issues with America, after Trump decided to build a 650 mile wall on the boarder of Mexico and America.

Last but certainly not least, Brazil: also including one of the world famous heritage sites in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil offers vibrancy and some of the greatest carnivals occur here too. However, there is a lot of violence and crime within the cities of Brazil. Traveling to Brazil would require some research and understanding of the dangerous places. Although, you’ll see some of the greatest views and experience many unique things on a trip!

All in all, the world is filled with dangers but also with beauty – a top tip would be to try and do your research (Trip Advisor is a good one) and if you’re lucky enough, chat to some locals. Don’t let the world scare you too much because you may just miss some of the beauty the world has to offer!

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Beautiful Bathurst

Home to both the gigantic Pineapple and the historic Pig and Whistle, Bathurst boasts and oozes with beauty. A Sunday trip to Bathurst is must when you’re in and around the town. It’s a short journey both from Port Alfred and Grahamstown.

The big pineapple is the great landmark of the pineapple farm. You can go and take a tour around the farms, or perhaps just have a look in the shop (located inside the pineapple!)

The Pig and Whistle is one of the oldest pubs in the country and serves some of the greatest food! Located on the corner as you enter Bathurst from Grahamstown lies one of the greatest gems. Inside you can look around the shop at some of the most beautiful antiques while you wait for your food to be served.

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Thumbs up for the Pineapple!
Eagerly waiting for the scrumptious food @ Pig And Whistle

Toposcope Sundowners

Famous for its sunsets and a fairly short hike from both Rhodes University and the centre of town, Toposcope offers a breath-taking view of the Eastern Cape wilderness. A common destination for sundowners, the peak of Grahamstown will most assuringly offer that much needed serenity from the chaos of work and studies. The hike includes a walk along the Grey Dam, a beautiful location for a Sunday braai. Proceeding up through the brush and to the top of the hill will allow you to gaze upon the dam and its surroundings, including the wind turbines and Settlers Monument.

I implore anyone in the Grahamstown vicinity to take the gratifying hike to Toposcope and enjoy the scenery the Eastern Cape has to offer!

For more information on Toposcope, click here!

For more information on Settler’s Monument, click here!

Captivity for life

Majority of people are guilty of this. Guilty of what, one may ask. Guilty of viewing animals through the glass in cages and going to the zoo, animal parks or aquariums to serve as entertainment purposes. Humans did this to animals. Humans changed the behaviour and habitats of wild animals to suit their own needs. Would you put a human in a cage for the duration of their life with no valid reason. One would say no, so why do we think it is acceptable to put animals in cages?

Over the years, this issue has been overlooked. No one has made a significant effort to improve the situations that these animals are in. There is a valid reason for bird parks, zoo’s and aquariums. The reason is tourism. These places attract tourists, promoting tourism thus improving the economy of the country.  Zoo’s serve as an education source – to educate people about wild animals and for people to connect with them. They benefit humans to an extent but do they benefit the wild animal.

Keeping an animal, be it a mammal, fish, reptile, bird or even something so small like a butterfly in a closed environment is cruel. The animal is in captivity for life. For breeding purposes, it is accepted. However, for the specie to be on “show” for people to see is unacceptable. It belongs in the wild. In the natural environment, it survives best in. The environment when it can forage for its own food or catch its on prey. An environment where it can produce fertile offspring and naturally complete the general cycle of life. Birth, life then death.


However, due to mankind, this has been taken away from animals for our own benefit. The animal has been taken out its natural environment. The habitat it thrives best in. It is forced to adapt to an unfamiliar environment. It has to learn to eat a different diet. A diet that humans have created for it. A diet that is not suitable for the animal to thrive off. The animal is placed in an environment that consists of a 2m x 2m room with cold, concrete floors. Fake lights to create warmth and “natural light” for the animal to survive. A bowl with water and food are provided so that the animal survives to the next day when a bunch of new faces come to peer through the glass wall. The room closed off with a metal gate.

Cold and cruel is what comes to mind.


Travel Journalism: The Unknown Trials and Tribulations.

The misconception of students entering the field of journalism is that it is a hassle-free journey to exotic places. However, this career holds its fair share of trials and tribulations- political threats, uncertainty of success and wavering pay are just a few considerations that are in need of serious contemplation.

Jill Starley-Grainger, a freelance journalist specializing in ethical and luxury travel, aims to  equip aspiring journalists with the tricks of the trade. She writes, ”a passion for travel and the ability to string a sentence together will not qualify you as a travel journalist”. Her article attempts to challenge a novice journalist’s perception of travel writing, engaging them in critical debate about whether or not journalism is a career they can live and love.

Often a deciding factor for students entering this field is the uncertainty of success- the vast competition for positions and the wavering pay is a major deterrent for students. However, Lottie Gross, the web editor of Rough Guides, does provide hope for undecided students. In her interview, Gross shares her extensive travel experiences- this described to be not far off from the idealistic dream many wish to lead as a travel writer. Thus, an encouraged notion to adopt is that it is in fact possible to lead the successful life of  travel writer if you are dedicated.

Yet, the risk of journalism can not only be attributed to the uncertainty of success and indefinite pay, the global safety of journalists is a heavily debated topic in both the media and the classroom.

In attempts to rectify this concern, organizations such as ACOS Alliance and Reporters Without Borders have implemented various ways in which to protect fellow journalists, this from developing safety principles and internationally protecting journalists’ rights to freedom of speech. This is particularly crucial in rising attacks on the media by political powers, extremists and even the general public.


Thus, it can be said that the most useful advice for an aspiring journalist is to improve communication. Creating an open platform in which young journalists are able to communicate with media specialists is the way to ensure both safety and success. TBEX International is currently involved in this process, this through bringing together the globes most innovative minds via annually held conferences.

Journalism may be a daunting field to enter, however,  it does make for an exceptionally fulfilling career- the trials and tribulations found in its practicality can be outweighed by the gratifying experiences of travel, people and global innovation.

In a lawyer’s shoes for the day

If law, mystery and drama interests you and if you can handle cases of crime, ones to do with children, sexual abuse, violence and nevertheless pain and sadness then one should pay a visit to the Grahamstown Magistrates or High Court.

As a first year Law student, I had the opportunity of sitting in on a case that was held at the Magistrate’s court in Grahamstown. It was a rape case. Shivers run down my spine as I write this post. It is an experience that I will remember forever.

I came out of there a different person. It was eye-opening. Being in a court room with the judges and the prosecutors, it begins to feel real. The accused, incredibly nervous – dripping in sweat whilst the magistrate questions him/her. One can hear the translators in the background, turning of papers, brains thinking and people murmuring. It is an atmosphere that is difficult to describe. So many emotions all at once. So many people in the room. To know what I am talking about it, you need to sit in a court room with the accused, witnesses, judges, the magistrate and a crowd to feel the rush of emotions I felt.


Rhodes Artistic Affluence

The Rhodes University STFU gallery event brilliantly showcased Grahamstown’s artistic affluence. The exhibition provided a multi faceted cultural experience, this through involving performance art, music and the works compiled by the university’s local artists. The various artworks were selected from holiday projects that each art student compiled, of which included photography, paint and sketch work. Toni Butterworth, a first-year art student, created a piece labelled , ”Young South African Woman”, this showcasing the sprouting talent Rhodes University and local artists have to offer.

For more information on Toni and her South African inspired artwork, visit her Facebook page by clicking here.

Grahamstown, in its small stature, is often mistaken for being dull, however, with the events such as the STFU exhibition and the National Arts Festival held annually, the town is beginning to build its identity on being a cultural phenomenon. Various institutions and landmarks, this such as the National Arts Festival, the Rhodes University art gallery and local art works within the university are centralized around the artistic diversity Grahamstown and South Africa in its entirety, has to offer. The crux of what this town has to offer lies in the understanding and embrace of expression.

Involve yourself in the local cultural diversity by visiting the Grahamstown National Arts Festival webpage:


A day outside Grahamstown


(Photograph taken by Dani Dominy)

Public holidays for Rhodes students are meant for catching up on sleep, surviving a hangover or frantically finishing off tutorial work or assignments. However, what better way to spend the public holiday – Women’s Day at one of the Eastern Cape’s most spectacular beaches – Kleinemonde.

Kleinemonde (Kleinies) is located about 15 km’s outside Port Alfred. It is one of my favourite places in the Eastern Cape. There’s just something about this place. I am not sure if its the endless beaches or the immense sand dunes but Kleinemonde has truly captured my soul. The sound of waves crashing, fills my ears and the saltiness smell fills the air. In paradise if you’d ask me. Here’s to many more road trips to Kleinies with my dear friends. It is my happy place.

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