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Archive for December, 2014

It is now a tradition within the Centre of African Studies (CAS) for staff and students to come together and enjoy themselves as a friendly community. The academic year 2014/2015 was kick-started by holding the annual braai on 11th September at the garden of 21 George Square, CAS’s old home. The braai and the quiz set the tone for a series of events throughout the year including our weekly seminar.

Photo 1Much merriment was had at the Centre of African Studies Christmas dinner-party on Wednesday 3rd December evening at Indaba Restaurant. A semblance of decency and decorum was maintained for at least the first 15 minutes, until the arrival of a rowdy contingent of CAS staff wearing reindeer antlers (no kudu horns?) and the unstoppable flow of good wine began to fuel the revelry.
Decency be damned: the evening promised to get raucous. Very friendly waiting staff kept up a steady supply of tasty tapas dishes, culminating in a hunk of borewors on pap (ugali) (what wors lacks in beauty, it makes up for in flavour).

20141203_211605The Assistant Director of the Centre, James Smith, took to the podium to thank outgoing Director Paul Nugent for his exemplary leadership over the past 10 years, and to welcome Barbara Bompani as the new Director. Barbara expressed her great enthusiasm at taking on the new challenge.Wolfgang had accurately prophesied that “where there is wine there will be song”, and soon he was reincarnating from ‘King of the Jungle’ to ‘King of Rock’n’Roll’ and finally a sloshed King of Scotland, leading us in superb renditions of “In the Library, the Mighty Library”, “Santa Claus is Back in Town”, and the patriotic “Flower of Scotland”. He was backed by an all-star line-up featuring Tom “Farka Toure” Salter on guitars, SJ “Sangare” Cooper-Knock singing soprano and occasionally Paul “Papa Wemba” Nugent providing a terrific tenor accompaniment. Sara-Jane’s cover of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” was an inspirational leftist critique of unregulated boom-bust capitalism, and “Nkosisikeleli Africa” – though it got off to a shaky start – soon had us channelling the spirit of Ubuntu as Lukhona’s reassuring voice rose like a dove of peace above the fray. Then, clasping each other’s hands, we ended on a high note (key of G) with a heartfelt rendition of Auld Lang Syn.

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Not everyone could write the next day off. For the Masters students, who are getting the last essays in, let’s sing the old refrain once more:

In the library, the peaceful library, the students work tonight.
Hush now students, don’t fear now students,
Just cite your sources right.

In the library, the mighty library, the students work tonight
Come now students, don’t fear the deadlines,
Although they will be tight…

Good luck everyone, and Merry Christmas!

Maurice Hutton

More photos below

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