House News

Reflection on House News 2015

As the second oldest men's residence on campus, Botha prides itself on our tradition and brotherhood.  The house committee met at the beginning of the year for training, and decided to put together sustainable measures that would improve the well-being of the guys in the res, as well as the aging infrastructure.  The aim was to create an adaptive committee that could gauge students’ interests and dislikes, and accommodate accordingly, whilst of course maintaining important traditions. 

The year started swiftly as past and current bar committee members mobilized to renovate our beloved Bengal Rifle Club.  Renovations were led by Andrew King and Khulani Mfubu and put the BRC back on track for a better future!

The HC faced an immediate challenge with a record-high first year intake of 27.  Serenades gave us a great chance to get to know one another, whilst also creating unforgettable memories with soon to become lifelong friends.  The Wednesday of O-Week saw the hosting of our annual first year, old and current boy braai.  This allowed for integration of the guys from the bottom-up and was an overall great success. 

Give5 brought more success for Botha.  Dillion Lutchman and his team did a brilliant job selling boerewors rolls and muffins and this resulted in Botha finishing 2nd on campus.  The campaign brought us together as a house, and showed that a common vision and teamwork is all that's needed to make a success. 

A goal set at the beginning of the year by our refreshing academic rep, Paul Eilers, was to substantially improve the academics and exam results in Botha, bearing in mind our poor performance in 2014.  The frameworks were already in place, and Paul’s expertise saw the formalizing of the Botha Academic Awards evening and the revival of the Mtwa Mentorship Programme, as well as the Top 10 Mentorship Programme.  Botha saw great success in the mid-year exams with this structure being put in place.

With the brilliant mind of Governor Manganye, the Botha Gentlemen’s Club was born.  With the help of Mathew Vermaak and Swantish Singh, the GC soon became a platform for relevant and meaningful discussion amongst Botha gentlemen and others.  It continues to grow and there are plans to open the club to the university.  The GC is an example of the innovation and creative thinking that is encouraged in Botha. 

The House Committee led a shift towards a greener and more environmentally friendly Botha.  During O-Week and throughout the year, numerous indigenous species have been planted around Botha and on the balcony.  Many guys have also taken to keeping plants in their room, and it's safe to say Botha has become a better place as a result. 

Sport has always been a massive part of life in Botha, be it football, touch rugby, pool or table tennis!  Unfortunately, due to the lack of participation and administration at a university level, students were not given proper platforms to compete in inter-res sports of their choice.  Botha is one of many residences on campus waiting for a complete revamp of Rhodes University sport, with a focus on creating numerous competitive leagues ranging across many sports. 

Needless to say, the Botha gentlemen can be found out on Great Field playing touch rugby, or in the court playing football countless times a week!  Something we pride ourselves on is the existence of a number of Whatsapp groups that allow the guys to organize afternoon and evening run arounds.  Sports reps Matt Ford and Benny Gondwe played a pivotal role in the success of Botha in many inter-res sporting activities, namely Around-The-Block.  In a six aside inter-Founders hockey tournament, Botha came out victorious with thrilling wins against College and Cory/Mathews in the final. 

Honorable mentions must go to certain gentlemen who have shown excellence in facets outside of Botha House.  Founders rugby players Ige Scott, Shelton Chivhere, James Bursey, James Smith, and Conor and Brandon Redman represented Botha at the highest level and should be proud of their efforts.  Brett Lambert continues to climb his way up the Grahamstown tennis community as he represents the RU Tennis Club for the 2nd year, as well as heading up much of DSG tennis.  Cricket players Zachary Ganie (Founders Knights), Mathew Prinsloo and Andrew King (Pink Platypuses) also represented Botha in the 2015 RIPL edition.  Football players Benny Gondwe, Judy Monyebodi, Siviwe

Mnqovu and Freddy Seahang flew the Botha flag high in the Rhodes University football team.  Eugene Shabangu must also receive special recognition for fantastic performances for the RU Pool/Billiards Club.  Specials mentions too to Douglas Smith and Brandon Haschick (RU Dance Society), Mitchell Jarrett (RU Hockey Club), Khulani Mfubu (Phoenix Knights temporary manager), Duncan Pike (Drama Society) and Matt Ford (Action Frisbee Club). 

As the year draws to a close, I can confidently say that Botha has seen great improvements in all aspects.  The first years have successfully integrated themselves amongst one another, and the rest of the res.  The future looks good as a refreshing and motivated house committee takes over in 2016.  Newly elected head student Mathew Vermaak and his team will bring exciting ideas and I have no doubt will build on and strengthen the current traditions and procedures of Botha.

Last Modified: Wed, 12 Oct 2016 14:28:50 SAST