The smooth jazz sounds of “Hip Hope Jam”, especially written for HOPE Inspires – Rap, Poetry & jazz, an open air event forming part of the Stellenbosch University’s celebrations of the successes of its HOPE Project this week on campus, drew an enthusiastic response from its audience.
The event, held in the Bib Gaatjie on the Rooplein under a boiling-hot sun, showcased a fresh selection of rap, spoken-word poetry and jazz music by a group of talented Maties.
Hip Hope Jam was written by members of the bassist Joshua Prinsloo and his jazz band consisting of a bass guitar, keyboard, drums, saxophone and trombone. The band was later joined by the group AWAY (an acronym for the names of the group’s members: Allison, Wakhle, Axolile and Yanga) whose lead vocalist Allison Hoskins delivered a moving spoken-word poem on the nature of African identity.
The event was opened by Ms Ellen Tise, Senior Director: SU Library and Information Service, who explained that the event was inspired by the launch of the J.S. Gericke Library’s Learning Commons and Carnegie Research Commons last year.
“We believe a lively and funky environment is stimulating and inspiring and makes a big contribution to the academic process. In keeping with the new style of library services that we are trying to create, we decided to make our celebrations more hip,” Tise said.
By utilising the University’s core functions – namely teaching, research and community interaction – the HOPE Project intends to create sustainable solutions for some of the most pressing challenges in South Africa and Africa. This is achieved through what SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Russel Botman terms a “science-for-society approach”.
According to Simoné Nortmann, Hope Project Liaison and Student Representative Council (SRc) member for Leadership Development, HOPE Week and the HOPE Project aim to involve all facets of the University and the Hip Hope Jam serves as a platform that involves both students and the J.S. Gericke Library.