Where the heart has been since 1905

Need a study break… look no further

By Marie Mjacu

With summer and all its glory slowly coming to an end, it’s the perfect time to get out and about in Stellenbosch. Although test week and due dates are fast-approaching (get ready for those all-nighters in the Swottery) there’s still a lot to do and explore around town. Here’s a list of 4 great ways to take a study break, be it for half an hour or a whole day.

  1. The botanical gardens

Now that the intense heat of summer is starting to die down, there’s never been a better time to relax in the lovely Botanical Gardens that we have right next door. Something that’s so great about the gardens is that each visit is somehow different. Whether you’re going alone to read or write, or if a group of you are going to taste some of the many delicacies that the restaurant offers, it’s always a great escape. Picnics are a very special (and cheap) way to take a break, so gather up your friends and your favourite snacks and make use of our beautiful back yard.

  1. De Frije – the new restaurant down the road

Harmonites love their food! So thank goodness for us, a new burger place has opened up just around the corner. Located in Plein Street (near Nubar and Entourage) De Frije is a unique restaurant because it only offers one item. A statement burger that is delicious and filling – it makes sense that it’s the only thing offered. But what’s a burger without chips? Do not stress because chips are offered as a side and come with a range of sauces. This restaurant itself is quirky with a sidewalk dining vibe that makes it a whole experience. Oh, and there’s a free ice-cream with every burger purchase – need I say more? Treat yourself!

  1. Something in res…

Sometimes going places is just way too much effort but luckily we’re surrounded by friends and a beautiful living space, so why not make use of it? Plan a sleepover in different peoples’ rooms or out on the balcony, organise a movie night with friends (someone in res will have a movie for you). If you’re feeling adventurous, find someone with a frying pan and cook up some pancakes for breakfast one weekend. There are so many ways to get creative and take a little break without leaving Harmonie.

  1. Travel a little

This break involves a little more planning, and some travelling. There are so many beautiful destinations around Stellenbosch so get some friends together and plan a little day trip. Whether it’s to the Route 44 market or some delicious food and fabulous clothes, or to the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve for a hike to the beautiful waterfall, there really is a lot to do around here. So set aside a day and do a little google search of places nearby that you’d like to visit and go for it!


Feminism here, there and on the runway

By Jean-Marie Malan

With Paris fashion week, the most recent major fashion event, haven taken place it is only apt to have a look at some of the trends that hit the runway from 27 February to 6 March. This season has seen more female design heads than ever before, including Clare Waight Keller at Givenchy and Natascha Ramsay-Levi at Chloé. Messages of female empowerment was a theme throughout. Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel show, that took place in a spectacular setting representative of a forest, was cleverly named “Leave Me Alone”, speaking to the foliage but perhaps also hinting at the #MeToo movement.

Statement coats were a recurring item on the runway, as seen in Loewe’s Fall show, Balenciaga’s extreme layering and Christian Dior’s beautiful 60s patchwork coat (seen in the image). Silver continuously got attention this season as seen in Balmain and Paco Rabanne pieces. Be it big powerful shoulders as seen in the Alexander McQueen show or the flowy romanticism brought by Chanel, a clear response to a feminist climate could be seen. Diversity and inclusivity was celebrated on the runway, and those houses that steered away from this progression were frowned upon.



2018- the year of the hundred

Stellenbosch university turns 100 this year, making it a rather iconic year and campus is filled with vibrant energy.  Harmonie res is no exception.

As usual the year has started like a sprint event. This explains the late beginning of the madelief blog. BUT we are here now and we have some exciting changes in store.

This blog will now not only have res news but also many helpful tips and exciting recipes. The committee aims to make this a guide to stay informed, tone up, dress well and have somewhere to go now that you are all dressed up.

In light of the history of the res and the celebration of the university’s hundred anniversary, we including little tidbits of history from the archives. So keep an eye out.

These articles are for you – so feel free to comment what you want to see in the next blog post…



your editor and the madelief committee

House Photo 2017

IMG_9005 (1)IMG_9007

Spekbome and Social Impact

The social impact program is benign for several reasons. It is the duty of those who are able to assist and uplift those who might need a helping hand as well as looking after our mother planet. Harmonie, being a resdence of Stellenbosch University that functions under its three core values of love, unity and respect has been able to impact others as well as the environmen with one single concept.

One of many things I appreciate about Harmonie is how we strive to make a difference even if it’s just in small ways.  As soon as I saw the signup sheet I didn’t think twice about writing my name down and becoming a member of such a meaningful committee.

I hadn’t  been acquainted with  this wonder plant, known as the Spekboom, until the welcoming week of my first year at Stellenbosch University.  It is essentially a unique specimen with fat juicy plastic-like leaves that is called a succulent . I was thrilled to hear about the environmental powers wielded  by the plant; it effectively  reduces carbon emissions and is almost indestructible when threatened by fire, frost or even a drought.\

These environmental  heroes are not only a beautiful sight but also a tasty snack (yes, you can eat the leaves!), rich in nutrients that can be used to treat dehydration. The first years of  Harmonie, including myself, had the privilege  of planting a few of the trees around and in our gardens during the welcoming period, as well as selling them to people who wanted their very own little green superhero.

The purchase of these plants not only positively contributes  to the environment, but also to the local Kayamandi community. The program partnered with the Kayamandi Primary School, which kindly allowed the university students to offer short yet highly produtcive, energetic and fun tutoring classes to the learners. The experience was unique! The children were warm, receptive and highly entusiastic, which was a pacifying sentiment for me, as it was my first time ever tutoring children. It was highly exciting to seem them engaged in the work, and learning through the process.

Children have an intrinsic magic to them and it is always special to be surrounded by a multitude of young creative minds that are hungry for knowledge and experience. And even though it is an extracurricular program, it doesn’t diminish its effectiveness and the joy that It gave me to be a part of such an initiative.  It is like the butterfly effect of action; you never know how something small can impact someone, or affect them. My only hope is that in that hour spent with them, I managed to uphold the basic values of Harmonie, myself and my learned behaviours and aquired wisdom, and to serve them and connect with them as all humans should do with one another.

By: Ornila Serage and Tariro


Stay In weekend

By Ingrid Grundling & Kayla Odendal

It came, it entertained, and it left us all wanting more.

Harmonie’s annual Stay In weekend kicked off with a classy art exhibition on the evening of the 21st of July. Making its debut this year, this event created a platform for Harmonites to share their amazing talents with the rest of the House. The Cookery, Groupery and Lookery were transformed into an art gallery and was accompanied by music and refreshments that created a sophisticated atmosphere. There were a lot of different art forms to be observed, including animated art, photography, paintings and sketches. The exhibitors were present and informed their viewers of the meanings and stories behind their artworks. One could see the admiration and enjoyment on the faces of Harmonites viewing the art pieces. The artworks were original and thought provoking. All in all, the event was an enormous success and it paved the way for the rest of an eventful weekend.

Our Quad Market was held on the Saturday morning. Few people attended, but those who did were fortunate to lay their hands on fantastic bargains. Second hand clothes were sold, Henna tattoos were done, and there was also a X-stitch table selling knitted and crocheted items. Harmonie’s Merchandise Committee’s table did exceptionally well and as a result managed to sponsor five and a half tickets for the House Dance.

Harmonites turned up in numbers for the wine tasting event which took place on Saturday afternoon at Spier Wine Farm just outside Stellenbosch. Harmonites were offered the opportunity to taste some of the best wines that Spier has to offer, with three white wines and two red wines available for tasting. For many, this was their first time going wine tasting. Alternatively, non-wine drinkes had the opportunity to taste grape juice on the sunny patio. Everyone was able to enjoy dressing up and being in each other’s company.

On Saturday evening Harmonites had the opportunity to entertain and to be entertained at our Stay In weekend Culture evening. Our MC’s, Marie Mjacu and Chelsea Green, saw to it that there was never a dull moment and ensured laughter in abundance. House members showcased their talents by singing songs, playing the piano, reciting poetry, performing a drama scene, and dancing in onesies. The atmosphere was one of unity and it was truly heartwarming to see Harmonites encouraging one another and being swept away by the talent of their fellow housemates. The evening came to an end with Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, which is, of course, exactly what we did.

Early on Sunday morning only a few of the bravest early risers took on the challenge of climbing Coetzenburg. We took on this journey, along with our Vensters partners, Oude Molen. Our 2016/2017 primararia, Jana van Schalkwyk, was the front runner. For the rest of us who have shorter legs, the mountain climbing was exhausting and fast paced. However, every stride was worth the effort when we finally stopped to take a break. The breathtaking view allowed for a quick improvised photo session. Despite being winded, the medical kit was fortunately not called upon. New friendships were formed as we laughed about each other’s “unfitness levels”.

All in all, Harmonites had a fun and  jam-packed weekend. Unfortunately, we have to wait a whole year for the next one, but as they say: good things come to those who wait.

Harmonie Sêr

Harmonie’s sêr group performed at the preliminary round on the 4th of August and made it to the semi-finals, which was held on the 11th of August in the Endler auditorium. It was no sêr-prise that, from the moment they opened their mouths, our girls were greeted by sêr hands shooting up all over the auditorium.

We experienced a blast from the past from the 80’s with our ladies, singing songs like It’s Raining Men, and the audience’s personal favorite: I Need a Hero. Other songs not from the 80’s included Ntyilo, My Heart Will Go On, and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. Our girls had a stage presence that demanded the audience’s attention and the arrangements they sang contained complex harmonies (pun intended) that left the crowd wondering if it was safe to applaud after the songs. This amazing complexity if what made Harmonie stand out amongst the other groups. The songs flowed into one another effortlessly, with creative choreography to accompany them.

Our girls put in a lot of hard work and time into sêr, rehearsing two to three times a week. They also had a sêr camp from the 6th until the 9th of June. We are immensely proud of all of them and very thankful for Blaine Josephs, who arranged and composed the music, as well as for Sedi who did the choreography. The bar has sêr-iously been raised!

Ingrid Grundling

10 things that will make your week a little better

Sometimes you just need a little pick-me-up to get you through the week. Here are 10 tweets, tumblr posts and pictures that are guaranteed make you giggle.

  1. Since it’s exam time, we’ll start off with something way too relatable for words.GordynYou actually had a legitimate question and it was something about your upcoming exam. But hey, a 5-day late “It’s on SunLearn” reply is sufficient, right?


2. So you’re forced to be this person during the actual exam. memeSeriously. The desperation is real.

3. Also, the entire time you’re writing the exam, you’re asking your brain where it is.jafarCOME BACK TO ME PLEASE.


4. Because you find your mind wandering around and you start questioning your sanity.

koffieNow we’re asking the real questions. 


5. Being a university student, you’re probably craving a cup of coffee or tea. Let’s just hope this isn’t you.



6. Or perhaps you prefer buying your caffeinated beverage at a fast-food restaurant. Some places ask for your name. My advice: stick to a very generic “Bob” or “Lisa”. Unless you feel like losing all hope in humanity.



7. All this studenting makes one hungry.alice


8. Maybe you eat at res, or prefer to cook for yourself. Either way, I truly hope you’re having a better day than this poor soul who had to experience this LASAGA disaster.




9. Desert time! Shall we all have a moment of silence for the person who received this unfortunate pudding?we

I don’t know about you, but I definitely feel like I’ve had a better day than the receiver of this creepy cake…


10. Lastly, we all know that we’re a little much to handle at times (especially when we’re trying to survive exams and also be a presentable human being). Just remember that you’re awesome, no matter how extra people think you are.nachosAwesome like avocado. Because avocado.

Fashion: Classic Chic and Comfortable, Autumn/Winter Trends 2017

Fashion designer Rachel Zoe said, “Style is a way of saying who you are without having to speak”. Style is a lens through which we can express ourselves and I believe winter is the perfect season to do this. With the arrival of winter, we are introduced to some vibrant and bold, yet comfortable fashion trends. These include: velvet, sportswear, knitwear, eighties, ruffles, sweaters, classic trenches, denim-on-denim. I will be breaking down some of these exciting trends for this season as well as looking at possible transitional pieces to assist us in the transition from autumn to winter. But Harmonie could surely take the fashion world by storm with all the ultra-inspiring and trendsetting pieces that I’ve seen.

Winter marks the return of what is perhaps one of my absolute favourite fashion staples: the classic trench coat. Considering that bold hues are trending this season, a trench in an unusual colour makes for the perfect plot twist to your life. A Harmonite rocked this look recently, wearing a bright trench and it looked fabulous. Another Harmonite wore what appeared to be a trench-inspired item in beige, pairing it with a white shirt and dark pants for the ultimate elegant finish.

Velvet is emerging as a major fashion trend this year, featured as the trend to watch by numerous fashion magazines. Perfect for a night out, but quite a tricky and difficult trend to pull off. The easiest way to pull this off is simplicity; choosing to wear one or two velvet items velvet jacket and/or velvet boots, instead of wearing full velvet. But if you want to go full-on with head-to-toe velvet, go for it! Fashion is all about taking risks, and according to Cushnie et Ochs, an American fashion house founded in 2008, “Life is too short to wear boring clothes”.

Another trend that is currently dominating the fashion world is sportswear. I have seen quite a few ladies rocking this trend, perhaps because it’s time to break a sweat and hit the gym. But besides going to the gym, this trend could possibly be worn for a night out. How? Maybe by wearing a sporty ski jacket with a cool pair of jeans. The fashion industry is said to be obsessed with this trend. Clothing from the eighties is also seen making a return to the runways. I saw a Harmonite wearing a baseball jacket and jeans and her shoes, accessories and top were paired together so well that she had crafted a look that contained elements of both these trends.

It’s staring to get cold and you know what that means? Sweater weather! Sweaters are super-comfortable, warm and perfect for exam season. They’re in fashion and there’s rarely anything that a sweater cannot be paired with. I’ve been seeing a myriad of cute sweaters in Harmonie, as well as a few Harmonites rocking those awesome Harmonie sweaters.

Denim-on-Denim. I LOVE denim. Mostly because it’s timeless and will probably always be considered trendy. This trend involves wearing the much-loved denim jeans with a denim shirt and/or denim jacket. On that note, a denim jacket is regarded as one of the must-have items in your wardrobe this season. Another must-have item is a bomber jacket, available in a variety of colours and textures, including (but not limited to) metallic, floral, or a gorgeous khaki. I haven’t seen much denim-on-denim being worn but I have seen some cool-looking denim jeans. I saw a Harmonite wearing a stylish pair of burgundy jeans, the colour of autumn leaves and perfect for the transition between the seasons.

Skirts could also possibly assist in transitioning from the season of autumn to winter. They’re perfect for when you’re tired of the pants and sweater combo, plus they come in a vast array of styles and prints which allow you to play around with your look. A long skirt could be worn which gives off a mysterious girl from a novel appearance. Another option would be to opt for a skirt that is shorter in length, but pairs well with knee-high boots. Last season, I saw a Harmonite wearing a black and white dress with knee-high boots, altogether creating a truly runway-worthy look. Who said being stylish needs to be rocket science? Keep it simple with this transitional item and trend to try (because it makes life oh so more convenient): longer sleeves. Basically, your sleeves are longer than usual and cover your hands so no need for gloves (yay!) and when you need to use your phone you simply stretch your hands out or push your sleeves up.

Harmonites are striking the right notes when it comes to fashion, and setting some major trends. Fashion is a tool to express yourself and as Bill Cunningham said: “Fashion is the armour to survive everyday life.” Now go forth and conquer.

By: The Girl with the Pink Sneakers

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