Where the heart has been since 1905

House Photo 2017

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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

A Morning Well Spent: Hats and Heels

There are always debates regarding whether or not staying in a student residence is of any value. Those in favor of private accommodation will say that it allows for more freedom or that sharing immediate living quarters ‘is not my forte’. These are all of course valid opinions, and we cannot have preconceptions regarding personal preferences. But there are few opportunities that campaigned as much for the benefits of staying in res – and more specifically, in Harmonie – than the event that took place on the 25th of March in our own quad.

This was the annual Harmonie tea party, and basking under a lovely morning sun were the excited faces of be-hatted ladies in florals and chiffon. By their sides, the animated faces of their guests and loved ones: a mother, a best friend, a mentor. This was a special group of people: the invitation was extended to every single Harmonite, with the only requirement for attendance being that their companion be someone that is an inspiration to them. Some brought the friend that had been in their life for ten years, some brought the mother that woke every morning at five to pray for the hard academic day that lay ahead for their daughter. And amidst finger sandwiches, scrumptious scones and delicate tartlets, laughter and loving sentiments were exchanged in abundance. As mothers and friends bonded over a cup of tea and a piece of carrot cake, a photographer subtly went around the long table of chatty ladies, capturing these precious moments for the rest of eternity. And, of course, there was a beautiful photo-booth situated beneath our signature Jakaranda tree, making for countless beautiful photo opportunities.

When being asked for advice by prospective students on what kind of events are worth attending at university – this is the answer. For moments such as these are a big part of the foundation of life-long friendships and are surely a very welcome break from the relentless pressures of academic life.

Marlise Theron

What a (Toneel)FEES!

Harmonie’s first years have been excelling in all they do from the moment they set foot in the hallowed halls of our dear residence, so the fact that they managed to present a Toneelfees production all on their own comes as no surprise.  Thanks to Jamiela Abrahams (better known by her nickname, Jay) and her tiny but mighty crew of three girls, Harmonie was able to present a real showstopper put together in record time.

The Toneelfees is an annual theatre festival where University residences and PSO’s enter short plays they have written, directed and acted in themselves, and compete against each other in order to determine whose is the best. The theme for 2017 was “A Touch of Laughter” and Harmonie joined hands with Oude Molen to deliver their very own, one-of-a-kind production.

The play Jay and her cast presented was witty and amusing, and our lovely actors, Jean-Marie Malan, Femia Kamper and Ornilla Serage delivered a simple yet classic performance brimming with hidden nuances. If so much can be done with so little time and such few resources, just imagine the extravagant production that will be delivered next year!

It is easy for people to undermine the importance of events such as this festival. According to Jay, “the worst part is how downplayed Toneelfees is, it’s not taken seriously enough”. When asked what her experience of the entire process was, she replied that “it was fun and challenging. These kinds of events are important. It promotes campus involvement, especially amongst first years who want to do something worth the extra time and effort to tell a story on stage”. One such first year, Ornilla Serage comments that Toneelfees allows “a bunch of students to come together and do what they like. It’s very creative, it’s fun, it’s a way to meet people… There’s only good to be taken out of it”.

I for one am filled with great expectations as to what Harmonie will deliver in the years to come.

Ayden Kruger

House Fun(ds) Dance

Exams are right around the corner and the nerves are starting to set in. It’s time to start drinking vitamins, because the biannual symptoms we all know so well, have started to manifest: binge-watching series, stress eating, freaking out about due dates and, worst of all, procrastination.  Luckily, the House Fund(s) Dance was just in time to allow us to blow off some steam and enjoy fabulous Harmonie socialising. The next Harmonie dance, the one and only House Dance, will only be late in the second semester, therefore attending this one was an opportunity not to be missed!

The dance took place in the heart and stomach of Stellenbosch University: the Neelsie. Having a dance so close to home was amazing. There was no need to drag along comfortable shoes or jackets. It also allowed us to show off our outfits to the students in FHARGA. They only hate us cause they ain’t us.

The Harmonie newcomers came out in their numbers to represent. This forecasts an incredibly participatory first years group. However, several Harmonie alumni also attended the dance, which lead to a number of vocal reunions between current and “old” Harmonites.

The theme this year was emoji’s, which was ingenious. Not only do most of us use them every day, but thanks to recent WhatsApp updates, there are a bunch of new ones available for our social media pleasure. We really are a diverse group of women: we had scientists, a unicorn, cowboys, queens,  and any other emoji you can think of. Hands down the two outfits that dominated the evening were Caitlynne and Emma’s amazing matching costumes. MacDonald’s chips have never looked as fabulous.

The beverages for the evening were the most diverse I have seen at a Harmonie dance. This dance really offered something for everyone. The cuisine consisted of one of the top three student favourites. Romans pizza is an absolute must. MacDonald’s and Pulp popcorn may have been a bit impractical, so maybe next time.

The last hour of House Fund(s) Dance was the best part of the evening. That was the moment we all come together and just let go. Dancing and singing along to music with your friends is one of the best feelings in the world.  The music was louder and the dance moves were on point.  Shout out to the wonderful ladies of the Second Years Committee, who organised the whole event. Thank you for helping us to take a break before all of the exam pressure.

  • Kayla Odendaal 

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