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Tygermaties win women's and men's Molassesêr titles
Author: Liezel Engelbrecht
Published: 14/05/2018

Students at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) showed off their talent at the recent Molassesêr competition – and proved that they weren't just bookworms.

Residences at Stellenbosch University compete annually for the Molassesêr title.

This year the theme was “Video Killed the Radiostar" and the final round took place on 26 April at the Conservatorium Amphitheatre in Stellenbosch. Students from Tygerberg campus won both the women's and the men's trophies – the first time Tygerberg managed this double feat.

House Francie van Zijl and Hippokrates Men's Residence both ended up at the top of the adjudicators' scorecards in their respective categories.

This is the second year in a row that Hippokrates Men's Residence wins in their category. “As far as we know, we are also the first residence to win this trophy two years in a row, and next year we are going to try and make it three," says Ruhann Botha, House Committee member (culture) and cheerleader of Hippokrates Men's Residence. “We are very proud of how well we did."

For House Francie it was a two-year-long dream that became a reality. “We did not take part in 2015, and upon our return in 2016 we did not get through to the last round. Last year we came second in the competition, and, of course, we could not leave it at that. This year we tackled it again with the aim to win, and managing to do that was absolutely incredible! Many hours of work, crisis management and planning were all worth it in the end," explains Luné Smith, House Francie Committee member for culture. She was also one of the five passionate cheerleaders of House Francie.

According to Botha the winning recipe is that everyone should enjoy themselves. “We practise hard, but at the end of the day your make new friends and you thoroughly enjoy yourself." As far as their strategy went, they believed in writing the storyline first, and then to choose the music to go with it. “In that way the performance flows, and you don't try and force it to fit a specific song." He believes their funny renderings of characters such as Jacob Zuma, Nataniël and Simon Cowell, together with their popular song choices, were the key ingredients of their success. 

Smith says that it was definitely the high spirits of House Francie that made them stand out. “With each performance, we sang loudly, and danced enthusiastically. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and the audience could see this. Added to this, our colourful shirts and face paint made us very noticeable, and that contributed to the playful atmosphere of our performance."

Botha says that even though they would stay loyal to Hippokrates Women's Residence, and hope to win both titles next year, House Francie's performance was "excellent'. In turn, Smith says she was very impressed with the performances of the Hippokrates  Women, Meerhoff (who participated for the first time), the main campus's Huis Ten Bosch and Wilgenhof, and of course that of Hippokrates Men.

“Hippokrates Men have never disappointed with their performances. It was nice to see them change their khaki and white costumes for something different. I am always amazed at how willing these guys are to clown around in the name of fun! But I am extremely grateful for it! It is always nice to see that Tygermaties also do other things besides swotting."

Molassesêr in a nutshell - Luné Smith explains:

What you need: “(1) Many first-year students, (2) senior students to provide some leadership, (3) lots of enthusiasm, (4) face-paint, (5) a good drummer (6) choreography and (7) music."

How it works: “The Molassesêr competition consists of only two rounds: the heats and the final. To take part in the first round merely requires an entry, but to get through to the next round, the group has to give six performances at six different residences, where they are adjudicated each time. The challenge of getting to the final round lies in running around Stellenbosch for an entire evening with a group of 60 students, while their legs, voices and spirits must keep up so that they can give their best every single time! Perseverance is key in such a project."

What happens after the final round? “The Molassesêr performances come to an end on the final competition evening. Every year there will be a new group taking part in the Molassesêr, mainly first years, and every year new leaders are chosen."