Inside the Apple Boxes — Stories from Robben Island

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In the 1990s, political prisoners streamed out of the notorious Robben Island jail. And in their arms they carried boxes filled with all their possessions from their time behind bars. These materials documented their stories from prison and the meetings and gatherings of some of the most well-known political activists of the time. Upon their release, many of the political prisoners decided to donate their stories to the Mayibuye Centre at the University of Western Cape. They came in carrying the cardboard boxes that detailed the years of their lives they had sacrificed to imprisonment on this island—and nearly all of them were apple boxes.

“Kromco, Golden Delicious, Heidedal, Stallion, Cape…always apples,” a newspaper article read. But these boxes were not filled with fruit.

Thousands of documents were collected and put together by the prisoners. Robben Island became affectionately known as the “university.” Despite the warders supervising the prison, the political prisoners there began to lecture in their respective areas of expertise and debated a wide range of topics, including literature, philosophy and political theory. This “Robben Island University” became a breeding ground for learning and offered the first higher-level education some of the prisoners there had ever gotten. From these apple boxes one can find the fruits of the labor of extraordinary men.

Among the Mayibuye Archives, one can also find a list of prisoners’ numbers and the dates of imprisonment—including that for “N. Mandela.” However, the list is by no means comprehensive. The majority of men incarcerated at Robben Island were never mentioned in the archives, and many were incarcerated elsewhere or not given the opportunities to comprise such materials in their own incarceration. This is revealed in the gaps in numbering in the lists of political prisoners. A digital list of these prisoners can also be found now on South Africa History Online.

At Robben Island, now a museum, the former political prisoners give the tours. Ntoza Talakumeni is one of them. Talakumeni was cell number 58/86. The “86” stands for 1986, which was the year he was first imprisoned. He was sentenced to serve 14 years but only served four, being released in 1990 with the majority of the prisoners.

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South Africa Photo Gallery Summer 2016

District 6

We took a trip to the District 6 museum, the notorious inner-city district that had been segregated during the apartheid, with more than 60,000 people forcibly removed and their homes bulldozed to rubble. Our tour guide, Joe Schaffer, grew up in District 6 but was forced to leave because his race was labeled as colored. Schaffer described how the people were classified during that time: “Only ‘white person’ had the word ‘person.’ It was psychological mind games—if you’re not white, you’re not a person.”

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Nomaliso Pakashe

One of the first places we visited was the Enfundiswa Preschool in the suburb of Nomzamo in the Strand township. The preschool, and its award-winning garden, is run by Nomaliso Pakashe. The inside walls of the school are decorated with kids’ drawings, and the kids’ faces brighten when Pakashe is around.

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Townships

Professor Herman also took us to the Kayamandi township. Herman described the township as made up of predominantly squatter communities, living in shacks, with a very high population density and extreme poverty. The primarily Xhosa-speaking people originally came from the eastern cape, he explained, and migrated to Stellenbosch looking for work. In the middle of the township is an Anglican church with a big, yellow cross.

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University of Western Cape campus

The University of Western Cape houses the Mayibuye Archives, which contained the purpose of our trip and served as our home away from home for three weeks. The campus itself is home to roughly 15,000 students, located in the Bellville suburb of Cape Town.

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High-intensity workouts are growing in popularity throughout mid-Missouri

By Rachel Foster-Gimbel, Madeline McClain and Katelyn Brown

COLUMBIA — Getting the full benefits of a 45-minute workout in just 10 minutes sounds too good to be true.

In a study out of McMaster University in Canada, one group of participants rode a stationary bike for about 10 minutes, with three 20-second spurts of all-out intensity. The other group rode a stationary bike for 45 minutes of moderate intensity. The results of the study showed similar health benefits for both groups.

Dylan Olver, an exercise physiologist at MU, said this is not the first study of its kind.

“The goal in many studies is to add just an incremental step or a small piece of the puzzle just one piece at a time and certainly this study was able to do that,” Olver said. “But there were no monumental changes or shifts in the way we think about exercise as a result of the study.”

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, as well as other high-intensity exercise programs, are gaining more momentum thanks to these studies. According to a 2015 survey from the American College of Sports Medicine, wearable technology, workouts that incorporate using your own body weight and HIIT are projected to be the top fitness trends for 2016.

This kind of training can already be found at gyms around mid-Missouri.

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Sarah McRae adjusts the weight on a barbell at the Bluff Street CrossFit gym in Fulton, Missouri on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. McRae runs track at William Woods University and often uses high-intensity workouts in her training.

Mike Halliburton, a personal trainer at PRO Fitness in Columbia, said that more clients are asking for these short, high-intensity workouts.

“The training is very, very popular these days because it doesn’t take much time,” Halliburton said. “You can get a great workout in under 30 minutes. That’s a huge benefit of this training, that it fits people’s schedules as we constantly get busier and busier as a society.”

However, the trade-off for less time in the gym is a harder workout. These workouts can be strenuous on the body, especially for beginners, Garrett Buschjost, head trainer at MU Human Performance Institute, said.

“The problem is beginners tear their muscles down and don’t give enough time to recover and sometimes that muscle degenerates,” Buschjost said.

Buschjost said that many people are not aware of these negative effects when they get caught up in the latest workout trend.

“It’s like that old saying, there’s many ways to skin a cat,” Buschjost said. “There’s many different types of programs out there, from HIIT training to body-weight training, there’s so many types of training out there. But you need to know what works best for you.”

Sarah McRae is a short-distance track runner at William Woods University and a member of the Bluff Street Crossfit gym in Fulton. As a track runner, she said high-intensity workouts are a good fit for her.

“I mean endurance training is great if you want to do marathons or, you know, long bike rides or long swims, but I don’t want to do that,” McRae said.

McRae said she usually does about 20 minutes of an interval workout with high-intensity training when she’s at the gym. However, that makes up only one component of her overall routine.

High-intensity training is not a perfect substitute for an endurance workout, Mike Wuest, owner of CrossFit COMO, said, but it works for people who don’t feel they have a lot of time to dedicate to the gym.

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“You can get a lot of bang for your buck when you do interval training, especially in a short amount of time,” Wuest said. “However, it’s going to be hard to replace like a 6-mile run, a 10K or a marathon.”

Buschjost agrees. He said a person’s workout needs to be varied but also tailored to the person’s background, age and interests.

“If you want to create a lifestyle that’s going to be with you the rest of your life, don’t focus on getting a beach bod,” Buschjost said. “ Focus on your health and how you feel.”

 

Columbia Missourian

People think that because we’re journalism majors, we’re afraid of numbers. We are not afraid of numbers. And those of us who are not good at math, well, we give them calculators. Because numbers are necessary for journalism, and data are like our holy grail—they verify a story, they drive a story, and they can be their own story.

In my time at the Infographics desk for the Columbia Missourian, I used maps, graphs, and by the numbers to tell stories for print and web. I worked with interactives and compiled a full-page story on Millennial voting trends—told entirely through data.

Final Project Revised

The rest of my infographics were published in online and in the print edition of the Columbia Missourian. Below are the links to the online stories published with my infographics:

VOX videos

Vox magazine is a print and digital magazine in Columbia, Mo. with 30,000 weekly unique visitors and a weekly print circulation of 10,000. Vox provides insight on news, arts and pop culture—as well as Columbia’s underground scene.

As a video and multimedia reporter for Vox’s News and Insight, I made individual stories on local events as well as complementary videos for print and online feature projects. I also had the opportunity to experiment with new digital tools, such as annotating videos with thinglink. Working for Vox gave me the chance to develop my video reporting and editing skills on my own for the first time.

  • Folk Fiddlers
  • Archaeology Day
  • A Bird’s-Eye View

  • Punching out Parkinson’s

The best part of working at Vox was working on stories that no one else seemed to be covering. Many of my sources told me how excited they were that I had found them and reached out. In a profession with an approval rating below lawyers and just above politicians, it’s nice to feel that gratitude every now and then. News is about controversy, exposing problems and keeping our officials in line—but it’s also about finding real people, sharing their stories and giving a voice to a community.

You can find the rest of my videos on Vox’s youtube channel.