If you are on the roads in Cape Town this Thursday 4 February anywhere from Claremont to Table View, Bellville to Somerset West you will see a number of young people dressed a little bit differently and desperately trying to sell you something. Don’t send them away from your car window as they have something of interest.
They are selling you the UCT RAG SAX Appeal at only R20 a magazine and you may just find yourself giggling at many of the articles. Here are only 45 000 copies to be sold so make sure you get on the roads early to pick up your copy. Some of the contributors this year are Ben Trovato (a well known South African columnist), Seth Rotherham (famed for his blog 2oceansvibe.com), and James Clarke (renowned author of Blazing Saddles), Laurian Clemence (from the “Mushy Peas on Toast” blog, Professor David Benatar (head of the UCT’s Department of Philosophy) and quick tongued 5fm radio DJ Gareth Cliff. There will also be a number of cartoons, jokes and satires to keep you entertained for hours …
But what exactly is SAX Appeal you may find yourself asking? It has a rich history with the University of Cape Town and one that is most definitely colourful. It is both written and produced by the students of the university, with some outside contributors and is now in its 77th year. And all of the proceeds of the sales go to SHAWCO which is the Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisation. This student-run NGO works really hard to constantly improve the quality of life for those in the developing communities within the Cape Metropolitan area. So you can be assured that your R20 is not going into the pocket of the student it is going to a very worthy cause. And just in case you didn’t know what RAG stands for it is for Remember and Give – which is the student-run fund raising organisation of UCT.
I did mention that SAX Appeal has a history and with a 77 year one I’m sure you can imagine it has been quite colourful, what with the magazine traditionally pushing the boundaries. Beginning in 1933 and only costing a shilling, the magazine was a basic 32-page magazine filled with cartoons and limericks and advertisements to cigarettes and Bovril. 9 years later when the world was at war the magazine was banned (for the first time) by the university due to a rather risky article published about a “visit to a nudist colony”. And the ban was held for 5 years, RAG did in the meantime tried to raise funds with a magazine called Boomalak, however this was closely monitored by the university. Finally in 1948 the SAX Appeal was relaunched.
This time it had 23 years of clean sailing until 1971 where it was once again banned. This time the Publications Control Board had its eye out for any “undesirable items” and was able to ban such as they saw fit. When the magazine made a joke about St Peter, God and Jesus playing a round of golf, the magazine was banned and copies were even burnt by student members of the Christian Society.
Something I found really interesting was that in 1980 the cover made headlines as this was probably the first male nude cover in South African history. Then-student Eric Atmore posed nude for the cover and with his nether regions covered by a “banned” strip. Needless to say this edition sold really well and perhaps sales this year will also do really well as now the 75th anniversary edition will feature Eric again – another reason to make sure you get your copy.
So if you want to read some wacky ideas, thought provoking opinions, have a giggle or support a very worthy cause get your copy this Thursday at an intersection near you!