It is that time of the year again, when students at the University of Cape Town (UCT) get heavily drunk and take to the streets of Cape Town to sell SAX Appeal Magazine. This age-old tradition is part of UCT RAG’s fundraising – selling the satirical magazine to as many people as possible overnight and in the wee hours of the morning to raise money for Shawco, a health and welfare charity organisation run by students.
This year, the festivities took place at Mzoli’s – a popular bar in Gugulethu that is frequented by students during UCT’s orientation week. After a night of partying, students took to the street to sell this year’s magazine, themed “50 Shades of Sax”, a reference to erotic romance novel-turned-film 5o Shades of Grey. The cover depicts a white man, a Mr Grey lookalike, holding a whip while overlooking the Cape Town townships.
Although the overall reaction to the cover is one of pride and approval, not everyone was sold on this “satirical” cover.
What idiots decided this cover for sax appeal was ok? A white man, holding a whip and looking over the ct townships? pic.twitter.com/uo468HZ8el
— Vanessa Berger (@van_berger) February 12, 2015
Well done UCT on your #SAXAppeal cover. Go on and put your privileged foot into your privileged mouth. Who even approves these things?
— Yaaseen Barnes (@Ya_a_seen_Him) February 12, 2015
#SAXappeal white man carrying “whip” (implying forceful dominance) looking down on blacks in shacks – or is it me? Am I being too serious?
— Mhleli Madikanye (@ItsMhleli) February 12, 2015
This is not the magazine’s first controversial or offensive cover. In 2009, there was an uproar about cartoons featured in the magazine that were deemed blasphemous towards Christianity, including a cartoon of a woman with her legs lifted up shouting “Pervert!”, with the caption “God sees everything”.
It’s strange that a magazine that raises funds for Shawco, an organisation that operates predominantly in townships, would use such an image on its cover.
In recent months UCT has also come under fire for the lack of transformation within the institution and then this happens.
What do you make of the Sax Appeal magazine cover? Let us know in the comments section below!