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03 October 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Gallo Images
Lappies Labuschagne
Lappies Labuschagné got his first rugby contract with the Cheetahs after impressing for the Shimlas. He is now playing for Japan – the first Shimla to do so.

Former Shimla Lappies Labuschagné made his ex-coach Jaco Swanepoel proud when he was recently included in the Japan Rugby World Cup (RWC) squad.

Labuschagné, made his debut for Japan on 28 September as captain shortly before the tournament, which is currently under way there, then led Japan to a historic win over Ireland, the world’s fourth-ranked team.


Labuschagné has been playing his rugby in Japan since 2016. Previously, he played for the Shimlas between 2009 and 2012 and captained the team in 2012. At that time, Swanepoel was the head coach of the Shimlas. 

“I’m extremely glad that he got his chance to play in the World Cup, just to prove that he can compete at that level. It was wonderful to see the leadership we knew he had on Saturday,” Swanepoel said.

He believes Labuschagné was unlucky not to have played for the Springboks. In 2013, he was called up to the South African squad, but failed to force his way into the congested Springbok back row. 

“Subjectivity in team selection was the reason that he wasn’t considered. He deserved to be selected and he worked extremely hard. I don’t know of a player who worked harder than him. Nobody wanted to work out with him in the gymnasium, because he always put in extra effort. That made him special.”

Swanepoel describes Labuschagné as a “very special person”.

“Lappies the human being is perhaps a little bit better than Lappies the rugby player.”  

“Hopefully we can get a Japan rugby jersey from him to display in the Shimla room soon,” Swanepoel added.

Labuschagné isn’t the only former Kovsie at the RWC. In the Springbok management team, Rassie Erasmus (head coach), Jacques Nienaber (defence coach), and Vivian Verwant (physiotherapist) are also former Kovsies.


News Archive

Dying of consumption: Studying ‘othering’ and resistance in pop culture
2014-10-31

 

 

The Centre for Africa Studies (CAS) at the UFS – under the project leadership of Prof Heidi Hudson (CAS Director) – conceptualised an interdisciplinary research project on representations of otherness and resistance.

This is in collaboration with UFS departments such as the Odeion School of Music, the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts, the Department of Fine Arts, the Jonathan Edwards Centre Africa and the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French.  

In this project, Dr Stephanie Cawood from CAS leads a sub-project on the dynamics of pop culture and consumerism. Her research unpacks and critiques pop culture representations of othering and resistance by engaging with the othering rhetoric of conspicuous consumption as well as the subversive rhetoric or culture jamming at play in various South African youth subcultures.

Consumerism has become the institutional system in which we live our daily lives. Pop culture is the result when multinational corporations take aspects of culture and turn it into commodities with high market value. In pop culture and its manifestation, consumption, marketers and savvy advertising executives have realised long ago that othering and resistance are powerful tools to artificially create empty spaces in people’s lives that can only be filled through consuming.

“The scary thing is in my opinion that everyone has become a market segment, including very young children,” says Dr Cawood.

In his 1934 book, The Theory of the Leisure Class (TLC), Thorstein Veblen coined the term conspicuous consumption to describe the conduct of the nouveau riche. He  contended that when people manage to meet their basic human requirements, any additional accumulation of wealth will no longer relate to function, but will be spent on ostentatious displays of conspicuous consumption or waste. Conspicuous consumption has evolved into invidious consumption where consumption is a mark of one’s superior social status and particularly aimed at provoking envy. The whole point is unashamed one-upmanship.  

“Think of the izikhotane or skothane cultural phenomenon where young people engage in ritualised and ostentatious consumerist waste for social prestige. This is an excellent example of invidious consumption.

“Instead of striving to become good citizens, we have become good consumers and none are more vulnerable than our youth irrespective of cultural and ethnic differences”.

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