3 000 Condoms Used By Students At Masvingo Poly, Many Reject ‘Smelly Madembare’ Contraceptive

Robert Tapfumaneyi
2 minute read

Students at Masvingo Polytechnic College are using at least 3 000 male condoms per month although some are less inspired by what they find as a pungent smell produced by the freely distributed contraceptive during and after use.

This emerged during a recent tour in Masvingo by the National Aids Council (NAC) and some local journalists.

NAC and partner organisations distribute free condoms to so-called HIV/Aids hotspots, with the tertiary institution identified as one of them.

HIV/Aids hot spots are places seen as having a high sexual activity and hence, more likely to experience high infections.

During a stopover at Masvingo Polytechnic, it emerged that the use of the male condom was very high among the adult learners while the uptake of the female condom remained very low.

Only a mere 100 per month were being withdrawn from the condom dispenser installed by NAC within the school premises.

Students said the condoms which were freely obtainable within the school were of cheap quality with their biggest disadvantage being the “disgusting odour” they produced upon use.

Some said they could easily pick out from a group, any individual who has just had sex using the contraceptive.

The much resented condoms are often referred to as madembare.

…Some students are less inspired by what they find as a pungent smell produced by the freely distributed contraceptive during and after use…

“The best you can do for us is to supply students with flavoured condoms,”said Portia Munhukwa, a peer educator with National Aids Council.

“The situation becomes worse when students decide to go and have sex in between lectures… when you come back, everyone can easily pick out the smell and you will feel embarrassed. They are also too oily.

“On the madembare condoms, let me honest with you, they have a bad smell.”

Apart from the unpleasant smell, Portia said, the condoms have helped bring down cases of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) with less than 10 new STI cases now being reported per month compared to hundreds in past years.

“When I started working here in 2018, I discovered that the issue of STIs was a bigger issue, and then we started educating the students on how to protect themselves and promoting the use of condoms,” she said.

“Some of the first year female students will be so young and vulnerable and due to peer pressure, end up looking up to older men to supplement their living costs and in the process, giving in to demands for unprotected sex.


Hacking forces MSU to stop SRC polls

One minute read

MIDLANDS State University (MSU) students have raised concern after the institution’s administration halted the Students Representative Council (SRC) elections and postponed them indefinitely.

The university claimed its server had been hacked to interfere with the elections that were being carried out electronically.

The elections were scheduled to be held from November 9-15 but on the first day of voting, MSU registrar Erasmus Mupfiga posted an announcement on the institution’s website that the elections had been postponed indefinitely.

“This communication serves to inform you that the SRC elections that had been scheduled for Thursday 9 November and Thursday 15 November have been postponed until further notice. The postponement has been as a result of a serious and massive security breach that has been detected by our information and technology department,” read part of the notice.

MSU spokesperson, Mirirai Mawere, confirmed the developments.

“Yes I can confirm that they have been postponed until further notice. The postponement is as a result of a serious and massive security breach which has been detected by our information and technology experts. The university has a duty to ensure that the SRC elections are conducted in a credible, professional and transparent manner so that the results thereof truly reflect the will of all the students,” she told Southern Eye.

Zimbabwe National Students Union Midlands chairman Tinashe Chiriga, however, slammed the university’s decision and accused the administration of seeking to protect a candidate from the Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union (Zicosu), which he said was headed for defeat.

When the polls were halted, Jacob Lawrence Sedze (Zinasu) was leading the race for the SRC presidency with 248 votes ahead of Elsie Moyo (Zicosu) at 102 and Richard Sweto (Independent) who had polled 71.

“The biggest challenge we have is that no official communication was made to the candidates. Just a message to the students on the public e-voting platform was circulated by the registrar,” Chiriga said, adding that the development had raised anxiety among students.

Diary of a Zimbo Studying Abroad: The Trivial First Step That Shapes The Future

Brandon Bwanakocha | University of British Columbia
4 minute read

A significant transition surely takes long to be fully executed,but the decision to stay captive to the desire for positive change is made in the flicker of a single heartbeat. It only takes that trivial first step from one mind state to another to ignite the whole person to move towards positive change.

My coming to the University of British Columbia in Canada from Zimbabwe was the most terrifying experience of my life. It meant giving up a life that took me 20 years to learn how to live, to start a new life in a new country, new culture, new climate. What made it worse was that the abrupt change between these two lives only took place in just two days. Since the change was this abrupt, my mind was still back in the life I had in Zimbabwe. I needed that trivial first step to start accepting that I now needed to adjust and adapt to my new environment.

“…My first few weeks in Canada were characterized by trying to adjust to the new life, trying to understand how the academics at UBC work, and trying to keep up with everyone around me who seemed to speak English faster than my brain could translate…”

Yes! TRYING. Everything was either new or simply different from its equivalent in Zimbabwe, and I had to TRY to adjust. I remember sleeping with the blinds half way up my first night here because I could not figure out how to bring them all the way down, and how my first morning I had a cold shower not because I wanted to, but I did not know how to turn on the hot water.

I am not sure if I was just jet-lagged or  overwhelmed by the abrupt change from 20 years of my life to the next four. I was terrified to face the reality that I was not going to see my family in a long time. It was a nightmare that I needed to wake up from. Luckily, before coming here, a USAP friend told me that the best way to survive is to accept that you have a lot to learn and ask for help every time you need it. I followed this valuable piece of advice the following morning. I asked one of my Canadian floormates to show me how to make the shower hot.

That was how I took my first trivial step into life at UBC. I learnt how to speak. Speak as in ask and ask not as in ask for help, but as in ask for more knowledge. It was as though some flame of curiosity was ignited inside of me. A curiosity that had me initially ask questions as silly as “How do you eat this?” later matured to “Where did the Musqueam people get their name?”. I became confident enough to stop literally anyone and start a conversation with them, which explains why people frequently ask me how I got to know all 50 000+  people on campus whenever I walk with them from one end of campus to another. (NB: I actually don’t know all 50 000 + people on campus). I even became confident enough to approach professors to ask about something I did not understand in class. My transition to UBC was sped up as a result of one step: losing the fear to ask.

As I look at how I manage to balance being a member of an Engineering Design Team, an executive member of the International Students Association, a member of the Table Tennis Club and a member of Rappers Without Borders, with a challenging academic schedule and all in the snow,  I realize that it all started with that trivial first step to get me going.  Lose the fear – just smile and ask.

Brandon Bwanakocha is a MasterCard Foundation Scholar first year student at the University of British Columbia. A USAP alum, he hails from Mufakose 1 High School. 

Disclaimer: This article was originally published on Education Matters-USAP Perspectives:

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Cluster 2 of the Zimbabwe Universities Sports Association (ZUSA) games commenced at Africa University in Mutare this morning  and will run till Sunday 17 April 2016. The games will see teams from the country’s universities competing in several disciplines including chess, hockey, tennis, cricket, rugby, snooker and darts

Current Standing after Cluster 1 Games:-

             Gold Silver Bronze
  1.  Midlands State University       23 17 17
  2.  University of Zimbabwe           13  8   3
  3. Great Zimbabwe University      5  12  8
  4.  Africa University                          4  2   2
  5.  Nust                                                  3  8   7
  6.  Chinhoyi University of Tech    3  2   4
  7. Lupane State University            2  1    3
  8.  Women University in Africa     2  0  0
  9. Bindura University of Science Ed 0 1 2
  10.  Catholic University                        0 0 0
  11. Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University 0 0 0

Winning teams will represent their universities at the Zimbabwe Tertiary Institution Sports Union games (ZTISU) which will be held in Bulawayo in June. Hillside Teachers College will host the Games. The Federation of African Universities Sport (FASU) Games which will be held in South Africa in July will follow thereafter.

View Cluster 1 games gallery here.


Midlands State University- March 31 – April 3rd: Photos courtesy of MSU,GZU, CUT CUT Facebook pages.

Men’s handball medalists – MSU
Women’s karate-MSU
women’s karate
Women’s volleyball
Great Zimbabwe University Relay Team scoops gold at White City, Bulawayo
Chinhoyi University of Technology Soccer Team emerges champs.
Midlands State University
the MSU men’s basketball team in action against UZ in the final, which MSU won





Top TV-shows you should be watching right now (but probably aren’t)

by Farai Kwesha | @FatsoRai
To say that I’m a TV-fanatic would be the understatement of the century. I live, eat, breathe television, and with good reason – there are just so many good shows on to suit every taste, mood, and atmosphere. (Uses and gratifications and all). I concede to the fact that being glued to your couch is not exactly the most admirable lifestyle choice, but the same goes for a lot of things too – but I digress. Here is my list of the top five shows you can binge on today, and not feel guilty.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Cast
5. Brooklyn Nine-nine – I had my reservations about this one at first because I had only ever encountered Andy Samberg on a couple of Saturday Night Live skits (which weren’t all that funny), and in The lonely Island music videos. Two seasons later, I’m a bonafide Brooklyn Nine-nine loyalist. (I must have watched every episode in the first season at least three times). The show follows a team of detectives at NYPD’s 99th precinct and a newly appointed captain. If you want a good laugh, then this one should definitely be on your must-watch list.
Viola Davis on promotional cover
4. How to get away with murder – If you love Scandal (or any Shonda Rhimes production for that matter), then you’ll LOVE How to get away with murder. Oscar nominated actress, Viola Davis stars as Annalise Keating, a criminal defense lawyer and law professor, who selects a group of students from her class to work for her firm. However, as the story progresses, the students and Annalise reluctantly get tied into a murder plot. Enough said.
Cast of The Originals
3. The Originals – This spinoff from The Vampire Diaries, is infinitely darker, more dramatic, and mature than its source material, and that makes for great television. Niklaus, Elijah, and Rebekah Mickaelson are the original vampire family, from which the predatory species was sired. Set in the New Orleans French Quarter, The Mikaelsons are confronted with a coven of determined witches, a tyrannical vampire ruler, and cursed werewolves – and that’s just the first season. The show benefits from the talented cast that includes Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Phoebe Tonkin, and Claire Holt.
Kevin Spacey
2. House of Cards – When we last saw Frank Underwood, he had just been sworn in as the (spoiler). House of Cards is one of the most gripping shows you can watch right now, and stars Kevin Spacey which should be all the persuasion you need to watch the show. As a Netflix original, complete seasons are made available for streaming all at once, so right now you can binge on all three seasons.
Tatiana Maslany
1. Orphan Black – This show has benefited immensely from the cult-following that it has quickly garnered. Two-time Critics’ Choice Award winner, Tatiana Maslany, is hands down the best actress on television right now. Sarah Manning (Maslany), witnesses a woman jumping in front of a train – but here’s the rub, the woman looks EXACTLY like her. After stealing the woman’s identity, Sarah uncovers a clone conspiracy which sets her on a path to find answers.