Midlands State University to Partner Chinhoyi University of Technology

One and a half minute read

In a development that is set to advance mineral valuation and beneficiation at national level, Midlands State University and Chinhoyi University of Technology, are fervently working towards establishing a mutual working relationship that will see the two institutions collaborate through research and knowledge transfer to improve the quality of graduates through exchange visits, infrastructure and equipment sharing.

During a visit to the University on the 3rd of September 2018, Professor David J. Simbi the Vice-Chancellor of Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) underscored the importance of collaborative partnerships among Zimbabwe universities as a means for bringing about economic growth.

Speaking during a tour of the Midlands State University Zvishavane Campus where the Faculty of Mining and Mineral Processing Engineering is housed, Professor Simbi who was involved in the establishment of the Faculty, said CUT was keen to partner MSU to advance mineral valuation and beneficiation.

“One of our mandates as universities is to enable economic growth through researches and we hope that a successful partnership with Midlands State University will help us achieve this goal.”

Midlands State University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor N. Muzvidziwa also echoed the same sentiments saying collaborations were very necessary particularly in light of the rise in the global knowledge economy which calls for strategic partnerships that go beyond the traditional research activities at universities.

The partnership is expected to produce graduates who fit into the job market as well as go on to transform mineral valuation and beneficiation in the country.

Commenting on the envisioned partnership, Midlands State University, Executive Dean of Mining and Mineral Processing Engineering, Dr A. Mamuse was optimistic that the relationship between MSU and CUT would empower, uplift, and inspire better learning and research systems for both institutions of higher learning for the benefit of the nation.

Under the proposed partnership students and staff from both institutions are set to benefit from exchange programmes, collaborative research opportunities and co-supervision of student dissertations in the case of the latter. The CUT delegation also had a chance to tour the University’s facilities during their visit.

Source- MSU Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/152730054824638/posts/1768461226584838

#MorningMotivation: Strength doesn’t come from what you can do…it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.

by Joseph Nyamayaro | NUST-ZW
30 second read

Also we must learn from the kite which gives a wonderful message fly high but stay connected to the ground or to your roots otherwise you are lost. Remember in life you must accept what is….let go what was … believe in what will be.Lastly One smile can start a friendship, one word can end a fight, one look can save a relationship and one person can change your life so value everyone you see.

Zimbabwe off to Redbull Campus Cricket World Final in Sri Lanka

by Staff Reporters

The countdown to the official kick-off of the T20 #RedBullCampusCricket World Final in Colombo, Sri Lanka is at just over 72 hours.

Bowling all-rounder, Mzingaye Mdlongwa, will lead a squad of 15 men from the National University of Science and Technology to represent Zimbabwe in the invitational tourney that will run from the 10th to the 16th of September 2017.

Mdlongwa said, “I am so excited to be leading this team on Zimbabwe’s first appearance at the Campus Cricket World Finals. I hope we will perform better than the national team.”

Team Coach, Pfungwadzashe Tsongora, a Roosters all-rounder in the Bulawayo Metropolitan Cricket Association First League said his charges would be going for gold.

However, NUST Sports Director Lysias Charumbira highlighted that the World Finals were likely to be a difficult competition for Zimbabwe due to lack of high-performance cricket academies in universities.

“Despite a lot of challenges in Zimbabwe cricket at the moment, Nust remain on course to improve,” said Charumbira – the outgoing director. “We feel that this is the right time to have our students compete with the world’s best college cricketers.”

Donald Tapfuma, technical director, said, “The boys have been training very hard.” Tapfuma that they have particularly prepared for the energiser over in which they expect to reap maximum points.

Each batting side gets one Energiser Over per innings, where runs count double, but any wickets lost will cost five penalty runs. This can be taken at any point after the Powerplay overs, and was used in 2016 to prompt either a mid-innings surge, or as part of teams’ death-overs acceleration.

The squad consists of: Mzingaye Mdlongwa (C), Tafadzwa Peggah, Carrington Bowora, Shaun Nkani, Shadreck Zulu, Tafadzwanashe Makwena, Bill Chimbana, Lincolyn Moyo, Duncan Findi, Ngonidzashe Musyiwa, Sasha Ngwenya, Washington Ngwenya, Fredrick Johnson, Bryan Zhawi, Tawanda Charumbira. Technical team: Pfungwadzashe Tsongora (Coach), Lysias Charumbira (Sports Director), Donald Tapfuma (Technical Director).

The rising stars – players to watch 

Featuring the best college talent from around the world, the Campus Cricket tournaments have been teeming with talent since inception in 2012. Shehan Jayasuriya, Dasun Shanaka and the UAE’s Chirag Suri – who earned an (Indian Premier League’s )IPL contract this year – are the most recent stars who have played in previous tournaments.

Niroshan Dickwella{Batsman – BMS, Sri Lanka}: is reported to possess an “innovative batting style, replete with reverse-sweeps, over-the-shoulder scoops, and constant flitting around on the crease,” all of which were on display during last year’s World Final, during his team’s march to the title.  According to Daily Sports  Dickwella’s “opening salvo – which featured five fours and a six” – quickly set Sri Lanka on track to a 24 run victory over Bangladesh.

Mzingaye Mdlongwa {Bowler – Nust, Zimbabwe}: a player synonymous with deadly and crafty spins – can ground the most revered team to a paltry sum of runs by taking lots of wickets. On the other hand Mdlongwa is a hard hitting batsman who never disappoints on the innings score. He does not hesitate to strike a loose ball to the boundaries.

Janneman Malan {Batsman – NWU, South Africa}: is the team’s key batsman who makes it his business to steer NWU to many of the sweet victories that it enjoys lately. South Africa will be counting on Malan to tear apart any opponents’ bowling by smashing a string of fours and sixes as he usually does. Malan is a product of Cricket South Africa’s high performance programme.

You can watch the semi-final and final live on the 15th and 16th of September on the link below.



by K Cheryl Mwanza| image credit : allpoetry.com

“You sure this guy can help?” Detective Inspector Jess Marufu asked her partner as she made it a point not to step on top of sunken graveyards that surrounded them at the moment. For some reason whenever she had heard about warren Hills, she had, had this perception that it was the place to be, once you were dead of course.

“At the moment, I’m willing to talk to any psycho that will answer back.” Detective Sergeant Helen Huni answered with her gaze in front, disregarding the fact that she was walking on top of graves.

It wasn’t that Marufu had any superstitions on death, she worked on dead bodies all the time. It was just, after having seen that much death, she believed people resting ought to be respected.

…a girl was found dead just after the Warren Park D round about. She had blood all over her and a slit throat. The crime scene was messy and the conclusion was, they were dealing with an inexperienced killer..

The two had become partners only recently and neither ladies wanted to talk about the reasons behind it. Anyway, their track record had been stellar and they had been nicknamed the two Sherlocks of Harare Homicide, something that almost went to their heads had it been not for a case that had seem so simple on face value but had contributed to many sleepless nights and an obsession that was increasingly border lining on the psychotic. A week to date; 3rd of February, a girl was found dead just after the Warren Park D round about. She had blood all over her and a slit throat. The crime scene was messy and the conclusion was, they were dealing with an inexperienced killer, hence this was going to be a walk in the park. A walk in the park it was.

Then yesterday evening, a voice that brought chills to Marufu, had called and had pointed a finger at an old caretaker who had dedicated his life to catering for the dead in Warren Hills Cemetery. Urban legend had it that, many years ago, the caretaker had witnessed a brutal murder that had messed with his brains. After wards, he wasn’t able to distinguish the present from the past, and most of what he said was just pure trash. But the two detectives had seen it all to know that diamonds came from compressed trash.

“I think I see him.” Huni said pointing at a Dead End sign. An old man with a pipe and a tattered blanket over his legs was sitting leaning against it, not a care in the world.

“I think this is stupid.” Marufu said abruptly stopping, one hand on the tip of her gun. “Extremely stupid.”

“I know. That’s why we are doing it.” Huni said proceeding.

Marufu couldn’t shake the feeling that something bad was about to happen, she felt cold and dead inside and battled with going back and throwing the tip line out the window. But then Huni continued without fear, and her turning back would just reflect badly on her record. As she followed after Huni however, she couldn’t shake the feeling that she was walking into a trap. The feeling was so strong, she swore she heard footsteps follow after her. Whenever she turned, however, nothing and no one was there.

She turned and soldiered on.

“Maswera sei.” Huni said and the old man turned to face her and her partner. “I’m Detective-“

“Finally.” The man said as he focused his gaze on Marufu. “You a detective too, Mzukuru?’


“Good. That gun might just protect you.”

“From what?”

“The man who is hunting you. I fear, he is close, Mzukuru.”

Marufu shivered involuntarily, and for an instance froze. She was experiencing it again. The symptoms that came before… “What man? Why is he hunting me down?”

“I told her the very same thing. To be careful, because the man was hunting her down. She thought I was crazy. I hear she died.” He tilted his head to the sky then puffed out smoke.

“Sir, are you talking about the girl found by the Round about?” Huni asked as she opened a file she had in her hands.


“That’s her…” Huni began then paused. “How did you know that?”

“I told her the man was hunting her down. Just like he’s hunting you down.” He said looking straight into Marufu’s eyes. “She didn’t listen. Now she’s dead.”

“What can you tell us about the man?” Marufu asked trying to remain calm. “Who is he?”

“You remind me so much of my granddaughter Melissa. They say she went missing. Are you detectives here to investigate that?” He asked sitting upright like someone who had just become aware of their surroundings. He dropped his pipe as tears shone in his eyes. “I was with her yesterday. She left and I swore she was with that boy we kuraini. Are you detectives here for that?”

Both women were taken aback by the sudden change in character, not sure on how to proceed and feeling like her time had been wasted, Huni turned to leave. Marufu who believed that old man had more secrets hidden, and who wanted to know more about who was hunting her, cleared her throat as she said,

“What year is this, sekuru?”

“1989. What kind of a question is that little girl? And look at what you wearing! Melissa was dressed exactly like this and look what happened to her.” He looked straight into her eyes then said. “He’s looking for you. The same way he was looking for her. Matilda, they used to call her.”

“Let’s go.” Huni hissed at her partner.

“He’s on to something you know.”

“Is that why you’re shaking?”

“No.” Marufu said as she put her hands behind her back. “I think he’s the key to solving our murder.”

“Yeah. If we can get him to stay in 2011!” Huni shrieked as she picked up pace.

“Wait. They said he witnessed a violent murder that messed with his brains, right?”

“Why are we doing this again?”

“What if it’s connected to 1989 and what happened to his granddaughter?”

“We haven’t solved this murder. You want us to re-visit an old one?”

“No. let’s go back to him and talk about 1989. If he’s mixing up our victim with his granddaughter’s disappearance. He’s bound to mix up his granddaughter with our victim’s death.”

Before Huni had a chance to respond both women suddenly fell to the ground, and blood began oozing from one of them. The old caretaker picked up his pipe, neatly folded his blanket, got up and as he walked away said, more to himself,

“I keep warning them. Just like that girl. The one they called Matilda.”


BEiNG TANAKA: Episode 4

Episode  #4

Tanaka stepped on the floor and felt its coldness run through  her spine. She began to shiver as goosebumbs appeared on her arms, but she did not take her feet off the ground. The coldness that was sipping through her body was proof enough that she was awake. She did not dare take her feet off the ground. She looked around, she was back in her old room in Rosemary. For the first time in her life, she felt foreign in the room and its expensive furniture.

Tanaka got up from bed, reached for a bottle of Woods Cough Syrup that was on the night stand and in one go, gulped it all down. As her muscles began to relax, her mind became sharp and tears began to sting in her eyes. Everything from the past four days came back to haunt her with a vengeance and at one point she thought she was losing her mind. She still did not want to believe that Daniel was dead even though she had seen him being buried. Tanaka reached for a another bottle of Woods when her door was knocked. She slid the bottle under her ashen grey pillow, answered the door as she wore a black heavy robe over her string black night dress.

“There is a strange scent in here. I don’t like it.” Mrs. Khumalo said as soon as she got into the room. It did not take her long to locate a trash bin filled to the brink with assorted alcohol bottles. “So, this is why you wanted the maid and not me to come here? Tanakamunashe Khumalo you have been here for only two days and already you have become an alcoholic?!”Mrs. Khumalo demanded banging the door with her right fist.

“Its nothing like that mom. I just needed something to help me sleep.”

“I will not allow such behavior in my house. What the hell Tanaka!”

“Mom, my husband just died….”

“His death is no excuse for you to indulge yourself. If you don’t feel better, go see a therapist or a grief councilor. I won’t have you turning my home into a shebeen or whatever people call that damn place. Do you understand me?”

“Yes ma’am.” Tanaka said starring down at her feet.

“Good. I came down here to tell you that I set you up with…”


“Raise your voice at me again and see what happens.” Mrs. Khumalo said biting her teeth. “Lets not pretend like you still loved the guy. Had he not died, you would have been divorced from him by now.”

“Tha…That is not true mom.” Tanaka answered silently as she sat back down. She swallowed hard as she felt a hot lump up her throat.

“Alcohol is prohibited in this home. Don’t think for a moment that grieving widow act is going to fool me.” Mrs. Khumalo said as she turned around to leave. With her back to her only child and daughter, Mrs. Khumalo said. “ I gave him your number, he is a grown man he will know what to do. Go buy a nice dress and put some make up on. Don’t mess this up.” With that, the older woman left.

Left alone, Tanaka began to silently cry. She reached under her pillow for the cough syrup. As she was opening the bottle, she felt as if someone or something was watching her. Her heart began to pound hard and she felt her insides turning. Swallowing hard, she turned to face the door and she saw Daniel walking toward her with a smile on his face. Her whole body began to tremble, she could feel the body slipping from her hands. Daniel stood  right in front of her then opened his mouth to speak. The bottle slipped from her hands and violently crashed on the floor, glass shreds flew everywhere and half the syrup splashed back on  Tanaka. Long after the crash , Tanaka could still hear the shattering echo through out the room. As she raised her eyes , Daniel was no longer there. In his place was an uneasiness that refused  to go away. She jumped from her bed as she felt her heart pounding all over her body.

Tanaka ran her hands through her now shortened hair as she sat waiting for her boss to return from lunch. She was ready to come back to work. At least she needed something that was going to distract her mind and keep her busy. Her mother had tightened security at home and she had people come in who did a thorough search of Tanaka’s room. There was no way Tanaka was going to bring in alcohol without alarming her mother or the goons that her mother had hired.

Without any alcohol in her system, how was she going to sleep without seeing or feeling Daniel…

“Tanaka?” Captain Lynette Chigariro called out in surprise as she opened the door. “Why are you here?”

“I wanted to talk to you about coming back to work, Captain.”

“I spoke to your mother and told her that you had until ten January…”

“I don’t want to be home…”

“You need to stay at home and mourn your husband, Dube. We can take care of things here.” Captain Chigariro said as she moved to her over loaded desk.

“Being at home is driving me crazy…”

“Go see a therapist or something, just don’t be here. I don’t want you interfering with Daniel’s investigation…”

“I won’t…”

“Tell that to someone who is going to believe you! Tanaka, I don’t want to rude to you but go home. Now!”

“Yes captain.” Tanaka said as she got up to leave the office.

Captain Chigariro was one woman you did not want to cross. She was tough and all round fierce and she was equally feared and respected through out the station. Chigariro was more masculine than most men who worked for her, she was a tall physically strong woman who hardly kept a relationship and no desire to reproduce. Always in black pants suits and black tennis shoes, Chigariro’s first and only love was crime fighting.

Tanaka sat on a hard bench looking at a silver elevator with her back to the offices. She felt scared, alone and confused. Coping with her loss without any alcohol in her system was proving very painful for her. She could feel her heart physically hurting. Crying was not doing anything to ease her pain. At the moment however, it was the only thing she could do

“Tanaka?” Detective Kundai Gunda whispered as he got near her. “Why are …you’re crying.” Gunda said as he knelt before her.

“I don’t want to go home.” Tanaka said in between sobs. “ I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. I keep seeing him everywhere and I can’t touch him. And other times I feel like he is there but he is not. My mom is making my life even harder.  I’m going crazy, Gunda. I’m going really crazy!”

“Its going to take some time, but you are going to be fine.” Gunda said as she hugged Tanaka. “Its going to be okay.”

“I don’t think so. My heart hurts. Like really. Like physically.” Tanaka cried out loud as she dug her head further into Gunda’s shoulder.

Gunda felt his own  tears coming. He had known Tanaka even before she had gotten married. Their friendship had began just like that and over the years they had become like siblings, and even through Tanaka was older, she treated Gunda like  her big brother. Seeing Tanaka wretched like this, it disturbed Gunda so much. Gunda was about to marry his long time girlfriend, but as he cooed in comfort at Tanaka, be was beginning to have second thoughts. Would either of them live on if something like this happened? Would he? He cleared his throat as he tightened his grip on a trembling Tanaka.

The elevator door opened and Detective Caroline Dzimba froze for a moment. She mastered up as much courage as she could as she stepped out. Dzimba, a tall, thin woman who almost became a model had it not been for her father murder, moved slowly toward the two. She cleared her throat as she got near then flashed a smile at Tanaka whose face was completely soaked in tears.

“Hi.” Dzimba said as she rubbed both her hands against her black knee high skirt. “I’m coming from your house, Tanaka. Your mother in law said you moved out.”

“ I did. My mom thought it was best if me and my children moved in with her until…until I was alright. Is everything alright?” Tanaka asked with a nervous voice as she wiped away her tears.

“I am the lead detective in your husband’s case.” Dzimba said almost silently.

Tanaka turned to look at Gunda who smiled gently at her. She turned from him as she dropped her eyes momentarily to the ground. She could feel pain all over her body. He really was gone.

“If you don’t mind, I would like to ask you a few questions.” Dzimba said.

Without having said anything, Tanaka got up and followed Dzimba’s desk. The office area was almost vacant and the most private place to be at that moment. As Tanaka sat down, she was her husband’s picture on the murder board. His face was blown open exposing raw bloody flesh and shattered bones. Next to his picture was the description of a likely weapon which was a Glock. 45. Tanaka began to tremble as she looked at the before and after pictures of her husband that were pegged side by side on the board. She felt her insides turn and she was about to be sick. She quickly turned away from the board as she looked at Dzimba who was just as uncomfortable as she was.

Dzimba and Tanaka had known each other for over ten years but they were not friendly in the conventional sense. They smiled at each other, everyone did that, and had tried to keep as much distance from each other as possible. Being that close to each other, Dzimba felt awkward and tense. She began to rub her wedding band as she thought of her way to interview Tanaka without making things more tense than they already were.

“I am so sorry Tanaka.”

“Thank you.”

“If you’re not alright, we can reschedule this.”

“No. I am fine.” Tanaka licked her lips as tears soaked her  cheeks. “My mother did not allow me to see him in the coffin. She said that I could hardly recognize him.”

“I should have taken that down, I’m sorry. Its just that…”

“No. He must have gone through so much and I wasn’t there for him.”

“That is not your fault Tanaka. You didn’t know he was going to end up like this.”

“If I was better wife, he would not have died. I would have comforted him. He would not have left in that ambulance. He would be here.” Tanaka said in between sobs as she wiped her face with both hands.

“I had a talk with the ambulance driver. He said the people who shot your husband where hell bent on killing him. Its not your fault. There was nothing you could have done to stop it, so don’t blame yourself.”

“Did he say why they killed him?”

“No. The ambulance was surrounded by four black Chevrolet SUVs. Within seconds the ambulance door was blown open and your husband was shot. The driver said it happened in under a minute and he hardly knew what hit him. It was a well thought out plan.”


“That is what we are trying to figure out Tanaka. Why did you go to that house in the first place?”

“A man called him a couple of days before we went to the house. He told him that his father was sick and wanted to see him before he died. I was skeptical so we didn’t go. When….when D…he finally went, his father was dead…. heart failure”

“Daniel was left as the sole owner of the house?”

“Yes. On christmas day Daniel went with the lawyer’s assistant to his father’s grave.”

“And this father. What was his name?”

“I honestly don’t remember. I doubt if he ever mentioned it.”

“Daniel’s mother refused to talk to me about Daniel’s father…”

“The two of them did not see eye to eye. Mother cheated on her husband with baba Dee’s father and the affair was hard to deny because it resulted in a baby. She doesn’t want to talk about the father. She blames baba Dee’s father for  her marriage’s failure.”

“Why would your husband believe that the home you visited used to belong to his father?”

“Baba Dee was desperate to know his father. I don’t know what the lawyer told him, but when it came to his father ….he was gullible.” Tanaka said as she bit on her lower lip.

“Its going to be okay. Thank you for coming out.”

“Thank you.”

Tanaka ordered another drink with a smile that the pain and turmoil that was brewing inside of her. She had come into Ray’s Bar soon after leaving the station and she had stayed there ever since. She had been drinking none stop and even though she thought she was still in control of her mind, everything around her had become hazy. The lighting had become brighter and the people in the bar had become more colorful to her.

Tanaka could not help but feel that someone was watching her. She kept turning around expecting to see Daniel looking back at her. But as with the time before, he was not there. Each time she looked back and saw nothing but a bunch of guys playing pool and smoking, her heart dropped. Something inside of her died. At one point after she had lost count of her glasses, Tanaka swore she has seen Daniel’s reflection on it. She had jumped from the chair and had bumped into a couple who were making out.  before the bartender brought her drink, Tanaka found herself turning back again. A tear rolled down her left cheek as she turned back to face the counter. He was not there. She roughly wiped her cheek with the back of her hand as she felt her blood running cold inside of her.

“Can I call you a taxi, ma’am?” The bartender said with a concern.

“What are you talking about?”

“Its 10 pm ma’am. You have been drinking none stop for almost seven hours.” He answered looking at her with genuine worry.

“I’m fine.” Tanaka said as she tried to avoid the bartender’s stare. “I really am fine.” Tanaka insisted as she pushed the glass away.

“Its fine, I got it.” Maud said as she sat next to Tanaka. “Hi.”

“Hey.” Tanaka answered licking her lips.

“I heard you came by the station.”

“I did.”

“Maybe I should drive you home now.” Maud said as she got up.

“You go. I want to be alone.”

“How long have you been in this place Tanaka? You are grieving I know. But alcohol is not the way to go…”

“Maud. Talk to me in that way when your husband is dead. Now, you don’t have right.”

“I know you are hurting.” Maud uttered not trying to hide her shock. “I have an idea. I have a friend of mine who is throwing a party tomorrow for new year’s eve…”



“Leave me alone alright. You have no right to talk to me in that way. Leave me alone, LET ME BE!”


“I don’t want to talk to you right now. Run back to that little bastard you call husband and leave me alone.”

“I was just trying to help.”


Maud looked around the bar  as more and more people were starting to pay attention to them. She looked back at her friend who was about to tear up and she decided that walking away now was probably the best thing to do. She did not want to leave Tanaka in this state, but what was she to do. Maud walked away without having said anything else.

Tanaka sat back down again and gathered her arms on the unfinished wooden table. Her heart began to pound inside of her  and she became extremely alert as she began to feel a familiar presence about her. She turned around trembling. He was not there. She covered her face with both hands as she began to loudly tap her legs against her chair. She stopped when she heard a sigh right next to her. She looked up.

“Hi.” A chocolate brown, ruggedly handsome man said. The man was dressed in a black formal suit with a neat haircut and brown murky eyes that shone in the yellow warm light that illuminated the bar.

“How can I help you?”

“I might be the one to help you. I am a kind of chemist and I help people with your problem.”


“Here is my card. Look me up and I just might be of help.”

“Lets just say I look for you…”

“My friends call me Flimsy.” The man said with a wink as he got up. After adjusting his tie, he walked away without turning.

“Ma’am” The bartender said as he approached Tanaka.

“I said I was fine the first time around.” Tanaka snapped.

“Its not that.” The bartender began as he lowered his voice. “I know that man. He is dangerous.”

“What are you talking about?”

“He is a drug dealer ma’am. I have seen him sell them here…”

“Why are you telling me all this? Why do you care if I associate with people like him?”

“You seem like a really nice person…”

“Looks are deceiving. Call me that taxi.” Tanaka said as she tore the business card to shreds.


by Nyasha Chiuswa | @Nyashawelove. (featured image credit- frontpagemag)

Mothers like to tell their daughters about it and men are secretly fascinated by it. Grandmothers passed on the tradition from generation to generation and thus played their significant role in educating their daughters about sexual preferences, pleasure and methods.

I am referring to the traditional method of elongating a woman’s labia minora or “kudhonza matinji” in shona or  “ukudonsa amalebe” in Ndebele.

This practice is part of the customs of some communities in Zimbabwe and is aimed at initiating young girls into womanhood.

When I was around eight years of age my mother told me that I had to elongate my labia so that I would become a woman. She was not explicit about the purpose this would serve.  She did however tell me that elongating my labia minora would help me keep my husband.

Image credit - Wikipedia
The process of labia stretching involves pulling or weighing down the inner labia, or labia minora, in order to elongate them.The lips can extend to just outside the labia majora or stretch down as far as a woman’s knees when standing upright. Image credit – Wikipedia

My peers and age mates told me they were elongating theirs and that if I didn’t do the same, I would be left behind. “Uchatorerwa murume nesu tinawo matinji!!!” they would say to me on many occasions.

I never did elongate my labia and I have a man and he has not left me. Even more so, I believe it to be unnecessary and all about personal preference.

In fact, I believe that this a form of genital mutilation and many people across the world share my beliefs. According to the United Nations International Children’s Edcation Fund (UNICEF) almost all African countries have rejected the practice. In 19 of the 29 countries in which Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is most prevalent women said that they wanted it to be made illegal.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is the intentional altering or injury of the female genital organs for non-medical purposes. In the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt and Somalia at least 80% of girls are cut between the ages of 5 to 14 years.

All across Africa several forms of FGM exist.

In Rwanda for example, there is a practice known as clitoridectomy which involves the partial or total removal of the clitoris. In other countries (such as Zambia, Kenya and Zimbabwe) infibulation is practiced. This is a more extreme form of genital mutilation involving the narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner and outer labia.

There are many short term benefits to elongating a woman’s labia if she is willing, hygienic and fully informed about the risks. Women are able to take control of their sexuality as elongated labia increase sexual arousal and chances of reaching orgasm.

However, I also believe that it is a form of genital mutilation because it changes and alters the shape of the vagina and can cause health problems in the long-term. Some of these problems include yeast infections, bladder and urinary infections, childbirth complications, and other infections.

Besides that though genital mutilation is a cultural practice still esteemed by many societies, it is undeniably a form of gender based violence. Many women who are victims of FGM are forced into it by their relatives and society and this violates their rights to freedom from violence and freedom to life as the procedure sometimes results in death. Besides that some of the genital mutilation rites are conducted in public places with men watching and this violates rights to privacy.

It is a violation of reproductive rights because it is the yardstick through which ultimate womanhood and sexuality is measured.

It is a form of psychological violence as women who have not pulled their labia are labeled sexually uneducated by their peers and by the men in their lives. In some instances this abuse is so severe that a man will divorce his wife for not having pulled labia and his relatives will verbally abuse the woman who does not have them.

More so as it is practiced, it violates the rights of children.  Article 2 of the Convention on the rights of the child says children should be protected from all forms of mental and physical violence and maltreatment. In most instances, FGM violates all those rights and because it is done without the child’s consent it is a form of physical abuse.

Labia are not what keep a man but it is love and character. It would be unjustified to say that the labia of a woman control a man. Men are also decisive and will stay with a woman that they love with or without elongated labia minora.

I would not encourage my sisters, my friends or any other woman to elongate their labia minora. It’s simply unnecessary and is only a representation of a system that ignores the various sexual, physical and emotional rights of women and thus should be made illegal.