Category Archives: CULTURE

Campus Conversations: Timeline Review(Jul 14 – Oct 6 2017)

Here is a timeline of the series of panel discussions entitled #CampusConversations that have been running from the 14th of July and  will end on the 3rd of November 2017. #CampusConversations are an initiative of Campus Moments in partnership with Sexual Rights Center Bulawayo.

View story at Medium.com

 

 

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AFRICA YOUTH IN TOURISM CONFERENCE (6- 9 September 2017)

AFRICA YOUTH IN TOURISM CONFERENCE (6- 9 September 2017) Venue: ZITF | Registration 

The conference will be a three day event comprising of tourism-oriented discussions:
Theme for Day 1 – Unpacking the Agenda 2063; Opportunities for youth in Tourism  
Theme for Day 2 – Entrepreneurship Development in the Tourism Sector; Role of the Youth 
Day 3 – Youth Empowerment through Domestic Tourism Initiatives; 
Concluding proceedings and Recommendation

The essence of culture and heritage: identity

“There is need to share with young citizens and educate them about heritage and culture as symbols of national identity and common wealth for all ethnic groups …”

by Tsungai Mhungu

People seem to forget who they are, the basis of their identity and where they come from. Change is bound to take place but continuity of culture is essential, it is heritage.

You will see that as a particular culture becomes unique, it becomes important and a marker of identity of that one group while other cultures are swept away by change owing to exchange of ideas and new preferences in terms of lifestyles in a global village.

However, no matter how prevalent change is, the word culture or heritage can never be swept away. What only lacks is the practical part, hence heritage awareness and education becomes critical

Promoting heritage awareness is equally important as safeguarding our identity. Raising Heritage and Cultural awareness has become vital especially in a fast globalizing world that we now live in and which threaten the survival of these two aspects of our social fabric as a country and as Africa as a whole.

We all know what it means when we talk about a global village, where some cultures are becoming less important and fading away as people are adopting foreign cultures and disregarding their heritage.

This could be because of uneven distribution of heritage awareness and other heritage programs across Zimbabwe owing to criteria, variability in resource availability and accessibility to different areas of the country.

This, however, is a challenge that can be curbed with dedicated effort and resources including professionally trained heritage personnel.

It is common and generally known and, may be, accepted that remote areas are less prioritized and far much disadvantaged in terms of accessibility of critical Heritage and cultural information.

It should be of concern that the urban counterparts of the remote areas have an upper hand than the later because of easy access to and availability of information, technology and heritage centers which allows them to learn more about heritage than their remote colleagues.

Usually culture and heritage are looked at from a touristic point of view (their value to outsiders) and not from conservative point of view where priority is given to posterity (so that future generations also enjoy the heritage) than their economic merits or striking a balance between the two.

This is a language only known to professionals but should be shared to all stakeholders of our cultures and heritage so that it becomes vivid to them the value of what we are trying to protect.

The provisions of the 1972 and 2003 UNESCO conventions are tools that need to be embraced and put into practice because of their recognition of the significance of heritage and the dangers that are posed by both natural and cultural events.

awhyf 2016.png
The Inaugural African World Heritage Youth Forum in Roben Island, Cape Town-2016 is an example of efforts to support the effective conservation and protection of natural and cultural heritage of outstanding universal value in Africa.

I understand that Zimbabwe is a member state of the UNESCO and ratified the conventions that seek to protect culture and heritage.

This therefore suggests that heritage awareness and education is remedial to our concerns as heritage professionals.

As a country we should also learn from activities like the Bosnian heritage awareness program with the Foundation Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHWB) to show the importance of heritage for a better future.

Our concern as Heritage Professionals is further exacerbated by the recently introduced curriculum which includes Heritage studies.

With the same appreciation and respect for this initiative by the ministry of education to promote heritage and culture in Zimbabwean schools, especially faced with the fast globalizing world where heritage and cultural principles are fast being washed away and disappearing, there is, however, the need for the professionally trained heritage teachers to undertake this initiative.

The status quo in this field is inopportune taking into cognizance that heritage studies teaching stuff is borrowed from other disciplines such as History.

This under mines the very same goal that the ministry is trying to archive and also undermines heritage facts that are being compromised by the opinionated dissemination of data to students.

Our goal is to promote culture and heritage.

Culture and heritage are most important in defining a country’s identity.

It is therefore critical at this stage to engage professional heritage and cultural practitioners to equip teachers with authentic and professional information so that students are prepared not only to sit for culture and heritage studies exams with confidence but also to raise conscientiousness in students and youths in general towards culture and heritage.

There is need to share with young citizens and educate them about heritage and culture as symbols of national identity, common wealth for all ethnic groups and liberation heritage.

Such endorses national unity, Heritage laws of Zimbabwe, global laws and conventions as well as the national heritage and cultural custodian, the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) and other organizations that play pivotal roles in culture and Heritage.

The bottom line is that preserving our national heritage safe guards our identity as a country.

Featured Image: Amagugu International Heritage Centre.

 

It’s World Poetry Day & We’re Up To Some Poetic Justice

EXPRESS YOURSELF 

Happy World Poetry Day 2017! Which poets are being celebrated and why is it held?

World Poetry Day is celebrated once a year in honour of poets across the world and their work

SOME people see poetry as fitting rhyming words together and a subject your are forced to study at school.

But to others it is one of the greatest ways to express feelings and emotions in a way to bring people together.

And with that in mind, once a year, people mark World Poetry Day to celebrate its contribution to the world. Here’s all you need to know…

World Poetry Day is held year on March 21 after UN body UNESCO adopted the date after an agreement in Paris in 1999.

In the proclamation, UNESCO agreed that poetry can meet a social role as it ‘arouses and expresses awareness’ of a range of issues.

It also added that poetry can help young people reconnect with their roots and change the way they look at their place in the world.

World Poetry Day is celebrated globally, but in the UK, schools instead mark National Poetry Day.

This will take place on Thursday, September 28, 2017 and the theme of this year’s event will be ‘freedom’.

World Poetry Day is held to celebrate cultural expression and identity that comes through poetry.

According to UNESCO, every culture on every continent on earth enjoys poetry as it speaks to our ‘common humanity and shared values.’

During World Poetry Day, poets are honoured, recitals take place and schools promote the reading and writing of poetry.

It is hoped that by celebrating poetry, people will see it as a treasured art form and something that should be considered as important.

And organisers hope this will dismiss poetry’s image as being out of date and boring.

All poets are being celebrated on World Poetry Day, but UNESCO have chosen three with significant importance.

The first is Nikoloz Baratashvili from Georgia with 2017 marking the 200th anniversary of his birth.

He only had a short body of work due to his untimely death at the age of 26 but is often referred to as the ‘Georgian Byron.

Also being celebrated is Molla Panah Vagif, with 2017 also being the 300th anniversary of her birth.

An Azerbaijani poet, he was the founder of the realism genre and was also a popular statesman and diplomat.

While the final poet being remembered is Sayyid ‘Imād-ad-Dīn on the 600th anniversary of his death.

Also known as Nasimi, he lived in 14th century Azerbaijian and Turkey and created most of his work in Arabic.

It is believed he was convicted of apostasy and was executed by being skinned alive. His tomb in modern day Aleppo in Syria, remains a place of pilgrimage.

Midlands State University successfully hosts the 2016 9th Pan African Universities Debate Championships

by Trinity Mapendere| Midlands State University, ZW

Midlands State University is not slowing down on its vision of being among the top Universities in the African continent, as it successfully hosted the 9th Pan African Debate Championships 2016.

Dubbed ‘Madzimbabwe’ drawing its title from the Ancient Great Zimbabwe ruins which are the pride of our national culture, MSU in partnership with the Pan African Universities Debate Council was held at MSU from 9-17 December.

The prestigious tournament running under the theme “Creating African debating footprints”, was official opened by the acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Ngonidzashe Muzvidziwa . it drew up to 20 African universities represented by more than 500 international delegates.

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Since its foundation in 2008, the PAUDC has over the years provided students with a platform where they can express their views on the issues affecting the African continent as they are the future leaders.

Over the years, the African continent has been home to many unresolved issues either political, economic or social and these challenges seem to be affecting the future generations and PAUDC has stirred real engagements with real solutions and remedies to most challenges.

MSU public relations acting director, Mrs. Mawarire described PAUDC entrusting the university with hosting such a major event as historical to the university’s name and the Zimbabwean nation as a whole.

Event organiser Samuel Muleya commended on the journey to hosting the event as a memorable one, “We had to be at our best from accommodation, venues and food, I must say our catering was 5 star as we made sure our visitors had best meals”.

The closing ceremony also witnessed the handover of the tournament to the 2017 Pan African Universities Debate Championship hosts, Cameroon. Tanzania was announced as hosts for the 2018 tournament.

Wits University emerged as major victors on the night after winning both sets of closely contested public speaking and debate finals. For their efforts, Wits University represented by Bongani Masilela and Mpilwenhle Mpilo Ndlovu walked away with the prestigious PAUDC trophy and the public speaking trophy.

Zimbabwe students fighting GBV on campus

Sex Rights Africa Network | @SexRightsAfrica

When female students at tertiary colleges and universities in Zimbabwe call for action against gender-based violence (GBV) and sexual harassment (SH) on campus, they need up-to-date statistics to back up their claims that this is a widespread problem.

Research undertaken by the Female Students Network Trust (FSNT) in Zimbabwe in 2015 presents a clear picture of the nature and extent of GBV and SH that students endure, and make recommendations for protecting survivors and holding perpetrators and authorities accountable for the abuse.

FSNT’s baseline study, conducted in universities, polytechnics and teachers’ colleges, with support from the Czech Embassy and the Students and Academics International Help Fund, covered ten tertiary institutions and included 3425 students and staff. It confirmed the students’ claims that GBV and SH were ‘rampant’ on campus, particularly sexual harassment of female students by male lecturers, fellow male students and non-academic male employees.

Key findings from the research include:

Of the 2114 female students who participated through the questionnaire, 94% reported having encountered SH, compared to 3% of the 672 male students;

    Of the 1987 female students who had encountered SH:

        16% of female students said they had been raped by male students and 5% had been raped by male lecturers and non-academic staff;

        13% of female students reported date rape in relationships with older men (lecturers and non-academic staff) and 46% in relationships with male students;

        16% reported having been forced into unprotected sex in sexual encounters with lecturers; 10% in sexual encounters with non-academic staff and 43% with male students;

        32% of female students reported having been coerced into drinking alcohol or injecting drugs by older men (lecturers and non-academic staff) during date outings and thereafter sexual assaulted. 48% of female students reported the same during date outings with male students;

        64% of male students said they had given money or gifts in exchange for sex in the last year and 42% of female students reported that they had received money or gifts in exchange for sex in the last year. (In focus group discussions, men said that having ‘invested’ in female students they would resort to violence if their partners refused to have sex with them or had sex with someone else);

        85% of respondents reported knowing female students who were once forced by campus-men to abort an unintended pregnancy;

        74% of female students encountered offers of ‘favours’ (good grades/marks, extra academic help and study aids) by lecturers and 83% encountered offers of ‘favours’ (food, accommodation, transport and money) by non-academic staff and students, all in exchange for sex or sexual relationships;

        67% experienced unwanted physical contact (touching, patting and hugging) by lecturers, non-academic staff and students;

        93% experienced inappropriate remarks about their gender and sexuality (including sarcastic criticism of their weight, body parts such as breasts and buttocks, skin complexion, hairdo, cosmetics, dressing) by mostly male students;

        91% encountered wolf whistling – and of the 672 male students who completed the questionnaire, 90% reported having wolf whistled at a female student;

        79% of female students reported being intentionally excluded from meetings and processes because they were being held at gender insensitive environments and times.

The vast majority (94%) of female students who experienced GBV or SH said that they would not report to the authorities. Most (63.5%) said they had disclosed to someone (family member, friend, intimate partner, room mate, fellow church member).

The main reason given for not reporting was not knowing how to do so. However, female students also reported that campus security were more concerned about preventing student unrest that dealing with issues of GBV and SH.

Reporting to intimate partners seldom resulted in cases being taken up through the college/university system and would often result in physical gang fights between involved males. Female students said that being identified as victims of GBV and SH through reporting would jeopardise their current and future intimate relations and social image, and subject them to campus gossip and further male student bullying.

Responses to questions about the reasons for GBV and SH reflect an entrenched patriarchal culture, with fixed, unequal gender norms and normalised victim-blaming. Both female and male students said wolf-whistling was due to young women wearing tight or revealing clothing. The males said they were less likely to wolf-whistle at students who dressed ‘decently’. The main reason given for unwanted physical contact by both male and female respondents was that female students had ‘unknowingly sent a wrong message’ to offenders, who were generally people they knew.

 The study found that ‘female students fail to live their college lives fully making unreasonable behavioral and life style adjustments fully because of fear of SH in their living and learning environments’.

 However, it seemed this strategy would be unlikely to protect them since male students reported intense pressure – from both male and female lecturers – to outperform female students, to show contempt, competition and indifference towards female students, and to call a male who did not perform ‘woman’. Female students who outperformed males would be called tom-boys or labelled as having ‘balls’. Some female students would behave in a submissive way to avoid this.

 Both male and female students during FGDs said that male lecturers viewed sex with female students as part of their supplementary job benefits just like medical aid in the context of low and often delayed salaries. Male lecturers in interviews denied this though they said it was part of beer talk. A high proportion of male lecturers said female students ‘enticed them’ into relationships.

The report notes that there have been some efforts by the Zimbabwe government to demonstrate its commitment to eradicating GBV and SH Government – for example the creation of a separate ministry responsible for gender and women affairs, which has put in place a national GBV strategy.

FSNT has used the findings of the study to formulate a Sexual Harassment Monitoring Mechanism (SHMM) for tertiary institutions and to provide recommendations for improving accountability of authorities on GBV. FSNT

 Director Evernice Munando says the Trust has been advocating and lobbying strongly for SH policy formulation and effective implementation, engaging Zimbabwe’s parliamentary portfolio committees on Gender and Education to expedite the processes. Munando reported in April 2016: “Some universities and colleges are responding well [and] Midlands State University (MSU) has recently made its policy.”

 Let’s orange Campuses and advocate to stop Sexual Harassment 

 Article first published on 04 May 2016 at http://www.sexrightsafrica.net

Video published by ItsOnUsCampaign

ASHLEY MORGEN CROWNED MISS TOURISM 2016

​NUST MARKETING student and Bulawayo contestant Ashley Morgen has been crowned Miss Tourism Zimbabwe 2016.

Morgen got her crown at a glamorous event held at the Rainbow Towers Hotel and Conference Centre on Friday.

Nonhlanhla Dube also named Miss Agro Tourism and Shirley-Ann Lindsey, Miss City Tourism were the  princesses.

Morgen walked away with a $20,000, a car and other prizes. Dube scooped $10,000 while Lindsay got $5,000.

The glamorous event set the standard for pageants for Zimbabwe for both presentation and prizes handed out. Some calls  have been made for the organisers under the leadership of Barbara Mzembi to take over the Miss Zimbabwe stewardship but we are pretty keen to see where next she will take what was a very successful campaign. 

Source:3mob.
 

Diary of a Zimbo studying Abroad: “Hong Kong culture more classist than racist”

by Getrude Gwenzi | @JusG_G  (tw)| Lingnan University-Hong Kong

I have been living in Hong Kong for a month now. I have been observing this society with interest and making my own observations so that I do not succumb to generalizations and assumptions of how Chinese people are or ought to be.

I want to tackle the subject  of racism which was really sparked by the following video:

To summarise; this black woman got onto the MTR (train service) and the moment she sat down the Chinese woman sitting next to her took out a tissue and covered her mouth. I MEAN!!!I would be outraged. I have been on the MTR myself in the past month and I must say I have observed some weird behaviors by some Chinese people(not all); such as:

  • choosing to leave their seat and stand up when you sit next to them
  • being stared at like you have done something wrong just by entering the train
  • refusing to even touch you or your elbow even when the train is clearly full and it cannot be avoided

But someone covering their mouth after you sit next to them???I don’t think I would have this woman’s courage to stand up and speak against such behavior. So this post also applauds her confidence and pride in herself as a black person in Hong Kong. It sparked a lot of debate around racism and basic ignorance of some Chinese people which explains their behavior towards minorities.

“…if this is such a modern society why are we still having labels at all?…”

I decided to read further about how black people are generally perceived in Hong Kong. The truth is we (black people) are a minority and although Hong Kong is described as a diverse, first world city; there are not many black people relocating to this city in their numbers. Mainland China seems to have the greater numbers of black people living there. So I came across an article stating that Hong Kong is in essence a classist society not a racist society. This means no matter what race you are, if you look like you are upper class you will be treated with respect.

If you dress like the Hong Kong people; that is wearing flashy designer clothes and watches then they will not feel threatened by you being black. The general assumption is that black people relocating to Hong Kong are usually academics with high academic qualifications or they own businesses and come to Hong Kong on business  and return to their countries. So these groups are not discriminated against and they are not that many to even worry about.

The Filipinos, Indonesians and other East Asian minorities are the ones with the “poor illegal immigrant” label in Hong Kong,not black people. This is only because of our small numbers so this is a mild comfort. Does it make it OK though?

My question is if this is such a modern society why are we still having labels at all? Why do we only respect blacks when they are educated and belonging to the upper class? So you are going to cover your nose when the “ordinary looking” black person sits next to you and you call yourself evolved? I know that any capitalist country will have classism as an issue and that is a whole other battle to fight. Our humanity is such that we fear anything that is different from us and we would rather not associate with it. And by “we” I mean all of us. Even black people say racist things about Chinese people and that is not OK either. It is our lack of understanding and it is sad that it has been discussed over and over and yet there is still no one with a solution to the problem.

My social investigations continue…but the experiences of that young woman and her mother on the MTR show that racism is alive and will not be going anywhere anytime soon…

Article first published on Getty’s personal blog: https://moretogetty.wordpress.com .Getty @jusgee_gee (IG), has bagged 2 degrees already and has just started work on her 3rd, a PHD. She’s in Hong Kong and is happy to share her experiences with all of us. Read On!!