Tag Archives: zimbabwe

IGNORANCE: A NEW THREAT TO OUR HERITAGE

by Sineke Sibanda| @sinekesibanda image credit:awhf.net

“A person without knowledge of their history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots”

Over the years, the continuous cycle of inscribing and delisting heritage sites has been gradually ongoing and has become a core part of our tradition. We all just have an idea that we have been inscribed as a world heritage site today and years later we will be fighting hard to save that site from being registered in the endangered list of sites. Mostly this of course owes to a vast changing climate we probably all believe we have little control over, on the other hand, it is the competing needs to balance development on the sites without disturbing their natural beauty.

As much as these sites have been so integral in our lives and that of our history, there is another factor which has tentatively threatened increasing their vulnerability. I have been coerced to believe that every heritage site is at risk, risk of losing its universal outstanding value, owing to the vast ignorance the prospective future citizens has about these cultural and natural landscapes.

 

In basic terms, outstanding universal value (OUV) in heritage generally refers to the meaning that our heritage whether tangible or intangible, cultural or natural has. That which makes it unique to all of us. For a place like Great Zimbabwe, the OUV is that it is a self-sustaining rock structure with no mortar or clay that has intactly existed since about 1100AD. For a place like the Robben Island, its OUV would be its location and being the symbol of the triumph of the human spirit against adversity. The unique reason which makes a heritage entity what it is.

A lack of awareness is a growing threat to heritage sites in most African countries. I was privileged enough to attend the first African World Heritage Youth Forum held in Cape Town, South Africa from the 28th  of April to the 5th of May 2016. During the forum, sponsored by UNESCO and the African World Heritage Fund, it was revealed that a lack of awareness on the meaning of heritage in all the 23 countries represented was prevalent and this posed a risk that this lack of appreciation of heritage would run most sites into shadows of irrelevance and extinction.

ignorance-is-bliss
image cred:sirenconsultingfirm.com

It is sad today that to most young people in Zimbabwe, the Great Zimbabwe are just rocks, a few young people understand the significance, the roots and the identity that site has for any Zimbabwean. In one of my conversations after the forum with one of the most esteemed Zimbabwean ‘heritagist’, Pathisa Nyathi, a lack of appreciation was cited. He brought to context the Matobo Hills which were inscribed by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 2003 saying that the hills are under threat from local young boys who normally do cattle herding and in cold weather sometimes make fire in the bushmen caves where some rock paintings are found. This meant that the paintings are slowly becoming covered by smoke. He insisted that it was not their fault that such is happening because they do not even know what heritage is, let alone its importance and relevance to their daily living.

The future deserves all the opportunities we have had too. It is also our mandate to read about heritage, share stories about it. In essence, it is our collective responsibility to ensure our participation in key decisions that affect our heritage, because besides being just sites or traditional practices, our heritage bears our roots and identity. I would love to close off by quoting one South African lady I met during the forum. She writes: “A person without knowledge of their history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. As I walk away from ignorance.” (Mmapule. P.  Maluleke, 2016).

(The word ‘heritagist’ is the author’s colloquial creation to explain a heritage expert.)

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ZINASU CALLS ON PRIVATE SECTOR TO GIVE VACATION JOBS TO STUDENTS

AS many tertiary institutions prepare to close for vacation in June, The Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) has called on the private sector to offer temporary jobs to students.
Due to failure to pay fees, a lot of students are dropping out of college which has prompted ZINASU to implore the private sector to give jobs to students during the impending vacation so that they can raise money.
Many institutions including the University of Zimbabwe allowed students to sit for their exams with fees in arrears but students will not be able to access their results and this prevents them from proceeding with their studies as results are a prerequisite for carrying on to another level.
As such, a lot of students do not only need money to pay fees for next semester but also need financial resources to pay outstanding fees from the previous one.
ZINASU spokesperson Zivai Mhetu said that the Union’s plea for availing of vacation jobs was directed to big companies and small scale businesses such as supermarkets, boutiques, internet cafes, hotels, restaurants, fast food outlets as well as civic society organisations, political parties, churches, bars and many others.
“The prevailing economic situation has hit students the hardest,” said Mhetu. “Thousands of students dropped out of tertiary institutions this semester alone and a lot more are most likely going to do so during the next one. The private sector should weigh in and offer temporary vacation jobs to students so that they can raise money for fees.”
Mr Mhetu said he facilitated jobs for students during last vacation and was thus confident that temporary jobs can be availed to students by the private sector.
“Last vacation,” said Mhetu, “I secured jobs for 12 students. A much larger number than that secured jobs on their own hence this time job seeking on vacation should be done nationally because it is very possible for students to get vacation jobs. But this can only happen if those in the private sector understand our plight as students and how our education, which we can only pursue with their assistance, is crucial for national development and the creation of an educated human resources pool which the private sector can benefit from in the future. I know that a very small number of businesses are currently operating in the country due to the ongoing economic malaise but I would like to call upon those few enterprises that are open to sacrifice and assist students.”
Mr Mhetu said if ever those who wish to support students were in doubt of whether a job seeker is a student or not they could simply ask for a school I.D or call the school authorities for verification.
In April ZINASU released information that at least 12 000 students had dropped out of tertiary institutions since the beginning of the year due to a debilitating economic crisis which has resulted in their parents and guardians having little or no income to channel towards their educational pursuits.

Image Credit:http://sharpschool.com

WHAT ADVICE? I AM AT UNIVERSITY!

 

By Crispen Rateiwa| @ndakangwarisa

It was a long day in class. The lecturer, Mrs Dube, threw jokes here and there to illicit attention from us. I had the shock of my life when she announced her decision to divide the class along gender lines.

“I want to have an exclusive boys’ session. I want a little time with you boys during the break time,” she said.

“What session? What is it that we can trade for our dear break?” murmured all the boys in my class.

“Get a life! What stuff do you have? I’m an adult. I know how to take care of myself. You will learn a lesson today. Kudzidza hakuperi. Talk the obvious and I will walk away,” I said to myself.

“It’s rare to get advice these days, isn’t it? In life don’t make experiments! Don’t be players!” Mrs Dube said.

I thought I was an adult. What advice would she give me about social life? I was wrong. As I realised my boys nodding, taking in her message, I lent her my ears.

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Image credits:http://chs.unobi.ac.ke
“Make a statement! Attract the one that you want. Show maturity. You can’t dress like you are in high school, dropping pants.”

“Guys wash your stockings. Shave your armpits. That’s where sweat accumulates and you don’t want to smell bad. Buy roll-on and if you can’t afford go for bicarbonate soda,” she said.

Who could argue with her? Mrs Dube acted like an aunt and looked like a mother. She recommended around ten years difference in love.

When she was growing up, a woman married an older man. Her generation experienced less divorces.

“HIV/AIDS patients are taking pills and you can’t detect. So protect yourself. Get tested early and receive treatment if infected. You can live long. Some go for voluntary male circumcision (VMC). It’s a positive development. Others use the A.B.C model- abstain, be faithful or condomise. Choose what works for you,” Mrs Dube said.

As Mrs Dube continued with her advice session, I began to ponder on some issues affecting my peers.

Cohabitation of male and female students is rampant in tertiary institutions. Some students engage in transactional sex to raise money for rent, food, make up and other necessities. These activities expose students to sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS.

It is incumbent that the government, charity organisations and the private sector take measures in dealing with such issues. Student loans and support in start-ups are some of the possible solutions required to ease college life hardships.

Organisations that raise awareness on HIV should also come on board and help student with sexual reproductive health information. This would help to prevent decimation of the country’s human capital.

Crispen Rateiwa is a publishing studies student at NUST. He is the chairperson of College Youth Art Club (CYAC) and president of Democratic Alliance for Academics (DAA). The views that he shares here are his own. Contact him on crisrateiwa@gmail.com; Facebook, Crispen Rateiwa; and Twitter @ndakangwarisa. Visite his blog: ayaasite.wordpress.com. 

 

 

 

 

4 study skills that will help you succeed in your career

Erica Cirino
2 minute read

If you’re like most college students, much of your time outside of class is spent studying. Studying is an important part of college, one that goes beyond just helping to get you good grades. It’s a part of your academic routine that—whether you realize it or not — prepares you for a career as well.

Here are four study skills in particular that can carry over into your career:

1. MANAGING YOUR TIME

Figuring out how long it will take you to complete an assignment or review for an exam isn’t an exact science. Every student is different, so each student requires a different amount of time for studying. Over time, you’ll figure out how to best manage your time.

Good time management means you get your assignments done on time (or well ahead of time), but it also means you pace yourself appropriately so that you’re producing the highest quality of work possible. Knowing how to keep and follow a calendar is another important part of time management.

Just as you need good time management when studying, you need it when you enter the working world. If you establish a time management habit that works for you in college, you can easily apply it to your career when it comes to accomplishing various tasks for your company.

2. READING (FOR MEANING)

College students are required to read a lot — from textbooks to novels to research journals to newspapers, and everything in between. Reading in college goes beyond just taking in words; it means absorbing and understanding their meaning so you can remember certain ideas and facts for your tests and assignments.

No matter what career you choose, you can likely expect more reading — whether it be research for a meeting or important email communications. That’s why it’s important to become a strong reader in college. Learn how to highlight and take notes when you read, and also how to pace yourself to truly digest the content.

3. STAYING ORGANIZED

A key part of successful studying is keeping yourself organized. It’s hard to argue the fact that it’s much easier to get your work done with a clean desk than a messy one. The same goes for a neat vs. messy bookbag.

Organization means different things to different students. Yet, no matter what your organization style, the key idea of being organized is to know exactly where your things are when you need them.

Being organized is also important for your career. As a working adult, you’ll need to keep track of many important documents, bills, schedules and more. Learning how to keep your things in order while still a college student will make your transition to a working adult much easier.

4. WORKING WITH OTHERS

Many college students find being part of a study group to be helpful to their academics. Studying with others can give you more motivation to study, and your study buddies may be able to help you through especially challenging classes.

But being a part of a study group has another benefit: from deciding when to meet to collaborating on group projects, studying with others teaches you how to work as part of a team.

Being a team player is a critical career skill. In most careers, you’ll have to interact with others. The more social skills you build while in college, the more easily you’ll be able to achieve greatness with other people in your workplace.

Erica Cirino is a contributing writer for Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.
First Published by  USA Today College