Monday, 28 April 2014

The "church"

Today l actually have a guest blogger who preferred to be anonymous..This person literally made me promise that l wont mention his name. This guest blogger is a very good friend of mine and a good writer, with an awesome sense of humour.This is his very own post, his opinions and what matters to him.


When someone asks me a simple question like, ‘what matters most to me’, I feel a certain sense of internal shame and guilt as I cannot seem to find something current or relevant that matters MOST to me in the here and now. Could I be that self-absorbed? I could put on a mask right now and appear empathetic towards global affairs by going on and on about current political issues, the war on terror in the Middle-East, global warming, health or something along those lines that frankly I DO NOT GIVE A RATS ASS ABOUT!

So I go back to the question, what really does matter most to me? If any, one thing does seem to come to mind and recur to me mentally as I ponder over this seemingly simple question. I may not be an expert, professional or authority figure in this field nor am I trying to be judgmental here so please bear with me. I feel (and again, this is just my personal opinion) if anything, the current rise in numbers and surge of these so called ‘Christian Churches, Ministers, Pastors, Preaches, Prophets, Men of God and the miracles they carry out’ seems as good enough an issue to care about as any.

Being a Christian myself, my family church has stood for over years and years, standing the test of time (which of course does not necessarily warrant or grant its authenticity in any way). However, the matter of the fact that it has stood the test of time should imply something, should it not? Not to mention any specifics; I worry and care most about how nowadays ‘people’ have taken keen interest to these newly formed congregations that just appear out of nowhere and disappear just as quickly. One might say, ‘like a fart in the wind’. I worry how we as a ‘people’ (especially in Africa) come to these ‘Men of God’ expecting a quick fix to our everyday challenges / issues, filling and packing up stadiums and arenas on a weekly or monthly basis; placing all our prayers, faith and hope on this ‘mere mortal’ standing at the pool pit. Yes, mere mortal like you and me! This mere mortal, this MAN who began his ministry with a small gathering the size of a football team but now has a congregation large enough to fill stadiums. This man (a so-called man of God) who came from nowhere, driving a simple ex-Japanese car but currently has a fleet of brand new Mercedes Benz and BMW’s. If you don’t believe me look around. Look at the type of lifestyle SOME pastors / prophets are living. Watch MTV’s reality show ‘Preachers of LA’ to get a glimpse of what I’m talking about. Suddenly the opening of a Christian church has become more financial for some leaders. It has become a way to take advantage of people because of their circumstances, whilst simultaneously making a quick buck.    

I may be wrong in my analysis and a bit judgemental. My cry to you is, safeguard yourself from all that may appear Holy and sanctified, be prudent and ever watchful.  
-Anonymous     


Thursday, 17 April 2014

How prison saved my life

 I’m glad that 2certain girls’ schools in the city centre have invested in new durawalls. I don’t understand how schools such as this these can understand the concept of concealing children in the house and ordinary parents are completely escaped by the idea.  I grew up in a house that has, and still has, a high durawall (so high you can’t see the sunset) and an electric fence that works even when there’s no electricity. Am I saying turn your houses into high maximum security prisons? YES! Gone are the days when we wanted to keep people out nowadays we want to keep our children in. The game has changed and parents do not realise this. There’s now Whatsapp and Facebook bafethu.  I hate the fact that my parents raised me and all my sisters right and some other lazy parent is child rearing via Bluetooth and doesn’t really care where and what their child is doing and that child tries to impart their stupidity onto my sisters. Imma definitely catch a case for that crap.

 It’s now the holidays, and as a parent if you leave your child in the house with no supervision what exactly are you trying to accomplish?

 What’s your end game? Children’s laws state in black and white that they are too young to know better and yet here you are leaving them to act like adults and you get shocked when they actually do. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop, I know this, and you know this. If you can’t be at home to watch the kids then get somebody who can or send them to somebody who can. Like your gogo in the kumusha there, she will teach them the struggle and they will come back with their eye on that paper-chase (both the degree and money.) You probably thinking, “Nah,my child is a good child. She wouldn’t possibly. She ain’t like them other dumb kids that got pregnant.” You are so stupid I now see where your child gets it from. Your child is the dumbest of the lot. Check her arm. You will probably find a family planning device in her arm that allows her to have unprotected sex without the possibility of reproducing. (Told you that you are as dumb as your kid.)

NewStartCenter is implanting these things for free and your teenage kids all know it. (Yes, I’m laughing at the look you probably have on your face right now.) Nor plants can’t protect you from AIDS. Don’t worry about the baby we can see, worry about the disease we can’t see that will eat you from the inside (politically incorrect but who cares?) They must know that this is a life threatening case of false sense of security. I understand that as parents you are on your grind to make that money and provide for these parasites. But at the end of the day, they need things from you that money can’t buy like values, morals, virtue and all those good things. What good will it do for the child to gain all the material things and lose his soul? (Yes, I brought the bible into this.)

 Happy holidays!!!

 Thembelihle Terry-Lynne Zulu

 (@TheComplicatxn on Twitter)

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Stolen post

Relating to child prostitution, I picked up a post from Global posts which was written by Aaron Ross and decided to paste it on my blog. This post actually talks about child prostitution in Madagascar. This made me realise that this issue is indeed a cause for concern.
"Madagascar where child prostitution is common, cheap and trivial
 
MAHAJANGA, Madagascar — At nightfall, the girls gather in small groups along the waterfront and outside the sweaty nightclubs blaring West African pop music. Some are elaborately done up in makeup and colorful cocktail dresses. Others stand plainly in jeans and T-shirts. Most are somewhere between 13 and 17 years old, though they can be as young as 8 or 9.

There is no shortage of demand for their services. Despite an abundance of prostitutes of all ages in the resort town, minors are a popular choice among clients. Whereas an adult might charge about $10, a child’s services can go for as little as 50 cents.

“The Great Island has little by little developed the sad reputation as favored destination for sexual tourists,” stated a December report by Najat Maalla M’jid, the UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, prostitution of children and pornography involving children.

Madagascar has long grappled with the scourge of child prostitution. Yet since a 2009 coup d’├ętat sent the country spiraling into political and economic disarray, the problem has reached crisis proportions.Reliable figures are hard to come by, but M’jid said there is unanimous agreement among experts that “child prostitution in Madagascar is at an alarming level and has dramatically increased in these past years, particularly since 2009.”

The director of the Collective for the Rights of the Child and Family (CDEF) in Mahajanga, Sylvie Hanitra Rakotoarivao, said in December that 123 cases of child prostitution had been documented in Mahajanga, a city of about 200,000, over the previous month alone.
Foreign sex tourists account for much of the demand. In 2011, the last year for which official figures are available, 225,000 tourists visited Madagascar, a 15 percent increase over the previous year. Fifty-eight percent of those were from France, the former colonial power. And while most undoubtedly came to enjoy the country’s pristine beaches and lemur-filled forests, significant numbers arrived with less wholesome intentions.

In addition to Mahajanga, common sites for child prostitution include the resort island of Nosy Be; big cities like Diego-Suarez, Toamasina and the capital, Antananarivo; and mining towns like Ilakaka in the south.
At the CDEF office, Yasmina, 15, recounted her entry into this underworld in plain sight in 2012. Her parents had split and she’d moved in with her grandmother after being mistreated by her father’s new wife. But the grandmother was sick and Yasmina couldn’t afford to stay in school.
She started to sell beignets for pennies on the street. Yasmina said that one evening, a friend invited her to come out to the beach. There, she presented Yasmina to an older Malagasy man.

“He likes you. You’re going to go with him,” the friend instructed.
She earned almost $10 that night—more than the usual rate because she was a virgin and a fortune in a country where more than 9 in 10 live on less than $2 a day. Over a year later, she recalled the experience with disgust.
“I felt humiliated and dirty,” Yasmina said.
The money, though never as much as that first encounter, was too good to pass up in the months ahead. Her clients were a mix of Europeans and Malagasy. She would usually entertain five in a weekend, she said. Business was easy. Yasmina and several acquaintances would position themselves along the waterfront or on the beach. It wouldn’t take long for prospective clients to approach.

Since the 2009 coup, which led to sweeping cuts in foreign aid and government services, an already precarious economic situation has deteriorated precipitously. The country’s poverty rate has increased by 10 percent or more. Many children have been forced to leave school. Roughly a third between the ages of 5 and 14 are involved in economic activities, according to UNICEF.
But experts say that poverty alone is too convenient an explanation for Madagascar’s child prostitution epidemic. Many point to a growing normalization of these kinds of activities within Malagasy society.

“They no longer hide it,” said Haja Randrianianina, a UNICEF representative in Mahajanga. “It’s in the roads, in the restaurants, the bars, the nightclubs.”
Steven Lauwerier, the UNICEF country representative, added that child prostitution has become something seen as “trivial.”
In a number of documented cases, parents have actively solicited clients for their children. Among many Malagasy, snagging a rich vazha (foreigner) is viewed as a laudable aspiration for a young girl. In rural areas, some young girls are sold into concubinage for a period of several years to a foreigner or a wealthy cattle owner.
The Malagasy government has done little in response. Advocates complain that the local police are heavily understaffed while the gendarmerie tends to be uninterested or in the pay of the criminals. Fading signs in hotels that warn against bringing back minors surely don’t strike fear in too many hearts. Most accusations are handled with a quiet payoff to the victim’s family. Complaints that do reach a magistrate often drag on endlessly without resolution.

Grassroots initiatives like CDEF say they have started to make progress. More victims are coming forward and, for the first time in years, some offenders are being prosecuted.
But judging by the scene along Mahajanga’s main strip of nightclubs on a recent Saturday night, considerable work remains to be done. Plainly underage Malagasy girls drink and mingle with foreign men more than three or four times their age.
After being “extracted” from prostitution by a local children’s organization, Yasmina completed a training course to become a coiffeuse. Her goal now, she says, is to open a hair salon.
But she carries the shame of her previous work along with her. At the start of the interview with GlobalPost, she denied having ever worked as a prostitute. Later, after telling her story, she opened up about the men she used to sleep with.
“Every time I think about these men, I’m disgusted," she said. "Because they take advantage of our poverty.""
 
Author : Aaron Ross
Published: 31 January 2014
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/rights/madagascar-child-prostitution-common-cheap-and-trivial

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

What's in a name?


Nomawethu Moyo:Guest blogger

 

For most of my life I've never gone by my full name - it's quite long, Nomawethu. It's pronounced No-ma-wear-too, try, it's really not that difficult. I've always gone by Noma at school. I go by Thuthu at home and at church, I acquired that name as a chubby toddler who would ram into anything in my way; I would "thuza" things! Mother just calls me anything - if the nickname is not making fun of my slightly knocked knees it's probably about my really fat cheeks or my pimples :)
I went to UWC... You meet people from everywhere there, but UWC is about tolerance, embracing difference and living with our variances so everyone retains their real name and true identity, religion, ethnicity, beliefs, and so forth... I came to college, and here I met Chinese folk who had two names; the official or "real" name in Mandarin, and another self-given one in English just because some people couldn't pronounce their names... I never thought much of it throughout my freshman and sophomore years. During the Class of 2017 welcome dinner, one Chinese boy stood up and said, "My name is Huizhong,* but it's a little difficult for some of you to pronounce it, so my English name is also Huizhong!" And then it hit me...  So I had this moment of inspiration, admiration, appreciation of Huizhong's confidence and decision to stay true to his name and I just thought about how his name meant so much to him. Am I looking for the word epiphany? Last week while at work, another Chinese boy showed up, when I asked him what his name was, he just showed me his card for me to copy it and then I was hit by sadness... Isn't fitting in just an awful struggle? I wonder what it feels like to have a different name in English for that sake... Does giving yourself an English name slightly betray your true identity? If an American student with an English name were to go to China, would he/she give him/herself a Mandarin name just so everyone in China can pronounce it? Is there a muted power-play at work here or is this a way of adapting that we all should really just live with? Microaggressions maybe, or am I taking it too far?
All the same, they're more than just names and it's really polite to refer to someone by their correct name. They all hold a meaning or give one's life a sense of purpose. My name means "our mother" in a way that suggests that I have the responsibility of a caregiver. Some names carry a burden "Sidubekile" (we're suffering), some a blessing "Nomabusiso" (mother of blessings), some gratefulness "Bongani" (say thank you). They reflect our parents' experiences when they had us, they reflect our parents' wishes for us, and maybe they endorse us as members of a community.
No one is undermining a name by genuinely mispronouncing it. Some people just don't try. Some people butcher it with consonants that are not even there in the spelling of that name!  Names hold so much value, they're an identity, maybe we owe them a little more respect by giving them a chance, by trying to pronounce them accurately... After-all we mispronounce at least a third of all the things we say :)

Ps. For funzies you might want to read a book called "We Need New Names,"by NoViolet Bulawayo. She has a different view though... Zimbabweans have quite a reputation for giving their kids interesting names. We joke about it all the time, should we stop? I've met Hardlife, I know many Lovemore's, and various other names but like I said they all hold some meaning beyond them just being a label for a human body. Also, interesting imagery on the covers right?

Monday, 14 April 2014

Surviving my first kombi ride & a lot more in 2014...


Nomawethu Moyo:Guest Blogger
Happy new year! New year, new things, ye ye vele vele what what, this is not going to be a new start for me, I'm not changing any of my crap, I'm not making any resolutions :) partly because I never live up to half of them and partly because I think I really don't need them. So, as usual, my busy brain is full of a hodgepodge of things seen, things done, things felt, and things yet to be done...

So, happy new year and yes, I'm in a kombi - I hope you know what that is... It's an 19 seater van, wait, by right it's supposed to carry 15 people but these men have found a way of fitting 4 of us in a row (instead of 3) - it's nothing new, they've been doing it since whenever! It still doesn't feel natural calling a kombi a van - here in Zim, a van is what the Murricans call a truck. Anywho, I really don't like kombis, they're our most efficient form of public transport and they suck! They are one painful reminder that I'm home, public transport, public transport, I can't ask my parents to drive me everywhere, I don't have a license and I don't have a car of my own :) So here I am, stuck in between an old man, and a young mother with her baby eating a banana. Woooo worst spot ever! The old man is lightly scented with sweat and wood smoke. The skin on his hands looks tough, he has tiny scales at the fingertips, his fingernails full of dirt. Hardworking hands; "he should be proud of them," I think to myself. He looks tired and in this moment, I love this old man, I empathize without pity but with complete understanding. I hate pity, so let me love this stranger for all that I believe he has achieved. To my right, is the young mother, I honestly think she's about my age and that makes me a little furious, but I have no right to be mad. I'll call this young mother, Sharon, I have something against that name for no reason. Why bring a child to suffer on this lousy earth? Sharon* has her baby wrapped in a damp worn out towel that used to have some kind of print on it. On her lap next to the baby, there is a small plastic bag with tomatoes, mangos, bread, and rice. The baby boy, probably about 10months old, is clumsily eating a muddy banana, his hands are well covered with the slime, his nose has some caked mucus on it and I am disgusted and disappointed to the core. I spend half my time trying to dodge the baby with a fake smile, because he wants to touch everything, he's just a baby, he isn't doing anything wrong, I just wish he was a bit cleaner. Half of the world's problems are caused by sex, sex at the wrong time, sex with the wrong people, sex without adequate knowledge, disease, overpopulation, poverty, I need not say more...

To add on to my discomfort, this driver is going a little too fast, he veers off the road to dodge a hump, he will make a left turn and a quick U-turn to dodge a red traffic light, but he has breaks, because he stops at every bus stop! At some point he's driving against oncoming traffic, he swears, he's in a rush but none of his passengers seem to be pressed for time and I wonder why he's in such a rush? My mind drifts to a young man who asked me where I had parked my car earlier when I walked out of a shop with a huge plastic bag full of braids. I was annoyed by him, how dare you ask me where I parked my car, I don't have one! He was just offering to help me carry my plastic bag "to my car," well Bhudi, I don't have one but in this moment I darn wish I had one. Someone starts coughing somewhere, it's a wet cough, and the first thing that comes to my mind is TB, I stretch my neck to check whether he/she is covering his/her mouth. I'm suddenly engulfed by fear, fear for my health and the baby's, just us two, the kombi now seems sticky, hazardously humid and infested with a concoction of pathogens, I can now smell everything and I'm seriously contemplating dropping off at the next bus stop and just calling Bakhe (my Dad) to come and pick me up. I immediately scold myself for being a pathetic nuisance - every single muscle of my body is tense, I'm holding my breath... We've got to find a way of making kombis better, somehow, better drivers, and we've got to preach the gospel of cleanliness to all. I realize I can't preach the "use public transport" gospel, all my save energy, save money, reduce air pollution here, that crap won't help if our public transport is in this state. Maybe it should start with the taxi rank? Maybe it starts with some driver education?A matter for another day, another day...

Time, place, space... It's me standing next to my great grandfather's grave completely blank, furiously blank because I'm frustrated searching for an emotion, a connection. We're visiting the family graveyard to put some flowers after the new year - no beer or anything funny here. I'm with Bakhe and my uncle, they wanted to come... I walk over to my great grandmother's grave, she died at 102, and apparently I took after her - height-wise at least, she held me when I was a baby but I never knew her. I walk around, the graves are many, the graves are many, and I'm ashamed that I still fear death, I don't want to die, at least not now. I soon realize that Bakhe and my uncle are paying attention to the males' graves, particularly age at death. I overhear them trying to recall the various causes of death...the illnesses that led to the deaths...diagnosed and undiagnosed and I hear him say, "This thing might be genetic, it's coming for us." If you read one of my most recent posts about being away from home, this scene may ring a bell... I'm immediately stricken by sorrow but happiness at the same time, they who know may take appropriate precautions & be prepared, yet at the same time I have faith they'll be spared from the ordeal. My thoughts drift of to undiagnosed illnesses that my nation suffers from, the curable and incurable, the discomfort that we live with but shouldn't be living with, the lack of money or the lack of knowledge, the small things that kill people but shouldn't be killing people... It's a moment of gratefulness for the little I know, and a moment of sadness about the need for others to know, and it all occurs to me as I'm standing in my family graveyard, somewhat anticipating my own death, my reunion with my Saviour, and in this moment, it seems bittersweet.

Friday, 11 April 2014

So Zimbabwe wants to make contraceptives available to 10 year olds :)

Nomawethu Moyo: Guest Blogger



Outrage over Health ministry’s move on child contraceptives... (Link to story)
I’ll just dive into this; I think that would be a step in the right direction. Mid-year 2012, I had an interesting conversation with a 25-year-old woman after I claimed that pregnancy is a choice. The lady had dropped out of university 3 years ago because she had fallen pregnant and had no idea that morning after pills existed... Ah, in this era? I was surprised! She lived in Harare so none of this made sense to me and she really wasn’t lying. Pregnancy should be a choice J I think it's great that the Minister of Health wants to have contraceptives available to everyone (even ten year olds) but I want to argue that we need to accompany them with age-appropriate sex education. Also, those who want to, can attach religious/ ethical/ whatever else annexes to it :)

I read the responses to the link provided above and my, some parents are boiling over this issue. Some say sex is a taboo topic! Someone else equated this move to legalizing cocaine, haibo! HIV/AIDS is here to stay shem! In a society with such high HIV prevalence rates we don’t want to be bashful about sex. The article does not say the Ministry of Health plans on handing out contraceptives, all they want is to make sure these kids will have access to contraceptives. I think this is about normalizing the availability and use of contraceptives. I strongly doubt that exposing kids to contraceptives will promote sexual activity in the pre-puberty/ premature age range. I would be shocked if kids actually walk in to buy contraceptives but I think there's a greater motive behind this... It's going to start some dialogue... I believe it will help us make these things second nature when kids grow old enough to please their sexual appetites. I see potential in this change being a way of cultivating a certain culture geared towards reducing teenage pregnancies and assuring that the youth are well informed to engage in responsible sex.

Does it threaten the innocence of kids? I doubt. I was 8 years old when I got my first dictionary and I remember too well that one of the first words I looked up was sex, I was curious! Knowing about sex at a very young age doesn’t mean I thought about it all the time – I didn’t quite understand what it was anyway. My Mom was great with sex talks, she offered me contraceptives in my late teens but at the same time encouraged me to make responsible choices so maybe what we need is education to help parents deliver sex-talks. But no one wants to be told how to raise his/her flock right? Maybe we should incorporate detailed sex education into school curriculums…

 And, Oh the abstinence message! Yes, we've got to teach people to abstain but if it's not working, we have to admit that hammering the nail on a desk won’t keep the chair intact. If previous attempts at preaching abstinence have been futile, let’s resort to something else that's going to be effective instead! Maybe this and some sex education all over the place is it…

I'm not sure about how the availability of condoms to 10 year olds plays into statutory rape laws etc... It may just force parents to talk about sex or at least we can be assured that if underage kids have sex it will be safe sex. In general, there's some shame associated with using contraceptives and I think this whole issue might be targeting that bigger picture... I have friends who're ashamed of buying condoms, they do but they're so bashful about it or they don’t want to be seen doing it. If the use of contraceptives wasn’t such a hush hush matter maybe this wouldn’t be so. Another common scenario is when unmarried couples cease using condoms because at some point using a condom seems to suggest that you don't trust him/her and that's where the pills are supposed to kick in (without getting tested)! Maybe if we’d been exposed to contraceptives and taught differently this wouldn’t be happening. There are also those "pharmacists" (some of them are just tellers really) who give girls a hard time when they buy morning after pills and I think that's great. HIV is here to stay. We’re not going to overcome this pandemic unless we change a lot of things that are amiss in our communities and I believe that getting rid of the stigma around the use of contraceptives is one of those steps…
 
Nomawethu Moyo
 
Guest Blogger

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Moral values: What happenned?

Initially I had made a post about child prostitution but I came to realise that l can not talk of child prostitution without talking of moral decadence. At first I will actually look at immorality in terms of infidelity.
 
The issue really is about these old men who date our younger sisters and these old women who date our younger brothers. I honestly do not understand why a 56year old married man would actually date a girl who is 18 or 20 years of age. This child is apparently old enough to be his or her child, why waste their time? Is the world in short supply of people your age? People who have seen it and done it all in the lives the same way you have. What is this really about? Is the love for money on the part of the Ben 10s and the younger girls or is it just a mere case of moral decadence?

I have heard some people actually say that they date these old men and women because they want these fancy gadgets, phones, clothes and whole lot of things. But the question that I would really like to pose is that: is this really worth it? Is it worth you sacrificing your body and your life? This can cost people their lives in terms of contraction of killer diseases and some could be unlucky to face their untimely death when they get caught up in a physical fight with their lovers’ partners.

As people continue to do this, a web of intersexions is created. Hypothetically speaking, girl A has a boyfriend, she also has a sugar daddy that has another girlfriend with a boyfriend, the sugar daddy has a wife who has a boyfriend who has a girlfriend who has a sugar daddy and a boyfriend. This actually increases the risk of transmission of diseases. It is also reflective of the moral decadence that is present in our communities and in our society as a whole.

I would not only speak of moral decadence in terms of sugar daddies and sugar moms but l will also go on to the social media. These include WhatsApp and Facebook (these are the most popular). In as much as the social media comes with certain freedoms, moral decadence is prevalent in these spaces. There are some Facebook pages which are not constructive at all. Pages where people post their semi-nude pictures and ask to be rated. Where some people actually brag about their bodies. I think its ok to be confident about yourself but to show the whole world your semi-nude picture is something else. For starters what would make you want to seek approval from the world about how you look if you were so confident about yourself. And even if you are the most beautiful person on that page what do you benefit?

People have actually gone to these pages to “celebrate” and embrace their feminity am told. But is there no other way of celebrating one’s feminity other than posing semi-nude for the world to see? Lingerie was designed to stay under your clothes not for it to become your clothes. They are called undergarments for a reason. I mean seriously how can one pose for a picture wearing undergarments. Maybe people are imitating those lingerie bikini models. Those people are advertising lingerie and what on earth are you advertising? Lingerie? Or lack of basic moral values?

WhatsApp has become notorious for breaking marriages because people actually take pictures of their reproductive organs and send to each other. What on earth is that? Why are people doing that? This totally beats mi. It’s like some people are on WhatsApp jus for the sole purpose of distributing pictures of their reproductive organs.

 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Guest bloggers


Seeing that l have made a lot of posts about my opinions on a lot of things that matter to me. I have actually decided to have a few guest bloggers who will share with us the things that matter the most to them.

These guest bloggers are not famous bloggers, some have blogs and some have never blogged their entire lives. l asked them to share their thoughts so that we could also get a feel of how some people feel about some issues. It is likely that these people could also highlight some pertinent issues that I could have overlooked.

So this week is guest bloggers week!!

Guest bloggers week!!!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Child prostitution

At some point in my life I used to be a club animal, there was absolutely no weekend l would never go out with my friends. Though I went clubbing, l was not oblivious of the things that were happening around me, the things that actually touched my heart even though I had no control over them. I have seen females getting drunk to the extent that knockout and are taken out of the bar and l must say that I personally do not find that attractive at all. I think it is degrading and carries a lot of connotations and labels that society always comes up with.

I will relay an incident that really touched my heart.

There was a point in time when my friends and I were club hoping, we actually decided to a then hot bar. It was first time going to that place and I was a little excited. As we were looking for parking just next to the place, a girl who is about 15 years of age (estimation) appeared right in front of the car, she opened the hoodie she was wearing to reveal her breasts. At first l could not believe what l saw, l had heard of things like this happening but l had never seen it myself. What astonished me the most was that, the pair of breasts I was looking at was so small I could tell they belonged to a small child. I asked my friend if this was the trend and I was told that these were the youngest and cheapest prostitutes in town (US$1 for 2 they said). My heart literally broke; I could not believe how a little child like her could actually think of engaging in prostitution. I wondered how many more of them did that. I actually got mad at the fact that old men, family men actually got to pay for their services. I just could not get past the idea that these children were being “raped” every single day of their lives, for what? For a US $5 note? I am actually referring to rape in this instance because l feel like these children are under age and are not consenting adults therefore anyone who engages in any sexual encounter with them has committed statutory rape.

Child prostitutes seen at a local bar
One day I was happy to actually get to see a story on the front page of Sunday news about child prostitution. I was happy that someone had finally decided to bring the story to light, to alert the authorities of what was happening at these night spots. The story was mainly about how and why these children took to the streets to make money. l honestly hoped l would see a follow up story on that, maybe a reaction from the government authorities, child services or something but unfortunately I did not see any. This as I take it did not strike a responsive chord on any government authority. This is an issue of concern, what will become of our country if the future generations have absolutely lost their morality.

Honestly, at the age of 15 how much money do you need and for what? Parents or guardians take care of you and all you need to do is focus on your school work and stay in school.             I remember that when l was 15 years of age, l had no worries, no problems because all my “problems” would disappear after I was given candy. Yes, candy is what l needed to get my smile back.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Feminism

Feminists according to me are people who think that they can save the entirety of female species in the world by emancipating them. They believe that women should have equal rights with the male species. According to the feminist studies l have learnt, l know that there are different waves of feminists fighting for different causes though the ultimate goal is to emancipate women. One that interests me the most is raunchy culture perspective of feminism. These believe that raunchy culture can make males subjects of the female, that is, there is reversal of roles in the sense that the men are turned into sex objects who fall for the naked female bodies.

Feminism in Zimbabwe is still on a relatively small scale. I would like to believe that it would take time before women can actually go radical and truly feminist because of socialisation. Women have been socialised in such a way that they believe that marriage is their chief end and man in such a way that they want to be the decision makers and dictators, which whatever they say goes. It has been this way since time immemorial.

In as far as l can remember l have only heard of a few women who have actually left their homes because they could not get equal rights. I think it will take a while before the feminism wave takes over in Zimbabwe.

I will not dwell much on feminism because I have asked a feminism blogger Sithabiso Ndlovu to shed more light on the issue of feminism on my next post.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Life after varsity


It’s towards end of semester and I am so excited that I will be finishing soon. I am doing everything for the last time (I suppose). Everyone is talking about submitting their final year projects or dissertations, exams, results, graduation and closing schools. So much seems to be happening in a short space of time. There is so much to do and everyone just can’t wait to finish and leave varsity.

I too am so happy but l would describe me as not so happy, instead I have mixed feelings. Happy, stressed, excited and worried. I thought l was the only one with those feelings until I spoke to a friend of mine. He instead did not have mixed feelings; he just told me that he wishes he could go back to first year. He was worried about whether or not he will get a job after graduation, how he will somehow have to take care of his family especially since he knew that there is a long period before graduation and before the semester’s results are out.

He told me that he was afraid he will not get a job for a very long time and he can’t afford not to get a job. He told me that should he fail to get a job in the next two years he might end up having to become a thief. It was actually amusing that of things he would actually think of stealing for a living.

However I think l can relate to him somehow, there are over a thousand graduates who graduate from tertiary institutions every year. The majority of these graduates are unemployed and are having a tough time making ends meet. Some are over 25years of age and still unemployed, some have been recruited as temporary teachers but that does not do much to reduce the number of unemployed graduates.

I too am afraid of being unemployed for a very long time and doing nothing except sitting at home and become part of the furniture at home. I am really happy about finishing my undergraduate degree but I am afraid I won’t be employed.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Educational system

I have learnt in Zimbabwe all my life, from kindergarten to tertiary. I have attended schools in Zimbabwe, which l so loved and enjoyed going to. I remember how excited l was when l went for my first grade, my first year at secondary school, high school and tertiary level. These are the most memorable moments in my life and they made me feel like I was advancing not only academically but socially and economically. I felt like with every level l advanced to I was being empowered somehow. It’s a beautiful feeling I must admit.

Now, l am doing my final year at Varsity and I actually took a look right back at everything l did, how we were taught and what we were taught. I can’t help but wonder if the curriculum is still the same or if anything has changed.

In my opinion the Zimbabwe curriculum has been designed in such a way that it grooms children to become academics and does not place much emphasis on menial skills among other things. Children are taught how to become academics and taught how to be useful employees rather than employers. Our curriculum does not groom us to be employers instead we are groomed to be employees and how to become better employees.

Noting how the Zimbabwean economy is unstable, one can safely say that it is better if students can be taught how to start their own businesses, the nitty grities that are essential in starting businesses. This could help those who have no desire whatsoever to become employed but want to make their own money.

At varsity we have a course that is only a semester long about Entrepreneurship. I am sure this course was designed to carter for people who want to start their own businesses. However this course is largely theoretical and not much can be bone or can be gained by people who want to be entrepreneurs. There is more theory than practise and it becomes just one of the courses that are done and people forget about.

To add to the already existing food and nutrition, fashion and fabrics, metal work and wood work, students should be encouraged to focus on sports, poetry, dance, acting and other lessons. Not just in passing or as a theoretical subject but taken seriously. This will help those students who are naturally slow to belong somewhere. It will help them realise their potential in another field other than the academic field, that way there could be a reduction in the number of school dropouts. These children would be motivated to go to school not because they want to learn math but because after a boring math lesson they can finally get to do what they are good at. At some point students are discouraged from attending school because they know that they are not academically sharp and they have failed ever since they started attending school, but the introduction of these lessons all year round would give them reason to attend classes and participate in lessons that they know they are good at.

These practical courses in my opinion should be done all year round. For example, football should not only be done in term 2, athletics in term 1 and other things in term 3. Football should be played throughout the entire school calendar such that the aspiring soccer stars getting enough exposure. And the trainers should be professional sports people not just any random teacher.

The government should invest in these practical courses starting from kindergarten straight up to tertiary level. There should be sports colleges, music schools, cooking schools, designing schools, photography schools and film schools among others such that those who did not make it in academia could also find a place elsewhere.  

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Nust:: Work in progress?

NUST: Work in progress?


My last post was focused on nust being resource-less. As i was writting that post i realised that l had missed the most newsworthy aspect during that time and that was the fact that parallel students where not having lectures because the lecturers where on strike. Lecturers had stopped teaching paralle students because they are not getting paid for those lectures. As we speak, parallel students have gone for almost a month without lectures. Earlier this week, students demonstrated in protest to the prevailing condition.I must admit that i am glad to say l was part of the demonstration too. Ever since l got to NUST l have never experienced a demonstration let alone be part and parcel of one. So l was very happy to fight for a cause. The demonstratiomn, if l could point this out was not marred with violence, instead students where demanding answers from the Vice Chancellor as to why they were not learning yet they had paid their fees in full. I also want to know why.



                              
                                                        Students demonstrating

 Part of the issues raised as students continued demonstrating was the issue of the Students Representative Council (SRC). This body was acussed of being incompetent and it was alleged that they were not representing the students.The SRC they said , had to be dissolved and as it stands now, the SRC has been dissolved which l think is a good thing too.From the basic knowledge l have about the SRC, this is a vibrant body which helps fight against students' injustices and takes the problems of the students to those in authority such that they are addressed and solutions are brought for these students.

rioting students
 
As l was dancing, singing and toyi toying with the restless mob a number of things ran through my mind.I thought that this was what every single student on campus should be doing because there are a lot of wrongs than rights occurring at Nust.These are the issues:


Nust as an institution has not been built to completion, it is an undisputable fact that when you get to the varsity grounds you see a bunch of suspended cranes over unfinished blocks. From the time l came to Nust l have often been told that the varsity will have a "State of the art library" and today m sure there are tree that have grown inside the incomplete building , trees which are as old as the building itself.As l speak, the library on campus is still incomplete and in my four yeras at nust, l have never seen any construction company woprking on it. I usaully joke around with my friends telling them that one day those suspended cranes will drop off and hit some one or objects.

Pictures of the incomplete library

 
 



 It is not the library alone that stands incomplete, the Chemistry building and the electronics building are also incomplete.In the chemistry building only one side is fully functional.And with the electronics building only the ground and first floor are used but they are not complete yet.

Left wing of the chemistry building


The institution has failed to provide catering services fro the students but we continue to see NATO a small caravan and Gees providing food for the students.The food from there is inedible and I personally cannot eat from those places. The food is terrible and bad. Because of these conditions, students are now forced to eat from foods being sold by people outside the school premises. The food is cooked and brought in in buckets which look really dirty . This leaves me thinking why the institution is not able to realise that this is a health harzard to the students.And again l bet they dont even notice that because they are sleeping on duty. If they had not been sleeping on duty they would identify these problems and deal with them right away.

NATO foods
 
The varsity also does not have proper parking spaces and no proper sanitation. The corridors are stinking and to even think that there are cleaners and plumbers. So where is the money going?What is happening to the funds?Is it a case of government not having funds to disburse to tertiary institutions or is it a case of corruption within the institution?
I honestly do not understand how an institution like Nust which is over two decades old can still be incomplete.
 

 

 

 

Monday, 31 March 2014

Murder issues


Since l was a little girl, l have often thought that Zimbabwe is safer than South Africa. I have often known that you can just get shot in South Africa over nothing. I have heard of car-jackers and people being thrown off building or being stabbed to death. And as l thought of all this l always felt safer in my beautiful country.

However of late l don’t feel safe anymore, there has been an outbreak (if l could be allowed to use that) of crime. People are killing each other every single day. It’s even worse because these are not just random crimes. Newspapers are awash with headlines like “Jilted lover stabs woman” or ex-lover stabs and kills woman or brothers killing each other.

The world has literally turned into a warzone area. People kill each other over minor issues. Someone can die over a 5 rand coin. What is worse is that people are not killed by strangers, they are killed by people they trust, people they love and people who are close to them.

About a week ago, in my neighbourhood, two brothers had a fight which resulted in the death of the older brother. The younger brother striked his older brother with a hoe on the head three times before fleeing. From my understanding, theses brothers where fighting over a house, their parent’s house. It took a week before the killer was found somewhere near Ntabazinduna.

 

During the time l he was missing, l felt unsafe during that time; l could help but wonder if he would harm more people where he was. I felt scared and I was even afraid of moving around in the dark and l wondered how his siblings felt.

I am happy that there are responsible citizens around who saw him and reported to the police that they had seen a fugitive. When he was caught, the police came with him to his home. I have never seen a crowd that big, people wanted to see the guy who had killed his brother in cold blood, they wanted to look into his eyes and see if there was a sign of regret. People kept murmuring and making obscene statements that I cannot put down into words.

I have known this guy ever since I was a little girl, l also wanted to see how he will react and if he really was sorry. I tried so hard to look at him and the human in me was hoping to find something, a trace of regret or something close to that. But l didn’t see anything of that sort, no sign of remorse or anything. I wondered how he would kill his own brother and still manage to keep a straight face. I wondered how he felt as people he used to know and hang out with looked at him in disgust. Funny enough, he actually had the nerve to look at the people, look at all of us and stick his tongue out at us. He made a mocking gesture at us!!  Is he proud of what he did? Does that mean, “don’t worry, I’ll be back”? I was honestly touched and hurt. What has happened to this guy?

As I was part of the crowd watching him as he gave out his statement to the police, l heard some people say things about this guy, things that made me even more scared. These people said that this guy had a book where he made a list of the people he wanted to kill \and apparently his brother had been part of the list. They said that in that book, he mentioned that he had killed another guy (name withheld). I was really shocked and I realised that probably these are the deeds of a serial killer. Who would keep a list of names of people he wanted to kill and would also indicate that he has eliminated someone from the list.

This got me thinking. I wondered what sentence he would get, how he would defend his actions, how he would defend the fact that he ran away. I wished l could attend his court case but unfortunately l couldn’t. For all its worth, l wish he would get a life sentence. And l hope l would not see him out on the streets before year ends.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Unemployment

I have often wondered what would happen to me after I graduate from varsity(which is not very far). With every day that passes by l get anxious and more anxious about whether or not l will get a job or I will be unemployed for the next 5 years. I know of people who graduated years back and are still unemployed. I can just imagine how painful it is for someone to go through 3/4/5 years of varsity only to be unemployed for the next decade.If they are lucky to get employment it would be temporary teaching.

There is a vast majority of varsity graduates who cannot even secure a position as graduate trainees because people in companies are employing their own. There are certain companies where I have heard you are not likely to get a job if you are not Shona or Ndebele. They say people are getting employed on a tribal basis(that much is true for some companies or organisations, l have seen it before). If you are not connected (they say) you cannot get a job.

Just yesterday I smiled to myself as l read an article from one of the local papers newsday. The article was about the suspended ZBC CEO Happison Muchechetere who had said that George Charamba, the secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, was employing untrained personnel to work in the studio.I remembered the time that we were looking for attachment, went to ZBC to submit our CVs and we never got responses. Our industrial co-ordinator actually told us that we were not really going to get attached at ZBC. I still wonder why he said that .Sometimes l think its because he was aware of the corruption taking place there.

Without only looking at graduates, there are those people who may not have gone as far as gvarsity or college but are trying to make ends meet. At some point the government introduced the youth fund which was supposed to help youths get loans to start their businesses. If I am not mistaken l think it was part of the indigenisation programme. Many youths tried to access those loans but failed to because they allegedly said they did not have ZANU PF membership cards. Some allege that those incharge of disbursing funds wanted to be bribed so that they can create a business plan for an individual and make them get the loan. Some cases where worse because it was alleged that these officials connived with some people, created fake business plans and get the money for themselves and share.

While some people are trying to make ends meet, trying to start business either because they cannot get employment or whatever reasons they have, those employed to help the unemployed misuse the funds, misallocate these funds!! It is indeed a sad story.

There are those people who are not employed and do nothing about it because they did not receive any educational training or because they decided to quit “boring” school. These are the most annoying because everytime I leave my house, they are sitting by the road waiting to ask for money to buy beer. These people irritate the living hell out of me because they think that because someone is employed they have money to donate to them every single day. All they think about is beer day in and day out, week in and week out till year end.

But is it a matter of choice? Do they choose to do that or they have no option but to sit and do nothing? Maybe it is partly because there are no job opportunities that carter for them, or maybe its because they are too lazy to wake up and do something about their situation.

 But for all it is worth, l still think that most of them are just victims of circumstances, it could be the economy, it could be family background, religion or jus mere ignorance or laziness.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Crime

In one of my previous posts l mentioned something about vehicles of police officers not being stopped on roadblocks. An incident that happened late the past week actually made me realise that it goes further than just vehicles.

A week ago, l was having late lunch with a friend of mine when she received a call from one of her family members telling her that a car driven by a drunken guy crashed into the back of their car. They were calm because they the police were handling their issue. After parting ways she called me and said that the police had dismissed the issue because the guy who was drinking and driving is the son of one of the bosses there.

I honestly was totally angry and disgusted by that. How can someone who is drinking and driving and is a danger to other motorists on the road walk free? Is it because they also by virtue of being related to a police official become immune to the rule of law, the laws of the land? is it one of the privileges of having relations with a ZRP official.

This is not the first time l have really heard of such an incident. A guy friend of mine once told me that he had been arrested for loitering and was taken down to the police station. He was not put in a prison cell because he had relations with one of the bosses.

I am really disturbed by these occurrences because this is creating an unsafe environment for fellow citizens. I bet this means that anyone with relations with any of the ZRP officials particularly the seniors officials can get away with any crime including murder. Our world is becoming unsafe by the day as criminals walk freely on our roads and continue committing crimes every single day.


 ZRP should stop sleeping on duty and wake up and see how much they are destroying our lives. I am reminded of this guy who lives a couple of blocks from my house. This guy murdered his friend in cold blood after a tribal dispute (if l recall correctly). He stabbed his friend who died on the spot. This guy was caught and sent to jail for less than 3months.How can a charge for murder be less than 3 months?? How is that even possible? He was back on the streets and still is roaming our streets to date. How does the justice system of Zimbabwe allow a murder charge be less than 3months?? Frankly, l am still afraid of that guy? I cannot even say “hello” to him. I am afraid of saying anything to him because lam afraid l could offend him and he could kill me too. How do we live without fear around these people?

Are we as society safe when people like this are out of prison? They do not get the sentences they deserve. I still don’t understand how Gumbura would be sentenced to 40 years in prison for allegedly “raping” consenting adults and people who commit crimes like murder and armed robberies escape prison?

What has this country come to? It is slowly becoming unsafe by the day. How do we live without having to look over our shoulders every time? Where l stay l cannot move around after 8 because l fear that l will be mugged. People get mugged every single day but surprisingly, police officers are on patrol every single night.

How come the mugging crimes continue to go up if the police are doing their job? Why are they sleeping on duty? Being in the police force requires more than just wearing the ZRP uniform and getting free rides on the commuters and free food from the vendors, whatever other benefits they give themselves. It entails being loyal \and patriotic (being patriotic in this sense means being loyal to the people you serve and that is the citizens of Zimbabwe)

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Homosexuality

First and foremost l would like to say I am neutral when it comes to these sexual orientation issues.

Zimbabwe is a Christian country and therefore homosexuality is not acceptable because as our President says “They are worse than pigs and dogs” (his words not mine). In as much as the majority of the people in the country are against homosexuality, it is important to note that homosexuals are becoming a significantly forming a huge part of the population in the country.

Instead of proposing a crackdown on gays, which l think it a little absurd because we have a few people who have actually come out and said they are gay. I wonder how the gay police will pin point these gays. Will they go around asking people if they are gay or what? If being gay could be genetically detected it would be easy.

I have often seen gay people around, men who are women and women who are men (I hope that makes sense), l know people that have experimented and tried to be homosexual and  I have seen people who have confused sexuality and don’t know if they are homosexual or bisexual.

I don’t know anything about the origins of homosexuality but l sure as hell think that the South African soapie generations helped the homosexuals in this country know that this was not an unusual thing and therefore they were not genetically mutated. It made some of them “come out” and those who are afraid are still hiding.

Homosexuals are people like another person. They are not animals but they have a different sexual orientation. All they want is to be accepted by their society because they are no different from any other person.

I have a friend of mine who is studying abroad; I recently discovered that she is lesbian. She  has not been able to tell me but she says she found that out about 2years ago. Now the problem she has is that quite soon she will be coming home and she does not know if her parents will accept her if she told them about her sexual orientation.

I often wonder why people want to judge homosexuals when God has never judged them at all. However l would want to applaud the Gays and Lesbians association and the Sexual Rights Centre for taking the taking a stand and protecting the rights of these people. The last thing we would want to see is the killing of these people like we have seen happening in other African countries.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Gold for God or God for Gold?

Growing up l have always known that a church is God’s house and that churches were built by the early Christians. I was raised and first baptised in the Roman Catholic Church. So l guess l am able to make a comparative analysis between the traditional church and the mushrooming Pentecostal churches.

Pentecostal churches are mushrooming across the country. Following these churches are rumours that these churches are run as institutions for making money. I have even heard people say “If you want to make money, open a church”. This they say referring to how these churches are making money from the congregants. I understand that these pastors actually set a bar as to how much a person should give as offering and the least amount of money is usually US$50.

Congregants are expected to give a specified offering as opposed to what l have known to happen, what the bible says “give your best offering”. My best offering could be US $1 so where do l get $49 from? And as far as l know there should never be a stipulation for any offering.

Pastors of these churches drive the latest cars and have their children going to universities abroad at the expense of these poor congregants who cannot even afford to pay tuition for their children let alone pay rentals where they stay. They are exploited and give to “God” so that all their problems will go away but little do they know that the money is not really going to God but it is used to satisfy the Pastor’s insatiable greed for money.

These churches are also characterised by scandals. Not money looting scandals but RAPE scandals!! These pastors stand in front of congregations preaching the word of God but behind closed doors they turn into hyenas who rape other men’s women. They condone rape in public but go on to implement the act itself. I have never seen such hypocrisy!!

There are instances like the Gumbura case whereby he is accussed of raping women in his church. I don’t want to be one sided in these issues and attach all the blame to pastors. In the case of Gumbura, there was a whatsapp thread that leaked . This thread revealed the other side of the story which was that these women were promised material things in return for sex. If that happened l think the problem here is with both parties, sexual addiction on the side of the pastors and desperation on the side of these women. These women are so desperate to get married or to get material things such that they are willing to engage in sexual activities just to get those things.

I do hope that someday we will find an answer to all this craze, maybe God himself can intervene.