Are Zimbabwean School policies counter productive?

I had a conversation with my mother yesterday in which l was left speechless. Apparently a cousin of mine who just wrote her O’ levels in December is unable to collect her results as the school said she lost books, and she must first replace them before she can get her results.

This is nothing new to me, l grew up with those policies as well. Policies whereby we were sent home if we had not yet paid our fees. Results and certificates were withheld until we had cleared our arrears.

But for the first time yesterday, maybe hearing it from a different timezone, culture and mindset gave me a different perspective, and l thought l will share my thoughts with you all.

Are these school policies in an economically dilapidated country like Zimbabwe where most families are even struggling to put their next meal on the table, reasonable or counterproductive?

So l had made plans for my cousin to move to the city for her A’ levels, as she is quite gifted academically. But guess what the process of finding a place for her and initiating her studies is now being delayed.

She will be lucky because l will pull hook line and sinker to make sure l motivate her to still continue her studies, but what of the other kids?

Yes l understand that the schools hardly have enough resources and have to take desperate measures to maintain them, but is this the best way to do it?

Can we not come up with better ideas? The textbook struggle, why can we not invest in E-books and make print outs?

The fees situation, we cannot continue to deprive children their basic right to education. We cannot blame their parents and guardians for not being able to provide.

We need better solutions!

This act of sending kids home because they do not have the correct uniform must stop!

This is our future generation, and instead of us equipping them with knowledge to run the future, we are pulling them back.

The Zimbabwean government and Ministry of Education needs to realize that our current situation is not the yellow of an egg and do away with these self inflicted stumbling blocks.

We need better solutions!!!

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Reality Slap!

Five days from today I will be in plane headed home after four years of being away. It is a difficult trip with a mixed bag of emotions. So let me pen it out a bit and ease the pressure before I go insane.

See my September has been a rollercoaster of emotions, one minute I am excited and happy I will finally get to see my family and all those beautiful landscapes of my motherland that i have so dearly missed. l will get to sleep in my room again, see my childhood friends have real food, beautiful sunrises, breathtaking sunsets, wildlife etc, the list is endless.

Then the next minute I am shivering and reaching for the blankets afraid to face the misery of it all, the poverty at home, the depreciated infrastructure, the economic hardships, the battered souls, everything and anything l ran from six years ago. Will I cope?

I am afraid of those coming to embrace me with a smile with the hope of me upgrading their lives materialistically even if just for a day. I cannot, I am but just a student.

l am afraid of going back and not being able to fit in no matter how hard I try to camouflage myself. Will my misfit behaviour no longer be labeled as different but arrogant now that I have been away for a while?

I am afraid of being me and voicing out my opinions on some of our cultural practices, and offending family in the process.

I am afraid of so many things…

Anyway, moving on

So last week l decided to escape to England and visit my sister for a bit until my travel dates were near. l had started loosing sleep due to my stress levels. Pulling all strings of my budget tight to allocate as much as I could for the home trip. Getting as much work done as i could to give myself enough time to enjoy the time i will spend home. Studying hard to try to compensate for those 3 weeks i will be away. My planning OCD didn’t help either, see with me everything is always meticulously planned. Everything also means a detailed plan B, C, D and E incase A doesn’t work. So yes l was definitely loosing it, thank God for the England getaway.

While here l have refused to acknowledge or entertain anything and everything reminding me of the trip. The only significant thing i did was to go and get a short tapered haircut ( the naturalista movement girls out there know!). By the way my sister aint very pleased about it, she feels my sophisticated haircut makes me ooze of a gay vibe and the family will be gob smacked and totally fail to recognise me at the airport, I mean this is the first time I have cut my hair in six years. Fail to recognise me? Please!!! I will start world war three single-handedly! Better not try that with me!!!!!

So yea,

it’s not easy being the girl from Bulawayo. On top of that I have to gear myself up for my two different lifestyles I lead when in Zimbabwe. See at home my life is equally divided into two halves, moms family versus dads family and weirdly enough they are the extreme opposites. So in a nutshell half of my holiday will be spent lounging around the different mansions, chilling by the pool going for game drives and just living the life. And the other half will be spent in constant worry, living from hand to mouth, hustling for the next meal and trying to survive. Both of these worlds are me and i have come to accept that at the moment everything is beyond me to bring these two in unison. But hey i am the libra in the family, one day is one day.

Okay so putting all my whining aside, today I got a reality slap. So real so deep I had to observe a minute of silence. One of my brothers, the eldest has up to now not been on social media. So today out of the blue, he appeared on my whatsapp and we had the usual brother sister banter. After the chat, i decided to check his profile picture. By the way i have not seen any image of my brother in six years. We just communicate on the phone, and you can imagine how deep that moment was. That one picture summarized my brothers last six years for me in one phrase. The Zimbabwean Struggle.

Staring back at me was a middle-aged Zimbabwean man, father to five. Skin singing tales of the savannah sun, eyes telling of a bitter truth, a life lived in struggle. But despite all the hardship that was embroidered on that face, the expression was happy.  How do they do that?

That picture was a reality slap for me, it vividly reminded me of how I came to study in Europe and of the cushioned life I have lived ever since. What will i say to him in a few days when i look at him? How do i even look him in the eye? Why is the world such a unlevel playing field? Why is my country in such a mess?

I am bleeding, and I don’t know to handle it. I am at a loss for words, my heart is breaking but I can not cry when i see them now can i. For i know only joy and sound of ululating will await me at the gates. Shall i wear mask while i die a thousand deaths inside? How,? How do you undertake a trip like this?

Oh well, love can only prevail right?

and where there is love there is hope and where there is hope there is a future.

Love will prevail.

Where there is love there is Hope

Where there is Hope there is a Future.