It is 7 o’clock in the morning in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia. Cars are rushing and flogged with people rushing for an early day at work through the Great East Road. A ride towards Chelstone takes you passed the University of Zambia, the country’s highest institution of learning. From the outside, the university looks like a quiet place, with birds and vegetation decorating the scenery.

But from the inside, it is a whole different world, with speed and traffic jams of people almost similar to what Great East Road can provide. There is an influx of students from all directions, all looking to be in their own kind of busy. Lectures, “Due dates and times”, and all kinds of schedules seemingly on the student’s mind.

But then again, looking at the students from appearance sometimes cannot tell the true story of what goes on in their minds on a busy day. Most of them attribute this rush to a number of things.

Students leaving class heading back to hostels in continuum with the class cycle for the day. Image by Chishimba Bwalya

A chat with Farai Mirriam Chibalumuna, a fourth year student of Media and Communication Studies under the School of Humanities reveals a new set of truths on what goes about the day of a student on campus.

My busiest day in school is Wednesday, I have to get up as early as 5 a.m just so I could have something to eat before I leave the room…And this is so because I never get back to my room till 18 or later… So I leave at around 08:00hrs so that I ensure people that are supposed to work at the Radio Station make it on time and do the work in time… The pressure is real my guy… I have to be in two places at the same time and so most of the time I switch (that is class and the radio station every after sometime) around 9 a.m I having a class. Which is a must attend by the way…With the countless class groups I am involved in… Awe sure it is sad… I actually relate to the meme going round ati “Next week has been exhausting.” You know, you actually get exhausted before the week even approaches … By Monday I am already stressing on how I am going to manage my Wednesday…

From her explanation, it is evident that in Mirriam’s head, it is as though her busiest day is likened to a continent in a different planet with its own demands and pressures.

Speaking of pressure, a number of students on campus sometimes tend to attribute their ups and downs to the academic demands that are required of them by the lecturers. With some even going as far as saying the pressures they face cannot be compared to that of a worker.

An engineering student, working tirelessly to finish assignments. Image by Kalichi Pictures

Siaampa Sihulumi (Siaampa K Sihuz), a third year student in the School of Engineering is of the view that the assignments and lecturer’s demands can put immense pressure on the life of a student.

Sometimes I think our pressure is similar to those who work, though for us it gets worse because unlike the workers or civil servants who have the freedom to leave work behind and go home, we sometimes carry that work to our rooms and hence the pressure continues. It’s a bit terrible in school… workers out there have the freedom to be negligent without them directly paying the price. But the student pays the price directly through loss of marks.

Married to all this pressure is the aspect of time, with the student it is always about beating deadlines and justifying the adage that “Time wasted is never recovered”.

For James, Sinonge and Abraham, first year students on campus, time is always a telling factor in why students are always in the rush. For them, their view is that there is not much time to meet all their targets and also it is also about knowing what is more of a priority than the other.

However Nkuza Siame Katambalile is of the view that time inside and outside class is different. He adds that while in class time seems really slow as compared to outside class where time seems to revert to normal.

The “hallway of destiny” in the early hours of the morning that students have to frequent every now and then. Image by Chishimba Bwalya

Mirriam, and similar stories of many other guys cited in this article are just a snippet of what goes about a day in the life of serious student on campus. This is usually a day to day activity from the day of enrollment up until the last day of exams after completing the course. To the outside world this may not even reflect but A day in the life of a student can indeed be continent on another planet.!!!


Farai Mirriam Chibalumuna – 4th year student working part time at UNZA Radio, 91.7fm

Siaampe Sihulumi – 3rd year engineering student at the University of


Nkuza Siame Katambalile – 3rd year Public Administration Student at the University of Zambia



Writer: Chishimba Bwalya

Editor: James Sakala

Photographer : Chishimba Bwalya and Peter Mwanza

Sources: Chanda Chanda

Layout: Chipema Chinyama



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