THE UNIVERSITY; A MULTITUDE OF CHARACTERS

It goes with effortless assumption that every parent, guardian and family at large are joyful to see their child be admitted to university. With many, thinking of the routine life of starting your day in preparation for class, tutorials, labs and end up in the library with only a few breaks for meals and other naturals causes.

This, is however not the exact picture when one ‘hits’ campus, despite all the above being day to day activities- everyone has a life after their books are closed!

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University students leaving a casual study session at the Goma Lakes. Image by UNZA reports

With various characters ranging from the religious, the love birds, the ‘strong-bottle’ enthusiasts among others and it takes one to identify their interests to join any of them.

It was interesting to get a few views of these people from their various intra-university social groupings at Zambia’s highest learning institution- The University of Zambia (UNZA) and being exposed to such jargon as Unza-Dizzy, Mojo, Unza-Church among others, to represent; the heavy alcohol partakers, the dating (males students) and the prayer warriors respectively.

Everisto Samilimo, a 3rd year student from the School of Mines, a member of UNZA CHURCH says he decided to join this particular group as it is where the Lord had sent him to serve him.

“In life, you need to have a purpose…when you have a purpose, you are able to know which group to belong to…that is why I found myself in this society,” he says.

When asked what his thoughts are about those who are not from what he terms society, Samilimo says they are missing a lot. “If what you are doing is not meant to please God, then it is not worth it,” he adds.

Samilimo notes that people can do these other activities but, encourages those from the other groupings that are not Christian to shift camp to his.

UNZA-DIZZY on the other hand also gives his own side of his belonging. Joseph Mwandya (pseudonym) a 3rd year student from the School of Education says drinking is his only way of recreation.

“Whenever I am done with my day-to-day activities as a student, I usually run out of what next to do and sleeping is never the plan for me,” he says.

He says he usually finds good company at the various drinking places he patronizes.

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Group of University Students getting intoxicated at the University centre. Image by UNZA Reports.

When asked why he does not consider finding a female colleague to keep him company, especially considering the fact that UNZA is a ‘brewery’ of them, Mwandya says he is better off being the way he is adding that having a girlfriend is an extra cost.

“I am just on BC [Government sponsorship], and most of them are…but they would expect yours be spent on them…we see these things,” he says.

Mwandya, adds that when his broke, a few friends can still get him drinks something he claims is nearly impossible with him having a girlfriend.

On the other hand, those taken by skirts; the Mojos where not left out without sharing their own character as Enock Sakala, a second year student of Media and Communication Studies narrates that after having a long day dealing with the everyday academic involvements, his best relief is going to see his girlfriend.

“It feels entirely away from school whenever I go to see my moma after a long busy day,” he says.

Sakala adds that there different ways people deal with stress and that being a mojo is what works best for him.

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Two Students blissfully “mojokaling” on the school grounds after a day of back to back classes. Image by UNZA Reports.

“Others go drinking…others read novels, some sleep and they mind their own businesses that way, it is a free world,” he observes.

University is usually a busy place with many people moving in their own directions and in their silence no one  would tell what runs in the heads of each of them-University, is really indeed a multitude of characters.

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Everisto Samilimo –  3rd year student from the School of Mines, University of

Enock Sakala –  2nd year student of Media and Communication Studies, University of Zambia

*NB* Other names in this article have been omitted for the purposes of privacy.

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Writer – Chinyemba Kamweho

Photographer – Chanda Chanda

Editor: Peter Mwanza and Chishimba Bwalya

Source: James Sakala

Layout: Chipema Chinyama

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