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!

students_1
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.

IMG-20181005-WA0044-k
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.

IMG-20181005-WA0043-k
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.

*************************************************************************************

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.

*************************************************************************************

Writer – Chinyemba Kamweho

Photographer – Chanda Chanda

Editor: Peter Mwanza and Chishimba Bwalya

Source: James Sakala

Layout: Chipema Chinyama

Advertisements

The Beginning and the End

Featured

In the beginning was the word, the word was with our parents and the word was finalized by our parents.

The word was a mix between a command to do further studies, to study at the highest learning institution, and to get a paper so that you have a standing in the society.

As you may already realise by now, this decision was already made for us. What was left was for us to sign the papers and hand in the application form. To many the opinion of University is considered overrated. We ask, “Who needs school anyway these days?”

A recent graduate from the University of Zambia who studied Natural Resource Management but has since branched out into the media fraternity shared his sentiments on University in an interview.

“Fortunately for this current generation, parents are not bent on driving their children to the three mandated careers in society. It was engineering, medicine or law. We live in a time where accountants, journalists, sports personnel and entrepreneurs are able to thrive,” Lizu Chinyama said.

In the beginning of University, it is a time of general excitement for most “freshers.” This word is chanted and taunted out to them throughout their first semester. Rumor has it they are called this because they look fresh. They normally wear nice clean clothes as they are conscious about their sense of fashion and they carry around a large backpack to every class.

“It’s a bit degrading but after a while, you realize that it’s kind of a “right of passage”. Every first year goes through it,” first year Humanities student, Wana Kambita said.

Each year becomes more taxing, starting with academically, financially, fashionably and even socially.

k-4832
Engineering student, William Manela, contemplating his life while being cuffed to his books. Image by: Kalichi Pictures 

“It reaches a point where you have no option but to be chained to your books. There’s no other option at that point. You try to give yourself hope by looking for light at the end of the tunnel but each tunnel comes with a closure. That means more time in the cage,” Third year engineering student William Manela said.

 

However, like science, the theory must be concluded. Like mathematics, the equation must be solved. Like journalism, the story must be told and published. Like business, the client must be satisfied. That is why all bad (and good) things must come to an end.

Even University comes to an end. The excitement builds up once again as the final lap is run and the light at the end of the tunnel shines brighter.

“It is an amazing feeling to get there and feel like finally I am going to be done with all of this! The graduation is stressful because there’s still so much paper work that needs to be done but it is exhilarating to be in that gown and feel the freedom that it gives you,” Gloria Mushinda said.

Paradoxical how an item of clothing that belongs to the cage you were forced to be in for 4-7 years, could be the very definition of freedom.

IMG_7529-k
Graduating student, Elida Chichoni, overflowing with joy in graduation gown. Image by: Kalichi Pictures

Therefore although the beginning seems mysterious and miserable, in the end there is excitement, but more responsibilities, more stress and less free time than anticipated. Regardless, it’s important to look out for the beauty of this life. It undoubtedly comes with experiences to last you a life time.

**************************************

References:

Lizu Chinyama: CEO Kalichi Pictures graduate from University of Zambia 2017.

Gloria Mushinda: supervisor at Dreams International, graduate University of Zambia 2017.

William Manela: 3rd year Civil Engineering, University of Zambia.

Wana Kambita: 1st year Sociology with Education, University of Zambia new student 2018.

**************************************Credits:

Layout: Chishimba Bwalya

Writer: Chipema Chinyama

Editors: Chanda Chanda and Peter Mwanza

Photographer: Chipema Chinyama

Sources: Chipema Chinyama