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Men at the msika

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Monday, November 29th, 2010 by Zanele Manhenga

I had put vending of vegetables and sitting the whole day at a msika as something done by Zimbabwean women. Then I met a rare breed of men in their msika stalls selling. We convinced them to take a group photo and two other men joined in – I guess there is comfort in numbers! These men just made me realize that sometimes there is a balance to life. As an encouragement to men waiting to do madiri that might get you in prison maybe you should try starting you up a ka little vending stall.

Zimbabwe based fear

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Monday, November 29th, 2010 by Zanele Manhenga

I am coming from a workshop called 10 Tactics For Turning Information Into Action. There is so much that people know out there but what good is knowledge without you using it? These Ten Tactics help to make sure what you have you use and you use it well. The second tactic is the one that really got me going. Witness and record. This is where the workshop happened for me I tell you.  I suddenly saw myself recording a corrupt police officer taking bribes from vehicle drivers under the disguise of a police roadblock. I could see him taking the money completely oblivious of me recording him with my phone. I could see myself going to an honest police officer and showing him my findings. As I give him that recording there is no fear in me. I am not even afraid of the system because in my dreams it is fair and just. I see him call all the relevant people trying to find out how he can arrest this corrupt policeman who has brought shame to his field of work. I even hear him thank me for being a brave and true citizen because for a moment there in my dream I was actually standing up for what I think is true and right and I have no fear. I see thousands of other Zimbabweans taking my lead and exposing all the corrupt people they brush shoulders with on a daily basis. Yes I did not fear a thing because in my dreams it is every Zimbabwean’s right to stop corruption. I even saw myself standing in the witness box and pointing him out to the judge and saying, yes, this is the man who has helped corruption blossom to a well-rooted tree. Then I came to down to earth, to Zimbabwe in particular, were the fear of the unknown grabs and consumes every day of my life. I came back and realized that where I live is anything but fair and just. Even if I had the guts to record such happenings how far would they go if a million other people live in the same fear as I do.

Bribes are a part of the Zimbabwe driving curriculum

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Friday, October 29th, 2010 by Zanele Manhenga

I was telling somebody that I want to have a driver’s license. It’s about time now. You will not believe what he said or maybe you will. He said in order for me to get a license I would have to go with an extra US$80 or so for me to get the license. That’s not all. He continued to tell me that after the provisional license I must be prepared to have another US$80 to pass the road test. But that is not the end of my story. I went and spoke to another gentleman and said to him; can you believe it, to get a license you need to be prepared to pay extra bribe money of about US$160. I can’t pay that. I vented to him that I am a Christian and I do not promote bribing and such lawless acts. Above all no wonder we have lots of car accidents and unnecessary deaths on the road. We have people that buy their way into the driver’s seat. You know what the second gentleman said to me. He said I should not view this extra US$160 as a bribe but as part of the Zimbabwe driving curriculum. In other words we should have it in black and white, a statement saying in terms of section 1.1 of the new drivers act, all excluding the ones related to driving inspectors, shall be required to pay an extra amount for the acquiring of a driver’s license. Failure to do this will result in you writing the driver’s license exam until you pay the required bribe. I was going to be afraid to write this piece in fear of not passing my driver’s test when I go next month. But I don’t want to be a part of this “bribe me” mentality that has infected our country. Rest assured I will read for the exam and hopefully start a new breed of people that want to do things differently.

I hate soccer

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Friday, June 18th, 2010 by Zanele Manhenga

For fear of being massacred I would wish that this blog did not have my name but for the hope of starting a ka anti soccer society I will gladly like this blog to bear my name. I hate soccer, why on earth would grown men run around chasing a ball. Of all the things to run after a ball it’s hideous. Thank God this world cup frenzy comes once after four years. Don’t get me wrong I am glad it’s happening only next door and I have watched a match or two. That’s just the problem – I have been forced to watch these matches coz the people I live with watch the live match then the retake and the analysis never stops. What I hate the most is that everyone has got something to say; everyone thinks their point makes sense more than other people talking at the same time. OK back to the so-called sport to those that are anti soccer we could start a society. And if you are not convinced why you should join the society here are ten good reasons:

1. Soccer encourages child labor. What are all those children doing on the pitch before the match? Are they are going to be paid for standing there with those soccer players?
2. You have to keep on cheering even if your team is losing. You can’t just leave the match after paying an arm and a leg to be there.
3. What’s with soccer players thinking that soccer is the only worthwhile sport? I guess it takes skill and class to understand another sport
4. They pay the announcers to say, “Oh he runs after the ball and now he throws it.”Yes he kicks it away. I don’t get that
5. I really would like to agree with the people that say we must ban the vuvuzelaz. What’s the point of watching the game when you are almost deaf?
6. You can head the ball but you can’t use your hands?
7. The throw in all of a sudden and you can use your hands. They should make up their minds.
8. The players run for 90 minutes only to lose. Save my energy for the better!
9. The referees: so much power given to one man gives me the creeps.
10. Why is it when a player scores he runs off to celebrate on his own. Most of the time his other team members have to run after him but he keeps running away.

Religion and economic development

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Friday, June 11th, 2010 by Zanele Manhenga

The role of religion in economic development was the title of the discussion I was at yesterday. The gentleman presenting wanted to highlight how religion and economic development are interlinked and how they affect each other.

First we looked at how economic development affects religion. There are four factors that come into play education, value of time, life expectancy and urbanization. Economic development will likely lead to higher education and with increase in education there is a desire to explain things scientifically. A less developed country would explain any situation using God and religious beliefs. The probability of explaining things using God in a developed country becomes less. People tend to use scientific terms to explain day to day living on any challenge that might come their way. For instance in a developed country if there is famine the explanation would be scientific but in a not so developed country famine might be explained as the anger of God or a lesson that we need to learn from gods especially in our African context.

Then religion plays a pivotal role in the way of our thinking. Value of time in developing countries makes it hard for people to seek religion. People would rather be at work than in church. Thus economics or being more economically developed will affect the way people view religion.

Knowing the life expectancy in any country can also contribute to how economic development can make it hard to find a community seeking for God. In America the life expectancy is around 75 to 80 years and if a male aged 30 still has his grandparents alive he sees no rush of going to church. On the other hand in a less developed country with a life expectancy of 35years like in Zimbabwe, people would rather go to church and prepare to go to heaven.

Urbanization brings many social platforms in a country as it gets developed. Going to church is among many of the options that people choose from. Urbanization brings in nightclubs, movies and many other social spaces. In a less developed country the only social space available to people in that country might be the church or other religious settings.

We then looked how religion affects economic development. Religion is attractive to higher educated societies. There are all these people trying to explain the existence of God, explaining the existence of God takes philosophers. It takes people who have a high education to do that. Then religion will affect economic development through education. Most religions value education, as you have to read the Bible or the Koran. Religious beliefs reinforce religious factors like hard work, honesty, thrift and value of time. So it is true to say that religion does affect economic development. The more people are taught in their religious circles to value time, to be hard working, the more a country can be economically developed.

HIV, the face of a woman

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Friday, June 4th, 2010 by Zanele Manhenga

It is unfair that the HIV and AIDS pandemic has a face of a woman. I heard this statement at a discussion that I was in and it hurt me a lot. I know that women especially in Africa are the most infected by the virus but to hear that being said my heart tore apart. To think that every time HIV and AIDS is spoken about the image given to it is a woman’s face. In most cases it is the man who brings HIV and AIDS in the home. With men being socialized to think that there are the bulls and bhuru rino onekwa nemavanga aro encouraging men to have multi partners. The majority of women living positively are infected by their male partners, why then is the woman the most discriminated?