Tatenda J. Lunga Midlands State University
Being an African child has never been an easy task, especially being from a poor family where there are limited resources and opportunities.
Children living in poverty experience an array of risk factors, ranging from health concerns up to increased difficulties at school.
Some of the challenges include social deprivation, stigmatisation and employment challenges in adult life.
These children are exposed to hostile environments that limit their emotional, physical and social growth and development. According to research, a child growing up in a family whose income is below the poverty datum line experiences harsher outcomes than a child from a well to do family.
It is because of this reason that some children from poor backgrounds end up engaging in activities such as selling drugs in order to make ends meet while others try to find a good way to escape poverty.
It should therefore be important to encourage every child living in poverty to realise that in order to escape poverty one needs to work hard for his or her future because there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Midlands State University
It is believed that when two people are in love they become romantically engaged which leads them to the next level — intimacy.
Having sex is not a common act. In accordance with African tradition, it is taboo to be sexually active outside of marriage. Years ago, these things were strictly observed and maintained. People feared God and respected their culture.
There were so many reasons why sex was prohibited and those reasons are still as applicable today even if the concept is no longer accepted in the 21st century.
Sex brings two in the same spiritual world. Therefore, if one of the two is fighting a spiritual war, the other partner is unintentionally likely to be involved in fighting the same war.
People can share demons through sex. So the reason why people are urged not to sleep around is that there are very serious spiritual attacks in having sex whilst not married. So considering the number of boys or girls one has slept with, it can cause a very painful life in a person’s existence.
Some of the things that haunt people today are inherited from their so-called partners. Sex among virgins can create a blood bond between two people. This simply means that the two have tied a knot without knowing it.
So whatsoever is in one’s life be it demons, spirits of being unlucky, spirit of poverty, to mention a few, also become attached to a partner. Apart from spiritual connections, sex before marriage is still a taboo among many Africans.
This is because of the belief that a boy or a girl has to remain a virgin until they are married. This is seen as a way of demonstrating commitment and trust.
The introduction of new technologies has ushered in new cultural values and views, many of them imported from the West. Now young girls aged 12 are sexually active. Schools are expected to teach these children how to protect themselves when having sex so that they avoid getting sexually transmitted infections, among other unintended effects.
Among university students, there is a belief that sex is the new love. They also subscribe to the view that there can be no dating without sex. As a result, students at tertiary institutions exchange partners all the time – without protection. This takes place during sleepovers, drink-ups, moving in, one-night stands when they go clubbing, and many other social activities.
Sex is even used to exchange favours at school, work places and other places. Women and girls are involved in transactional sex with people they don’t even love, but only as a way of getting money and being helped in paying their bills.
Sex must remain, treasured, something special and sacred.
Midlands State University
THE current lockdown has forced students to strike a balance between school work and finding ways of making ends meet.
As a result, some students are finding themselves creating their own companies in the process. This can actually be a testimony of how students have been innovative and entrepreneurial – from the lecture room to playing out in real life.
A student at Ezekiel Guti Technical College (EGTC) and a resident of Chipinge, Mr Blessing Zimbili, says even though he is still a student, he didn’t sit around all day hoping for something to happen. He saw an opportunity in avocados in Chipinge and started his business.
He gets his avocados from his neighbourhood because almost every household has an avocado tree and the people don’t find pleasure in selling something that everyone else already has in excess.
Acquiring avocados, has enabled him to make up to a decent profit by reselling the fruits, and supplying places such as Harare, Bulawayo and Masvingo. Some of the avocadoes, he believes, are exported.
Zimbili, has taken time to learn about the possible health benefits of the fruit and useful insights into how avocados help in the repairing dry skin or damaged skin cells. He believes there is an opportunity and a market for a business in the manufacture of lotions from avocados.
He started his business after the first lockdown terms were relaxed, in April. He sometimes finds challenges in transportating his fruit as he does not have a vehicle of his own. Transport companies have come to his rescue as he finds their costs reasonable.
Zimbili’s story demonstrates how during this lockdown, youths have not stopped being innovative. This is in line with the call to the youth to be enterprising and help in uplifting the country in accordance with Vision 2030.
Midlands State University
Theodore Adorno and Max Horkheimer have a strong argument on reasons why people do what they do and how they act.
In their book “Dialect of Enlightenment”, they coined the theory culture industry. The theory takes the view point that culture is created, that capitalists manufacture culture and they sell it to the ordinary masses.
The two scholars argue that capitalists create needs for the masses and they make the ordinary masses desire to have that need quenched.
They point out that skin-lightening lotions are manufactured by the culture industry and they are part of a culture which the latter have created and have pushed their agenda to the masses with the latter always accepting and consuming it. It is therefore not a matter of beauty. It is a culture introduced by the capitalists so they can make money out of the masses. Culture industry makes the masses desire to be something labelled as the best by those who are influential. The two scholars state that capitalists use advertisements to push their agenda and this is the main reason why many African women use skin-lightening lotions and creams.
The film industry coined the term “super star” in which actors and actresses are viewed as super stars. The use of skin-lightening creams has nothing to do with beauty. It has everything to do with a culture created by the elites.
During the 19th century black women did not need to be light-skinned to be beautiful. They only needed their brown skin to be beautiful. The 20th century has seen the culture industry manufacturing the “yellow bone” culture.
To show that light skin culture is not only affecting women, the super star effect has seen top Jamaican artist like Vybz Kartel being used to push the light skin agenda. Because Kartel changed his skin colour, it has played a pivotal role in making young boys and girls who follow his music to play around with skin-lightening products in order for them to be like their music hero.
Many feminist groups tend not to agree with Theodore Adorno and Max Horkheimer’s theory.
Their view is that, skin-lightening equates beauty, keeps up with the modern world, embraces the new technology, is the trending fashion and has nothing to do with being uncomfortable with one’s skin colour. The fact is plain and clear; the use of skin-lightening creams has nothing to do with beauty. It has everything to do with women not being comfortable with their skin colour. It is time such a mentality is done away with.
This can be tackled through establishment of female groups advocating for natural beauty and educating women on the importance of being proud of their natural beauty.