Memory Marozva Harare Institute of Technology
Tertiary students tend to experience a lot of different pressures as well as leading a life full of freedom as compared to high school.
We find ourselves able to do what we want and look after ourselves. So we tend to carry a lot of stress with us – assignments and books need to be attended to – and at the same time we also want to enjoy life.
Sometimes we cannot afford to buy clothes for ourselves, so that we also fit in with others. Above all we need food but sometimes the money we would have been given at home will not be enough to afford a decent meal every day. So, one is forced to exercise severe budgeting.
These are the kind of stresses which catch up with any particular type of a tertiary student. Due to some of these factors, students find themselves turning to any readily available source of income.
That’s when you see some students getting involved with lecturers and girls are the most vulnerable group to these kind of vices.
Affairs between lecturers and students are, however, not that prevalent because students are now much more aware of a lot of things. In addition, there are now a lot of opportunities for students. For example, libraries and the Internet, we can now access of a lot of information on the Internet for our research, making our lives much easier such that it’s no longer only the lecturer who has access to information as back in the days before there was the Internet.
The learning environment prior to the advent of the internet created conditions that were contributory factors in pushing some students into affairs with lecturers in order to get information and good grades.
The world is also becoming a better place for women as many organisations are standing for the rights of women and empowering them thus inspiring females to do better and motivating young women to stand up for themselves and work hard to sustain themselves.
This is making a great impact on young girls such that they are becoming more focused and do better, achieving independence as individuals. The Constitution supports gender equality in all spheres of life and women have the right to equal opportunities as men.
Through this kind of empowerment, we are strengthened to be able to stand on our own thus affairs are also prevented and without having to be persuaded by men into engaging in sexual relationships in return for favours.
This also applies where the student would have caught the eye of a lecturer because of her beauty, or whatever problem she could be facing, which could lead to the lecturer taking advantage of her.
She can stand her ground as a result of supporting structures through organisations such as the Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre and Network (ZWRCN), which can help her in terms of where to run to for help and where we stand and where we are going as women.
However, due to some poor backgrounds we tend to be manipulated into affairs with whomever. So, as long as one is feeding you, that will be okay.
It would be of great impact if feeding schemes were introduced in universities as it would help the less privileged to be able to have a decent balanced meal every day and also prevent some of the young women from being taken advantage of due to their precarious financial status. Through such feeding schemes, one won’t go off looking for someone else to feed her.
Dressing has led to the development of lecturer-student affairs as some female students tend to dress in a manner that exposes their body parts.
However, it is becoming harder in the sense that if word gets out that such an affair has been taking place it could completely destroy the lecturer’s reputation and cost them their job.
Overally, affairs between students and lecturers are becoming fewer and fewer. This is due to the fact that lately, girls have been drawn to “Blessers”. These are rich guys who will buy a student anything in exchange for sexual favours.
Patience Nachaziva Midlands State University
Effects of dressing to kill at varsities
In many institutions, being glamorous has become a priority for many university students, especially female students. This has turned most of them into sex workers.
They are very eager to be titled the “slay queens”. Students are living a fake life. They are abandoning their real lifestyles from back home and walking half naked has become the new normal as they always claim, “we are the 21st generation”.
They get involved with rich and older men so that they can get money to buy things like an iPhone SE. Unnecessary things have become needs to them.
Sleeping around with “blessers” has become a hustle as they offer their bodies in exchange for money to buy clothes and expensive make-up products.
These students seem to live a better life than working class ladies.
“Being a slay queen is difficult because once you are in you have to upgrade every time because all eyes will be on you,” says one of the slay queens.
Some male lecturers and taxi conductors, the “Hwindi”, are taking advantage of the female students.
They offer them money and expensive Brazilian hair extensions in exchange for their bodies.
To these “slay queens”, whom they sleep with is not important. What they get matters most.
“I have clothes that I wear at school. I don’t wear the same clothes when I am at home,” one of these students tells me.
See through clothes and shorts that they wear at school are not allowed or approved by their parents and guardians back home.
Being eager to look good has turned these “slay queens” into ladies of the night. They go to night clubs every weekend to look for “blessers”.
“I always book the VIP area because that’s where rich men will be,” says one of the students, (name withheld).
Girls must value themselves and stop selling their precious bodies for money. There is more to life than good things.
Esther Maulani Midlands State University
The increased availability and use of skin bleaching creams around university communities pose a serious health hazard to the girl child in Zimbabwe.
The skin lightening creams include Epidem, Deprisona, Tula Lemon Cream, Demo Gel Plus, Extra Clair, Tempovate Gel and Carolight lotion are among some of these products.
These products modify the black pigmentation in the skin – melanin.
Skin lightening creams were banned in Zimbabwe under the Dangerous Drugs and Substances Act. Despite being illegal, these creams are finding their way – courtesy of the country’s porous borders – onto the market, especially in university communities.
Female students at tertiary institutions use skin lightening creams primarily because of peer pressure, which seems to believe that men prefer light skinned girls – the so-called yellow bones – and that if one is dark skinned, one has no takers.
The girls use these skin lightening creams because primarily they are less expensive, but secondly because the girls resort to using them as part of exploring their new-found freedom of being away from home for the first time and therefore in charge of one’s life. The consequences of using skin bleaching creams are many, some of them are yet to be fully appreciated, but some of those that have been documented include “a cooked skin”, the skin is susceptible to getting bruised easily, and in the worst case scenarios, developing skin cancer.
There are also adverse effects such as that when one stops using them, the skin tends to get darker than it previously was. This is because bleaching/skin lightening creams contain corrosive substances such as mercury. Also found in these creams are steroids and hydroquinone, whose use, in the long term, is known to lead to cancer.
In some cases, the skin might develop camouflage patches – that is a situation where the skin exhibits contrasting tones. Skin lightening creams also contain tretinoin, which renders the skin very sensitive to light. While the Government needs to tighten border controls to prevent these products reaching our shores, parents and groups specifically for the girl-child, need to raise awareness on the hazards of using bleaching creams.
My parting message is: “Let’s stop bleaching. Black is beautiful and men should love you the way you are. That is the true meaning of love.”