Categories
NEWS OPINION

SUICIDES a trend at Nust ?

“I dont feel happy these days,wish i could just die”

By Tendai Nyambara|Nust-Zw

I found myself looking for a counselling section on the Nust Website a month ago as I had attended a training with an organisation called SAYWHAT (students and Youth working on Reproductive health Action Team) and a question was posed on us as whether we knew where to access contact details for our counsellors incase we might need their assistance and I was one of those who could not answer. I then decided to browse the website to find their details and it took me quite a while to locate their division but still i could not find their details.

Last week I then attended a Nust wellness day in which I met a lot of health practitioners like a dentist who told me I needed to get my tooth a filling, and an optomotrist who checked my eyes and told me that it was highly possible that my eyes were light sensitive and that I needed to see her as soon as possible , but the most interesting talk I had was with the Nust division of students which deals with counselling .

As students we find ourselves in difficult situations where we need help and sometimes we are too proud to communicate .I am trying to imagine a guy at the verge of debt ,they cannot pay rentals in Selbourne Park, the guy probably needs money for food and is trying to manage school work at the same time even if they would love for their parents to help they know how bad the situation is at home whilst with ladies because possibly how the society has shaped us ,it could be pregnancy but I don’t want anyone to know that I am pregnant.I am ashamed most probably.

Ofcourse i am okay !

Last year the August to December semester at Nust was probably the scariest and the most disturbing semesters I have ever seen even though it was only my third semester ever since I have started at Nust.

There were cases of suicides happening one after the other, I recall the one of the first year student who decided to sleep on the railway line https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.chronicle.co.zw/pregnant-nust-student-in-train-suicide/amp/and another one was when second year student was found dead in his room by the res and what surprised me was that ,I usually met this guy from afar and he looked ‘well’.https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-146433.html

As we walk around campus every day we are just students that have too much school pressure ,life pressures, too much expectations from our parents and the only way possible to vent out that stress is through partying but I am wondering is that even the right way to do things?

According to the American Psychiatric Association depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately it is also treatable https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression, but it does not have to go to the state of treating when you can just go for counselling services.

Speaking to R. Ndebele a counsellor under the Nust division of student Affairs :Counselling services she mentioned that they offered were one on one, group, relationship, family and even academic counselling in case you have failed and it’s causing some serious negative vibes on you.

She highlighted that students do not come for counselling services as much they would expect them to and even if they did its a few who actually do.

“Students only come when they are on the verge of breaking point”, she said.

And this is definitely not healthy according to her. Could then this be an issue of students that are ignorant and not interested or who probably do not even where to find the division in the Nust website is and have tried looking but failed or the department does not engage with students as often they should ? .Food for thought!

Categories
PROFILE SPORTS

MEET The NUST SOCCER TEAM CAPTAIN: RUNYARARO MANDAZA

by Nkocy Sithole | Nust- ZW @grujicrobinho7
Runyararo Gift Mandaza

The National University of Science and Technology (Nust), is abound with raw talent.

Runyararo Gift Mandaza, a twenty-two-year-old soccer player
is one out of the many gifted youngsters at the institution.


Because of his deft touches in the field and ability to command, the up-and-coming soccer star has been given the responsibility to captain the NUST soccer team.


His teammates appreciate the efforts that he puts in during training sessions and games.


“Exemplary, hardworking and his hard work motivates the team and carries it too,” said Keith Tendai Moyana, one of his teammates.
“He is a very good captain,” added Moyana.


Not only are his teammates impressed by his efforts but they are also in full praise for his ball retention and other central midfielder attributes.


“He has a very long accurate passing range and he retains the ball well in the midfield,” said Clyde Isaac, another teammate.


Mandaza started playing football at a young age and has only had love for one sport. He says he was lured into football at his young age by his primary friends.


“Well I started (playing) soccer at a young age in the streets. It has always been my passion since and I never tried other sports. I grew to love the sport and I hope to pursue this career as a soccer player,” said Mandaza.


“So, my friends motivated me to come and join the soccer team at Ruvheneko primary and that is what unveiled the soccer passion in me,” claimed Mandaza.


The former Ruvheneko Primary School player is a well gifted and also a hard worker player who seemingly posses both Messi and Cristiano’s attributes of talent and hardwork.


“I think I have both attributes, I am naturally talented and at the same time I do train a lot on my techniques and fitness levels,” said Mandaza.


Being a player who is naturally gifted and a hardworker, it comes as no surprise that his role models are people who also fit that billing.


“My role models are Clemence Matawu and Cristiano Ronaldo because I admire their dedication and hard work in the field. I also admire Ronaldo’s determination and the way he concentrates on what he wants to achieve as a footballer. To me this is quite appealing”, added Mandaza.


His only cup win came with Churchill High School where they won the 2012 edition of the NASH U17 soccer tournament.


In 2017, he enrolled with NUST to pursue a degree in Statistics and Operations Research.


Mandaza is a young man who has his life planned out, how he wishes and wants it to be like in future on and off the pitch.


“I do hope to be able use my degree and my talent at the same time after graduation because I have entrepreneurship in mind for the future,” maintains Mandaza.


Mandaza is very optimistic and hopeful of a brighter future for the Nust soccer team.


“It would be a great opportunity for Nust to go back to division one and maybe a promotion into the top-flight league because that will give more exposure to the great talent at Nust,” said Mandaza.


But before all this happens for Nust, Mandaza feels attitude and approach of the university to football matters has to change.


“I think with proper training and humility, NUST may be dominating university in the years to come,” the captain pointed out.


Mandaza still thinks that grassroot soccer in Zimbabwe has to be prioritised so as to be able to identify and nurture talent in the country at earlier stages.


“I think proper training facilities for grassroots would be a start with the aid of talent identification strategies would also help,” Mandaza said.


The NUST soccer captain has set the horizon as his limit for what he can do in the world of football and he is very hopeful of a success story.


“I do hope to play in the national league and also even play internationally in the coming years,” the NUST captain pointed out.

Categories
NEWS

NUST comes third place in the Zusa games

Tendai Nyambara | Nust-Zw

The University of Science and Technology participated in the Zimbabwe University Sports and Association games, which took place between the 14-17 March this year which saw it getting third position with only 11 gold, 16 silver and 11 bronze whilst University of Zimbabwe (UZ) scooped 26 gold, 16 silver and 19 bronze followed by the Midlands State University with 23 gold, 16 silver and 18 bronze respectively.

Based on the gap between Nust and UZ in terms of gold medals especially, one then questions the capabilities of the participants in these disciplines. Could it be the issue that the other universities have well trained students who are ready to play the game which Nust does not have?

Speaking to Kelvin Mutseta, the soccer Vice Captain, he expressed his concerns on how players sometimes fail to come to all trainings due to school pressure.

‘Some of the guys during the training sessions do not attend the training sessions because they will be having classes’, he pointed out.

However another problem apparent is commitment from the administration at Nust which is failing to support its students in terms of transportation and other necessities that need to be availed for students to prepare well for these games.

According to the Vice Secretary general of the Sports Council Rangarirai Shadaya, ‘Nust has a good sports base in terms of players if only they had adequate support from the admin’,
He added that sometimes buses come late to pick them up as most of their training facilities are off campus therefore which means they need transport which takes them to their different destinations, but because they come late they end up infringing on the scheduled time for training and therefore the time to practice is cut short.

This makes one wonder what the Student Representative Council is doing to solve these problems as Shadaya alluded they had tried to communicate with the council but it seems to have been fruitless.

Unfortunately the Minster of Sports could not be available to comment on these allegations as he mentioned how busy he was organizing the inter faculty games.

Categories
CAREER Entrepreneurship OPPORTUNITY

NUST Young Inventors Club wins 2nd place at #SANBioLabHack2018

The #SANBioLabHack2018 took place in Pretoria, South Africa, this week with 17 undergraduate students coming together to turn their passion for innovation by addressing afro-centric solutions to common lab issues.

Staff Writer | Nust ZW

2 minute read

The 2nd place winning team from the Zimbabwe National University of Science and Technology’s (NUST) Young Inventors Club impressed the judges with their low-cost PCR machine, which is also known as a Thermocycler that is commonly used to amplify segments of DNA.

Aimed to bring the ideas and ideology of the open hardware movement to the African education community, LabHack opens up opportunities for equipping labs in novel and sustainable fashions by facilitating the open design of key laboratory equipment.

When asked what inspired their prototype, Team Zimbabwe captain and NUST Electronics Engineering student Clifford Mutsave said the team wanted to live up to their name, Young Inventors.

According to the team, the best centre in Zimbabwe only has two PCR machines mainly because they are very expensive.

The cheapest PCR machines on the market cost in the range of forty thousand US dollars and are thus often unaffordable by the institutions offering science and technology education, resulting in students lacking a practical exposure to how these kinds of equipment are operated.

In high school we were also victims of theoretical lessons on how to operate the lab equipment, resulting in a lack of overall appreciation on how to use these pieces of equipment. As NUST students who have their country at heart – especially young scientists in the high schools – we have come with a design of a low cost and economic yet effective PCR machine,” Mutsave states.

Mutsave’s team also included Applied Chemistry student, Miriam Guni – the only female participant in the group – and Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering students Ropafadzo Manyuchi and Nakai Mashamba.

The team were also accompanied by their mentors, Nigel Nyathi, Givemore Kanyemba along with Tafadzwa Banga who is the founder and president of a non-profit organisation Young Inventors from NUST.
Young Inventors was established in 2017 after getting support from the Yali organisation with the idea to give innovative African youths the platform to engage in shaping their communities.
As an organisation, we want to ensure that youths who are innovative get recognition as much as those in the academic sector do. It has been a trend for the past in Africa, Zimbabwe specifically, that a child who excels in academics is considered to be more important than others whilst those who are innovative are not so much appreciated. As of now we have managed to establish a club at NUST and what we seek is to break departmental barriers by allowing students from different departments to work together. Winning this award is just the beginning of more great things to come,” Banga said.

The LabHack model was first piloted in Zimbabwe and conceived by University of Oxford researchers, Dr Louise Bezuidenhout and Helena Webb with the intention to be a competitive and educational event where multidisciplinary teams of students compete around three challenges to build low-cost laboratory equipment.

The South African edition of LabHack was supported and hosted by SANBio / BioFISA II Programme which is a shared biosciences research development and innovation platform for working collaboratively to address some of Southern Africa’s key biosciences issues in health, nutrition and health-related intervention areas.

Members of the Young Inventors
Categories
Opinion

Opine: Why female candidates are perennially absent in elections.

Thulisile Mthethwa | Nust -ZW

How far have we gone with emancipation of women and girls today?

Too often we hear people saying that we are now civilised, we recognise and acknowledge the rights of women and children as a way to counter patriarchy and its bounding chains of inequality.

A university is at the centre of all this as it imparts basic principles of survival to young adults to cope in this socio-political and economically defined community.

Granted it is so and women are being given the voice to articulate their challenges and aspirations, why then have we not seen a female candidate successfully running for presidency at the National University of Science and Technology and bagging the top post of the students union body?

Does the answer lie between the socialisation of females or it is in the mind of a people?

Masculinity is constructed as binary opposed to femininity as early as childhood.

Women are often deemed to be in need of male guidance such as looking up to the man in their life,  be it a partner, parent or sibling, who is ‘a positive role model to all’.

That could be one way of understanding this problem although  the possibilities are just endless.

The day a woman could take up the NUST presidency would be the beginning of a journey of emotional and psychological liberation for those cramped in the dystopia of ‘Macho-manism’.

The day a woman would lead the NUST Students Representative Council would certainly be the day the notion that, ‘men make better political leaders than women,’ would be challenged.

‘…if you are too tough you are not feminine, if you are too feminine then you are not tough enough…

The political landscape at NUST shows that personal gender role threats are much more pronounced than they have been in the past. The double bind for female candidates is that women who contend for power are less likely than men to be seen as likeable.

Disharmony among women has not helped the situation either.

The most critical barriers that have hindered females from contending for the presidency at our prestigious university is that men are often judged by their potential, yet young women are judged by their accomplishments.

2017-2018 Academic year Students' Union presidential hopefuls.
 From Left to Right: Vusa Ngwenya, Natasha Aliki, Pablo Chimusoro.

Women have to spend more time proving themselves and can be easily written off as too feminine to withstand the political pressures that come with the demanding nature of leadership.

The idea that, ‘if you are too tough you are not feminine, if you are too feminine then you are not tough enough’ comes into play.

To win an election in this system, women must contend with sexism and stereotypes. The more a leadership position is perceived by the public as powerful, the harder it is for women to secure it.

Categories
Politics

21st February Movement Inspires Nust Students: Video

by Costa Nkomo | Nust-ZW | @costahcostah

MORE than 250 National University of Science and Technology (NUST) students joined their Chancellor President Robert Mugabe in Matopo on the 25thof February 2017 to commemorate President Mugabe’s 93rd birthday.  It was the 31st 21st movement celebration held in Matebeleland South province for the first time in history.

Cover image credit: AP