By Crispen Rateiwa| @ndakangwarisa
It was a long day in class. The lecturer, Mrs Dube, threw jokes here and there to illicit attention from us. I had the shock of my life when she announced her decision to divide the class along gender lines.
“I want to have an exclusive boys’ session. I want a little time with you boys during the break time,” she said.
“What session? What is it that we can trade for our dear break?” murmured all the boys in my class.
“Get a life! What stuff do you have? I’m an adult. I know how to take care of myself. You will learn a lesson today. Kudzidza hakuperi. Talk the obvious and I will walk away,” I said to myself.
“It’s rare to get advice these days, isn’t it? In life don’t make experiments! Don’t be players!” Mrs Dube said.
I thought I was an adult. What advice would she give me about social life? I was wrong. As I realised my boys nodding, taking in her message, I lent her my ears.
“Make a statement! Attract the one that you want. Show maturity. You can’t dress like you are in high school, dropping pants.”
“Guys wash your stockings. Shave your armpits. That’s where sweat accumulates and you don’t want to smell bad. Buy roll-on and if you can’t afford go for bicarbonate soda,” she said.
Who could argue with her? Mrs Dube acted like an aunt and looked like a mother. She recommended around ten years difference in love.
When she was growing up, a woman married an older man. Her generation experienced less divorces.
“HIV/AIDS patients are taking pills and you can’t detect. So protect yourself. Get tested early and receive treatment if infected. You can live long. Some go for voluntary male circumcision (VMC). It’s a positive development. Others use the A.B.C model- abstain, be faithful or condomise. Choose what works for you,” Mrs Dube said.
As Mrs Dube continued with her advice session, I began to ponder on some issues affecting my peers.
Cohabitation of male and female students is rampant in tertiary institutions. Some students engage in transactional sex to raise money for rent, food, make up and other necessities. These activities expose students to sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS.
It is incumbent that the government, charity organisations and the private sector take measures in dealing with such issues. Student loans and support in start-ups are some of the possible solutions required to ease college life hardships.
Organisations that raise awareness on HIV should also come on board and help student with sexual reproductive health information. This would help to prevent decimation of the country’s human capital.
Crispen Rateiwa is a publishing studies student at NUST. He is the chairperson of College Youth Art Club (CYAC) and president of Democratic Alliance for Academics (DAA). The views that he shares here are his own. Contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org; Facebook, Crispen Rateiwa; and Twitter @ndakangwarisa. Visite his blog: ayaasite.wordpress.com.