29 February 2020
Story by Jeanette Dadzie
Marketing and Public Affairs Officer
Office of Advancement and Public Affairs
On the 29th of March 2020, students and staff from the three colleges- Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance (CBPLG), Social Sciences, Theology, Humanities and Education (CSSTHE) and the Health, Agriculture and Natural Sciences (CHANS) met at the AU sports grounds in friendly competition in various sporting disciplines that ranged from Volleyball to Netball, Soccer, Rugby and Swimming.
Leon. T. Sibanda, a 1st year student in the CBPLG studying Computer Science said, “These games were awesome as it was not just the sports that were enjoyable but the environment that was created where we were able to interact and fellowship with each other. The best moment of the occasion was the parade where we marched in procession from the halls of residence to the fields.” Led by the Prison Band of the Mutare Corrections Facility, the different colleges marched in a colourful procession to the grounds where welcome remarks were given by the VC Prof. Munashe Furusa and the Dean of Students, Mr. George Miti. Leon went on to speak of the stellar shows of sportsmanship that were on display especially the agility of the staff sports teams, “The soccer teams did an especially fantastic job! Everyone put up a great effort and played without reservation. These are the events that we look forward to each semester as students and they get better and more creative with each year.”
The Africa University students dominated all disciplines showing top form on the courts, the fields and the swimming pool with the exception of Netball where the staff team won in a final score of 38 to 18. Mrs Nyarai Bepe- Smoke, secretary to the Assistant Registrar- Academic Affairs and captain of the Staff Women’s Netball team said, “The adjudicators did a great job and were fair throughout. We are very appreciative to the students who put us through our paces and offered stiff resistance to our attacks. This was excellent training for our future matches and overall offered us an opportunity to relax and enjoy a weekend as a community.”
Christopher Namilonga, a two-time AU graduate (2017 and 2019) said
“The quality of education I got from the University has made me who I am and it this my way of giving back to the institution. AU taught me the spirit of sacrifice. There are many partners that are currently trying to change lives and this is my way of being a part of that. Currently I am attached to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. We are involved in natural resources conservation and sustainable fishing and harvesting. We are educating people on how to reduce pressure on water bodies through aquaculture. I was recently posted to a peri- urban area where I am working with a community group assisting in a consultancy capacity to extend the mandate of conservation not just in water bodies but on land as well.”
Professor Furusa lauded the creativity of the organizing committee comprised of the university Sub- Wardens who serve the student body in the halls of residence as the first port of call for accommodation, campus life activities and peer to peer counselling. He commended their ability to consistently deliver community building events that are always unique and offer different takes on the integration and interaction of the AU community.
He said, “I am energized to see this interesting twist to our traditional community-building where you have chosen to engage as colleges. This day is underpinned with the intention of not only having fun but of bringing us together as a community and breaking the barriers that separate us. Our games today do not recognize differences such as age, gender, race or creed. Our sports seek to bring us together and enhance our interactions as a community. This is a powerful medium to develop our leadership skills. I hope our activities today allow us to shift from the formal settings that we are used to and serve as a bridge to bring us together on common ground.”
Africa University’s community building events are a constant fixture on the University calendar and they serve to celebrate differences between cultures and nationalities and are an expression of the Ubuntu philosophy that binds Africa University.