Zimsoc Newly Appointed Leadership Faced With A Tremendous Task

By Kupakwashe Kambasha & Gaby Ndongo

The University of Johannesburg Zimbabwean students’ society (Zimsoc) elected a new leadership team on Friday the 19th of May with a mission to strengthen and unify the society.

This occurred after an outline of the various achievements of the past year and several failures as illuminated by the outgoing administration.

Some of the achievements included the founding of a UJ Zim-centric magazine, UJ Zim, and the various partnerships created with other Zimbabwean societies from several universities around Johannesburg such as the University of Witwatersrand and Monash University.

The society, however, clarified that one of its major failures was not winning the International Festival of 2016 as a sense of collective approach in seeing and acting upon opportunities.

“Our aim last year was to be the best but the circumstances did not allow us to get what we want,” said Knowledge Chindoko, an outgoing President.

RELATED: A Real Party At UJ’s International Festival

Another failure highlighted was the lack of support from some of the members as some were not able to pay their membership fees.

On the other hand, the newly elected members of the leadership team included President Anoziva Gumbie, Chairperson Floyd Mudzvova and Secretary Tatenda Jimere.

President Gumbie emphatically pointed out the lack of unity amongst some Zimbabweans within the University of Johannesburg (UJ) community.

“I feel as if we need to integrate the Zimbabweans students not only at UJ but all over South Africa,” he said.

Furthermore, it was also noted that unity within the Zim society can develop an opportunity for networking. This can assist some students in getting opportunities and a “know how” in relevant significant areas such as studies and the workplace, prior to or after completing their studies, Gumbie added.

He also suggested that he will do everything in his power to establish a network that will assist Zim students in utilizing some of the opportunities that may be available.

“I would like to approach all the other committees around South Africa and encourage interaction,” said Gumbie.

A doubtful reaction emanated from some of the members in Zimsoc.

“I guess it’s going to be hard for them because the past presidents have failed in some way to put Zimsoc on a higher level,” said a member of the society who does not wish to be identified.

While the unequivocal voice for unity and interaction generated a sonic presence, Gumbie also urged fellow Zimbabwean students to be patriotic. “It is fine to be proud, it is fine to boast about where you are from,” he said.

With unity and patriotism being the ethos of the Zimsoc conversation, new chairperson Floyd Mudzvova shared some of his thoughts. “One element that defines us all as one family is the zimbo in us,” he said.

Chairperson Mudzvova challenged all Zimbabwean students across South Africa to join the patriotic student body. “The vision is to, in the long run, improve the engagement of Zimbabwean students across South Africa in societal events that affect us,” he added.

However, the leadership team faces a tremendous task in executing their envisioned goals.

“Most definitely it will be hard but once we are able to acknowledge that we have something to be proud of we will need to support each other,” Gumbie said.

In addition to unity and patriotism, the notion of rediscovering identity was one of the major concerns. “We have lost [the] essence of who we are and remembering where we come from,” Gumbie said.

As such, this sent a message to fellow Zimbabwean students to be proud of their identity and to add value to the rich multi-ethnic community of the University of Johannesburg and South Africa as a whole.

A Real Party at UJ’s International Festival

By Xiletelo Mabasa

Friday’s International Day festival at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) became more vibrant than previous years as audience members were invited to become part of the show .

Students were picked from the crowd at the international festival and invited to pick up a drum and join the massive band.

All the percussion instruments were provided by an entertainment company called Drum Café. Mpho Rasenyalo, a percussionist for Drum Café led the group of amateur musicians and says she loves “sharing her energy” with people.

Rasenyalo wanted even more participation from the students so she handed out maracas and tambourines to drummers as an invitation to come and dance on stage.

After performing students who had previously been chosen would pass on the instrument to another drummer to come and perform on stage. The crowd clapped and cheered in support of  chosen students.

The activity had attracted large crowds of students to the fountain where the stage had been set up.

Throughout the day performers showcased cultures from across the continent and the world.

International Day makes an early arrival at UJ’S Doornfontein Campus

By Gaby Ndongo

The University of Johannesburg’s annual International day festival kicked off at the university’s Doornfontein campus on Wednesday.

The event began with song and dance routines carried out by participants belonging to local cultural groups that varied from Sotho to Zulu.

All the performers at the event danced their way to the stage and were greeted by the lovely host for the day. Each group of performers was given an opportunity to showcase their culture.

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Marked by its diversity, the event was one of a kind, including cultural and religious groups from across the world. Hindu Indians  and participants representing countries such as Russia were seen at the event.

The major International day event will be held on Friday at UJ’s Auckland Park Kingsway Campus. UJ hosts the event every year in celebration of heritage month.