Freshly trained as a Young Advocate for Change, I arrived in Bulawayo Zimbabwe on a sunny Sunday. Most of its streets are boarded by trees which remind me a lot of my hometown in Madagascar. Shona, IsiNdebele and English are the most used languages. People in Bulawayo are mainly Ndebele use isiNdebele but most of them are also able to speak English.
The staple food in Zimbabwe is sadza, also known Isitshwala in isiNdebele. It is made of mealie meal usu-ally eat with meat, vegetables or eggs. When eating sadza, we use our hands which is challenging as I am used to using spoon when eating rice, staple food of Madagascar, I was told that deforestation is usually practiced, I haven’t really noticed its effect in the green forests and rocks between Harare and Bulawayo.
What worries me about the environment in Zimbabwe is the wide use of plastic. When you buy chips, plastic boxes are given to you freely, same thing if you buy any cooked meals. Even the street vendors of vegetables offer you plastic bags freely. Back in Madagascar, Our YMCA-Urban Environment Club focuses on recycling plastic bottles, cans, old magazines, used wheels, I am pondering on creative ways to recycle all those plastics that we get freely.
Zimbabweans are hospitable. I am also inclined to say that people here are optimistic. Since my arrival, I usually hear the sentence: “things will be better now” which refers to the political and economic status of the country. About the young people, which is the essence of my presence here in Bulawayo, I have met some of them in the YMCA clubs in high schools and I am eager to work with them. Some of them even passed in the office of Bulawayo and didn’t hesitate to talk to us about themselves. One of them is Trevor, a student at Entumbane High School. He is passionate about rap music and has gathered some of his artist friends for a concert. He said that the concert aims to sensitize young people to stop drug and alcohol abuse. Trevor also gives us a taste of his musical talent while in the office.
By Nalisoa Andrianarivo
Young Advocate For Change