Interviews in Siachilaba by Stefan Hecke

Mark Bhebhe (Ndebele)

Occup : Student, Binga HS, Upper 6th Form

Lives : Binga High School Hostel

How long have you been at Binga High?
I started here last year. Previously I was at Regina Mundi Mission School in Gwaai.

What subjects are you doing?
English, Ndebele and Management of Business at A Level.

How often do you come to the centre?
During weekends, or free study periods. Since I am a boarder and living here, it is easy.

What do you use the centre for?
Mostly for research. For example I downloaded a set book for our English Literature examination, called ‘A Winter’s Tale’ by William Shakespeare. The book is not available at our school at the present moment. If I did not get it from the ITC, I would have to buy it in Bulawayo. Our teacher sourced the book, and the cost is around Z$16 000. At the ITC it cost me $870 for the time to download.

What else?
My computer skills have improved greatly. You know, at first there is this fear of the machine and you never think you will be able to use it. But once you are exposed you find it is really easy. I am getting quite good at computer skills, typing, and I am learning new things every time I come here. General computer use and sometimes typing or presentations for teachers. They think I am quite good at it, so they ask me to do things for them.

What do you want to do when you leave school?
I want to do Law or Business Management at University of Zimbabwe. If this takes time, I would like to go back to my former school, where they have computers but no teachers, and impart whatever skills I have to them. Since I have access to computers now, I can improve and go and teach them what I know, increasing my own knowledge all the time.

What do you think technology like computers and internet means for Tonga people and their culture?
Now with the internet we can communicate with outside world, it is a chance to show it to other people, and increase pride in Tonga culture. In Binga we are seen as backward in terms of development, but the ITC will help to make Tonga culture recognised in Zimbabwe and the rest of the world.

What do you think of the centre in general?
It is very helpful, especially to students. For example the book I was talking about, if I did not get it through here, it would cost $3000 to travel to Bulawayo and back, $16000 for the book, then accommodation, city transport and food - maybe $30 000 in the end.

OK, thank you for your time. Please come and participate in Mulonga Loop on Sun 8 Sep.
Ok, thank you.