First came the blue van.

Then there were some waves and calls.

Now, all it takes is a mouseclick to make the loop go round.

BINGA/RESPONSE: some more interviews:
Date : 29 Aug 02


Lives in Binga

Educ: Supplementing O Levels by night school

Where are you from?
I am living in Binga but I am Nambian, from Hwange area.

What do you t hink about the Binga ITC?
It is very good. It can create friendship between people and you can learn how to operate computers, and know more. It’s a great development, an advantage for people like us who are poor, and can’t go to Bulawayo and pay money for transport, accommodation etc.

What are you interested in? How do you use the centre?
To learn to operate a computer. I want a career in an office, reception or secretary. I want a diploma in typing and anything I can learn here. I get help in operating, and I copy notes off the computer.

Do you use the centre often?
I wish I could come every day, I am supposed to come every day, but I have been busy. You know, we are poor, we have to find the money. So I come maybe once or twice a week.

Have you found some help here at the Centre?
Yes, they are very helpful. I have to ask them all the time.

Do you speak Tonga? And what other languages?
I speak Tonga, Nambia, Nyanja, Shona, English and Ndebele.

Is there anything else you would like to say?
Ah, that’s all, it’s a good thing.

Date : 31 Aug 2002

Innocent Dube

Lives in Binga High School (teachers houses)

Educ: Teacher (Woodwork)

What do you think about the ITC?
I think it is an advantage to have this centre here. It is a big help.

What do you use the centre for?
I use internet, for email and research, although I have not yet found many sites relating to my subject. I use email, and I do research for my younger sister who is writing O Levels. I also type notes and exam sheets.

Do you have or see any problems in accessing the centre?
No problems, except that sometimes it is overcrowded, everything is slowed down. We could use more computers, or less people!

Do you pay to use the Centre? Is it affordable?
If it is school work, no, but I pay for personal use. Ah yes, it is affordable for me. But many people face financial constraints.

Are you Tonga?
No I am Suthu, from Beitbridge area (southern Zimbabwe border).

What do you think the internet and this centre can do for Tonga culture?
It is helping to bring back Tonga culture, for example the group that is going to come and perform. Small children are now forgetting their culture, they need that. And also we, the new settlers, are getting to know more about them.

What do you think of these foreigners who have brought this centre into existence?
We applaud them. They are helping us to be enlightened. We would have grown older without knowledge of computers, maybe some would spend their whole lives not knowing, without this centre.

How do you think it can be improved in any way?
I think it would be good if more training courses were offered, and if it could be made larger.

You said you are Suthu. As a matter of interest, how many languages do you speak?
Suthu, Ndebele, Shona, Nyanga, English, and I can understand a little of Tonga, Venda and Kalanga.

Thank you for your time.

Date : 30 Aug 02

Name : N Phiri

Educ : Teacher – English Language and Literature, Forms 3 and 4

What do you think of the Binga ITC?
It is something good. It is a blessing for all of us, the teachers, the students, the community.

How often do you use the centre?
I am here almost daily.

What do you use it for?
I use the internet for research and emails; computer work for typing up lessons and producing teaching material.

What research are you doing?
For example, I teach literature, so I managed to get some very useful material for set books, summaries which made my work much, much easier. Before I would have had to summarise books myself by hand and copy by hand for students. I know someone who would travel to Bulawayo (450km) for research in libraries there. I have also met many friends using internet and email. Lots of people have left the country, but it is still easy to talk to them.

Are you Tonga?
No I am Ndebele.

What do you think the centre will do for Tonga culture?
I have not much knowledge about Tonga culture, but it will be exposed to everyone, now that they have access to internet. Some local people now have email accounts.

Do you think access to the centre is fair for everyone?
Yes, very fair. All kinds of people come here, not only us teachers and students. There are the local Tonga people, we are from Bulawayo and these other tribes near Hwange such as Nambian people. Everyone can come.

How about payments – do you pay for computer use?
Yes, if it is personal, but if it is schoolwork we do not pay. I think that cost is paid by the School Development Association.

Is it affordable?
Yes for me it’s OK, but others have problems. If you have the interest but no money, you can do nothing. In future development it would be good if certain people could access free services, at least for a time.

Anything else?
This is a great development in Binga. Previously we were so backward. Even in Zimbabwean towns, if you talk about Binga, it’s like you are talking about something unknown. Now, we are also on the map, we can communicate with anywhere in the world.

Thank you for your time.