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The village's only Form 4 'graduate'

by Staff reporter
24 Sep 2017 at 11:13hrs | Views
For Wonder Munga, being the only one who completed Form 4 in Mawocha Village of Mbire district is such an enormous achievement.

Although he did not pass a single subject, he is a role model for the many young children of the Doma tribe who are struggling to access education in the remote district near the Zimbabwean border with Zambia.

Munga, now 26, finished his O' level in 2011, and according to him, the road was not easy as he had to attend school for only two terms a year.

"The nearest primary and secondary schools are found at Masoka, some kilometres away across the Angwa River," he said.

"During the rainy season, Angwa is flooded so no-one from our village can attend school.

"As a result, many of my colleagues dropped out at primary school, but I soldiered on."

Munga said while in Grade 3, he was attacked by a crocodile as he tried to cross Angwa River on his way to school.

"I had to drop out of school for about two years. I did not give up because I wanted to make a point that as much as we are looked down upon, I could make it in life and even drive my own car," he said showing the scars on his leg.

Munga shows the scars left on his leg after he was attacked by a crocodile as he tried to cross Angwa River.

Unfortunately, it appears his dream could not be achieved owing to the numerous challenges that he faced while trying to earn an O' level certificate.

But he is still a hero in his village.

"The young now respect me as the first one [to sit for O'levels], but they also have questions on what education will benefit them seeing that I am not working. They just hope they will pass and I encourage them a lot," he said.

"I still look forward to sitting for O' level examinations again. I want to achieve my goals," he said, indicating that he was now a father of two.

The Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ), which has been working in Mbire district advocating for improved access to education among the Doma people, carried out a survey last year and concluded that pupils now need to travel over 10 km each day to school.

"They have to navigate through the thick Nyasogo forests, which are "infested with dangerous wild animals such as lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, hyenas and other wild animals."

"The findings from our survey indicate that physical barriers like the long distances children have to walk to school, and the rivers that flood during the rain season, and added to that, the wild animals that lurk in the bushes, discourage attendance," said CCDZ project officer, Abigail Chikovha.

Condemned to poverty, the Doma people live in a semi-wild state with no access to appropriate shelter, electricity, proper road infrastructure, water and sanitation facilities, among other things that are essential.

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