Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Reporter
DRIVEN by a passion to educationally empower their children and the need to demystify the belief that injivas are only known for being violent, a group of men and women based in South Africa have started constructing a secondary school in Mbalibali Village, Tsholotsho District, under Chief Gampu.
The new institution, to be known as Mbalibali Secondary School, was first mooted six years ago but no work was done due to the unavailability of resources.
This meant that children who finish Grade Seven at Mbalibali Primary School have been traveling for more than 10km to Bhubhude High School, the nearest secondary school.
The route passes through a heavy thicket which exposes the learners to muggings, rape, and unwanted pregnancies. The situation forces most of the learners to abandon school and seek greener pastures in South Africa or Botswana.
“We thought of constructing the school after realising that our nearest secondary school, Bhubhude High School is very far and there is a dense forest on your way there which is a risk to our children. We grew up in those difficulties and we don’t want our children to face the same hardships as us,” said Mr Tshimaka Bhalule Moyo, chairperson of Mbalibali Business Committee.
He said it’s been six years since the school was pegged, but nothing had really taken off due to lack of financial resources.
Mr Moyo said upon realising that there was no progress in the construction of the school, an idea was mooted to mobilise resources through financial contributions mainly from those who are based in South Africa and other parts of the world.
“A committee was set up to lead this project. Work started off in earnest and as I speak some buildings are already at window level. All we want is to empower our children and our area as Mbalibali sons and daughters, it makes for sad reading to always read about negative stories about Tsholotsho in general and us the so-called injivas.
Our motto is taken from a belief that education is key and that knowledge is power hence the need to construct a new secondary school where children can acquire knowledge and skills needed in life.
“Our mission is to construct one classroom block at a time and already the first classroom block is at window level and if funds permit, we will continue constructing other classroom blocks until all our learners and teachers have adequate accommodation,” said Mr Moyo.
He made a passionate appeal to well-wishers to join hands with them and make the project a reality and bring joy to the learners.
Mr Moyo expressed gratitude to villagers in the area for not only embracing the project but participating through the provision of labour and other issues that are needed here and there.
“At the moment there is no fence which exposes the few buildings that are under construction and we would really welcome any help out there. Our MP, Cde Musa Ncube promised to assist us in this project and we are sure something will come through.
We need, accommodation for our teachers, toilets and everything that comes with a school. Our wish was to have the first classroom block finished by January 2023,” said Mr Moyo.
Tsholotsho South MP Cde Musa Ncube said the school must be operational in the not too distant future and as the district leadership, they will work with their South Africa-based sons and daughters to bring positive change to the educational landscape in the district.
“There is no doubt that this is an excellent initiative by our sons and daughters who are in South Africa.
“We are always disturbed when negative things are said and written all the time about Tsholotsho, despite all the good things that are also happening. As the local MP that school is also my priority and my wish is to have it completed at the earliest possible time, as alluded to by the Second Republic administration that no one and no place will be left behind, Mbalibali will also not be left behind,” said Cde Ncube.