Zibusiso - Zimbabwe Class of 2012
Favourite quote: "What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." Albert Pike
Hobbies: Listening to music, singing and working out, playing volleyball, football, foosball and board games.
Languages: Ndebele, Shona, Zulu, Spanish and English
Why did you choose UWC Mahindra College: I was drawn to UWC to gain experiences in a culturally diverse college and dynamic learning environment. However, I preferred UWC Mahindra College because of its setting. I have always admired the richness of cultures, languages, dishes and how the Indian societies uphold their values. I wanted to be part of that experience. Because of the vast socio economic differences, high inequality and its location in a village, I felt that the college would afford me an opportunity to reach out to local communities. The college life struck me because of its emphasis on freedom of opinion, responsibility and transparency within the community. I thought such an environment would foster self-motivation, which would make participation in activities more interesting and engaging for everyone in the community.
What do you like best about the college: The people here are amazing. I have never felt so much at a home yet so far away in college. Students and faculty members are kind, caring and approachable. I enjoy living at close quarters to faculty members. It is almost impossible to feel depressed when surrounded by smiling faces everywhere I go. The cooking, cleaning and security staff members are also nice and eager to strike conversations in Hindi and English.
What were your most challenging moments in the college: Firstly, my initial source of frustration was an inability to overcome the local language barrier that existed during community engagement programs in the village and during project weeks and so I had to rely on friends to translate for me. I had a wish to interact with kids and support staff in the college but my poor knowledge of Hindi rendered me incapable. However, with time my knowledge of Hindi has improved through experiences outside the college.
Secondly, the need to strike a balance between academics, activities and social life was a challenge especially coming from schools in Zimbabwe, whose main curriculum emphasis was on academics, and everything happened according to the time table, including studying and going to bed. A lot of interesting activities go on in the college and I am curious to learn new things. Therefore I had to be selective, given the freedom of choosing how to allocate my time to the different activities of my own interests. However, these challenges have taught me to wisely and effectively manage my time.
What are your hopes for your future: Due to experiences especially in a UWC, I have developed a plethora of interests ranging from engineering to cultural and linguistic studies. New experiences lead to discoveries of dormant interests. I would like to be a humanitarian mechanical engineer. I have always wanted to study engineering because of an interest to discover functionalities of machinery, to design and innovate. But I also have a strong desire to study cultures and languages, thus this field will afford me the platform to explore all my fields of interest for the good of marginalized communities.
What is your wish for the future of UWC Mahindra College: I admire the fact that the UWC movement has a vision. I feel that UWC Mahindra College should have its own vision and goals as an institution, that extend beyond our two year experiences so that coming batches can build on the work of their previous batches. As a future alumni, it will be easier to work together to support the vision that we will have shared during our two years here. That way we will have a sense of progress. Visions that I have are an increase and a balance in the diversity of the student and faculty members and more college alumni returning for gap years.