By Lindsay Chiswe
Pachikoro Magazine stars for the week from the just ended Junior Council Camp. Pachikoro and the stars had a chat with our correspondent Lindsay Chiswe (L.C). The stars are Natasha Mhomwa and Tinotenda Tsaurayi from Emerald Hill School for the Deaf and Rai Gwenambira and Theresa Manase Senior Councillors for Harare wards who accompanied the Prospective Junior Councillors to their leadership camp at Karimazondo Campsite in Marondera from the 26th to the 30st of July 2017.
Name: Natasha Mhomwa
School: Emerald Hill School for the Deaf
Favourite Quote: John Chapter 14 vs 14 you may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it.
(L.C)-What do you intend to achieve for the Junior Council Natasha?
(N.M) I want to be the Deputy Mayor. The reason why I want to be the Deputy Mayor is because I want to help a lot of deaf students in our community. I want to be the first person to be a Deputy Mayor as I am half deaf which means I talk but I cannot hear very well. So the reason why I think it is very good for me to be a deputy Mayor is that, I want to be the voice of the voiceless and to stand up for their rights in Zimbabwe and to support them in areas I can.
Most people look down on us, we do not want self-pity, nor do we need to be reminded that we are vulnerable. We want to be treated as equals and communication is the way we can bring this about.
(L.C)-Briefly describe your camp experience
(N.M) I really had a good time at the camp, I enjoyed myself. I learnt a lot of things which include the importance of team work, effective communication skills and what is advocacy. I wish to have the camp again. It has helped me to see life from a different perspective.
Name Tinotenda Tsaurayi
School: Emerald Hill School for the Deaf
Favourite Quote: Philippians 4 vs 13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me.
(L.C)- What do you think you will achieve in Junior Council?
(T.T)-I want to help the deaf children in our community and to have their rights represented. I want to support the in any way possible.
(L.C) Can you share your camp experience.
(T.T) -The camp was really enjoyable and I learnt a lot of things that I should do in life and also that to be a leader one has to be humble . I wish to have the camp again. It has taught me how to be responsible. I was tense at first during the camp but after the games, I ended up loosening up and I made lots of new friends.
Name: Rai Gwenambira
Councillor for Ward 1- Harare South
(L.C) –What are some of the duties you do as a Councillor?
(R.G) I am the link between residents and the council. I take down the problems they are facing in my constituency be it water delivery, roads, schools etc. It is a new ward so I am working very hard to make sure the interests of the residents are represented.
(L.C)- How do you intend to work with the incoming Junior Council?
(R.G) I have noticed, they are a good team to work with and I expect them to work as we do senior councillors. We do not select each other and we put the needs of the people we are representing first.
(L.C)–What would you want to say to other students who want to join Junior Council?
(R.G) I was hoping to see students from my constituency, but the area is still a new area and some of the schools do not have Advanced level studies. I would like to encourage other students to take part in Junior Council as it is a good initiative. Tomorrow if they decide, they want to be leaders; they will have sound knowledge of how a leader should work. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Junior Council, but u can be a leader at school or church.
(L.C) –What are your views on the camp physical training?
(R.G) I really liked the derailing training, were the Junior Councillors were covered in mud. This made them to be a one unit, and it removed that element “we are from group A school, they are from group B school”. Moreover the training helps you to be fit. A leader should both be physically and mentally strong. That was almost similar to the training we went through during the liberation war struggle.
(L.C)–What is your word of advice to the Junior Councillors?
(R.G) they should enjoy their term in office since they are the ones who made the choice to be part and parcel of Junior Council. The training they went through, I hope it has taught them the essence of time, when you are a leader.
Name: Theresa Manase
Councillor for Harare ward 22 Hatfield.
(L.C)–What are you expecting from the Junior Councillors?
(T.M) I expect them to work hard as a team since it was their personal choice, furthermore I expect them to learn from how we carry out our duties. I was happy I met my Junior Councillor; I was looking forward to that opportunity. If there are functions in my ward like soccer, netball, or feedback meetings, I expect the Junior Councillor to be present so that she gets to know the residents better. I want my Junior Councillor to be in the ward development committee so that they have an appreciation of what exactly will be happening in the ward.
(L.C)–What would like to say to other children who are not yet interested in Junior Council?
(T.M) I would like to encourage them to grab the opportunity to become Junior Councillors or Junior Parliamentarians if a call is made in their schools. Leadership starts from the grassroots levels going up so, they should really reconsider their choice on Junior Council. It gives you the opportunity to be groomed at a young age.
(L.C)–Did you start as a Junior Councillor?
(TM) No, but I sometimes wish, given the opportunity to turn back the hands of time, I would certainly have joined Junior Council. I believe in equal opportunities as man, I don’t fear challenging them for any post.
(L.C)–What are your views on the camp training?
(TM) It is really a good initiative, it prepares them to be future leaders and it gives them the opportunity to be responsible as they will be working with residents on the ground, trying to address their concerns especially children.
(L.C)-What would you like to say to The Junior Councillors?
(T.M) They should be humble, and have respect. As a Councillor, you work with different people and it is important to respect their different opinions.