A VIVA MOMENT

A Police UNZA teargas
Before I developed the interest of studying abroad, I always wanted to study at the University of Zambia. I guess I really loved the thought of moving to Lusaka and also because my coolest cousin went there. I really had this utopian view of the institution.

So after I completed Grade school, I applied and was accepted to begin my freshman year in 2012, but I did not go as I had to do A. Level. After A. Level, I wasn’t going abroad as planned so I had to go back to the institution I abandoned.
With no enthusiasm, me and my cousin got on a bus to Chelston to begin my registration. To be clear, I was the one devoid of enthusiasm. When we got off, I wasn’t going over the bridge. You see because of my fear of heights, it took me almost three months to cross Great East road on the bridge. It had to take female coaxing to get some inspiration when I finally used the Bridge.Thanks  Beauty, wherever you are. Lol

It wasn’t long before the registration process began to agitate me. Nothing pisses me off more than slow processes, slow people, slow cars, and yes slow internet (which also can dictate my mood) and so when I joined a really long train of a queue with tortoise speed just to do my medicals, I knew I was going to learn patience the hard way.

It was really cool though, seeing senior students ready to help out in the registration. I learnt later that it was only a campaign strategy for students wishing to be members of UNZASU, but I could care less as long as I got the needed assistance right? I realize now that I have never taken that many passport sized photos in my life than I did at UNZA.

A few weeks later,I finally got a room at the Vet Hostels and in a week my Laptop was stolen. I thought orientation was done until this loser stole from me. It was such a horrible morning when I woke up, I was beginning to hate the school. I don’t think I will forget that morning.

Thanks to the academics, the school remained interesting. I never missed lectures. Ironically, we all enjoyed Dr Chigunta’s cockiness and because of some of his comments and statements, development Studies was never a dull moment at all. I will say Dr Lemba’s class was a bit boring, but I soon grasped the theory and realized how eminent the course was. Answering a question in LT1 that only you had the answer to was a special feeling in Dr Lemba’s class. He could always ask what your name was and glady I had my moment too .

Of course, I enjoyed Economics with Mr. Banda. If you are so good at following instructions, you would never have a problem with the man. I forget the name of the Indian woman that lectured me in math, but all I remember is she was too fast, and thankfully as I had done A. level, her speed matched my timing.

At this point, you may be wondering if all I have said has anything to do with a Viva, but forgive me for telling a story you are enjoying so far. 🙂
I planned to be UNZASU president in my third year. One of my plans was to eradicate Vivas and still get results. Now, I know most of you love Vivas and are wondering what kind of leader would not want to go to war, but not everyone is keen on that and I believe in change. I seriously hated riots. Further, I wasn’t on BC so I could literally be fighting for nothing.

I think the first attempt came one day when I was leaving LT1. Simple colonel or so they called him and his team had something scribbled on paper and were trying to entice other students into a protest. I later went to the Library were they also came through. All I heard were drums being beaten shortly followed by a sort of alarm I was hearing for the first time. I realized it meant we vacated the Library as everyone else was leaving. Orientation takes a long time yeah?

Later in the evening, I escorted a friend back to her boarding house and for the first time, I saw students throwing stones in the great east road almost causing what could have been a fatal accident given the average speed cars move by in that road. I was so happy that Viva wasn’t going to happen that day.
One evening, must have been a friday i think, we had an extra or make up class for ECN 1225. Mr Banda began to speak on the phone and then told us Ruins had just been peppered with tear gas. He quickly left the class as we all followed suit to wherever we thought was safe.

I quickly rushed back to my room. The hostels were safe for most of the hours, but the Viva was getting intense as our view of new res presented us a burning female hostel. Apparently, the fire had been caused by a canister that was shot by the cops and the fire was slowly spreading. I don’t know if that hostel has now been fully rehabilitated as i left people working on it.

The viva kept degenerating as  now I could see the blue land cruiser with a light on top. I was left in my room with my room mate’s girl friend. After a few hours of the cops not reaching the vet hostels, they finally showed up and two rooms away i could hear the cops fighting their way into a room that some students had run into. I quickly switched off the light, told my friend’s girl to get under his bed and I got under mine. No sooner had we done this, than I debuted in the world of tear gas. I was rubbing my face with my wet towel, ferociously. A bucket of water was my well. I have never been so nervous in my life. I was so scared i could be another innocent statistic. I had heard of stories of how brutal the police would be with anyone who seemed to be a student during these critical times.Thankfully, the heavy boots and Nyanja could not be heard outside any more. The cops were gone. I had survived a viva moment.

I really do miss the campus but for the vivas, I hope it can be reopened soon enough for all the students to progress in time. I would really love to see education run as smooth as possible in Zambian universities, it is not every decade that we need riots.

Thanks for reading and leave a comment to share your own Viva moment if you went to UNZA, CBU or any other rioting university.
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4 thoughts on “A VIVA MOMENT

  1. Truly Aquila you’ve survived a very catastrophic moment in life.those boots you heard are really bad in situations like that.I remember having two demonstrations as a results of poor sanitation at school gladly it was peaceful and like the viva.I totally agree with you that this age doesn’t need riots to settle matters.I LOVE UNZA though I Never had a chance to join you perhaps we would have ended the viva thing together because it punishes the innocent, society and misrepresent mother Zambia.
    Thanks for the story

  2. I miss unza. But not the horn. I finished in 2010 instead of 2009 because of closures.
    I remember going to school at 15 hours (I hated class really) and I saw a crowd of people by monk square and the horn started to sound. I ran away. No way was I staying in unza with their crazy riots that spread to innocent humans. Faced tear gas before. Never again. The horrors of viva. That’s one thing I don’t miss. At all. And seemingly it never ends. The mentality is spread from year to year. Those in my era left but riots still happen. Stressful really. Anyway that’s unza. It’s a country on its own.

  3. Kikiki… Will never forget that day and, of course, the days that followed coz niggaz used to make fun of that ‘hidding under the bed’ moment. It was great having you at UNZA. We miss you uncle Aquila.

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