BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
THE University of Zimbabwe (UZ) on Friday made a milestone in the academic arena by successfully launching 15 books to fulfil its commitment to creating knowledge critical for national development.
Four of the 15 books are Victors, Victims and Villains: Women and Musical Arts in Zimbabwe, Past and Present; Introduction to Chinese Characters from a Zimbabwean Perspective; Gwatsvira Gwenhetembo Gwakakokotewa muZimbabwe and English-Shona-Swahili-Chinese Phrase Book.
UZ acting vice-chancellor Paul Mapfumo said by publishing the books, the university had taken a leadership role as the nation’s founding varsity.
“A world-class university is one that society admires and emulates. It must take a leadership role and be a point of reference for the nation. This is the mandate that society thrusts upon the UZ as the nation’s founding university,” he said.
“The books that we gather here to launch today, are indeed a testament of our commitment to creating and generating knowledge that is critical to the development, not only of our nation, but the region and beyond. Never underestimate the power of publication. Religion and science thrive because of the power of the work published.”
One of the authors, Innocent Chirisa: “Sometimes as academics we publish for wrong reasons. We publish to be promoted. I didn’t publish to be promoted, but I was promoted to publish. It’s our obligation to publish.”
Co-author of Victors, Victims and Villains: Women and Musical Arts in Zimbabwe, Past and Present Bridget Chinouriri described the book as a “compelling and must read”.
“I want to say thank you to the team that I have worked with and the female artistes that were written in this book. Male artistes have found contesting female counterparts. It demonstrates how tags on women are ever-changing,” she said.
Herbert Mushangwe, author of Introduction to Chinese Characters from a Zimbabwean Perspective, said his book made it easier to learn Chinese language which is often labelled as a difficult language to master.
“The book demystifies the fact that Chinese is difficult. If I managed to learn the language, anyone else is better than me. I try to present things that we know in Zimbabwe.
This is more appealing than teaching it in its more original form. It takes 30 hours to be able to read and understand Chinese,” he said.