If one happens to be at the University of Zimbabwe around the humanities area, chances are three to four students will try and sell them sweets and cheap candy. This grassroots entrepreneurship is not gender-specific, as both male and female students keep packets of sweets in their backpacks with the aim of raising money for bus fare to and from college, buying stationery, printing of assignments and a morsel for lunch.
While some might argue that this speaks to their being pragmatic and practical, it is a sad state of affairs. They are supposed to concentrate on research, presentations and assignments, besides enjoying their youth, but selling candy between lectures means that the students’ situations is dire.
Recently the government, through the Higher and Tertiary Education ministry, spoke of giving out loans through CBZ Bank which must be repaid on completion of studies. It is such relief for parents struggling to pay fees now, but the challenge would be landing a job soon after for one to be able to repay, looking at the current job market. It will be an uphill task to get jobs and the market is already flooded with unemployed graduates, unless something drastic happens in the creation of jobs or self-employment through start-ups. Something must be done to dignify the students again.