By Paul Nyathi
Students at Magwegwe High School in Bulawayo have expressed shock and anger after their Headmaster a Mr Ncube ordered them to stop singing Shona songs at the school as these are allegedly not allowed in Matabeleland.
In a statement provided to ZimEye.com by the students the headmaster is alleged to have screamed at the students when they were singing a Shona song in the school bus just before they left the school for an athletics competition on Wednesday.
“Our headmaster, Mr W Ncube found us singing in the bus before our departure for provincial Athletics competitions and ordered us to stop singing Shona songs,” said the pupils.
“He said if we wanted to sing such songs we have to be in Mashonaland not here in Matebeleland. He asked for those who were behind the songs and threatened them with expulsion from school or risk of being dropped from the school team.”
The headmaster is reported to have told the kids that schools in Mashonaland never sing IsiNdebele songs when going for sports ordering them to equally stop singing Shona songs.
According to the pupils the headmaster also took swipe at the teacher and the School Development Committee Chairman who were with the children in the bus accusing them of allowing children to sing prohibited songs.
“What surprised us most was him telling the SDC chairman that if the Provincial Education Director got the news that we were singing shona songs, the school was going to be charged for misconduct,” said the kids.
“Khumalo uPED engezwa kuthiwa kuhlatshelwa ingoma zale lapha kwelikaMthwakazi kuyabuya incwadi engaka, (Khumalo if the PED hears that students were singing songs from that side here in Mthwakazi land we will get a huge letter of reprimand for this,) the headmaster is said to have told the SDC Chairman.
The children claim that the headmaster’s outburst on them went on to affect their performance at the games as they could no longer click with their Shona speaking counterparts.
The children condemned the headmaster’s action claimimg that they can not be forced into tribal issues they are not aware of as children.
“On behalf of Magwegwe High School students, we are against the decision by our headmaster barring us from singing Shona songs at school,” said the learners.
“As students, we say no to tribalism or any form of violence.”
“What ever happened in the past must not include us as the so called born frees. We will not be used to settle past differences. We cannot be used in conflicts nor to fight each other. We believe in unity and nothing else,” said the students in their statement.
ZimEye.com efforts to talk to the headmaster on the issue failed as he was said to be out of office.