Stakeholder update: December 2007

As the year drew to a close and schools shifted their focus to the National and internal examinations, there was less activity in the form of workshops for ITCs in the month  of November. In the same month, Tonga.Online shifted offices to occupy the more spacious and more easily accessible space at the community library. This move is also in preparation for the wireless equipment that should greatly enhance the communication and connectivity in the district.



2.1 Siachilaba

Training of a group of 10 women that are part of CAMFED ( Campaign for Female Education) was done. These covered computer basics. Some challenges were, however encountered as some failed to complete the training due to commitments at the fields. The training is to continue next year.

Children’s culture Group is currently facing some challenges of resource persons and three will be identified next year to help the group. The group, however identified different types of ilala and made some brooms that are being used at the school and has also written some articles for the website as part of the local content development.

2.2    Syanzyundu

Eight widows were trained but also had challenges in completing the course due to commitments on the fields as it is the rainy season. Four vendors were also trained and completed a course in basic computer skills including word processing,  as well as identifying computer components.
The statistics for those trained Is as indicated below:


  Female  Male
Vendors 4
Community  4
 Total  16

Total Trained     17

2.3     Binga High 

2.3.1    State of Hardware and Training

All the computers are working well with the exception of the optical mice that are giving problems. Besides the school children, some community members have registered and attended courses at various levels ranging from computer basics to courses such as advanced word processing.. The attendance is as indicated below:

Male 15
Female 5
Total  20 

2.3.2    Connectivity

The server connects to internet but is failing to share the slow connection with other machines.

2.3.3    Examinations

Provincial examinations at ZJC level were written this year, including computers (theory and practical). Printing was, however a challenge as the printer is still not connected to the server as a network printer.

2.3.4    Staff Development

Virtually all the staff at Binga High school have been trained in the use of computers. They are able to type and print their own end of year examination question papers.

2.3.5    Developments

The ITC purchased a three in one color printer which is already relieving the pressure on the scanning and printing of documents.

2.4    Arts and Culture

2.4.1    Hwange Arts Festival

Two groups (Nchilibwe Dancing Group, performing Chiliimba and Lumnvwanano Brothers, a band) were assisted in getting to Hwange to take part in an arts festival organized by Hwange Urban Arts Association (HUAA) at the beginning of November. The two groups represented traditional and contemporary music respectively. Both groups got the opportunity to network with other groups and individual artistes from Hwange, Bulawayo and Victoria falls. The festival was also an opportunity to create links with the National Arts Council representative for Matabeleland North.

2.4.2    Tonga Culture Committee

A Tonga Culture committee was elected at the second meeting which was a follow up to the first meeting initiated by an interim committee composed of Tonga.Online, ZDCP and Basilwizi Trust. The elected committee is comprised of BaTonga Museum (chair), Basilwizi Trust (Deputy chair), Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (Secretary), Binga Craft Centre (Deputy secretary) and all organisation with culture component in their operations are members. The committee was tasked with coming up with a date for and coordinating a Tonga Culture Day celebrations.

2.4.3    Tinde Cluster Choral and Drama Competitions

These were held at Tinde High school on Monday, 3rd December 2007. The four primary schools that make up Tinde cluster had been invited with Tinde High School providing the venue and entertainment. The competition song entitled “Ilasilikika” meaning  "it can be treated" (TB) was provided by Tonga.Online with a workshop on “how to train a choir” and “choral adjudication” having been run in preparation for the competitions. The theme for the drama competitions was “Child Abuse - its various forms”.

2.4.4    Media Workshop

This workshop was run in two phases and included four teachers from Tinde Secondary and primary schools, Manjolo Secondary and Binga primary Schools. It also included the two studio trainees.

The first phase which ran from the 4th to the 5th of December, was focused on the basics of studio recording and editing, with the participants coming up with a song that they sung, recorded edited and mixed down.

The second phase, which ran from the 11th to the 14th of December, 2007 was focusing on collecting sounds from various locations to create a sound installation for the BaTonga Museum. The workshop was facilitated by Klaus Hollinetz, a composer from Linz / Austria, who conducted already a series of such music workshops in Binga.  Two sound scapes were created, one depicting the homestead sounds and the second the riverside sounds. A temporary installation was made to assess the sound file. The Installation will be put up once the equipment, which was still awaiting clearance in received.

2.4.5    Local Content Development

There has been an increase in the number of schools that have submitted articles about their schools and its surrounding areas. This is in line with the drive to have more content coming from schools and the communities for upload onto the website. This content is still undergoing some editing before it can be put up on the website. This therefore calls for creation of additional sub sites for new schools on the Mulonga website.

2.4.6    Studio Trainees

Two studio trainees joined the project on the 26th of December, 2007. These were the two successful candidates from those that had applied in response to some advertisements that had been put up around the district.

Modern Chimwanda
Morleen Sibanda




3.1    Fourth Quarter Review Meeting

The review meeting was held at the new office location. It revealed that there was some commendable coverage of the work planned for the period. Virtually all planned activities were carried out with the exception of a few that did not occur due to logistical constraints.

3.2    Planning Seminar

Arrangements for the planning seminar that will take place in Binga on the 3rd and 4th January 2008 have been made. The planning meeting will chart the way forward for 2008.

3.3    ISM Band Advocacy Paper

Tonga.Online has come up with a paper to advocate for the use of the ISM band in Binga District as this would be a cheap option for improved communication and internet connectivity, even for the poor  rural people. Discussions are currently ongoing on the website project wishes to thank all stakeholders for their valuable support during 2007 and hope that this support will continue in 2008. We therefore wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Pottar Muzamba
Project Director.