The role of religion in the fight against HIV/AIDS

By Pelagia Bhebhe

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The religious institutions have a role to play in the fight against HIV/AIDS epidemic, as they are one of the influential structures in the society.

Evidence can be drawn from some countries like Senegal with low HIV/AIDS prevalence rate, due to the role assumed by some religious bodies. The Muslims in Senegal have acquired the role of teaching people about epidemic.

With some religious bodies dissuading people to use the contraceptives like condoms as a way of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS the Muslims in Senegal persuade people to adopt condoms as they have the ability to reduce HIV/AIDS. The Muslims have gone to the extent of endorsing condoms within marriage if they are used for health reasons in this case prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Furthermore the Muslim leaders promote values such as abstinence and fidelity amongst married couples. These are some of precaution measures that the Muslims promote in an attempt to reduce or eliminate the spread of HIV/AIDS

To note is that these values, to be specific abstinence amongst married couples can present another challenge of infidelity which can further increase the spread of the virus. Youths can be persuaded to abstain as a way of preventing them from contracting the virus.

However, with the media persuading the religious bodies to take centre stage and take part in the fight against the epidemic, some institutions have claimed that they can heal those who have contracted the virus.

Kapachawo, a reverend pastor cited in Bulawayo 24 News once said, “The church leaders are making people believe that they are cured of the disease and even discourage them from taking ARVs.”

This has become a norm in Zimbabwe as most HIV positive patients default from taking ARVs because the prophets claim to have healed them of the virus.

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2017 Psl Season kicks off!

by Sindiso Nyathi

The Castle Lager Premier Soccer League 2017 season blessed by the chief sponsor delta beverages with a sponsorship package of over three million four hundred thousand dollars is set to start. The season kicks off with interesting fixtures lined up for the first weekend of April. The tough fixtures lined up have coaches, players and fans in anticipating a good first impression in their first day of the long football season.

The new kids Black Rhinos, Shabanie Mine, Yadah FC and Bantu Rovers look at starting the league by stamping their names in the presence books.

The 2017 season sees football fans enjoying lots of football after 4 teams were promoted from all the division one regions and only 2 teams being demoted after a standoff between ZIFA and PSL leading to such a resolution.

The 2016 champions Caps United will play away to Shabanie Mine whilst, FC Platinum lock horns with Dynamos FC. Matchday one will also see Highlanders play hosts to city rivals Bulawayo City at Barbourfields Stadium.

Matchday 1 fix

 

Finding a Godly partner

By Reinhard Ncube

The first step in the process of moving toward marriage through the initiation of or participation in a godly relationship is to evaluate yourself spiritually. Remember, one of our guiding principles here is that we are trying to be (or prepare to be) a godly spouse even as we try to find a godly spouse. All singles who profess Christ and aspire to marriage — even as a possibility — have this responsibility (even outside this area of life, we should all be trying to grow in Christ). Are you a Christian? If you’re already sure of that basic answer, are you a growing and mature ChristianYoung Lovers Walking on the Beach at Sunset on Tropical Vacation? Are you generally humble and teachable, and do you respect authority? As a practical matter, are you responsible and holy in the way you possess your own spirit, mind and body?

As you move into the stage of life in which you begin to seriously consider marriage generally or a particular relationship, your first step should be to soberly reflect, before God, on your own spiritual walk and maturity in Christ. If you aspire to be a godly husband or wife someday, what have you done and what are you doing to prepare for that ministry?

Second, are you at a place in your life at which you are ready and able to marry? As I’ve written on this site before, “practice” and “recreation” are not good reasons to date. Dating is for the purpose of finding a marriage partner. In my view, if you can’t happily picture yourself married within a year, you’re not in a position to date.

Third, once you decide that you are ready to date, look to God’s Word to decide the kind of person to date, and evaluate potential dating partners on those criteria, rather than relying primarily on the world’s treatment of ideas like “attraction” and “chemistry.” I wrote at some length on this in my article.

For you busy singles with time for only one mildly irritating column per day, the summary is this: Pick a potential dating partner with an eye toward godly manhood and womanhood — with an eye toward who would make a good husband or wife, defined by those characteristics God esteems in His Word, not the ones Hollywood likes.

 

Dear Artists

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Image: Twitter

 

By Clarence Dube

What should artists do to become more visible in the Zimbabwean creative Scene?

Rebel Queen: Artists should launch their own festivals and make them popular. They should not wait on South Africans to have big festivals in Zimbabwe so that they can be opening acts. Artists should be more innovative and utilise the available media platforms to put their names out there.

Khossy: Artists should localise their products and shy away from Americanising their products. They also need to use local languages more and make speaking in local languages be the cool thing.

Swerve: They should keep producing stuff and putting it out there till people notice it and buy into that particular product.

What would make you buy stuff (music, clothes, attend fashion shows) from artists in Zimbabwe?

Rebel Queen: I would surely buy authentic Zimbabwean products that do not reek of western elements. Local artist should utilise their Zimbabwean culture and utilise it to create cultural artefacts that are relevant to locals.

Khossy: I would buy their products if they are of good quality and if they market them properly and associate them with coolness.

Swerve: Quality and creativity.

What is lacking in the Zimbabwean creative industry that is there in other countries?

Rebel Queen: I think there is lack of originality in the stuff that they produce.

Khossy: support from locals, people support international artists more than their own. Support starts from even a simple share or like on Facebook but people in Zimbabwe don’t root for each other like that.

Swerve: I think we have not yet discovered a Zimbabwean standard in terms of creative arts, everyone is just trying out different things.

Any other words of advice to upcoming artists out there?

Rebel Queen: Be you and stick to your way of doing things because being different is what makes an artist unique.

Khossy: They should try getting mentors, sponsorships and associate themselves with big brands like Big Brother that can actually put money into their products.

Swerve: Make noise till you are noticed.

How best can the government nurture tourism development in the country

By Walter Ndlovu

While a good number of countries have made tremendous strides in the development of meaningful and sustainable township tourism, Zimbabwe has a few challenges that require overcoming in order for the nation to realise the goals and objectives township tourism.

Although the concept has gained momentum with little success in major cities, its still at its infancy stage and a lot is yet to be done to nurture its sustainability. Firstly, the necessary infrastructure required to embark on a mission to establish the basis for sustainable township tourism does not exist in any township in Zimbabwe. Just how residents in the various towns in the country would be in a position to make a living out of township tourism at the present state they are in is unimaginable.infrastructure-pic-1

Furthermore, to a certain degree, tourism in Zimbabwe is still generally regarded by the locals as a preserve for foreigners and those that are rich. Again, culturally, there are a number of issues that are unacceptable by the Zimbabwean way of doing things. In essence, various studies have revealed that there is an element of an imposition of township tourism to the locals by the national authorities since most of the residents are unfamiliar with the concept.

The development of township tourism across the world is often spearheaded and supported by governments and national tourism organisations. This form of tourism tends to originate from top-down decisions which are often made without any involvement of host communities. The arrival of tourists in the community then comes as a shock to residents who sometimes are not familiar with the benefits of this concept.

Therefore, a buy-in process would be necessary for the community to conceptualise the whole phenomenon of township tourism. The most effective methods to achieve this will be through seminars, workshops and training programmes where all grey areas about this concept could be ironed out to ensure that, conceptually people are talking from the same platform. A fully appraised community could be in a position to embrace the concept and aspects of township tourism positively. Mindful of the fore mentioned reasons, it is therefore recommended that, the country needs the following approach if it wishes to meaningfully establish township tourism in Zimbabwe.

  • Start selling the concept to the residents most of whom seem not to understand the whole idea of this kind of tourism.
  • Ensure that local people have an appreciation of how best the benefits to accrue from tourism of this nature are to be realised.
  • Provide adequate information to community members to enable them to understand the levels of investment needed for one to participate meaningfully in the various sub-sectors of township tourism.
  • Encourage the development of such products that are viewed as important to attract visitors to specific areas where township tourism has been found to be appropriate and needs to be promoted.
  • Develop the kind of township tourism that would allow the community to maintain its sense of pride in its culture and traditions even if substantially, changes are to occur in the way of life.
  • Develop the necessary infrastructure that supports the establishment of township tourism in a user friendly manner and in line with environmental best practices.
  • Create the necessary brand of tourism in the community that ensures a multiplier effect to enhance and provide appropriate opportunities for employment and business for a wide range of people in the various communities.

After taking into consideration the findings from the quantitative research and the qualitative key informant interviews conducted in the targeted areas it can be concluded that tourism authorities in Zimbabwe needed to approach the re-launch of township tourism following the fundamentals of sustainable tourism development.

Township tourism is indeed a phenomenon that calls for careful planning, organisation and effective implementation to ensure success is realised. Most importantly, it requires constant monitoring, as well as evaluation if stakeholders are to reap the desired benefits. Researchers recommend the adoption of meaningful involvement of host communities and a wide range of stakeholders, amongst other ownership building strategies. Such an approach would help enhance sustainability and continuity, given that all stakeholders would collectively own the processes and the diverse benefits and results of township tourism initiatives.

Entrepreneurship and the church- Unleashing greatness in ourselves

Michelle Munatswa

It gives me great pleasure to be sharing with you my thoughts and experiences regarding a very topical and practical subject of entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship is the heart and soul of any nation or economy. It is the engine that drives the economy; it determines the competitive position of any nation. Those that are involved in entrepreneurial exploits are the true heroes of our time. An entrepreneur is an individual who identifies an opportunity and seizes it to create a viable business.

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These opportunities are advantageous circumstances, gaps in the market, unfulfilled needs and problems that are faced by people.  Identifying those opportunities and exploiting them is a distinctive competence of entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs not only create wealth for themselves, through their innovation and creative ideas we get new products and services. It does not matter whether one is black or white, tall or short, Christian or non-Christian, young or old, orphaned or widowed, single or married, educated or uneducated, Ndebele or Shona what matters is the conviction and self-belief that you can do it. It does not even matter which country you live in remember the same boiling water that hardens an egg softens a potato.

hqdefault.jpgNotwithstanding the fact that there is a plethora of opportunities out there other people see chaos, torment, hopelessness and suffering. People who shy away from opportunities are good candidates for deliverance as they do not believe in themselves and always pass the blame on the government, the economy and lack of startup capital. The results of this lack of vision are obvious and evident. The good thing is that my church (ZAOGA Forward in Faith) has deliberate programs to steer entrepreneurship development. These include business fellowships, powerful sermons, various ministries, spiritual counseling and role modeling.

In this article I want to justify the reasons why we encourage entrepreneurship activity in church. In other words is it the church’s business to talk about business? The answer to this question is of course a big yes, why. In the subsequent section I will highlight eight reasons why I will dwell on the subject of entrepreneurship or business in a church magazine.

Firstly we need to encourage members to form and run distinctive businesses that are led by honest, reliable, trustworthy individuals who inspire others. Secondly, successfully run businesses will reward entrepreneurs financially. There is a direct correlation between what we do with our money and what we truly believe. Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:34).  In other words, where and how we spend our money is a reflection of where our heart is.

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Thirdly everyone wants to be recognized (Read Proverbs 22:29: “Do you see a man diligent and skillful in his business? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men”).

Fourthly, successful Christian business is marked by its influence on the lives of others. It should help improve and enrich the lives of those it serves and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the process.

Fifth, the church needs money to fulfill its mandate to impact the community and the world. Sixthly, to encourage Christians to work hard and not to take short cuts to wealth creation, Apostle Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 3 vs 10: “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

Seventh, take advantage of the social networks that exist in the church to create linkages, clusters or partnerships. Eighth, to encourage members to provide goods and services, and to provide meaningful and creative jobs while enriching themselves.

Why every entrepreneur should travel.

Sineke Sibanda

I know that this really sounds too much to ask but I think by the time we get to the end of this article, we will more or less be singing the same song.

I haven’t really travelled much as an upcoming entrepreneur myself for the same reasons you obviously havent travelled. There are so many hurdles that come in the way due to the economies we live in across Africa but this does not at all defeat.

More often than not, our businesses find it hard to grow, not because they are irrelevant but because they lack exposure, innovation and competition. These challenges can be overcome by developing an attitude or habit of travelling.

I used to see tourists in our country and think that they probably didn’t have what we have. To a certain extent it may be true but I realised that they don’t just go anywhere, they go where they get inspiration.

Every time we do something, we calculate the value that particular decision will have in the

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bigger picture of our business. We are often presented with a lot of choices but the ultimate choice we make reflects on the main idea we are building upon. Same with those who travel, that decision is calculated and by the time one returns from their vacation, they make it a point to transform something in their business.

Here are some of my three reasons why I think you should travel, not internationally per se but even locally and regionally within your country.

  1. Exposure.

I read once that if you take blind men to an elephant, to one you make them hold the leg, the other you give the trunk and to the other the ear and say to them: “This is an elephant.” When you ask them what an elephant is, each one of them will describe it according to what you told them it is. But obviously that doesn’t present a holistic picture of what an elephant really is. The same applies in business, you are not the only one trading in oil, gas or into forex trading, so to you, your business is defined according to what you know; but what you know is not everything your business is about. Travelling exposes you to other better businesses in your line of work and this is healthy for your business.

2. Identify new markets.

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new markets

The world is seriously divided such that while you were talking about an ipod in your country, other countries were already talking about ipads and today whilst you talk about 3D flat screens, in other countries they are talking about the next technology after vr glasses. This shows you that there is always a gap your business or innovation can fill if you travel. As such, I think travelling is good and can bear good results, if you cant include it in your budget then at-least make it a hobby you become an addict to.

3. Refresh

1.jpgWe are always busy, thinking through strategies, attending meetings or even being in the shop all day long. Its not bad, but guess what; all work and no play … you know the rest of the sentence. Refreshing is an important thing every entrepreneur should try out. It gives you a third person view to your business, seeing it from a distance. Besides that, it makes you a good team player in that it makes you confident in your team and when you show them this, they become more loyal and endeavor to help you meet your goals. So when ever you can, take some time, chill and refresh your mind in a different environment.

I think we have discussed quite a number of things in the above article. I hope you find them valuable, the most important thing is to keep learning and grow everyday. Lets talk more next week.

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