Female Student Warriors: Evernice Munando
Nehanda Radio is serialising the book “Solid Impact Stories: Experiences of Student Rights Activists in Zimbabwe (2000-2012)” courtesy of the Students Solidarity Trust (SST). This week we focus on Evernice Munando.
“In the next decade I would want to see a vibrant female student movement.” Evernice Munando
Evernice Munando was born on March 25, 1976 in rural Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe in Murewa district of Mashonaland East. She did her primary and secondary education at Maramba School and Murehwa Mission respectively.
After completing her Advanced Level studies in 2000, she pursued studies in carpentry and joinery at Mupfure Technical College in Chegutu, Mashonaland West.
During her second year at the college, she was elected into the Students Representative Council (SRC) as vice president and was the only female in the SRC. Evernice represented Mupfure College in the ZINASU General Council.
In 2001 she was expelled from the college for being involved in students’ rights activism. Evernice recalls how she became embroiled in the struggle for the emancipation of students.
During that time colleges were facing many problems some of which affected the generality of state owned colleges throughout the country. Mupfure Technical College was hit with problems such as privatisation of education, removal of grant payouts and other bread and butter issues.
Students nationwide began to stage mass protests to demand their rights over declining services at colleges. Mupfu re Technical College was no exception. This did not go down well with the college authorities which led to our subsequent expulsion from the college along with other SRC members.
As SRC vice president, my colleagues and I were slapped with a life ban from entering the college premises (Munando 2011).
The suspension was a nightmare but it did not break her spirit to complete her studies:
My suspension made my life very difficult as even my family members did not accept the horror and chased me out. ZINASU tried to help me in trying to challenge my illegal expulsion from college through the courts of law but to no avail.
Eventually, in 2003, fellow students came to our rescue as they worked very hard in fundraising and managed to secure some funds to cater for victimised students from American friends under Students Solidarity Fund (SSF) which later become Students Solidarty Trust (SST).
Through the SST I managed to do my carpentry studies on a part time basis with Harare Polytechnic College and managed to graduate with a National Certificate in Carpentry and Joinery (Munando 2011).
In 2004, Evernice joined the National Railways of Zimbabwe for her apprenticeship and obtained journeyperson certificate class one in Wood Machining and Manufacturing Technology in 2007.
On the other hand, she managed to do an International Computer Driver’s License (IWL) with Speciss College. She also managed to obtain a Business Management certificate. In 2006 she graduated against “all odds” after having completed her carpentry course with Harare Polytechnic.
Evernice played a critical role in civil society leadership. She became a board member at the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA). In addition, she became the Provincial Coordinator for Harare for African Community Publishing and Development Trust.
She is also a member of the Accountability and Monitoring Committee for ALAC, an arm of Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) representing Kuwadzana. In 2011 she became the coordinator of the organization called Female Students Network.
Evernice would like to commit her future to the strengthening of the female student’s movement:
In the next decade I would want to see a vibrant female student movement on campuses empowered, fully capacitated female students who are able to stand and speak for themselves and who are able to defend their rights as well as a conducive learning environment free of abuses and violence (Munando 2011).