Archive for » May, 2010 «

Thursday, May 27th, 2010 

HISTORY OF DBYTI BEAUTY CONTEST

The first Miss and Mr Don Bosco Contest was held in 2002. it was Father Chester who was the Principal then, who took the initiative to organize the event. The first Miss Don Bosco was Ruth Chambukira and Mr Don Bosco was Denis Magombo. In 2003 Ruth handed the crown to Felistas Lozo and Gregory Mkhoma Succeeded Denis. The competition was getting better and stronger. In 2004 Tawene Nyirenda proudly carried the golden crown in the company of Elwin Kambani, who later preceded Cecilia Limbani and Kent Chihana. In 2006 Idah Lewanika carried the crown in the company of Lonjezo Daudi respectively. In 2007 Kumvana Hola and Emmanuel Chongo were Miss and Mr Don Bosco. In 2009 Mphatso Chalendewa and Ellen Kadango took the crown. Today the history is still being written, and on 14th May, 2010 Catherine Chindiwo proudly carried the golden crown in the company of Patrick Chisale. 

 

AIMS OF MR AND MISS DON BOSCO CONTEST

1. To promote culture

2.  To expose the students to leadership, organization and participation

3. To work hand in hand with the management and organizing committee in the organization of the yearly graduation ceremony and other activities

4. Entertainment

CONGRATURATION MR AND MISS DON BOSCO 2010!

Monday, May 24th, 2010 

THE QUESTION OF AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT

This has been and still is a critical question in so far as the template for African development still remains the west. It is undeniably true that Europe is far ahead in terms of technological development. The technological development facilitates the economic development and vice versa. Before going any further it is necessary to define development so that we know exactly what we are talking about when we mention the word development. Being an African, on an African soil talking about African development, I would not hesitate to give recourse to Julius Kambalange Nyerere, the father founder to the United Republic of Tanzania. At the third world conference he defined development as “the building of a society in which all members have equal rights and equal opportunities, in which all can live at peace with their neighbor without suffering or imposing injustice, being exploited or exploiting, in which all have gradually increasing basic levels of material welfare before any individual lives in luxury”.

Of course this definition is very socialistic or perhaps associated to initial state planned capitalism. However, development in its fundamentals is human centered. So any development activity ought to aim at the transformation of a person instead of structures. It is only when a person is transformed can structures be transformed too. It is only a modernized person who can bring about modernized structures, not vice versa. It is in this line that Paulo Freire asserts that every development is modernization but not every modernization is development. In Africa this has been misunderstood a great deal. The confusion between modernization and development alienates a lot of us Africans from ourselves. It alienates us in the sense that we force ourselves to adapt to alien modern technology and accumulate it as much as possible so as to be part of the so called development. This adaptation kills our creativity to find home grown solutions hence home grown development.

Paulo Freire in his book Education for Critical consciousness, talks about two kinds of personalities; adaptive and integrated personalities. The adaptive person surrenders his freedom to decide and change situations to others and he/she has to adapt to whatever others say. Adaptive persons make an adaptive society whose social, economic and political decisions are made by outsiders. While an integrated person/society owns its social, economic and political decisions. It finds home grown solutions to local problems. It is in the same line of thought that Tom Mboya, a Kenyan Politician asserted in 1963 at the Annual General Meeting  at the African bureau in London that: “No people have succeeded in building a nation  except with their own effort and sweat, with discipline and resolution” . The adaptive person can never do such a thing because he/she is always looking for solutions outside himself/herself.  Freire asserts that the adaptive behavior is very animalish. Development is not for animals that are forced to adapt to situations and shaped by situations.

I’m not against the influx of the products of modern technology in Africa. But what I’m not at-home-with is the recent developments in some African countries, where they are making the hoipo loi (ordinary people) believe that development has reached them because computers and internet services has have reached the remotest areas of the country. Freire makes it explicit that in development language there is no terms as “Receiver and donor”. Development can not be given or received. It has to be the original product of the person or society. Development can not be given by the so called development partners. When given the recipient owe allegiance to the giver and remain under their tutelage on every issue at hand. When we cannot handle our local situation we call upon them to come in, left on our own we cannot manage. Sometimes there cases where donors bring machines that can only be serviced in foreign countries. We cannot say we are developing when we cannot go beyond operating foreign machines. Projects also that are being realized on African soil come with conditions because they are given under the framework of the giver according to their generosity. So there is no freedom of choice, we do exactly what the giver wants. Freedom is indispensable in a development; we can not say we are development if we are not free.

The misunderstanding of development has made most people believe that development is equal to owning a car or having a computer and knowing how to garbage- in and garbage –out. Of course one cannot deny that the products of technology are the signs of development of a certain era. So in this case modern technology is the sign of western development and a means to African development. So the most important task for the guardians of the hoipo loi (ordinary people) is the analysis of the means to development and see if they help in creating a society with equal rights and opportunities, a peaceful society where there is no injustice or exploitation whether attainable or not in this life, but it will at least set us on the road. It will make us (African nations) deserve the name developing nations.

However, following the definition of development given above, all nations are striving towards building a society as envisaged by Nyerere. The term developed nation is suggestive of a static reality, but if development is human centered aiming at transforming a person from adaptive to integrated then the tense developed is quiet mis-attributed to man who is consciousness. Consciousness is never a static reality.

Conclusively, we can say that the only true means to development is education that is transformative beyond the literal meaning of literacy with the denotation of reading and writing. This is the education for critical consciousness that transforms a person hence the society to deserve the name developing society. Therefore, the products of technology as means to development in Africa are only so if they serve as means to the formation of a critical consciousness.

By Bro Joseph.

Thursday, May 20th, 2010 

BEYOND BUT NOT WITHOUT.

Traditionally, there has been a split in the definition of man, man was considered to be a spirit imprisoned in the body. Thinkers like Descartes speculated that the body and spirit are connected in the grand. This theory is called dualism. Descartes was troubled by the question, how the spiritual can affect the non-spiritual. Seemingly, the body and spirit are two diametrically opposed sides. Trying to answer this very question the existentialists nullified the dualistic approach to the study of man because they believed and still believe that man to exist as Da Sein must be an embodied spirit. Man can not exist in the world without a body. However, man as consciousness is beyond the physical body but he can not be without a body hence the phrase “beyond but not without”. The body here carries with it all the sensibility.

It is in this respect that when we look at the development of man holistically, we realize that whatever means we employ should help man realize himself as beyond but not without. The spirit should be developed without neglecting the body. Aristotle affirmed that man is a social animal. This means that man can not but be in a society. It is in this regard that whatever is meant for the development of man should be viewed in the context of the society. If man is developed so is the society in which he lives and if the society is developed so is the culture. Culture is the product of man’s intelligence in the society. In order for culture to be developed man has to be first in the society. Therefore, the social dimension of man embraces the cultural dimension. Man in society strives towards development and development happens when man moves from the natural world to the cultural world. Man to progress in the cultural world he needs cultural capital just as he needs social capital for his social development. Development happens progressively, there are no short cuts to development. Cultural development can not take place in the absence of social development because cultural development springs from social development. To understand this clearly let me deal squarely with the signification of social and cultural capital.

Social capital is a sociological concept, which refers to connections within and between social networks. Pierre Bourdieu defines social capital as “the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition. With social capital one may come into contact with his neighbor, and they with other neighbors, there will be an accumulation of social capital, which may immediately satisfy his social needs and which may bear a social potentiality sufficient to the substantial improvement of living conditions in the whole community. The community as a whole will benefit by the cooperation of all its parts, while the individual will find in his associations the advantages of the help, the sympathy, and the fellowship of his neighbors (Hanifan, 1916).

Cultural capital refers to non-financial assets like knowledge, skills, education, and advantages that a person has, which give them a higher status in society (Bourdieu, 1986). Bourdieu divides cultural capital in three; Embodied, Objectified and Institutionalized cultural capital. Embodied cultural capital consists of both the consciously acquired and the passively “inherited” properties of one’s self (with “inherit[ance]” here used not in the genetic sense but in the sense of receipt over time, usually from the family through socialization, of culture and traditions). Objectified cultural capital consists of physical objects that are owned, such as scientific instruments or works of art. These cultural goods can be transmitted both for economic profit (as by buying and selling them with regard only to others’ willingness to pay) and for the purpose of “symbolically” conveying the cultural capital whose acquisition they facilitate. Institutionalized cultural capital consists of institutional recognition, most often in the form of academic credentials or qualifications, of the cultural capital held by an individual. This concept plays its most prominent role in the labor market, in which it allows a wide array of cultural capital to be expressed in a single qualitative and quantitative measurement (and compared against others’ cultural capital similarly measured). Don Bosco Technical Institute is striving to take a lead in equipping the young with cultural capital needed to give them a fore start in society.

Even though man is the unity of the society and cultural capital refers to what an individual possesses, nevertheless development is only measured by the advancement in humanizing a society. Of course there would never be a humanized society without humanized individuals. But a society with only a handful of humanized individuals would not be called developed. This is why social capital is prior to cultural capital in development. Humanizing a society means providing a conducive environment where every individual regardless of his/her status can fully realize oneself. This is what we refer to as community capacity building in social sciences.

What hinders development in most of our societies is putting the individual and his egoistic desires first before the society. This is the perverse form of chathu ndi chathu philosophy. In English it can be translated as yours is yours or your own is your own. The perverse kind of this philosophy limits social networks in such a way that cultural capital in all its forms circulates only within the hands of a few. This creates a big gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” in the society. The cultural capital of each group circulates only within that group and in turn it reduces the quality of the cultural capital because it becomes closed instead of being open. In a globalised world like ours characterized by diversity, closed cultures are prone to extinction. Nevertheless, chathu ndi chathu in its posivitivity and philosophicality has an absolute aperture to the other, thus opening the flood gates for social network expansion.

Conclusively, societies can only talk about development if the concept that social capital is beyond but not without cultural capital fully understood and it becomes a duty of all to realize it. Otherwise development will still be a mere dream. 


By Bro Joseph.