New Civilization News: Prisons Without Bars    
 Prisons Without Bars0 comments


"They can take away your everything but NO one will ever take away your education."-namakando nalikando sinyama



I find the concepts of FREEDOM and INCARCERATION as being RELATIVE. Well, I may not be a direct descendant of The father of Relativity (Albert Einstein), but I confidently do feel I have a fair command of the idea of relativity only in the philosophical sense. If peopleÂ’s traditional understanding of freedom is as a state of mind where or under which one can freely express their innermost feelings and thus view prisons as places where this amount of leverage is blatantly denied then get ready to rethink your stance as society.

Here is a paradoxical statement, everything considered, a prisoner can actually feel and be free inside the prison. The general explanation is that it depends on what one wants to do and where they want to do it, in or outside the prison. All right! Enough of the philosophical jargon you say, fine. Hang on then.

When I first came to varsity as a freshman, I had this misconception of the place being where students easily get morally corrupted because of the –so –called excess ‘freedom’. Freedom my arse! This would be your reaction too if you spent a year here. While here, I have noticed that it is the strictest place, you can ever be at, which in comparison makes places like ALCATRAZ or other penitentiary prisons seem like kindergartens. Wet even them have rules! The whole system at the university I discovered was structured in such a way that one was never really free to do anything. The design of ‘The University Prison’ is such that, there are no visible razor-sharp barbed wire fences or a high voltage electric fence to keep the students in per se. Yet the students are heavily guarded, by TIME. The trick is what the students want is inside the ‘prison’, which is EDUCATION, so he finds himself not making any attempts to escape. Although I stand to be corrected on this point as not every student is out to get a decent education. This point is made evident by the phrases in Campus Lingo. When a student goes to study it is called an activity of defending the BC, which is the monthly meal allowance. I guess due to the state of the country’s labour industry we’ve had our priorities shifted. Is it therefore Freedom when you go out of campus on a drinking spree and still come back rushing, uncalled, to attend the morning lectures? Is it freedom if you only sleep for four hours a day? Is it freedom if you live in the district where the university is situated but only visit home or never at all? Is it freedom if even during vacation many a student opts not to go home? Is it freedom if you even fail to write a letter to your dear friend because you have piles of books to read? Well, as the Yankees (Americans) would say, that’s a cock and bull story, bollocks, and a bunch of baloney sheer humbug! Kindly excuse my bad language. It’s just that I react this way sometimes when I’m pissed, oops here I go again!

A student’s stay at varsity is determined by how good they are at managing their TIME. You see, it’s funny how you can have all the fun and indulge yourself in all thinkable orgies but still be attracted to your cell ‘The level’ or the room to bury your face in the books. Therefore, it’s never freedom if in the night you doze but cannot yield to the natural process of sleep. I always break down and cry when I remember how on a countless number of times I could doze off clutching a book in my hands, yank myself out of it for sleep was a luxury which a student could ill afford to avail himself. The spirit was willing to study but the Body was weak. I will never forget not as far as long as I live. But then I realized it is in critical moments like these that the true BAROTSE CHARACTER reveals itself. So I held on and here I am with a B. Sc under me belt! I can only hope I use the knowledge and experience I’ve gained for the service and betterment of mankind. The task is indeed a bit Herculean if done alone but together we can be strong and our collective contributions will go a long way.

Yet it is all very easy and simple to escape and thus free oneself from this mental and physical torture that tests you to the limit until your sinews snap. Stories of students who decide they’ve had enough and quit mid way are all too common. I will also never forget, how despite my sweet tooth that makes me crave the Mango fruit, it was Mango season in the rest of the country, but I did not know or realize it whilst at C.B.U. But then C.B.U is just that, another country! A little corner in the world. You see there’s always this seemingly ugly, scar-face, goblin monster creature they call SENATE and it’s agent the SESSIONAL EXAMS which determine the fate of individual students and checks those that had too much freedom during their stay in the ‘prison’. This if you asked me is the surest way of getting out of THE MAXIMUM PENITETIARY PRISON.
The above presented scenario should not be discouraging as it is only reflective of conditions where I was but it should spur every student where ever they may be that we need to have them prepared for all hardships and that new civilization will require all especially students to look at things in a totally new light so as not make the same mistakes that have been made in science and politics. In retrospect therefore, universities need not be ‘prisons’ but places where we should nurture ourselves into more responsible social beings, exercising greater levels of tolerance and acceptance as we prepare to become members of the New was under this environment that I made my first steps towards what I can only term enlightenment. One just has to experience it as i cannot put it in words. The moment one starts looking at same situations differently you get illumined by an inner glow of excitement then just know you are getting there!

“ Absolute Freedom Corrupts Absolutely”.

- B.Sc. FORESTRY (L 235)The Copperbelt university(CBU)

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