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The story of a Historian Orator and Author: Mr Muso
By Brian Maregedze
The Zimbabwe’s New Curriculum under the ministry of primary and secondary education has witnessed the emergence of new names in textbooks authorship. Manners Msongelwa popularly known as Mr Muso recently joined this breed of emerging authors in Historical studies for secondary school learners. Mr Muso co-authored a form 3 textbook, New Trends in History with other writers, namely; Constain Tandi and Phylis Mutasa published by Edulight Publishers.
The pedagogue of History from primary to tertiary level remains an indispensable facet in our everyday life not only in Zimbabwe, but, the world over. To some, history as a subject is pursued for the acquisition of knowledge(s) in a way to uphold the heritage of a people. Four years ago at a High school Seminar organized by Advocate Arthur Marara in Harare, l met with the Historian Orator and author, Manners Msongelwa a.k.a Mr Muso. With Mr Muso, the learning of History is not only for fulfilling public examinations demands but for everyday living and sharing of long lasting memories.
It is no wonder in his social media circles, Mr Muso offers reading material whenever possible and yes, as a teacher by heart, he also belongs to the pioneers of the History Teachers Association. Mr Muso is currently the president of History Teachers Association of Zimbabwe. An interesting dimension added to his work ethic is that of inspiring his students with a strong moral ethic as a foundation to excel in all academic and life endeavors. It is on this accord that it is paramount to pay a tribute to his contribution. Moreover, it is imperative to acknowledge his genuine intellectual role in building a primary source of understanding our past, reclaiming its significance in the present to map the future.
We are living in a swiftly transfiguring world such that emphasis on historical teaching seems in some circles to be trivialized. During the first generation of Zimbabwe’s independence, the learning of history has undergone various transformations. The major being the introduction of the New Curriculum as per recommendations from the Nziramasanga Commission which sought to ground the education system in
Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKSs). The Hillside trained teacher, Mr Muso made an inspiring initiative two year ago from which learning of history goes beyond the vicinity of school yard. The pedagogue of history has been made easy since Mr Muso created History audios and video learning material covering a miscellany of both African History and Regional and International Affairs topical issues. The audios and video learning material are also affordable such that everyone interested in learning History can buy and access them without any obstacle countrywide. This is in sync with global trends in embracing information communication technologies (ICTs) in the education sector. With Coronavirus (Covid-19) impacting negatively on the normal operations of the education system, its high time efforts are made to accelerate usage of ICTs as much as possible. This however, may be a privilege inaccessible to many learners who don’t have access to electricity and e-learning gadgets.
More interesting is how Mr Muso has revived the ‘Von Rankian’ Seminar approach to the learning of History at high school in a way that he has become the Historian Orator of the New Curriculum. Based on high school History Seminars I have since attended with Mr Muso as the Host Speaker, it is undeniable that his indefatigable oratory skill and engaging energetic stance distinguishes him to stand among the best speakers that learners enjoy having around. With his reverberating tone when delivering lessons, testimonies of students on his credence aloft.
The new history textbooks are well engaging with ICT activities allowing learners to explore more on the topics studied. Cross cutting themes including human rights, gender among others are dealt with. However, the illustrations of book covers are androcentric in representation. Given the positive contributions in historical studies on gender dynamics in Zimbabwe, it’s advisable for Edulight publishers to rethink such an important overlooked aspects. This is so, given the androcentric illustrations on book covers, Book 1, book 2 and book 3 with Constrain Tandi contributing to the books. Historiographical trends complementing social history representation is therefore vital.
For information, I encourage History teachers and students, as well as those with passion for History as a subject to Call/App +263 717 453 073 or +263 717 453 080. Web: www.study.co.zw or email; [email protected]
Brian Maregedze is an author, historian and columnist. Author of; A Guide to Sources of African History: For Advanced Level Examination Candidates, 2018. https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Sources-African-History-Examination/dp/1985640600, Link to the e-book. Researcher with Leaders for Africa Network (LAN), a Pan African think tank. Membership with Zimbabwe Historical Association [ZHA]. Comments, email; [email protected]
Author, historian & columnist