Impacts of climate change and sustainable development

The link between climate change and sustainable development derives from the idea that climate change is a constraint to development and as a result sustainable development is the key to capacities for mitigation and adaptation. This means that the strategies for dealing with sustainable development and climate change have common elements such that applying them together creates interactions (Yeung, 2000).

It is through Farming that most Africans get their source of income.Picture obtained from WWF’S earth Hour

Furthermore, developing countries with poor economies, weak socio-economic structures and misguided agricultural policies fall victims of the climatic phenomena known as El Niño.  The droughts and floods which were caused by the El Niño cycle in 1982-83 led to a fall in gross consequences on the economy and health care. Populations in the southern regions of the world are more vulnerable to floods and deforestation than industrialized nations and as a result the severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes, droughts, and floods appear to be increasing as global warming increases. For instance, China has been hit by increased flooding in recent years and in 1998 more than 3,000 people died and four million were rendered homeless due to floods (Foley, 2014).

People and the ecosystems in Africa are currently under threat from deforestation, land degradation and heavy dependence on biomass for energy. In sub-Saharan Africa over 80 percent of the population depends on traditional biomass for cooking. Therefore, climate change is likely to be an additional stress factor. The key vulnerable sectors include agriculture, food and water. Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to suffer the most not only in terms of reduced agricultural productivity and increased water insecurity, but also in increased exposure to coastal flooding and extreme climatic events, and increased risks to human health.

We have to think critically about sustainable development. Picture obtained from- Tide Global learning

Sustainable development in Africa cannot be addressed effectively without accounting for the impacts of climate change on agriculture, conflicts and disease patterns all of which have particular impact on the poor. In facing the challenges of climate change, the priorities for African countries are

  • Achieving high political recognition for Africa on the platform of international negotiations.
  • Allocating resources appropriately ensuring food and energy security.
  • Managing and adapting to long-term climate risk.

However, these goals require good governance; access to technology; investment in innovation; the involvement and commitment of all segments of society; and international, national and regional cooperation.

Climate change is also shifting climate zones such that traditional farming areas are being lost because agriculture cannot adapt rapidly enough to the new conditions. Therefore the traditional farming knowledge which were passed down from one generation to the next have become irrelevant as the annual rains come at different times with different volumes of rainfall changes which are no longer predictable (Peng, Chen, and Cheng Y. (No date).

Natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods and storms have the ability to destroy fields and crops such that productivity on small farms becomes curtailed for many years. The effect of this is that it limits the ability for farmers to grow enough food for themselves and for the rest of the population because natural disaster can lead to an economic crisis as it causes a drop in income in urban regions.

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Read full story on: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts


Income inequality in Africa

Income inequality refers to the extent to which income is distributed in an uneven manner among a population. Income inequality affects people’s quality of life leading to higher incidences of poverty and so impeding progress in health and education and contributing to crime.

High income inequality has the potential to threaten a country’s political stability because the more people are dissatisfied with their economic status the more it is hard to reach political consensus among population groups with higher and lower incomes. Political instability also increases the risks of investing in a country which in turn undermines a country’s development potential  [Achankeng, 2003].

This is how some women are still living in some parts of Africa. Picture obtained from VOA NEWS

Furthermore, high income inequality limits the use of important market instruments suchas changes in prices and fines. For instance higher rates for electricity and hot water might promote energy efficiency although increasing inequality because a government introducing higher rates on electricity might cause extreme deprivation among the poorest citizens.

High inequality also discourages certain basic norms of behaviour among economic agents (individuals or enterprises) such as trust and commitment. Higher business risks and higher costs of contract enforcement impede economic growth by slowing down all economic transactions. These are among the reasons some international experts recommend decreasing income inequality in developing countries to help accelerate economic and human development.[Aldred,2013].

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The level of inequality is on the rise. Picture obtained from VOA news

The rich and the poor have long lived side by side, but the current radical levels of economic inequality experienced in many high-, middle- and low-income countries endanger economic development, stability and societal progress. The expiry of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015 and discussions regarding new goals has provided an opportunity to use the growing concern about economic disparities to legitimately place inequality on the development agenda and demand action.

You can read the full story on inequality in Africa

You can read the story on Africa’s inequality rising




Dream big and dare to free style

For students that live at the Pearson Institute of Higher Education (PI) residence, Yolanda Dinhidza is one of the few slander young ladies you would not by-pass without noticing her unique sense of fashion. Yolanda Dinhidza’s style is a combination of both western and African clothing coupled with designer label bags such as Louis Vuitton.  The 23-year-old Zimbabwean aspiring designer born and raised in the Matebeleland province of Zimbabwe is currently studying law and loves to rock ripped jeans and sneakers with a touch of African prints or accessories.

Yolanda sitting for a photoshoot. Picture taken by Mulumbwa Luchen 

Yolanda also known as “Simple Yolae” for her love of culture with some added flavour of western clothing says preserving cultural identity through fashion has helped her connect with her culture as a Shona. Therefore, the incorporation of denim ripped jeans with African print shirts communicates messages about how easy it is to preserve cultural identity while keeping things casual, funky and classy. For Yolanda, the idea of wearing denim jeans with multiple holes and scratches for instance not only makes the outfit appealing but also makes statements about the person’s personality.

What is interesting to note about Yolanda is that she is more than a lover of fashion because she is also a model. Being blessed with multiple talents, she is able to make alterations to whatever type of clothes she feels needs a touch of fashion and style. She does not have to buy specific clothes because unlike most people, she is able to turn ugly ordinary clothes or jeans into a sensual outfit.

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Due to her love for fashion and curiosity to make alterations to clothes Yolanda has dared to come up unquie traits such as ripping jeans using scissors and dyeing the clothes into different colours from the original colour.

“I discovered my talent five years ago in high school when I made changes to my sports outfit because I did not like how it looked and so i decided to get scissors and cut the arms and rip a few sides of the shirt”. Although some people do not understand why dresses the way she does, their opinions about her do not faze her but instead inspire her to continue working hard towards her dream.

Yolanda, is among the many designers out there that wish to make it big because it is through fashion that she can fully express and communicate what she believes in particularly her personality. However, although her work is currently limited to designing clothes for her fellow students and friends, she has worked with student entrepreneurs  like Lihle the owner of Res life which is a clothing label aimed at young people. She has featured in some of his promotional advertisements. Yolanda encourages everyone out there especially young people that have dreams to work on their dreams because no one can make another person’s dream come true besides themselves.

Even though she is pursuing a degree in law, that does not change the fact that her passion lies in the fashion industry and with time she will be able to get exposure as she believes getting to the top is not easy. From the time Yolanda came to South Africa, she has followed the likes of Gibson Dlamini, a model for the Soweto Fashion Week who was once a student at Pearson Institute of Higher Education as well as Ngugi Vere the creative director and producer of Soweto Fashion because the two inspire her.

Yolanda ends by saying her role model is Ngugi Vere because not only is he a fashion designer but also a Zimbabwean national that has made it big in South Africa and for that, he inspires her to not give up on her dream

Alice in Wonderland film review

Alice in Wonderland (2010) is a fantasy adventure film written by Linda Woolverton and directed by Tim Burton. Although, Alice in Wonderland (2010) is among the million adapted versions of Lewis Carroll’s’ 1856 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Tim Burton uses Character Generator Imaginary (CGI) through the incorporation of 19th century European art aesthetics to make the film have a universal appeal (Elliotte, 2010).

Jeremy Jahns: YouTube 

Alice in Wonderland (2010) set in the Victorian era looks at how 19-year-old Alice Kingsleigh’s quest for knowledge, independence and self-awareness helps her break through the traditional norms of the Victorian society. The film stars Mia Wasikowska as Alice Kingsleigh, Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen and Anne Hathaway as the White Queen (Harrison, 2002).


The cover of the film Alice in Wonderland

Trapped in a world were traditional gender norms dominate society, Alice strives to forge towards discovering her identity. Alice Kingsleigh gets invited to a tea party which eventually turns out to be a surprise marriage proposal to Hamish (Leo Bill) and before she can give her answer, Alice sees a rabbit with a waistcoat and rushes creature because it is not something that is common. Alice follows the rabbit and ends up falling into a hole leading her to a place called Underland where she encounters creatures and situations beyond imagination and are impossible in the real world. In Wonderland Alice meets species that talk and behave human such as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Cheshire the cat and Absalom the caterpillar (IMDb 2010).

The film shows the social expectation of women during the Victorian era as well as the social norms that determined women’s status in society because women were expected to be submissive to men. However, Alice’s rebellious and active character not only gives her courage to slay the Jabberwocky in Wonderland but also gives her courage, to challenge the norms of society when confronts her family about the idea of marriage. The fact that Alice is able to slay the Jabberwocky blurs the line between traditional female roles and separates her from the rest of the typical Victorian Woman.


I give Alice in Wonderland (2010) a 6/10 rating because it is interesting and anyone can watch it. It is also funny and there are a lot of themes within the film that still apply to today’s’ world especially issues to deal with gender. Furthermore, Tim Burton’s use of dark lighting of Alice’s journey in Underland, the costumes of character in Underland such as the big head of the Red Queen and the Mad Hatter’s hat are important components that make the film interesting. Not only do the costumes make the audiences laugh but they also show Alice finally realizes that the creatures in Wonderland are nothing but a pack if cards and everyone in her fantasy world is mad (Elliotte, 2010).

Through her experience in Wonderland, she gains valor to cope with the rules of society and gets better at managing the situations around her.

The clash of Civilization in today’s world

International relations forms a socio-cultural field that defines world culture, wealth, power, prestige and classes because its medium consists of international meanings, values, and norms. International relations thus allows states and trans-nationally related groups and individuals for interact and talk about global issues based on generated interests (Barker, 2013).

Furthermore, the formation of a solitary global economy through globalization has enabled religion resume its place in global politics while addressing the role of cultural and religious differences (Chiozza, 2002). However, despite bringing interconnectedness among people, Islamic fundamentalism has emerged over the years through a brand of globalized cultural terrorism posing a threat to international peace and stability. Since the late 1970s, there have been debates about the impossibility of different sets of values, norms and beliefs living side-by-side in an increasingly globalized world (Huntington, No Date).

One would agree that Samuel Huntington was right

The recent events in international political affairs and the increasing role of religion in international relations are related to the reinforcement of Islam among Muslims.  This is because the 1950s to now the Muslim world has grown to include countries such as Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Egypt, Bosnia, Nigeria, Jordan, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The expansion of Islam over the years has made Islam one of the major religions influencing international relations (Johnson, No date).

Why is civilisation fighting each other. Picture obtained from EACPE Video contest

Therefore, world politics has entered a new phase with the return of traditional rivalries between nation states due to conflicting issues associated with tribalism and globalism. Thus the conflict between civilizations is the latest phase in the evolution of conflict in the modern world following the emergence of the modern international system with the Peace of Westphalia (Neumayer and Plumer, 2009).

Can we say R.I.P to South Africa’s tertiary education?

Fees should be free. Picture obtained from eNCA

As if the “Fees Must Fall” was not enough and somehow it seems like Deja-vu all over again as the students are back were they started with protests. The cost of a university degree in South Africa is so high that getting student loans are no longer options especially for students coming from low economic backgrounds. Although I am at a private institution, tuition hikes are no exception because whether in a private or public institution, the number of students dropping out keeps rising.

On Monday the Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande announced the 2017 fee increment. According to the Education and Training Minister, Universities should determine the level of fee adjustments for 2017 with the condition that the increment should not be above 8%. This announcement has a number of effects on students because firstly, the students have to protests to get the government attention that increasing tuition fees will lead to drop outs. Secondly, the more students protests the longer the students have to wait to graduate.

Do not deprive anyone access to education. Picture obtained from

Despite the fact that South Africa’s university admission has risen for the past 15 years, tuition hikes continue lessen the number of students that graduate at the end of their degree programs because students can no longer afford tuition fees and can also no longer get loans and scholarships. Therefore, with all the hardships that students go through, it is safe to say the Ministry of Higher Education and Training is falling to fulfil its purpose and mission. The ministry is falling to educate and prepare the younger generation for productive roles in the work place because equipping the younger generation has the ability of contributing to national building while enriching lives.

Although student engagement has the ability of enhancing student learning while creating efficiency and effectiveness, South Africa’s higher education has the challenge of improving student services such as tuition fees. Secondly, students from lower-income backgrounds are less likely to remain enrolled, persist through, and graduate from public institutions.

Perceptions of perfection according to society

On Tuesday morning I came across a story about a woman with the biggest breasts in the United Kingdom that squeezed her waist to 24 inches after wearing a rib-crushing corset for 12 hours a day.  According to Mirror news the woman has reportedly spent about 10 thousand Euros on swapping her size 34 breast for 32MM implants.

Obtained from Ade Chan YouTube

There is nothing wrong with making yourself feel good and looking good but the problems comes in when you let society decide and define what constitutes beauty. According to society a beautiful woman has to have firm and proportional body, thin, tall and blemish free. The hair has to be perfect, and any imperfections such as pimples, blackheads and fatness has to be done away with cosmetic products ranging from mac lipstick and make up.

Furthermore, the influence of the media through magazines and news have also contributed to society’s stereotype about why women should look a certain way in order to be beautiful. The effect of this is that certain women in society end up suffering from low self-esteem and depression when they cannot fit into the “book of beauty”.Because of how society has defined beauty most women are persuaded into looking through the compact mirror and go to great extents such as sizing themselves up with the nearest advertisement featuring a flawless bottle blonde.

For years, the world of media has been working hard to construct the ideal image of what a “perfect woman” is supposed to look like. You and I know it well. Magazines, movies, and commercials, among other outlets, have spoon-fed girls with the idea that they can only be beautiful if they have long legs, great hair, and curves in all the right places. According to modern day society, girls should walk and talk pretty, have perfect skin, and cake on makeup; they should watch their weight and keep up with the newest trends in fashion.