UZ deaf student fights stigmatisation through film 

Source: UZ deaf student fights stigmatisation through film – NewsDay Zimbabwe


A UNIVERSITY of Zimbabwe student with hearing impairment, Nomatamsanqa Dube, has said art played a significant role in transforming perceptions about deaf people in Zimbabwe.

Dube told NewsDay Life & Style that she was shooting a protest film titled The Deaf Community and Social Change to fight discrimination against the deaf.

The film is part of Dube’s requirements for completion of her studies (Honours in Applied Media Arts and Performance Studies degree) at the University of Zimbabwe.

“The main objective of my film is to challenge marginalisation of deaf people in Zimbabwe and to change people’s negative perceptions on deaf people. I was inspired by protest films like Sarafina, Winnie Mandela. Those films are entertaining and at the same time conscientise the oppressor about the results of his actions,” she said.

Dube, who is now in her final year at university said the film sought to benefit the society by changing myths and misconceptions about deaf people.

“Myths are also leading to marginalisation of deaf people, some people believe being deaf is a curse. Look at pastors at church when they claim to be removing curses and demons,” she said.

“I think as Zimbabweans, we all have a duty to end marginalisation of the deaf people. We have relatives, friends and neighbours who are deaf and it starts with the way we treat them and how we associate with them. It’s high time people realised that being deaf is a condition, not a curse.”

Dube said there was need for mainstreaming of sign language in learning institutions.

“Generally deaf people are marginalised, most institutions do not offer their language, schools, clinics, hospitals and even legal institutions. Hence, they cannot access services due to communication barriers.”

She added: “If everything goes well the main thrust of this project is to benefit the society both the deaf and hearing by changing policies that are oppressive to the deaf.”

“The greatest challenge I am facing is financial resources considering it is a school project and it is self-funded. Ideally, I wanted deaf people to take part in creating the play, but due to budget constraints they will be engaged during baseline research only.”