Deaf UZ student fights stigma through film



A hard of hearing student from the UNIVERSITY of Zimbabwe, Nomatamsanqa Dube, said art had played a significant role in transforming perceptions about deaf people in Zimbabwe.

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

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

“The main aim of my film is to challenge the marginalization of Deaf people in Zimbabwe and to change people’s negative perceptions of Deaf people. I was inspired by protest films like Sarafina, Winnie Mandela. These films are entertaining and at the same time make the oppressor aware of the results of his actions,” she said.

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

“Myths also lead to the marginalization of deaf people, some people think being deaf is a curse. Look at pastors in church when they claim to remove curses and demons,” she said.

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

Dube said there was a need to integrate sign language into educational institutions.

“Generally deaf people are marginalized, most institutions don’t offer their language, schools, clinics, hospitals and even legal institutions. Therefore, they cannot access services due to communication barriers. »

She added, “If all goes well, the main goal of this project is to benefit society for both deaf and hearing people by changing policies that are oppressive to deaf people.

“The biggest challenge I face is financial resources, given that this is a school project and is self-funded. Ideally, I wanted deaf people to be involved in the creation of the piece, but due to budget constraints, they will only be engaged during baseline research.”

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