Startlingly, almost every student enrolled at the University of Zambia (UNZA) is taking more degree courses than the university management has prescribed . In addition to taking, let’s say LANG 2010, nearly every student, regardless of social status, is taking an additional non-academic course. This particular additional course is taken along the mandatory ones. Would you guess what this supplementary course is? Love 1010. Yes. That is the course more than half of the students at the university are pursuing.
As one man once put it, UNZA is a nation in every sense: a nation in intellect, a nation in conduct, a nation in religion, and a nation in women’s beauty.
UNZA is a centrepiece of education in Zambia. As such, the university, like any other renowned university around the globe, attracts ladies and gentlemen of every marvel of creation, who are drawn from every corner of the country.
If you have never stepped on UNZA soil on a typical day of class, you will find this writing nothing but a glorified grease monkey. But if you have, then you will attest to the fact that this place boils with what defines masculinity and femininity. It defines beauty and diversity–and freedom!
Love 1010 is a locution that is used to refer to that part of UNZA’s social life that amalgamates petting and dating.
The name is humorously modelled on the various degree courses the university offers, which comprise the initials of a programme and a code. For instance, a Media and Communication Studies course would be MCS 1330.
The thesis is that a university is incomplete without a vibrant social life. This is because social pleasure provides escapism from the stress that the pursuit of academic honours inflicts upon a student.
In fact, UNZA has distinctive words that distinguish those male and female students who enjoy excursions from those who absolutely don’t!
And to ensure that first-year students do not get lost in the euphoria of, students’ associations, every year, publish and distribute what is known as UNZA Dictionary. This is a booklet containing vocabulary that only an UNZA student can understand.
Lotharios and fun-lovers are known as Super Mojos.
The obverse of a Mojo is a “Monk.” A Monk is a male student who is “notorious” for a strong aversion to campus frolics. He is usually a Big Man on Campus (BMOC), as he is normally studious.
Love 1010, therefore, is a preserve of Mojos and their female equivalents—Momas.
This highly famous additional course can run for the same duration as one’s academic degree, depending on when one starts exploring the custom.
Certain Mojos and Momas pursue Love 1010 determinedly full-time, whereas others simply dally with it. The former case is that of majors and the latter case is that of minors!
Mojos can be real-big news on campus, since they are lady “killers”.
Their female counterparts, also, exude hardly irresistible sexual appeal.
Mojos wear swag ranging from fine three-piece suits to non-descript casual clothes, and they splurge money on anything in order to hook a an unsuspecting Moma.
The Momas will wear perfume and foundation, and they will don, habitually, anything boasting of va-va-voom.
You are able to tell someone who is a Monk or Moma simply by looking, because Love 1010 is a culture. It is. A very popular one.
However, some “students” of Love 1010 are skillfully protective of their “trade,” so that you cannot label them if you do not know them personally.
Others find Love 1010 as an index of outward beauty. In this manner, they decide to study for the “degree” because it inflates their ego.
“I think I cannot do without Love 1010 as it makes university life worthwhile,” one Mojo, who opted to remain unidentified, said.
Another Super Mojo said, “Love 1010 is just one way of keeping university stress at bay.”
Axiomatically, Love 1010 means different things to different students.
John Kaluba, an UNZA sophomore, said, emphatically, “Most Mojos I know underperform. Because of this, I think Love 1010 is a terrible ‘course’!”
But Moma X still finds Love 1010 pleasant: “It is a mark of girl power, and it makes UNZA life memorable!”
As a form of escapism, originally, Love 1010 was not intended to mean sex, or to go beyond watching a movie with a lady to touching and kissing, or worse.
While its basic nature and purpose has been retained by some university men, many students say it has been perverted.
Even though the Love 1010 “degree’ is popular among UNZA students, the phenomenon explains why some students flunk or graduate with various sexually transmitted diseases, at the expense of education.
Truly, Love 1010 is an interesting non-academic “degree”, one that means different to different students.
It is a course which, if taken for good reasons, would teach you a lot of things, things that would help you survive the after-UNZA life.
Victor Kalalanda is a final year media student at the University of Zambia, and he is the current managing editor of this online newspaper, the Lusaka Star.His expertise as a final year media student straddles two vastly different countries, namely Switzerland, where he worked for a top-tier media agency as a B360 Digital Marketing Global Intern, and Zambia, where he has, as either stringer or intern, competitively held jobs with all State-owned media—the Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail and Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (TV1 & TV2).For additional media production skills and insights, he completed a two-months internship with Loyola Media Productions & Broadcasting Zambia Limited—and continues to serve with a campus radio station as a reporter, news and show presenter.Before university, he survived on a series of odd jobs, later worked as a street hawker, itinerant security guard and barman, during which time he suffered bouts of humiliation and poverty, and vowed that if he ever got a real chance at life, he would die a little to make the most of it.As such, since entering university, grit and determination have been his life's guiding principles and this has in the past led a lecturer and a recruiter to describe him as "very aggressive and ambitious."In 3 years he has built a reputation for academic excellence, won 3 coveted awards and he has served in top student leadership positions as a class representative, publicity secretary and senior news editor.In his final year he now concentrates not only on building a great GPA but also on raising his career profile as a digital marketing consultant, professional ghostwriter and book editor, journalist, managing editor of the Lusaka Star, public relations aide and research assistant.He balances up his enthusiasm for career development with humanitarian work as a secretary general of an NGO, and further as a guitarist.He enjoys intellectual discussions around the subjects of love, relationships, media, politics, economics, education, underdevelopment, religion, charity, literature, sports and travelling.