Oriel Boys High School in Chisipite is one of the most sought after high schools to attend in Harare. At the moment, this school and others are in the process of appointing new prefects and head boys/girls for 2016. Last year, Harare News spoke to the school’s outgoing headboy and this is what he had to say about his tenure:
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Russell Jorodani. I am 18 years-old. I was appointed head-boy in January last year soon after all the prefects returned from a leadership induction course at Sanganai Creek in Banket.
What does it take to be a student leader?
To be a good leader you need to have the ability to influence others for a common goal, to be attentive to detail, and to be loyal.
How many students did you lead?
I led about 850 students, with the help of 32 prefects of which four were senior prefects, who worked closely with me.
How did you deal with any mistreatment of Form One students by seniors?
I was very particular about that. My policy was to treat Form Ones with fairness, so that they quickly adapted to the school and made it their new home. In fact, it is the school’s guiding principle that Form Ones are protected from any form of antagonism.
You said leadership is about influencing others. Give us one notable example where your influence was felt and to what extent?
When I stopped playing rugby, I made sure that I was still a cheerleader for the team, travelling with the players to matches and motivating them. This helped inspire the team to win most of their matches and I was happy with the role I played off the pitch.
How did you deal with conflicts between students?
In my tenure I managed to lower the number of incidents of students mocking each other. This was a major form of bullying where students made fun of others especially those from less-privileged backgrounds. I used arbitration techniques to bring the two parties together to understand the effects of taunting and mocking. I was very happy because the situation improved greatly.
What is your advice to the next headboy ?
A good leader is neither too close nor too far from those he leads. That way, you earn respect.
What academic goal did you set for yourself?
As a leader, people expect more from you, so I studied hard. Setting a good precedence through leading by example and leaving a mark for students to follow.
How did you maintain harmony within the student body as a whole?
I made sure that ordinary students were leaders in other activities such as drama, choir, and clubs. I did this so that they appreciated leadership roles, and it worked better than making prefects lead in everything as this relegates ordinary students to the periphery. This also improved the relationships between prefects and students.
Now that you have finished your A’ Levels what is your next move?
My next move is a university education in accounting. I was doing commercial subjects and my wish is to become a well-respected accountant leading a big corporation.
What can students do to spruce up the image of Harare?
The city is being ruined by litter. Students can organise and take part in clean-up campaigns. My school did a clean-up in Mabvuku earlier this year and at the same time we carried out awareness campaigns teaching residents about the environment.