The department is a lively community that is recognised internationally as one of the top centres for research and teaching in development studies.
My academic interests lie in the history of medicine and medical practices in Zimbabwe.
Choosing medical history was influenced by my rural upbringing in remote Gokwe district where malaria and trypanosomiasis used to present special challenges to its inhabitants. In spite of the colonial perceptions of Gokwe district as a hostile and diseased environment, as young children growing up in the district we never viewed our district as such. We still hunted in the bush, herd cattle, walked several miles each day to and from our rural school and slept during the night without mosquito nets. Deaths from malaria were given different explanations. It was often said people were becoming ill because of eating raw greens from the fields such as watermelons and mealie cobs. The causal effect between mosquito bites and malaria was blurred in the local indigenous knowledge systems. I was also exposed to ethnic competition and ‘Othering’ with those who considered themselves autochthonous societies. This experience moulded not only my academic interests but also the way I perceive reality.