READ THE FOLLOWING PASSAGE AND ANSWER THE QUESTIONS THAT FOLLOW.
Zoom, That Cat
The building was quiet. The streets and both sides of the building were busy and noisy. Suddenly, the alarm in the building switched on, attracting people's attention because the shop had been closed for business.
Two police cars came speeding down the street, flashing their blue and orange lights.They blocked the street at both ends of the building. Heavily armed policemen got out and prevented the crowd that had gathered from getting near the building.
Jay and simba were among the crowd. They wanted to be the first to find out who was in the building. They quietly went to the back of the building. The two were known for assisting the police in solving crimes. They forced the back door open and went into the shop. Suddenly something clattered onto the floor making a lot of noise.
Jay whispered, "There is someone in the shop, Simba."
"Let's be careful," Simba replied.
They carefully moved in the darkness. They could not see anything except the dark shapes of shelves full of goods. Suddenly, something flushed by. Simba switched on his small torch.
Across the room, they saw Zoom, the cat that was known for being a problem in the streets and shops.
READ THE FOLLOWING PASSAGE AND ASNWER THE QUESTIONS THAT FOLLOW.
The Examination fever
There was no other person at the school when Panashe arrived. The examination he was about to write that day had very much occupied his mind. As a result of this, he failed to notice that it was still too early to be at school.
He peeped through the window and looked at the wall clock in the head teacher’s office. The time was only five in the morning. The moon had deceived him. Fearfully and confused, he wobbled into the examination room and slept on one of the benches at the back of the room.
He was woken up shortly after six by Old Mr Munatsi, the head teacher. He was an energetic and highly respected teacher. He had also woken up before sunrise. He was on his occasional walks round the school. He wanted to check for any form of mischief that could discredit his school in the final examinations of that year. His school was a centre of excellence and admiration.
Mr Munatsi invited Panashe to his house. They discussed a few issues over a cup of hot coffee.
Adapted from Quills of Desire by Binwell Sinyangwe, ZPH (1993)
Burns and Scalds
A burn or a scald is a painful damage to the skin. This is caused when heat, severe cold or some chemicals get in contact with the skin. Hot solid objects such as irons and stoves can cause burns. Scalds are caused by hot liquids like water, cooking fat and steam. In spite of the differences of their causes, burns and scalds have the same effect on the skin. There is severe pain on the burnt area and blisters may form.
Some burns and scalds may go deeper in the flesh. Others only affect the skin. It is not the depth of a burn that is the danger, but the size of the burn. Any burn that is greater than the burnt person’s hand needs hospital attention.
Smaller burns and scalds can be treated at home. Pouring cold water on the burn skin soothes it. Blisters that form on the burns and scalds must not be pricked. Pricking them will worsen the damage and pain. Special attention should be given to burns and scalds so that they do not get infected, resulting in their slow healing or worsening.
Adapted from The Sunday Mail, 11-17 April 2010, Zimpapers.
A day Off School
That day had been given an extra holiday. He and his sister, Toko, would not have to go to school three kilometres down the road. Instead, he was sent to the store. Toko, who was nine, six years younger than her brother, would have to do some of his chores at home. He had been given money to buy matches and a small packet of salt. As a reward, he was allowed to get himself a bottle od cola-cola.
As he set there drinking slowly, to make the last, he thought how good it was to have a day off school. Their headmaster had explained that the contractor who was building their school would be clearing some land for the scond block of classrooms. It was likely that the bulldozers and the front-end loaders would be making a lot of noise. They would also be stirring up clouds of dust, The dust and the noise would make it difficult to teach.
Adapted from: Tunzi, The faithful Shadow by Michael Gascoigne (1992), College Press Harare.
Thiga could not believe his eyes. The enormous stone gathered speed and rolled over towards the bottom of the hill. His cries of joy rang through the air as he ran towards his mother. In his excitement, he had forgetten to pick up the things beneath the rock. In fact, he had not even looked to see what was there.
Half-way down the hill, Thiga remembered it ran all the way back. He then looked into the hole that the rock had left in the earth. There was a sword and a pair of sandals, nothing more. He picked them up and ran back to his mother, shouting happily.
"I knew I could do it! I knew I could do it!" he shouted.
"I knew you could do it!" came his mother's answering cry. They both could not believe he had pushed the huge rock. Hand in hand, mother and son walked homeward.
Adapted from: The Advetures of Thiga by C.M Murethi (1971), East African Publishing House
READ THE PASSAGE AND ANSWER THE QUESTIONS THAT FOLLOW.
Earthquake sends shivers
The biggest earthquake in decades in Southern Africa struck the Save Valley, shaking much of Zimbabwe, Mozambique and parts of north-east South Africa. Injuries and damages were quite few with the first reports showing that only two people had died, although there could be more victims.
The earthquake was centred on the north bank of Save river. The Save flows through the point where the earthquake struck. Although this area is widely known for its minor tremors, major earthquakes are very rare.
An earthquake is sudden break within the upper layer of the earth. Sometimes, it breaks the surface resulting in shaking of the ground. If the earthquake is strong enough, it can destroy building and property.
Millions of people were frightened and confused when the earthquake occurred. It occurred around midnight. Since earthquakes are not so common in Southern Africa, only elderly and middle-aged Zambians and Zimbabweans remember the tremor of 1963 when Lake Kariba filled to capacity.
Adapted from : The Herald, 24 February 2006. Zimpapers.
Grandfather’s Hut On Fire
The wind blew violently through the trees and the roofs of huts in the village shook and squeaked. The first flush of lightning was followed by thunder. It roared through the valley and gradually died down. For half an hour, the lightning and thunder continued. Rudo and Taku clung to aunt Busi as they watched through one window. Themba and Sarah peered anxiously through another. Suddenly, someone shouted, “Fire! Fire!” Everyone panicked.
Rudo rushed to the door followed by Aunt Busi, Themba and Taku. Sarah hurried after them, carrying all their raincoats which they had forgotten. It had begun to rain by then. The lightning and thunder seemed to be farther away. Looking down the village, they saw a bright light near the big tree. There was no doubt in Rudo’s heart that grandfather’s hut was on fire.
Several men and women joined them as they drew near Grandfather’s burning hut. Many, especially women, carried buckets full of water to help in the emergence.
Adapted from Heidi Grows Up by Charles Tritten.
The Importance of Bamboo
Bamboo is one of the most used building materials. It is very strong and found locally in Zimbabwe. Amazingly, it grows very fast in different climates. Despite its strength, it very light.
Bamboo can be used as the main material in building huts, fowl runs, and making furniture. Its stems are called canes. They become beautiful when exposed to the sun and can be cut to make useful products such as floor tiles.
Africans like to use Bamboo to make their traditional structures such as huts. Bamboo can be used in place of wood. The value of bamboo as a building material and replacement for wood is important because of the shortage of wood and the high cost of energy.
There are other places, besides Zimbabwe, which use bamboo as their building material such as Asia.
It is very important because it is cheap and can be fond locally.
READ THE PASSAGE BELOW AND ANSWER THE QUESTIONS THAT FOLLOW.
Brian felt bored. He had been watching television for hours. He decided to go for a walk. His best friend, a dog called Snooky, trotted behind him. A cool breeze blew from east to west.
Suddenly, the wind blew more strongly. Dark clouds gathered in the distance. The wind became more violent. There was a distant rumble of thunder. The mountains echoed the thunder. The sky clouded over and it became dark. Flashes of lightning lit the sky.
Brian was shocked because everything happened so fast. He decided to run home. The skies opened. Heavy raindrops fell and pounded on his head and the ground. Within a few minutes, brian was shocked to the skin. The strong icy wind continued to blow and thunder filled the air. The wind tore the leaves from the tree and pulled down the branches. Objects became almost invisible through the rain.
He decided to seek shelter behind some huge rocks. He looked for his pet but it had disappeared.
The Old Woman
As soon as Old Tambara heard the chirping sounds of the birds, she knew that sunrise would not be long now. The chirping always helped her to remember that it was now time to go out and watch the sun rise across Chiurwi Mountains.
She painfully made her way to her favourite spot. She had to use the wall of the hut to support herself. These days, her legs gave her so much pain. She had just reached her watching spot, when the darkness of the night was broken by a red light rising on the horizon. The sky seemed to have turned blood. Slowly, the big round sun made its way up the sky.
The old woman, watched the view with wonder. She looked into the distance as though wonderful memories were running through her mind. As the sunlight filled the slowly awakening village, the old woman sighed loudly. She turned and slowly went back to her hut.
She drew the ashes from the previous night's fire, started a new one and settled down on her mat. The movement outside told her that the people in the compound were now waking up. She sat there calmly, ready to take on the activities of that day.
Kwaramba Searches For New Land
Kwaramba came to settle among us from the North. He brought with him a small heard of cattle and very few other possesions. The elders recieved him well and treated him with respect. After a couple of days, they called him to the village council for an interview.
Kwaramba appeared to have satified the elders, because soon after the interview, he was seen being shown some patches and plots of unoaccupied land. Apparently, he had moved south in search of better grazing and arable land. He had claimed that land in the north had become barren due to overuse. His family was finding it difficult to make a living there, so they had come to find better land.
His final choice was a plot of unused land next to Mamunda's field. He was very happy with this piece of land and thanked the council for their kindlness. Soon, he started to work on the piece of land to prepare for the not so far rainy season.
Adapted from: Stories Tru To Life by N.M. Rungano, Mambo Press (1990)
What A Choice
One cool November morning, a thin hungry fox met a well-fed dog.
"How is it my old friend that you look so fat?" asked the fox.
"If you want to be like me, then you have to do as I do," boasted the dog.
"Indeed, and what is that?" the fox enquired showing some interest.
"Just guard the master's house and keep off thiefs at night!"
"I'd gladly dp that. This wild life is really a burden for me. To have a roof over my head and a provision of food always at hand will be no bad exchange."
"Then follow me!" said the dog.
As they moved together, the fox noticed that the dog had a mark around its neck, and had to ask out of curiosity.
"This is where my leash is fastened," answered the dog.
"You mean to say you cannot wander as you please? You can enjoy your happiness, but for me, my liberty is better than having a king's luxury with a chain around my neck. Good-bye!"
With that, the fox walked away.
READ THE FOLLOWING PASSAGE AND ANSWER THE QUESTION THAT FOLLOW.
Murombo lowered his head to drink some water. The hooves of his forelegs were a couple of centimetres from the edge of the shallow well. the earth cracked as his big hooves dug into the loose soil. Woosh! Spash! The bull slipped in before he had gulped down a sip of water. The water level rose and left only his back and raised head dry. Then he began his struggle to get out. It was an impossible task.
The search for the bull had started a day before. Some suggestions had been made. One of them was he had gone down to the river Sanyati and crossed to the other side. Kuda had searched tirelessly almost everywhere without success. His father had asked everyone whom he had met if they had seen Murombo. He thought that the bull had been stolen by a notorious butcher and could have been slaughtered for sale.
Adapted from: The Beast of Fame by Daniel Motsi ZPH (1987)
A SPECIAL LUNCH
The poultry club held a meeting organised by their chairman. Miss Barbara, the club patron also attended the meeting. They discussed the success of their poutry project.
They also sold over five hundred chickens to the villagers and some big supermarkets in town.,. Mr Ken, the school head, had helped by delivering the chickens to the custormers.
Miss Barbara praised the club members for their hardwork. She encouraged the members to use the knowledge to rear chickens even after leaving school. The chairman of the club suggested that they donate some chickens to feed the whole school. They all agreed.
The following day, the pupils were surprised to have chicken and rice for lunch. This was quite a big change from the usual beans, soya means or vegetable and sadza, which they had become used to at the boarding school. Everybody enjoyed the meal. Afterwards, the headboy thanked the Poutry Club.
Apted from: Crossing the Boundary Fence by Patricia Chater, College Press (1995)
The Impact of HIV and AIDS on Farming
The Impact of HIV and AIDS is slowly affecting food security. Since HIV and AIDS has seriously reduced the population, this has led to a decrease in farm workers. The absence of workers in farms affect the production in agriculture. Land peparation for planting and weeding requires labour and this has affected a lot of farmers.
Land praparation takes time and is hard work that requires strong and healthy people. All praparation have to be done on time in order to avoid poor harvests. In recent years, harvest in communal areas have been reduced because of delays in palnting. These delays in planting have been caused by shortage of workers.
The effects of the disease require farmers to practise comservation farming methods. These include crop rotation, intensive farming, zero tillage and mixed cropping. Conservation farming also make better use of rain water and the soil. Timely planting makes use of the first rains.Therefore, farmers must be alert.
Tawanda Kills an Eagle
Tawana's sharp weapon met with the attacking eagle in mid-air. The big beird made a loud sound and fell to the ground. For a while, it flapped its wings like a butterfly burnt by a bush fire. After a while, it died.
It all seemed like a nightmare to the two boys. The stick fell from Tawanda's trembling hands. They looked at each other speechlessly.
"You, you, you have killed it," stammered Munoda.
"We have!" answered Tawanda harshly.
"But it's you who hit it," said Munoda pointing a shacking finger at his friend.
"To save you!"
"Yes," Munoda admitted. "You could have easily left me at the mercy of the creature. Only God knows what would have happened."
There was no need for more words. The boys, each with a heavy sigh, slowly turned away. They were so overcome with fright that they descended Chegondo Hills without any other word.
Apted from: Twanda, My son by K. Tsodzo; College Pres (1986).
Collin and Keith lay on the ground to rest by the river side. Above them, the sunlight filtered through the branches of a gum tree. It was a quiet day and the silence was only broken by the gazing of the horses and the chattering of the birds in the trees nearby. Collin dozed off.
He was awakened by a distant shouting. Rolling over, he noticed that Keith was no there. He heard another call. He raced to the bank and looked at the river below. Fifty metres downstream, he could see something waving above the water. It was an arm and he noticed a head bobbing alongside. It was Keith. He was being carried downstream by the crrent.
"O, the fool!" he thought, but this was not the time to blame. He had to save his friend. He jumped on to the back of one of the horses and raced along the bank. he shouted and threw a rope for him to catch, Collin started pulling the rope.
Adapted from: The Open Sky and Other stories,Jacaranda Press (1963) Autralia.
Preparing Maize Flour
Mother is always busy these days pounding on the grain in large wooden mortars, preparing maize flour.
The first stage is called de-husking. The maize is stripped from the cobs, then a little amount of water is added to the maize. The maize is then punded in a large mortar. When the grain has been punded, it is put in big flat baskets and separated from the husks. It is then soaked in large pots for at least three days.
The second stage usually comes on the fourth day when the grain in the pots has turned white. It is pounded agin in the mortar, but this time, no water is added. While the punding is going on, the flat baskets are washed, scrubbed and spread in the sun to dry. At the same time, drying mats are also spread outside. She continues to pound the grain and sift it until she is quite satisfied that the flour is read. She then spreads it on the mats to dry. once dry, the flour is then stored in large pots for future use. The baskets and mats are also stored away.
The Agricultural Show
This year's Mashonaland East agricultural show was a great success. It was held from September the twenty-fourth to the twenty-eighth. Thousands of people, young and old, went through went through the gates to see the displays. It started and eight o'clock in the morning and finished at six o'clock each day.
Closest to the entrance of the show grounds were displays of model blair toilets and protected wells, by the Ministry of Health. Horticultural displays of flowers, fruits, vegetables and crops such as maize and finger millet were in one of the big buildings. In another building, items such as dresses, knitwear and information technology equipment were on show.
For entertainment, there displays in the arena. The police showed how they work their dogs in solving crime.They had other displays, where they were mounted on motor bikes. Later on, the police band played music and the people cheered amd danced.
Shirley Tauya and her little brother Henry had an early supper and then they went to sleep. Their parents had left the two children home that afternoon. They were going to fetch their grandfather, Old Mr Tauya, who was not feeling well. Henry fell asleep right away and Shirley, a little later.
Shirley was awakened at around midnight by a thunderstorm. Great lightning sparks lit the dark night and the thunder rumbled deafeningly. Shirley was frightened. She wished her parents were home. There was a great lightning spark which struck in the neighbourhood, plunging Shirley's and all the other houses into darkness. Shirley was too afraid to get up and lit a candle, so she stayed in bed in the dark.
When the strom gradually died down, Shirley thought she would get some sleep. Just then, came some lound scaring hooting sounds from their garden. The hooting went on until just before sunrise. Shirly was happy it was morning for their parents would be arriving with their grandfather.