A Glimpse into Hambo's Radiant Personality

One of the many benefits of attending a post-secondary institution is that you are given the opportunity to network and build relationships with bright and talented students. For this week’s Campus Personality, I was able to sit down with a friend of mine, and building president at Victoria College, and discuss a variety of topics ranging from university and its social culture to love and religion.

Hamboluhle Mayo is Zimbabwean-Canadian, and a second year student at Victoria College in the University of Toronto. He is majoring in Chemistry and minoring in French and Math.

If you were walking down Queen’s Park at night and a stranger had you at gunpoint, what would your last words be? "I tried." 

In your opinion, why is a student council, such as VUSAC, important?

It is important for people who attend Victoria University to have the best experience possible. If we have the university run events, not all of them would be well-attended and not everyone would like them because the opinions of the students wouldn’t be there. The events need to fit the students’ needs. They also deal with policies that will affect the student experience and not every student has the time to look at them, so it’s good that they handle the policies to ensure that they are intact with what we [as students] want. 

From a non-VUSAC member’s point of view, what are your thoughts on this so-called “VUSAC bubble”?

That was talked about a lot [at Town Hall]. There definitely is a bubble but it’s not really a bad thing. There are two sides to it. It’s not bad because the VUSAC members are elected to be in that bubble. We voted them into it and they’re together a lot which is good because they’re really there for the students’ wishes, and they are cooperating pretty well, hence there being a bubble. That being said, it’s not good because it seems like they’re not interacting with the students as much as they were from the year prior to being elected. 

What are your thoughts on hook-up culture at university? How does it differ from your opinion now to the past?

Hook-up culture is not as common as I thought it would be. I think hook-up culture mainly happens with alcohol-related events because people are under the influence and they’re having a great time. I feel like not everyone is into going out and putting themselves fully out there; having [a lot of ] drinks and not being fully in control.

People like to be fully in control in university, that’s what I’ve learned. It is rare for them to really go all out. Maybe once in a semester, you might see a person in particular just hook up, but most people are serious, so they’re usually looking for a relationship.

When I was coming [into university], I thought these parties happened often or once a month, and people would lose themselves in a good way. It was their decision so I assumed hookups would happen more often, but because of the amount of control you need in university, with schoolwork and organizing your time, people don’t hook up as often. 

Prior to this year, you chose not to drink alcohol at social gatherings. What made you decide to change your mind and engage in social drinking?

I like certain types of music. I rarely hear it unless I’m by myself or if I choose the music [at a social environment]. I was in an environment with people that I trusted, the music I liked was playing, and I felt secure. I felt like it was a perfect time; there were enough sober people who I knew cared about me. So, it was a good time to let loose.

Prior to this year, I wasn’t fully secure with the people around me. It’s the trust element. I was comfortable with people, but not completely. Say if I were in a situation where I couldn’t move, I wouldn’t trust the people from last year to fully take care of me. I can’t see myself putting that burden on them and them actually dealing with it. I don’t expect them to do so.

There are many students coming into first year who are expecting nights of drinking and partying. What would your advice be to these incoming students, in terms of enjoying their partying experience while staying safe?

“Don’t worry about the partying aspect too much. Worry about the current situation at school, and when I say ‘school’, I don’t mean academically. I mean, responsibility wise. If the students are at a point where they’ve fulfilled most of their responsibilities, they can take a day off. They should worry about building good relationships. If they have that, then they find people that compliment them and care for each other; that’s the perfect time to party with them. They genuinely care about you and it’s not just a night out but another way to spend time with you.”

How did growing up in Hamilton, a predominantly white populated city, as a visible minority affect your childhood?

I guess it was at school where it affected me the most. Nowhere else, since my parents put me in situations where most of the people I hung out were people of colour—my colour. At school, I found myself hanging out with the minorities because I related to them a bit more, whether that would be through music or picking up slang. I would try to get along with everyone while staying in my character. The dominance of white people in my class affected me in terms of showing them my full self, but I definitely didn’t conform to their beliefs. I was open to their culture. It helped me appreciate other people’s cultures because it helped me realized how I’m related to people, how we’re all the same, and that helped me break down barriers—stereotypes. 

You are described as being a positive, happy, and an enthusiastic individual. How are you able to maintain such a positive attitude?

It all ties into my religion. I’m Seventh-day Adventist. Every week, I would go to Sabbath School—the Sabbath is on Saturdays for SDA’s—which is basically where they would teach you about the Bible and Bible stories. So, I learned all the stories and they taught me how to act in different situations—what’s right and what’s wrong. When it comes to being nice, the main concept that I learned from these stories from the Bible is: "No matter what is thrown at you, there is always a way to come back from it. It’s not the end for that situation."

The Bible discusses the importance of second chances. When it comes to me failing at anything, there’s always a situation where I can come back from it or if it seems as if there isn’t a situation to get back from, there is another way to be happy. There’s no actual sadness for me.

Religion is an interpretation of life. When someone says they are part of a religion, there’s usually a stigma around it with people saying that it’s exclusive or that the [religious] person only messes with religious things. But for me, it’s the way I interpret life. Religion helps me see my objective.

Because I know what they teach, I’m comfortable with the way I’m living. Unless a new religion enlightens me to something I didn’t realize was true, I would probably still be an SDA. For all the little things I don’t agree with, there’s a bigger picture that I do agree with. 

What does romantic love mean to you?

It’s complete trust for me. Like the way I trust my family members or the people who raised me, I need to be able to trust my significant other and that’s fully romantic love to me. It’s trusting her with myself and wanting the best for her and really supporting her. Family love doesn’t differ from romantic love. Love is the same whether it’s romantic or familial. Love is love. The only difference is that you fully trust this person. I feel like I’ll never have a friend who I’ll love as much as my romantic love, but that’s why that person is my romantic love. 

What are your thoughts on the way visible minorities view interracial dating?

It’s silly because you’re basically trying to take control of someone’s life. I think the whole point of being an adult is making your own decisions. That’s the whole point of growing up and moving out. It’s basically anyone’s decision. If I’m in love with someone, I should definitely be with her. There shouldn’t be anything holding me back because she’s the one I feel most comfortable with. 

Describe yourself in five words.

Trying, God-fearing, goal oriented, loving, analyst.