A journey from Chitsa village to academic success

A journey from Chitsa village to academic success

Born in a family of eight and raised in Chitsa Village Gutu, Innocent went to Chibuwe primary and Magombedze secondary school. He used to walk fourteen kilometers to and from school every day. His parents taught him the importance of integrity and hard work. His mother, a subsistent farmer always told him that there are no permanent situations in life, even the hardest hurdle will one day come to pass. His father an albino, is a teacher at a local primary school.

Living in a community where things were in short supply inspired him to dream although it was evident there were no resources to help him around. Being a firm believer in God and knowing he is capable of raising people from grass to grace was what he clung to.

He remembers walking on foot twice in 2008 from Gutu to Marange diamond fields in Mutare to try his luck at mining, in order to raise school fees which ended up in him missing most of his form two classes. After teaching himself biology and passing his O – levels, his aunt who was staying in Chipinge offered to pay for his A level studies after she noticed he was brilliant but the financial load was too much for his parents. Not having studied chemistry before, he taught himself the subject with the help of his best friend Benjamin which he passed with flying colors.

A white couple Roger and Anne Whittal of Human Safaris sponsored him to further his studies at Cyprus International University where he received a Master’s in Pharmacy. It was not a bed of roses in Cyprus as he only saw his results once, in his first year during the course of his studies. He had a mother and son relationship with his deans Guney Sariya and Eder Volkan which was a blessing. They encouraged him to keep attending classes as he was doing well in his examinations and also bought him clothes. In addition to that, other teachers from his department were aware of his situation and would give him the class timetable.

Through networking, he met Dr. Shopera, head scientist at Pfizer who cleared his outstanding fees and collected his certificate. Masters in Pharmacy, fifty nine Stanford medicine online courses and more than twenty university applications later, he finally secured three full ride scholarships at John Hopkins, Washington University in St Louis and Stanford University in Silicon Valley his top pick, where all innovation happens.

He registered a company in Zimbabwe, IMad Consultancy, a cancer institution which also offers tele prescription services. In Cyprus he has registered Medical and Therapeutical Company which will be supplying medical devices needed for scans, operations and examinations. He wants to work with the Government of Zimbabwe and aid in the transition to automation and digitization of Zimbabwean hospitals, which he described as primitive and lacking the latest technology. He is passionate about Zimbabwe with dreams of opening a pharmaceutical company, he also wants to see our country having companies that manufacture and sell drugs locally, regionally and internationally. Cancer medication is costly, having had relatives who succumbed to the deadly disease it pushed him to want to pursue a PHD in Cancer Biology and come up with ways on how it can treated early and avoid unnecessary deaths.

During his stay in the USA he wants to learn more from the founders and innovators in Silicon Valley, on how they build successful conglomerates. He appreciates and thanks Maud Chifamba who paid his application fees. He looks up to the likes of Ralph Mupita, Strive Masiyiwa, and James Manyika, individuals who were able to shutter the glass ceiling and achieve remarkable things.

My advice to young people is to use time wisely, opportunities are available to people looking for them. The youth should not follow the crowd but learn more skills, read and learn how to communicate, it will come in handy one day. Even if you are from a less privileged background, practice delay gratification because if you apply yourself, your dream will come true one day. Decision making is key and should learn the art of networking, there is always someone out there willing to help. Our leaders should lead boldly and responsibly to develop our communities. We should fight for Zimbabwe, make informed decisions and communicate with our leaders.

Chiedza Mukucha

Chiedza Mukucha is a digital media and marketing Intern at My Afrika Magazine with 2 years experience and a mandate to help with changing the narratives of Zimbabweans and Africans at large, in its history and current affairs. Presently, it seems the African story is told and altered by third parties, and it is our injuction as African storytellers to document real-time and factual stories to increase our digital print as a collective. Chiedza is also an avid African literature reader and researcher. chiedzamukucha@gmail.com X (twitter): @Chiedza_RM

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