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A peculiar journey to victory
Photo Credits - Steven Maenda

Nyasha Makuni , SRC Finance Secretary.

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Not so average introvert using debating skills to win the hearts of her fellow classmates.

As a freshman who particularly came late for orientation to find everyone else belonging to a click of some sort, it only seemed natural I resort to my old high school traits of being a loner and enjoy an invisible existence…after all, old habits die hard! Little did I know at this point, that I am not your average introvert.

It all started with a leadership course I took out of sheer boredom, in pursuit of something new and transformative to my inquisitive young mind. At a glance, I only saw the course as something that would teach me a few new tricks but never as that thing that would whisk me out of the shadows of society.

It is so humbling to be elected as one of only two females into the Student Representative Council (SRC) for this academic year, 2017-2018. I am ready to lead, I am here to serve and carve my mark in the history of female student leadership at the “School of Dreams!” says Nyasha Makuni.

A flash forward into the leadership course, Dr. Bell asked us to provide her with our portfolios covering our career plan, life’s goals, dreams, aspirations and vision. Oh, as a side bar, Dr. Bell is a Volunteer In Mission (VIM) of the United Methodist Church based in the United States of America, who fell in love with Africa University (AU) when she first came in the 90s and has supported the University ever since.

As Dr. Bell discovered that my short term goal was to be a sub warden, I vividly remember to my dismay, she didn’t see me ever becoming one. However, before her seeming insult struck a nerve, I was quick to ask her why she felt that way. Her peculiar response stirred up something deep in me as she replied in a very calm and assuring voice, "You can be in a more commanding position." In a mild state of shock, I took in her words with a pinch of doubt.

Campaign week came and it wasn’t as rosy as I had been told, gosh! It’s only later that I realized for one to win the heart of the people, it’s more than giving speeches perfumed in eloquence or being as cunning as a used-car salesman.

My dexterity with debating came in very handy on the day of the debate, the final showdown just before students took to the poll and really expressed how they felt about each candidate by way of the pen.  

People took to the polls the next day and to an overwhelming exuberance, I won by a landslide to become the new Finance Secretary elect.

I knew above all the support I got, including invaluable advice from Tapiwa Katsukunya, who is the former and only female to have ever held the Finance Secretary position, God had made my victory possible. My only hope is that countless women within and beyond the AU student body will be able to draw some inspiration from this particular journey in my life. The future is bright and the future demands more effective, dynamic and youthful female leaders!

Nyasha Makuni, Student Representative Council, Africa University, Zimbabwe

One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Africa University Fund transforms Africa by educating and empowering students from across the continent through Africa University, the first fully accredited, United Methodist-related educational institution on the continent. The Africa University Fund supports the general operating expenses of Africa University including faculty and staff salaries and vital infrastructure. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Africa University Fund at 100 percent.

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