Teenage orphan triumphs over adversity as youngest graduate in Zimbabwe
AMID the gloom of Zimbabwe’s economy, school dropouts and child-headed families, 18-yearold Maud Chifamba is beating the odds.
She has graduated from the University of Zimbabwe with an honours degree in accounting, after first enrolling at just 14.
The teenager, who grew up in an orphanage, enrolled at the university in 2012 after skipping several grades in high school.
Now, aged 18, she has graduated and believes education is the best thing that ever happened to her.
“It was not easy to get the opportunity to go to university, but by the grace of God I have graduated. It was worth it and I am proud,”
Chifamba said after being capped by Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, who is also chancellor of the university, the vice-chancellor said Chifamba was “the youngest graduate ever in the 61-year history of the university”.
She graduated with 3 667 others, including state intelligence unit boss Happyton Bonyongwe, Zanu- PF parl i a ment a r i a n Psychology Mazivisa and Stanley Gama, editor of the Daily News.
Chifamba recounted how she grew up in the Hunters resettlement community near the Midlands mining town of Kwekwe and how she lost her father at the age of four.
Her mother died in December 2011.
“I grew up under difficult
I had to
circumstances and would sometimes study on my own without going to school,” Chifamba said soon after enrolling at the university.
She said on her Facebook page her graduation was about more than just herself, “but about the underprivileged, those who have lost hope and power to move on”, and about “women and the girl child”.
In 2003 Chifamba enrolled at a makes hi f t r e s e t t l e ment primary school with just three teachers and couldn’t take her Grade 7 exams because the school was not registered. Earlier, her teachers had moved her up from Grade 3 to 6.
She finally wrote the exam in 2007, getting excellent results
study on my own without going to
Maud Chifamba has graduated with a BAcc (Hons) at the age of 18.