Dr C G Msipa Schol­ar­ship: A vi­sion death couldn’t take to the grave

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Business News - Sukoluhle Ndlovu Fea­tures Correspondent

FOR Mercedes Makore (24) from Nyama Vil­lage un­der Chief Sog­wala in Lower Gweru, grad­u­at­ing was a too far-fetched dream that he never thought he will achieve de­spite the fact that he was one of the few in­tel­li­gent pupils at school.

To him any form of ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion was a priv­i­lege re­served for the for­tu­nate and the elite.

He used to re­vere grad­u­at­ing and never saw in him chances of do­ing it as the men­tion of a de­gree to him meant the great­est achieve­ment that re­mained un­real for the less priv­i­leged.

Makore was among hun­dreds other young peo­ple who had given up on ed­u­ca­tion due to fi­nan­cial con­straints.

Fol­low­ing his fa­ther’s death in 2008 when he was in Form 1 his mother strug­gled to raise money for school fees. She sur­vived on odd jobs like do­ing laun­dry for neigh­bours while Makore re­sorted to sell­ing fruits and veg­eta­bles dur­ing school hol­i­days. Faced with such a chal­lenge, he lost all hope.

Just when he had given up on pur­su­ing his dream, his sit­u­a­tion changed for the bet­ter after he was in­tro­duced to the CG Msipa Schol­ar­ship Trust, a brain child of the late na­tional hero Dr Cephas Ge­orge Msipa. Since then, his dreams that had taken a nose­dive started re­shap­ing, look­ing achiev­able and pos­si­ble.

The schol­ar­ship that Dr Msipa started is one great vi­sion that death couldn’t take to the grave as it con­tin­ues as­sist­ing the less priv­i­leged get bet­ter qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion.

Nar­rat­ing his sad tale, Makore said he thought it was the end of it all after fail­ing to get his O-level re­sults as he owed the school money.

“After writ­ing my O-level in 2011 at Kwekwe High School, I had no hope of con­tin­u­ing with my ed­u­ca­tion since I owed the school more than $300 and it was a lot of money. I thought that was the end of it all un­til I was in­tro­duced to the CG Msipa Schol­ar­ship. They in­her­ited the debt and I man­aged to get my re­sults. I went to A-level in 2012 and I passed with fly­ing colours be­fore pro­ceed­ing to Nust in 2014,” he said.

To­day, Makore is only a few months from grad­u­at­ing and he says his life would be a dif­fer­ent story al­to­gether if it wasn’t for the Trust that helped him to­wards achiev­ing his dream of be­ing a grad­u­ate.

“A few months from now, I will be grad­u­at­ing with a Bach­e­lor of Com­merce Hon­ours De­gree in Ac­count­ing and all thanks to the CG Msipa Schol­ar­ship, be­cause if it wasn’t for this or­gan­i­sa­tion my life would be dif­fer­ent right now. I am re­ally grate­ful for be­ing af­forded such a life chang­ing op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther my stud­ies. It is a good thing that such or­gan­i­sa­tions were set up to help peo­ple with po­ten­tial but can’t af­ford tu­ition fees,” he said.

The CG Msipa Schol­ar­ship Trust seeks to bridge the gap be­tween the priv­i­leged and the less priv­i­leged as far as ed­u­ca­tion is con­cerned. It’s man­date is to help those in­tel­lec­tu­ally ca­pa­ble students who end up drop­ping out of school due to fi­nan­cial chal­lenges.

De­spite Dr Msipa’s death, the Trust which was es­tab­lished in 1991 and launched in 2012 is op­er­at­ing at full throt­tle and it’s go­ing strong.

The Gweru-based Schol­ar­ship Trust which is run by a board of trustees is cur­rently pay­ing tu­ition fees for 78 students. A to­tal of 19 of these students are in sec­ondary school while the 59 are in uni­ver­sity. Out of the 78 ben­e­fi­cia­ries, 33 of those are girls.

Re­gard­less of the fi­nan­cial cri­sis, the trust is de­ter­mined to change lives of young peo­ple by giv­ing them a golden op­por­tu­nity to re­alise their dreams of be­ing grad­u­ates.

Four­foldge Chigu­madzi (26) who is also a ben­e­fi­ciary of the Trust ex­pressed his grat­i­tude say­ing he has be­come a bet­ter man thanks to the schol­ar­ship.

“I am for­ever grate­ful that I got the op­por­tu­nity to pur­sue my stud­ies. I read for a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence Hon­ours De­gree in Civil and Wa­ter En­gi­neer­ing and will be grad­u­at­ing in Novem­ber. My par­ents died when I was two years old and I was raised by my sib­lings who did not have money to send me to uni­ver­sity after pass­ing my A-level. I have also learnt to be help­ful to­wards other peo­ple, that is one of the many things that I learnt from the Trust,” he said.

Ms Tsitsi Mu­choho­nyi the sec­re­tary of CG Msipa Schol­ar­ship Trust said their aim was to make sure that Dr Msipa’s vi­sion of em­pow­er­ing com­mu­ni­ties par­tic­u­larly the less priv­i­leged ones through ed­u­ca­tion lives for­ever.

“Our man­date is to make sure that Dr Msipa’s vi­sion does not die. He was a man on a mis­sion, with a vi­sion and we are de­ter­mined to see his vi­sion be­ing ac­com­plished. There is a board that was ap­pointed to make sure that the or­gan­i­sa­tion runs smoothly and they are al­ways there to sort out all the chal­lenges that arise,” said Ms Mu­choho­nyi.

Ms Mu­choho­nyi said de­spite the eco­nomic chal­lenges, the spon­sors of the trust have re­mained com­mit­ted.

“Our spon­sors are the back­bone of this or­gan­i­sa­tion. De­spite the eco­nomic cri­sis in the coun­try, they have never let us down. The spon­sors in­clude Mi­mosa, Plat­inum Hold­ings, Unki Mine, POSB, Safe­guard Se­cu­rity and in­di­vid­ual spon­sors like Mr Sibanda of Lil­ian Fash­ion and Dr Smelly Dube of River Val­ley Prop­er­ties,” said Ms Mu­choho­nyi.

The Schol­ar­ship only as­sist students who are in State univer­si­ties within Zim­babwe, cov­ers students from sec­ondary to ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion. It is also awarded ac­cord­ing to merit and it is only given up to first de­gree level.

The ben­e­fi­cia­ries ex­pressed grat­i­tude to the late na­tional hero for the con­tri­bu­tion that he has made and con­tin­ues to make to the lives of many less priv­i­leged but in­tel­lec­tu­ally gifted students whose dreams could have been cut short be­cause of fi­nan­cial con­straints.

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