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