USAP Zimbabwe Profiles

Since it's inception in 1999, USAP has helped tens of Zimbabwean students get accepted to top notch colleges in the United States. Some have since graduated and are working in various fields in the United States and elsewhere around the world and some have chosen to remain in academia at various institutions in the United States. There are over a hundred USAP students from Zimbabwe alone and each one of them has an amazing story to tell. Below are brief profiles of some of our students just to give you a glimpse of our diversity as a people as well as the diversity of our their career paths and futures.

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CLASS 0F 2015

Sibonelo Sibanda
Mount Holyoke College '15

Sibonelo Sibanda Originating from a village in Nkayi, Sibonelo attended St. James and Mpopoma High Schools in Matabeleland. Her interests are not limited to the academics, as she is also very passionate about art. She has had a number of articles on display at the National Art Gallery during an exhibition. Compassion is the driving force of her social life to the needy and destitute people in her society. She developed a warm interest in serving people at a very young age. To date, she has had an impact in her society after participating in various voluntary activities at Old People and Children's homes. She aspires to pursue a community affiliated career as opposed to an office oriented one.

Being a part of the USAP family, has helped her realize the possibility part of life and enhanced her dreams of studying in the USA. It has molded her into a flexible and confident critical thinker. Through an American liberal arts education, she will be able to come out saying ''Yes we can!'' to Zimbabwe and the rest of the world.

Nodumo Ncomanzi
Yale University '15

Nodumo Ncomanzi A determined, passionate and strong-willed individual, Nodumo is a great believer in the Greek thinker Seneca's philosophy, "It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness." Born in Masvingo and bred in Bulawayo, Nodumo attended Victoria Primary in Masvingo and Kumalo Primary as well as Dominican Convent Primary School in Bulawayo. She obtained her high school education from Dominican Convent High School. Her active involvement in Choir and her school's Debate Union, led to her performing as a soloist at the Bulawayo Music Festival and captaining the Zimbabwe High Schools Debate Team in 2009 as well as the Universities Debate team soon after she finished High School in 2010.

With fervour for linguistics and diplomacy, Nodumo plans to study French and International Relations at Yale University before pursuing a Law degree. Her ultimate goal is to advocate for human rights in Zimbabwe, especially concerning children.

Fiona Gambanga
Bryn Mawr '15

Fiona GambangaFiona comes from Harare Zimbabwe and she spent most of her early childhood in the Eastern Highlands of Mutare where she attended High School at St Augustine's high school. She finished her Advanced Levels at St Dominic's Chishawasha where she discovered her passion for the bio-sciences, writing, advocacy and community engagement.

After being selected for USAP she attended Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania where she graduated in 2015 Cum laude with a Bachelor's in Biology and Africana studies. Whilst at Bryn Mawr Fiona enjoyed working at the Admissions office and was involved in health related volunteering and Residential life activities. She also was highly engaged with the college's African and Caribbean Students organization through various socio-cultural shows and events that she helped plan and organize.

Currently she works at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia doing research in the Gastroenterology division. Fiona aspires to further her career in Biomedical research as well as work towards improving health access for women's health in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In her spare time she enjoys reading books and writing poetry, blogging and cooking Zimbabwean food for friends.

Beauty Mangwiro
Cottey College '15

Beauty Mangwiro Born as the last child in a family of four, Beauty hopes to become one of the most learned and respected person in her own family and country. She attended Tomlinson Depot Primary School before attending Roosevelt Girls High School from Form One to Form Three. Before completing her Ordinary Level studies, she transferred to Chapwanya Secondary School in her rural home in Buhera where she sat for her Ordinary Level examinations and passed well.

She aspires to be a professional Accountant and hope also to study Economics. Following this dream, she went on to study Economics, Business Studies and Mathematics at Advanced Level at Daramombe High School with the hope of repairing the damaged economic side of Zimbabwe. She always came top in Business Studies and had the best results on the girl's side. She believes that the hardest rock will yield to those who drill with determination thus given this opportunity to attend higher education; she knows she will be a beacon of hope for her family and Zimbabwe at large. She hopes to explore more in the business world by studying Accounting and Economics at Cottey College.

Besides being industrious and diligent in schoolwork, Beauty also has a passion for chess. She was the best female chess player at Daramombe and was made the president of the team. She was also part of the school church choir in which she was made the Secretary of the group. She hopes to participate in chess tournaments in the US.

Her motto remains "With every adversity and every failure, there is an opportunity to succeed."

Nyasha Majoni
Jacobs University '15

Nyasha MajoniNyasha's ideology can be best summed up by Edward De Bono's famous quote, "Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way." He is a creative technology enthusiast who was born in Gweru as the second child of his proud parents. He initially lived in Chirumhanzu, where he attended various schools up to the fourth grade. Thereafter, his family moved to the high density suburb of Mkoba in Gweru where he finished his primary education and later attended Fletcher High School from Forms 1 to 6.

His fixation and striving for perfection and excellence stemmed from the lofty expectations that he and his family placed on him as he grew up. He continues to achieve and excel with two ambitions in mind- to fulfil all those expectations and to hoist his family onto a higher social standing. With this mindset, resilient spirit and determination Nyasha excelled both in and outside the classroom. His unmatched creative potential saw him scooping the prestigious award as the best student in the 2007 and 2008 Young Zimbabwean Scientist Exhibitions. He is also an exceptional baseball player who managed to captain his school team all the way to the National Finals in two consecutive seasons. Nyasha also held the Senior Prefect Post in his final year at Fletcher High School. During his gap year Nyasha spent most of his time researching on electronics and in his endeavors, successfully designed and built a multifunctional remote controlled electromechanical robot using scrap materials.

He undoubtedly plans to major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Jacobs University Bremen and minor in International Logistics (Engineering Management), German and Music Production. Nyasha's main goal is to make a difference in the world by tackling global issues in his own turf, in a green engineering perspective that works a lot closer to simplicity. He also plans to venture into entrepreneurship with a keen interest in the transport and electricity distribution sector. He is fed up with power cuts and wants to find ways in which electricity can be generated effectively enough to provide for all.

Tafadzwa Mtisi
Pomona College '15

Tafadzwa MtisiA self-starting individual, Tafadzwa hails from the mountainous eastern highlands in Chimanimani. The first and only child in his immediate family, he went to four different primary schools and one high school (Gokomere High School in Masvingo). He began studying music in high school where he discovered his talent in playing various African and European instruments. He believes he is still to make a mark with his creativity with instruments. Sportswise, he is a cricket person. He played for the Masvingo provincial under 16 team at the national competition held at Lomagundi. He also holds a certificate of Distinction in the Westpac Australian Mathematics Competition.

During high school he took up various leadership posts both in student government and clubs. He was in the panel of executives who revived the Christian Living Community at Gokomere High School after its dysfunction for years and led it to attend its first national conference.

He has a great interest in his community and believes in giving back in a manner that directly affects an individual. He intends to attend medical school after graduation at Pomona and one day lead an organisation that provides quality and affordable healthcare to the less privileged in Zimbabwe.

Tamuka Chidanguro
Williams College '15

Tamuka ChidanguroThe last born in a family of three boys, Tamuka comes from Gutu but spent most of his childhood years in Masvingo. He attended Silveira High School in Bikita for his Ordinary Levels, a school which ignited his passion for the electronics world.

He then moved to Gokomere High school for his Advanced Levels where he took Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Further Mathematics to. He credits his stay at Gokomere for moulding his compassionate side through his involvement with the school's pride, the Gokomere Charity Association.

Tamuka is a proud beneficiary of the Joshua Nkomo Scholarship Fund for his Advanced Level studies. He says his experience as a relief teacher in Masvingo helped him to emerge from a schoolboy cocoon into someone able to carry out responsibilities to meet a whole communitys' expectations.

Tamuka goes into the Purple Valley hoping to study Computer Science before pursuing an Electrical Engineering degree in graduate school.

Energy Maburutse
Lynn University '15

Energy MaburutseEnergy Maburutse always tries to live up to his first name and meet the world with optimism and excitement. It hasn't always been easy since he was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, often called Brittle Bone Syndrome, and grew up knowing that the least bit of carelessness would lead to yet another broken bone. But with the support of an extremely loving mother, who carried him in a wash tub on her head to Harare lest she break him by putting him on her back, he found a place at Jairos Jiri Primary School, where, for the first time, he discovered that existence of wheelchairs. He continued his education at King George VI School in Bulawayo and was awarded a full scholarship to do his Advanced Levels at Petra High School.

A founding member and lead marimba player of the band Liyana, about which two documentary films have now been made, Energy is considered to be one of finest marimba players in the country. He is one of seven children, from the village of Buwu in the Honde Valley, just on the border with Mozambique. "My vision is to work toward helping creating better communities, a better Zimbabwe and a better world," he says. After finishing at Lynn University in Florida, where he will study media and politics, he plans to work as a disability and human rights activist.

Tawanda Zimuto
MIT '15

Tawanda ZimutoIn 1992, an intrinsically motivated man, Tawanda Zimuto, was brought forth in Kadoma, and then bred in Gweru. During the 19 years he has lived in Gweru, he survived a myriad of challenges, most of which threatened to culminate into total collapse of his dreams. These challenges and the environments he experienced at Takunda Primary School, Mkoba 1 High and Thornhill High have made him to become composed, confident and resistant to any form of demoralization. His strong belief in his God has painted an image of a humble man who attributes his successes to the power beyond human forces and miraculous powers of nature.

Whilst at MIT, he plans to take up Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and a minor in Physics, Mathematics or Economics and Management. Armed with the varied knowledge and skills he will definitely get from MIT, he hopes to become an accomplished, responsible
and informed leader in his profession and community. His ultimate goal is to catalyze the closure of the gaps between the rich and the poor, the educated and the illiterate.

The universally true German philosophy which keeps him dynamic is "Rast ich, so rost ich.", which is translated to "When I rest, I rust."

George Mukosera
Davidson College '15

George MukoseraGeorge Mukosera believes that his life is a fruit of other people's sacrifice and that the various circumstances which he has encountered have molded his character. Born and bred in Rusape, George attended Glen Norah 1 High in Harare for his Ordinary Level studies and moved to Highfield High 1 for his Advanced Levels. At Highfield High School, George was promoted to Senior Prefect and was also actively involved with the Youth Against Aids Club at which he was the Public Relations Officer.

George believes that an account about him is incomplete without mentioning his brother Chenge who has been the sole bread winner of George's child headed family. Due to the positive influence of Chenge, George believes that he is now a responsible boy, a sharp contrast to what he was once. Much of his character has also been due to the Seventh Day Adventist Church beliefs. At church, George enjoys writing and singing songs and was part of MIST ensemble and Joyous Family where he contributed in penning songs. He also has been a very active member and leader at church, participating and excelling in many personal growth, health competitions and Bible quiz at a national level.

Through the years, George has realized that Zimbabwe has many under privileged but also very intelligent students. With this in mind, George plans to start a scholarship program which will fund bright Zimbabwean students in Zimbabwean institutions should they fail to get places at American institutions. George believes that "anything worth doing is worth doing is worth doing well". Therefore at Davidson he plans to do the best in everything he will attempt to do.

Michael Mahachi
University of Pennsylvania '15

Michael MahachiBorn in a family of five children, Michael is the only boy and the last born. He attended Saintt Ignatius College for his high school where he distinguished himself as an academically gifted scholar and in the year 2008 he was the best Ordinary Level student in the ZIMSEC examinations in the country.

Over the years he has taken pride in community work and has been involved in social programmes at Caledonia Farm, Chiedza Childcare Centre and Matthew Rusike Children's Homes.  At school he was a member of the debate society, Quiz, YAA and Youth Christian Society clubs. Before going to the USA he worked at African Sun Hospitality Group as a research student. He is an avid sports fan and an exceptionally good cricketer.

Michael hopes that with the exposure he will get at Wharton Business School he will become a renowned leader who will leave a lasting impact in the world of finance. A firm believer in business with a social cause, his hope is one day to take part in the revival of Zimbabwe's economy by playing an integral role in the formulation and implementation of policies which seek to improve the lives of the general populace.

Allen Matsika
St. Johns College '15

Allen MatsikaAllen is a very adventurous and excitable young man. Second to be born in a family of five, he quickly learned the art of testing waters and seeing what you can get away with. This led him to like the more unconventional and innovative methods of doing almost everything. A collector of all new gadgets he is very interested in how things are made before the what. He is also very interested in the why of things, for example, “why people do what they do?” He has been an avid student of human nature and love; being led more by questions than answers.

He attended St. John’s College to attain a Bachelors’ in Liberal arts. He has since invested his time in financial education by joining a non-profit that specializes in real estate and mortgaging whilst giving back to its community. He considers this an introduction to real estate investment while staying in touch with the ethos of giving back. Generating revenue and giving back is what characterizes most of his experimental business ideas. An entrepreneur by nurture and an adventurer by birth, he promises fireworks to the world because of his unconventional education and other arts.

Hope Ndhlovu
Harvard College '15

Hope NdhlovuA passionate chess player, born and brought up in Bulawayo, Hope attended Ihlathi High school for his Ordinary Level and Mpopoma High School for Advanced Level. He studied Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Further Mathematics at Advanced Level. After finishing Advanced Level, Hope returned to Ihlathi to teach.

Hope was a National Junior Chess Champion from the time he was Form 2 in 2006 through 2010. He participated in several club activities and child leadership organizations which included the Chess Club, Debate and Public Speaking Club, AIDS Action Club, Interact Club, Conservation Club and served as Deputy Headboy at Mpopoma High School, Child Member of Parliament  for Mpopoma–Pelandaba Constituency and Child Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs.

Through several challenges, Hope's character came to be characterized by determination and ambitions. He believes that one's hard work and focus can yield one a successful future. While at Harvard College Hope plans to concentrate in Electronic Engineering and minor in Economics.

After realizing that most African children face similar challenges to those he faced as a child, Hope intends to take up a career as a responsible Statesman and active leader in solving the challenges that ordinary Africans face.

Aubrey Munashe Magodlyo
Franklin College '15

Aubrey Munashe MagodlyoAubrey is currently working at Facebook as a Forensics Ads Analyst. He graduated from Franklin College, Indiana with a double major in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics.

While in college, he interned at Goldman Sachs as a technology analyst for the 2013 and 2014 summers. During his senior year, Aubrey did a co-op at Cummins Inc as an IT Business Analyst.

Aubrey studied for his Ordinary and Advanced Level studies at Kutama College where he concentrated in Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science.

He believes in the saying, "Don't spoil what you have by desiring what you don't, but remember what you have was once among the things you only hoped for." Above all, his source of inspiration is God because he believes he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him.

Aubrey is passionate about the intersection of technology and business as well as connecting the world through the internet.

Nicole Nomalanga Moyo
Georgia College and State University '15

Nicole Nomalanga MoyoNicole is the second born in family of three girls. She attended Avondale Primary and John Cowie Primary for her primary education. She was an active member of the Drama Club and her major roles in plays include Mary in a Christmas Play and a traditional healer in an African folktale. She was also appointed Vice-Headgirl at John Cowie Primary.

Nicole attended Bradley High School for her Ordinary Level education. This is where her passion for Debate and Public Speaking was born. She won the first prize at national level in the 2007 Public Speaking competitions. Nicole was also one of the first girls to attain 10 straight A's at Ordinary Level at her school. This achievement enabled her to acquire the Joshua Nkomo Scholarship which financed her Advanced Level education at Kriste Mambo Girls High. Nicole was appointed Head Girl, Debate President and Entertainment Committee president. She was elected 2009 Junior Senator of Makoni District and Minister of Information Communication and Technology. She was actively involved in several community activities including fundraising for Manhinga Village, an orphanage in Rusape. Once again she was one of the highest students at her school as she attained 3A's at Advanced Level.

After completing her High School education she interned as a tuck shop saleslady and temporary Geography teacher at Langham Girls High. Nicole has been invited to join the Honours Program at GCSU where she intends to major in Business Management.

Samantha Chibhowa
Columbia University '15

Samantha ChibhowaSamantha is the last born in a family of four girls. She attended John Cowie Primary in her hometown of Rusape and Monte Cassino Girls High where she was Deputy and then Head Girl. It is at Monte Cassino that she believes she truly came to her own through the varied opportunities to enhance herself that she received and the challenge to achieve excellence that she constantly had hammered into her. In 2010, in accordance with the school's maxim to always excel, Samantha won the seniors' category at the National High School Public speaking competitions.

As a beneficiary of the Joshua Nkomo scholarship Fund as well as USAP, Samantha maintains that she has received not what was entitled to her, but privileges that act as "launch pads". This mentality propelled her to dedicate much of her "long holiday" to teaching at a high school in Rusape where she hopes she has made a positive difference. She intends to study engineering and departs with an open and receptive mind.

Goodwell Nzou
Nazareth College '15

Goodwell NzouGoodwell Nzou is the 16th of 20 children, born in a very remote rural area above Guruve. Both his parents, who are subsistence farmers, are illiterate, and he's the only sibling to go past the fifth grade. He credits his tenacity and success to the puff adder snake that bit him when he was 11 years old. After his right leg was amputated, his aunt declared that sending him to school would be a waste of money since he'd become "useless;" he has spent the past decade proving her wrong. He was the Headboy at King George VI School and the president of the band Liyana, which has toured both the US and Europe and was featured in two documentary films. He is an avid marimba player and vocalist. After finishing his Advanced Levels at Christian Brothers College in Bulawayo, he worked at the Mater Dei Hospital. At Nazareth College in Rochester, New York, he plans to study biochemistry in the hope of ultimately attending medical school to develop new medicines, solve forensic riddles, and create green technologies.

Michelle Dube
College of St. Scholastica '15

Michelle DubeBeing the first in a family of two Michelle has had to strive for the best to make her family proud. It had been a long hard road for her having to be raised by a single mother and she thought of making that road smoother by aiming for the stars.

Michelle's mother whom she deeply loves is her inspiration. "Work like a slave to live like a king, because success does not come on a silver platter." Michelle attended Luveve High School where she focused on commercial subjects. She is currently working as a voluntary counselor at a home for delinquent boys in Bulawayo and hopes to do more to improve the school's status by helping the boys see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. She looks forward to pursuing business studies as well as liberal arts at the College of St. Scholastica.

Gladys Saruchera
Mount Holyoke College '15

Gladys SarucheraBorn in a family of five as the fourth born, Gladys has grown to appreciate the value of family bonds and relationships. She completed her high school education at Roosevelt Girls High and Marondera High. Gladys is an aspiring chemical engineer. Because she has had an opportunity to work with less privileged children whilst she was volunteering to teach The Vocational Bible School of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, she has developed a strong desire to help others. She hopes to make her success beneficial to the needy in her society.

Gladys likes volleyball and hiking. She was an active member of Youths Against AIDS, Scripture Union and Quiz clubs in high school. She was a Prefect at Roosevelt and she will never cease to continually nurture the leader in her. Gladys believes that her past is not as important as her future. She is a determined God fearing young lady with unbounded dreams and desires for excellence.

Favorite quotation: "Why do you tell me that the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon"

Tawanda Nigel Murinda
Wartburg College '15

Tawanda Nigel MurindaTawanda Nigel Murinda is the last born in a family of three boys. According to him this has been his driving force as he aims to surpass all the achievements done before him by his brothers. Nigel grew up in the small town of Chinhoyi before settling into boarding life at St Faith's High School. He attributes his enthusiastic connection with Christianity to the Mission environment at his High School. He was appointed Prefect in form two and rose to become the school's Head Boy in Upper Six. His involvement in quite a number of extra-curricula activities transformed him into a very proactive individual.

At Wartburg, Nigel is studying Engineering Science and plans to specialize in Industrial Engineering. His motivation has been the breakdown of industrial development in Zimbabwe and he wants to be at the forefront of re-building it. Apart from Engineering, he aims to pursue Psychology as he sees himself as an advocate for peace and love. Already he is involved in student organizations like the weekly newspaper where he is a sports writer and the chapel activities where he assists regularly.

Edwin Mupfuwa
Bates College '15

Edwin Mupfuwa"Believe, Act, Become" – E Mazango

Believe... Born in1991, as the oldest boy in a family of three, Edwin has built his life around firm faith and a close-knit family. He is an optimist who believes in spoken faith, which he is very vocal about. As the first in his family to go to university, Edwin has been setting impeachable examples throughout his life.

Act... All through his studies at St. Patrick's High in Chiundura, Edwin has strived for excellence. Due to his passion for Chemistry and Mathematics, he was a teaching assistant to his Upper and Lower Six peers. At St. Patrick's he was deeply involved in many charity drives to help pay for fees for less privileged students in the surrounding rural community. Edwin was also an exceptional athlete who reached the National Athletics Championships with long jump in his first year of high school. In 2009, Edwin was the Midlands Provincial Athletics team captain.

Become... Edwin was the EducationUSA intern at Gweru EducationUSA Advising Centre from January to June 2011. He will pursue his dream to become a Chemical engineer starting with studies at Bates College in Maine. His ultimate dream is to inculcate a tradition-technology approach to engineering that will help improve the economy in Zimbabwe by conservation. This approach is from Japan, where he one day aspires to work and learn for a while.

One who is inspired is changed with the need to inspire others.

Honest Mupatsi
University of Kansas '15

Honest MupatsiHonest Mupatsi was born in a remote village in eastern Zimbabwe to a family of peasant farmers. At the age of seven, after being diagnosed with hemophilia, he was sent to a special school in Harare, where he began to stretch his feathers. His first love was sport, and he participated in the Danhiko Annual Paralympics Games, winning medals in wheelchair racing and playing for the triumphant Junior Wheelchair Basketball team.

In high school, he continued to play wheelchair sports but then discovered a love for music and helped form a band called Liyana, as a back-up singer and marimba player. Liyana toured both Europe and the United States and was the subject of a documentary film that won an Oscar in 2010. His time with Liyana made him more appreciative of individuals' power to change bad into good.

After sitting for his Ordinary level at King George VI School, Petra High School granted him a scholarship to study Math, Economics and Accounts at Advanced level. He is thrilled to be starting his studies at the University of Kansas. His dream is to help rebuild his country as an accountant because he suspects that number crunchers will have more success in doing so than politicians. "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm…" Winston Churchill

Hatinawedu Mupiwa
Berea College '15

Hatinawedu MupiwaHatinawedu Mupiwa was born and grew up in the in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe. He completed his Ordinary Levels at Nyangani High and his Advanced Level studies at St Mary Magdalene's High, both schools being in rural Nyanga. Guided by the principle, "Success is sweet: sweeter if long delayed and attained through manifold struggles and defeats", Hatinawedu has managed to continue climbing the ladder of success despite encountering incessant challenges. Being admitted into USAP opened doors to his happiness as it exposed him to the world of higher education which would have been extremely difficult to pursue in Zimbabwe.

He is attending Berea College where he hopes to major in Physics with a concentration in Computer and Information Science. Being full of energy, enthusiasm and dynamism he had developed an intense intellectual commitment, a self-directed and purposeful vision to make meaningful contribution to the Engineering world. Hatinawedu was also the Child Member of the House of Assembly for Nyanga South Constituency for the year 2009-10. He delivered several speeches at gatherings in his constituency motivating youths to rise, work hard and pursue their goals. His philosophy now is "Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement and the only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible."

Lilian Dube
University of Chicago '15

Lilian DubeBorn in Ukraine and raised all over Matebeleland, Lilian studied English Literature at the University of Chicago where she was elected as a junior to Phi Beta Kappa, won the Elsie F. Filippi Memorial Prize in Poetry and placed on the Dean's List every year. During her time in college, Lilian was a member of the International Students' Advisory Board and served as a Resident Master's Assistant for student housing. Lilian also completed a short course at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute and was a Visiting Student at Oxford, where she studied Renaissance literature and Russian poetry.

A language lover, keen writer and traveller, Lilian currently teaches literature and writing in Hong Kong.

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