An interview with AU’s first female Chaplain
Please give a brief overview of your career before assuming the Chaplaincy of Africa University?
I am a passionate, ordained minister of the United Methodist Church with 18 years of experience in ministry. I served Amaveni Circuit – Kwekwe as my maiden entrance in ministry in 2001. Thereafter I briefly served Concession circuit for 7 months and joined Africa University for my pastoral Training. I graduated with Bachelors of Divinity (with Honours) in 2005, was ordained in 2007 by Bishop E.K Nhiwatiwa. In 2013, I attained my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) with Midlands State University After my theological training I served the following circuits;
- Murewa Mission – as chaplain and later as associate and pastor in Charge
- Budiriro South- as pastor in Charge while pursuing further studies
- Budiriro Circuit- as pastor in charge from 2014 till December 2018
What role do you think women have to play in the church especially in the area of leadership?
Women have contributed much to the ministry of the Church throughout its history. Today, most church bodies are discussing the place of women in their ministries and I am glad that the United Methodist takes cognisance of the women serving as fully ordained ministers. Jesus by his teaching and actions, affirmed the worth and value of women as persons to be included along with men within God’s love and service.
I believe that the 21st century women should rise above the patriarchy ideology characterised by male priviledge and dominance not only in church leadership but across board. Women are equal partners in leadership and ministry, thus like man, are capable of leading successfully given the opportunity and correct environment. Women should rise up against the societal notion that we are not yet ready to take up positions of leadership and start to recognise, appreciate and celebrate our own achievements. Women can rise up so that they can articulate their needs and have their opinions influence decision making in leadership.
What message do you have for women in the church?
“To be liberated, a woman must feel free to be herself, not in rivalry to man but in the context of her own capacity and her personality,”
Mrs Indira Gandhi once stated. My message to all women is that if we see ourselves as failures, then we anticipate failure and we are more likely to engage in behaviours that will lead to failure and the opposite is also true. People who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the opportunities they want and if they can’t find them, make them. I urge all women to have a clear vision of where we are going, to have faith in our potential and to trust that we can deliver in leadership. If and when we make mistakes, own up, apologize, and move on - don’t ruminate. The world is our parish.
What is your vision for the Chaplaincy?
I am guided by the vision which looks forward to Africa University continuing to be a transforming community claiming higher ground not only academically but spiritually, socially and morally. Chaplaincy foresees AU as a community refocussing on fulfilling the mission of the Church, confident about its future and always be reaching out, inviting, alive, agile and resilient. I see a community that is hope filled, passionate, nimble, called by God and courageous to keep the dream alive regardless of our differences as we are all parts of the same body of Christ. A community that is passionately committed to the mission and vision of the Wesleyan movement. This community will take risks to serve the poor, reach to the young and old and search continuously for creative ways to help each person, embracing our diversity, to grow in grace, love and holiness.
How important is the appointment of a female chaplain to diversity?
Bringing in a variety of perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences can be key to an organisation’s success. One way to bring in these diverse perspectives is through gender diversity on a board. The appointment of a female chaplain at Africa University embraces the diversity and inclusiveness into the leadership team. Women’s experiences as mothers, daughters, wives, and primary caretakers brings a flavour of its own in leadership. We have since produced and graduated many female students in all our colleges - I am a product of Africa University. This appointment thus opens up imagination about the possibilities - about woman leadership not only in the church but it becomes our own sermon on the mount (the Africa University mount-diversity sermon).
What bible verse inspires you most as a female clergy leader?
My favourite verse is John 14:27, where Jesus gives peace to His disciples. ‘ Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’ Jesus is my Peace.