Volume 2 Issue 2 April – June 2016

Welcome to Volume 2 Issue 2 of your quarterly e-newsletter (the Dream Catcher), specifically packaged for our alumni, friends and sponsors. This month being the year’s middle month, we congratulate you for completing over 200 days in the year so far. We also thank God and wish you more blessings.

In this issue, we have stories on how your alma mater is empowering nations as it graduated 841 candidates, 54 per cent of whom are women at the Africa University’s 22nd Conferment of degrees which took place on June 11 at the university campus.

We also bring to you a story on how your friends, sponsors and colleagues are changing the world and giving back to their alma mater, in addition to how they were honored at Portland, OR, USA. We conclude this Issue with a farewell to the quintessential lady that you interacted with daily while on campus, Mrs. Tsitsi Kagurabadza, the Food Services Director, otherwise known as “KFC”, as she retires after more than two decades of meritorious service to the university.

We thank you for your continued patronage and support to your alma mater. We also want to hear from you. So, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We wish you more blessings as you continue to work excellently towards your desire and that of your alma mater.

Wehnam Dabale '07

Director, Alumni Affairs

Nations empowered as AU graduates 841 Candidates

Graduation is the mainstay and highlight of any university’s yearly calendar. It is a time that is cherished by not only the graduates and their parents, supporters and sponsors, but by the university itself as it appropriates years of guidance, study, patience and fortitude that have resulted in success for all sides.

2016 Graduates

The 2016 graduation was the congregation for the 22nd conferment of degrees which was held on June 11 on the University campus at Old Mutare. The university graduated a total of 841 to its alumni ranks, from six faculties and one institute, representing 26 African countries with 54 per cent of the graduates being women.

This is truly a pan-African university with African ethos that “if you educate a man you educate an individual but if you educate a woman you educate a nation” and we are truly investing in Africa’s future. The university now boasts over 7, 000 graduates worldwide in its 24 years of existence.

Guest Speaker and Invited Guest

We were honored this year to have Mr. Shingi Mutasa, a Zimbabwean entrepreneur and the founder of AIM listed Investment Company, Masawara Plc, which focuses on acquiring interests in projects based in Zimbabwe and the East and Southern Africa as the Guest of Honour and Keynote Speaker.

On his well-articulated speech on “Choices”, Mr. Mutasa imparted wisdom and guidance through his over 30 years of entrepreneurship experiences to our latest graduates who were about venturing into a world filled with uncertainty.

He admonished them to have the passion, make the rights choices and concentrate on their strengths.

Best graduating student 2016

On her part while giving the vote of thanks on behalf of the graduating class of 2016, the Overall Best Graduating Student at AU, Ms. Uwineza Clemantine, a Rwandan national, challenged her colleagues on the knowledge they had acquired as well as how best they could impart it on their different communities, countries and Africa.

“The difference you are going to make in the society begins from this moment,” she told her colleagues.

This was a graduation that will be remembered for a long time, not only by the graduates, but by the many members of the Alumni Association from Harare, Mutare and Mozambique who selflessly offered their time and support towards its success by their participation in the advertisement of the alumni memorabilia.


We thank our alumni worldwide for what they are doing and wish to do and for their alma mater. To the new graduates, we say Makorokoto! Amphlope! Congratulations! Hongera! Parabens! Felicitacion!

If you missed the graduation and you want to buy some of the university’s memorabilia, you may contact the Alumni Office.


Harvest of gifts as AU Alumni and friends gathered at Portland, OR

Bishop Matthews

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can” were the words of John Wesley, the Father of Methodism. These words inspired Africa University to host an Alumni and friends gathering on May 15 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Portland Downtown– Located at 319 SW Pine Street, Portland, OR 97204 USA.

The event featured a mini concert from the AU Choir as well as remarks form the Board Chair, Bishop Marcus Mathews, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Munashe Furusa; Alumni Affairs Director, Wehnam Dabale; and representatives of the Alumni Association, Rev. Annie Chikongo and Rev. Chalie Kalaba.

(Left)Rev. Chali, Prof. Furusa and Bishop Matthews

AU’s decision to host the event at GC2016 was based on the significant number of AU graduates, friends and supporters who served as delegates, staff, marshals and translators to the General Conference. There were over 100 AU graduates at the GC2016 and 32 of them were translators.

It is worthy of note that Africa University has received an incredible amount of funding and support from her friends and associates in the connection worldwide and USA in particular who have bought into the vision and know that their contribution makes a huge difference across Africa, given our pan-African identity.

Africa University Choir

To complement the support that AU gets from its sponsors and other friends, Rev. Kalaba Chali, an AU graduate from Zambia who currently serves as Mercy and Justice Coordinator in the Great Plains Conference in USA, organized his colleagues and friends who are translators at the GC2016 to give their stipends to AU. Many respondents gave up to 100 per cent, some 75 per cent and others 50 per cent. A total of over US$20, 000 was realized through this initiative.

Rev. Chali, who commended his colleagues and AU alumni worldwide, emphasized on the need to give back to the community and especially AU.
“Let us endeavour to always give back, no matter how little,” he told the audience.

Highlights of the event include the concert by AU choir and the presentation of certificates of appreciation to the donors by Chairman of the Board and the Vice Chancellor.

We most sincerely thank Rev. Kalaba Chali and other Alumni and friends for the initiative. We also thank our friends for honouring the event as their actions were exemplary and raised the bar for other alumni that have already identified with the AU’s cause and especially the latest graduates.

If you are inspired by what the translators did and also want to contribute to AU, you may kindly contact us with your proposals and donations.

Farewell to Mrs. Kagurabadza “KFC”

AU Dinning Hall

One of the secrets of success in life, according to Mark Twain, is “to eat what you like and let the food fight it out itself”.

At Africa University, we sometimes eat what we like and sometimes eat the available, courtesy of the Dining Hall under the leadership of Mrs. Tsitsi Kagurabadza, popularly known as “KFC” by admirers.

The amiable caterer, who joined AU as the pioneer Director of Food Services on March 1, 1992, is calling it a day after serving the university for over 24 years.

A farewell party was organized in her honour recently by the staff of the Food services Unit of the university and the event was attended by the all the kitchen staff, staff of the Student Affairs Department, Management of the University, as well as students  and some members of the Alumni.


Mrs. Kagurabadza

Going down memory lane, the emotion-laden Kagurabadza recalled when she started in 1992 with a compliment of 40 students with no kitchen and dining hall but only a flat at the Greenglades Flats at Hardy Crescent, in Mutare.

But she was happy to be part of the growth of the institution which termed “Gods’ project”. A staunch Methodist, she said: “I am proud to be part of the dream of Bishop Hartzell and starting the dining hall from the scratch to what it is now in serving more than 2, 000 clients is for me a blessing beyond description.

Kagurabadza remarked that she never had problems with the students and her employers, but admitted that one major challenge had tested her courage and resolve in the 2007/2008 academic year when the Zimbabwean economy crashed and all universities, colleges and shops in the country were closed due to hyper-inflationary environment.

“But I still succeeded in ensuring that no AU student had to go to bed without food in his or her stomach,” she said with smile of satisfaction boldly written on her face.

“I think I will attribute the rare success during that particularly challenging time to my belief in God and the support I got from my family, friends and supporters like you,” she added.

Ms. Chibanda

The university’s Bursar/Finance Officer, Ms Irene Chibanda, who thanked Kagurabadza on behalf of the management, eulogized the veteran caterer to applause from the audience.
“Mrs. “KFC” is a very strict and professional employee who does her work diligently and believes in God for success,” Chibanda said.
Other speakers at the event unanimously agreed that several changes in the university had not hampered Kagurabadza’s focus to improve on dieting on the campus, saying successive vice chancellors had also found her most suitable for the job.

Highlights of the event included singing, dancing and exchanges of pleasantries.

Mrs. Kagurabadza, a Zimbabwean, was born on July 2 1945, the last child in a family of three, comprising one boy and two girls. She was trained as a secondary school teacher, dietician and food administrator in 1964 and 1980 at the Umtali Teachers Training College, now Mutare Teachers College and the California State University, Long Beach, USA respectively.

She married Hon. Mishek Kagurabadza in 1969 and the family is blessed with the children (all boys) and three grandchildren.
The Africa University’s community is blessed to have Mrs. Kagurabadza as a mother, aunty, sister and food supplier. We pray that the good Lord continue to bless and guide her as she eases into a new life of retirement.

Are you inspired by this story and want to share your story? Kindly contact the Alumni Office.

Upcoming Events

25 June 2016,  Alumni and Friends Gathering at Maputo, Mozambique

August 2016,  Alumni and Friends Gathering at Kamina, DR Congo

1 August 2016, Arrival of First Year students

17 August 2016, Arrival of Returning students