1 September 2021
As Africa University begins the 2021/22 academic year and welcomes both new and returning students, the Chaplaincy unit of the university led a dedication service to usher in the new academic year with showers of blessings and togetherness as well as a memorial service for those that were called unto glory in the past year. University Chaplain Reverend Maudy Muchanyerei opened the service with a call for the community to keep God close to heart as the new semester begins and to remember the families of all those who lost loved ones in the season past from members of the administration and teaching staff, the student body, parents and guardians of students and the university’s alumni.
As the departed were remembered, a candle was lit in their honor and held by a close friend or colleague before a moment of silence was observed by the congregation. Those among the university’s members of staff who passed away from November 2020 through to 2021 included Vice Chancellor Professor Munashe Furusa, Assistant Head of Security Mr. Noel Mandebvu, Mr. Earnwell Dzapanda from the Fleet and Facilities Unit, Mrs. Delight Dube from the Jokomo Yamada Library circulation desk, Reverend Dr. Thomas Munengwa who was a lecturer in the Institute of Theology and Religious Studies and Mr. Edgar Manyawu who served in the Food Services Unit.
Members of the student body who passed away were Rumbidzai Karenje, a fourth year College of Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance student and Michael Mazarurwi, a 3rd year student from the same college. The community also lost parents and guardians with a total of 50 families affected or touched by loss.
After the moment of silence, Chaplain Reverend Muchanyeri said,
“We blow out these candles that we have lit in remembrance of those who have passed not to say we have forgotten them but to rather close a chapter and hold dear the memories and warmth that these precious souls have brought to our lives.”
The brief memorial service then gave way to the dedication of the new academic year where the overarching theme was the binding of the community in togetherness and love. Guest preacher Reverend Chikoore of the Waterfalls United Methodist Circuit in Harare led the service challenging the community to transform and to be transformed. He further urged that students and staff should go forth into the new semester boldly, without trepidation or fear stressing that while the COVID- 19 Pandemic presented unprecedented challenges, the vision should remain the same while the means to realizing the mission should evolve.
Community worship is an integral part of the university’s social fabric that creates an environment of openness and fellowship where inclusivity and diversity are celebrated. The Kwang Lim Chapel welcomes students and staff of all faiths and backgrounds with guest preachers drawn from the community often providing unique experiences of worship and praise from the African continent.
The Africa University academic year begins in the month of August with the first semester ending in December. The second semester begins in January and ends in May.