6 March 2020
Story by Jeanette Dadzie
Marketing and Public Affairs Officer
Office of Advancement and Public Affairs
The AU Women’s Soccer Team received a donation from the Vice Chancellor Professor Furusa and the Furusa family of 15 complete soccer kits. The Captain of the team Leya Binti Corneille from the DRC and Deputy Team Captain Paidamoyo Vanessa Gwenzi were on hand to receive the kit on behalf of the team. Ms. Gwenzi said, “It has been absolutely wonderful being a member of this team and representing Africa University on the field. Our aim has been and still is to be the best. With our new kit, we will look good as we raise the AU flag high. We shall not let you down and we shall give our all in the upcoming ZUSA games”. The Zimbabwe Universities Sports Association games are an annual event that brings together the best athletes and teams from institutions of higher learning in competition that culminates in the victor proceeding to represent Zimbabwe regionally and internationally.
The kit is a love gift from VC Professor Munashe Furusa, his wife Dr. Zanele Furusa and the entire Furusa family as they nurture and encourage a culture of giving within the AU community and beyond. Prof. Furusa said, “One of the things I thank God for is that I have a wife who has such a powerful spirit of giving. It is something my family believes in strongly. When you give it feels so good. I recall when I first assumed the role of Vice Chancellor of this University and learning that the student’s gym was in desperate need of equipment. My family together with three members of the Board of Directors answered the call and provided equipment worth USD 4500. We have begun a culture of giving and we shall maintain that.”
Providing context to background of the donation of the women’s kit, Prof Furusa said, “The SRC Deputy President and coach of the women’s team Fiston Okito approached me and communicated the need for a kit for the team. My family decided to provide what was needed. I cannot ask others to give if I have not done so before them. That is leadership. We love our students and we cannot speak of excellence when our teams do not have kit. We will continue to find more ways to motivate our students”.
SRC Deputy President Mr. Okito expressed his appreciation to the VC for the level of responsiveness and care that his leadership conveys constantly. “I am so excited! I have no words to show our gratitude. As the coach of the team and part of the SRC leadership, I was challenged by the ladies who on many occasions would raise concern of their lack of equipment and would frequently ask rhetorically if their plight would be taken more seriously if they were men. This sentiment hurt me especially as there should never be a time that women feel that their gender somehow incapacitates them, especially on such a progressive campus as Africa University.”
Mr. George Miti, the Dean of Students echoed similar sentiments during the official handover ceremony adding, “This donation has coincided perfectly with Women’s Month. Women’s sports still have a long way to go especially in Africa where we see the prize money offered to women’s teams when they compete regionally or internationally being significantly less than that offered to men as one example. There are so many discrepancies and double standards that need to be addressed if we are to progress.”
AU Chaplain Reverend Maudy Muchanyerei prayed over the kit as it was handed over to the team and the Sports Director Ms. L. Binamu. The ZUSA Games are set to begin on the 26th of March 2020 and shall end on the 28th of March 2020. The University shall field teams in Basketball, Men’s’ and Women’s’ Soccer, Darts, Snooker, Hockey, Cricket, Rugby and Tennis.