18 August 2021
The newly elected Student Representative Council (SRC) and the Student Union Parliament (SUP) were sworn in on the 18th of August 2021 by the Acting Vice Chancellor Rev. Professor Peter Mageto in a blended ceremony that saw the young leaders taking their respective oaths of office as they prepare to serve the student body. The 2021/22 SRC has a female president for the first time in well over two decades in highly competitive online elections that were held in April 2021. Incoming SRC president Ms. Shannel Ziki from Zimbabwe pledged to uphold the values and mission of the university, respect and embrace the diversity of the student body and to perform her duties without fear, restraint or favor. She takes over leadership of the union that boasts over 5000 students representing 26 African nations from Mr. Michael Ike Ndu whose sterling leadership during the onset of the Covid- 19 Pandemic saw him and his team constantly innovating new ways to reach and serve their constituents.
With each member presenting themselves whether virtually or in person to the Acting Vice Chancellor, the ceremony also served as an avenue through which members of the university administration and executive leadership endorsed and reiterated their support for the leaders offering up prayers and guidance.
After the swearing of oaths, the Acting Vice Chancellor offered words of counsel and wisdom.
“It is so good to be among you all today as I congratulate you on not only successfully participating in the online election but also on your maturity and willingness to serve your community in this capacity. Let me remind you that Africa University is God’s project and in your respective oaths , a common theme was making God the foundation of your leadership and a rock of support. “
Prof. Mageto went on to share relatable experiences of his time as a student leader while he was in university.
“When I was elected SRC president of my university student union in 1989, one of the things I remember so keenly was wondering how post election, I would unite the students, how I would lead people who were so much older than I was as at the time where I was the same age as you are today and how I would appreciate and accommodate people from backgrounds that were so different from my own. In all this, my answer, my guide and my refuge was God. Another important thing I urge you to remember is to communicate. Respect protocol but do not become bogged down by it. Let your leadership be guided by shared accountability and responsibility.”
He added words of encouragement and support saying,
“We are here to support you and to guide you. Leadership is not easy but I know that we have put in place structures to allow you reprieve from the stresses of your new role. The university counsellor and staff are at your disposal, make use of these services.”
Ms. Ziki laid forth the vision of her administration saying,
” Our aim is to unite our students and create the Pan- African ideal that we all strive for. We also want to make students aware of what is expected of us , their leadership so that we are transparent and wholly accountable in our administration. We are all about providing more opportunities and giving students room to explore their talents.”
Ms. Ziki expressed her excitement of working with her diverse team that is made up of students from Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria.
” I am so blessed to have these people in my team and thank God for my Vice President Habacuque Lopez. He is so supportive and knowledgeable .”
Vice President Mr. Lopez said of Ms. Ziki,
“Shannel is humble, open to share and is a fantastic listener. I feel confident of what we are going to accomplish. Our students should have the ambition to do and become whatever they want and we will be working hand in hand with the university to build on the empowering environment they have already created for us to realize this.”
The 2021/22 student leadership comprises Shannel Ziki from Zimbabwe (President), Habacuque Lopez Caxinda from Angola (Vice President), Tavonga Faneti from Zimbabwe (Secretary General), Idris Nsenga from the DRC ( Sports and Recreation ), Siletubuhle Moyo from Zimbabwe (Academic and Legal Affairs), Amos Dobio from Nigeria (Academics and Social Welfare) and Suzanne Ramazani Dada from the DRC (Secretary of Finance)