Africa University’s 30th Graduation: Unveiling Tomorrow’s Trailblazers Amidst Triumph and Inspiration

Story by Tawanda Chiwara

Managing Editor- Africa University Office of Advancement and Public Affairs

 

30th Graduation at a Glance

  • 569 graduands
  • 417 Undergraduates, 123 Masters graduates and 3 D Phil graduates
  • 57.5% of the class of 2024 were female
  • Students from 22 African countries were capped
  • The first cohort of the Masters in Childrights and Childhood Studies and Masters in Human Rights, Peace & Development under the School of Law graduated.
  • The inaugural class of the Bachelor of Science Honours in Software Engineering graduated from the university’s newest College of Engineering and Applied Science

 

“Go forth and make a difference in the world”, are the words that reverberated across the graduation arena at the conclusion of an emotion-filled event that characterised Africa University’s 30th congregation of the conferment of degrees on June 8.

The profound words from Bishop Dr. Mande Muyombo, the Africa University Board Chair, were a stark reminder to jolt the Class of 2024 to action. Indeed, Africa and the world are in need of young bright minds to provide solutions to the myriad challenges we face today.

Africa University Board Chair Bishop Dr. Mande Muyombo

This year’s graduation ceremony’s guest of honor and keynote speaker, former Mozambican President, His Excellency Joaquim Chissano, was unequivocal on what lay ahead for the graduands. 

“I am reminded of the profound responsibility that rests upon our shoulders. For you, the graduating class of Africa University, are the architects of Africa’s future – the torchbearers of progress, innovation, and change,” the respected former Statesman, who is also the current President of the Joaquim Chissano Foundation, said in his address to the gathering.

 

H.E Chissano reminded the gathering of the transformative potential of peace, tracing from his own experiences as a leader during a time of turmoil in Mozambique. 

“In the midst of adversity, we are often presented with an opportunity … to rise above differences, to foster understanding, and to build a more peaceful and prosperous future for all. I have witnessed first-hand the devastating impact of conflict on our nation and our people. Yet, I also witnessed the resilience of the human spirit and the power of dialogue… Let us never underestimate the power of reconciliation, forgiveness, and dialogue in healing wounds and building bridges.” 

He added: “In an increasingly interconnected world, the challenges we face – whether economic, social, or environmental – transcend borders and boundaries. It is only through collaboration, cooperation, and solidarity that we can hope to overcome these challenges and unlock the full potential of our continent.”

In the same spirit of collaboration, the AU Vice Chancellor Rev. Professor Peter Mageto expressed his gratitude to government, partners and the private sector, including Unicef, USAID, Mastercard Foundation, Econet, Stanbic, Ecobank and First Mutual, among others, for their valuable support to the institution.

“The investments in the future of our students have not only opened doors and opportunities, but have also changed lives. Whether through scholarships, infrastructure projects, or mentorship programs, we just want to mention that your contributions have made a tangible difference in the lives of our students…” Prof Mageto said.

Professor dr. Amon Murwira, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation Science and Technology Development emphasised  the role of education in the development of nations, particularly the need to look at the quality of knowledge currently being imparted to students, as Africa makes a deliberate effort to create transformational leaders.

“The Africa we want as expressed in Agenda 2063 is a transformative Africa, which would have delivered inclusive and sustainable development. The objective of Africa is to have a concrete manifestation of the Pan-African drive, progress, freedom, collective prosperity pursued under our own ideology of Pan-Africanism and African renaissance.”

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Paying courtesy to the heritage-based education 5.0, the minister encouraged the graduating class to reflect and think deeply on the impact of their education and to use what they have learned to bring transformational leaders that the continent so desires.

Along with the pomp and fanfare seasoned by the intermittent performances of the five-star Africa University choir, came an ‘Ebenezer’ moment, one that showed how God’s grace prevails in times of adversity. Despite being involved in a harrowing bus accident that threatened to shatter their dreams while on their way to campus, Nyasha Musimwa (Bachelor of Social Work) and Nyasha Mukanganwi (Bachelor of Psychology) defied all odds to participate in their graduation ceremony. 

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Nyasha Mukanganwi is capped by Chancellor Bishop Gaspar Joao Domingos in an emotional moment.

Strapped to IVs and surrounded by medical staff, these determined students showcased extraordinary courage and spirit. The graduation arena was filled with palpable emotion as the live video feed streamed their smiling faces, each one a testament to their unyielding determination. Families, guests, and classmates were moved to tears, applauding not just academic achievements, but the sheer willpower, perseverance and God’s Grace that brought these young graduates to this poignant moment. 

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Nyasha Musimwa is congratulated by VC Rev. Prof. Mageto and Registrar Dr. Pedzisayi Mangezvo

The event turned into a powerful symbol of hope and triumph over adversity, etching unforgettable memories in the hearts of everyone present.

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