Young Zimbo, Primrose Nyawai, Aims High

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha | Global Editor At Large

HARARE, Zimbabwe – Primrose Nyawai, 19, one of the 22 Zimbabwean students recently awarded scholarships to go and study at top US colleges, said big, scary dreams give her a kick out of life. Confident and collected, Nyawai said she wants to play her part in the future development of Zimbabwe.

She said that she is inspired to make a difference for less privileged people by the pain she has experienced and what she has overcome in her own life. Nyawai revealed that she lost her father to AIDS in 2001, and her mother is currently living with HIV. Despite the problems that visited her family in the aftermath of her father’s death, Nyawai said she never lost sight of the dreams that brewed silently in her spirit.

“I am inspired by my own life. I know how painful life is so I am going to study hard and after my studies when I come back, I’ll do all that I can to help orphaned children,” said Nyawai who will study at Keuka College in New York as part of the US Achievers Program (USAP).

“I believe that if you don’t have a dream that is big and scary, you’ll not go far in life. I am determined to make the most of myself. In fact, even though I’m going to pursue studies in accounting, I also want to venture into entrepreneurship so that I can contribute to the development of Zimbabwe through the creation of new jobs,” she said.

US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, urged the students to commit to the best that they can be so that they effectively contribute to the development of Zimbabwe.

“You are part of the 65 percent of the Zimbabwean population under age 35 who must take a more active role in the development of your country, and that must start with yourselves. The key to where you are going, to having a better future – regardless of where you are coming from – begins with each individual making a commitment to being the best that you can be,” said Ray.

“You can start by defining what kind of society you want to live in, what kind of country that you want to leave to your children and grandchildren. And you can take steps all along the way to define yourself and the person you can be.”

Education and Culture Minister, David Coltart told the students to remember the disparities in their communities during their studies in the US.

“So many Zimbabweans get a secondary school education which is of enormous value to them but does not translate to much for their community. Some go on to study at esteemed institutions like Harvard. They end up living in the US sending remittances which is important but the real value of what they can contribute to their community and nation is lost,” he said.

“You’ve been given a great opportunity but ultimately you’ll be judged at the end of your lives. The ultimate question to ask yourselves is: how am I going to come back to Zimbabwe and add value to your family, community, nation and region with your knowledge.”

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