When Tinotenda Madondo left Rusape for Harare in 2019, she had a simple goal – to start her degree program and be on course to be an Accountant.
The 23-year-old had received a Joshua Nkomo Scholarship, supporting her to read for a Bachelor of Accountancy Honours Degree at the University of Zimbabwe.
She says during her four-year course, she never worried about any costs related to her learning, as the Higherlife Foundation took care of them.
Although she is grateful for the resources given to her during her journey, Madondo said she gained more from the leadership sessions organised by the Foundation for students on scholarship and young people in need of mentorship.
“Outside finances, HLF, through the Faith and Development Department, helped us grow spiritually. We never had any challenges we felt were insurmountable. You would never feel lonely; there was always someone to guide and strengthen you, even when the going was tough,” Madondo said.
Students are encouraged to join the Young and Dynamic Sessions (Y&D), where they receive practical life skills and critical insights on navigating the world after receiving the degrees they are pursuing.
Madondo said if she were to speak to any Joshualite, she would tell them to attend every single session, as they are life-changing. Her life is a testament.
“Through the numerous Y&D sessions we had, there were a lot of entrepreneurship skills that we decided to adopt.
This year, I started an events company focusing on Décor and Snacks. I was taking inspiration from our numerous sessions. Whenever I saw someone who passed through the same system thriving, I felt I could do it too,” she said.
From engaging with different entrepreneurs, some from the alumni network, she felt she could achieve the strides they recorded and are revered for.
Now that she has her degree and business, she seeks to put the concepts learnt into practice as she maps her next professional step.
“From here, I want to take a one-year break as I try to grow my own events business. Once established, I am going to enrol for ACCA. The accounting sector is very tough and requires a professional course to strengthen their qualifications,” she said.
Madondo is among the 78 students supported by the Higherlife Foundation who graduated from the University of Zimbabwe last week.