By Shingi Mavima ( International Exec. Director)
I remember when I first met Nyasha.
Here I was at 12, having just moved from low-income Mutare suburbs to one of Harare’s finer neighborhoods for high school. Expectedly, I was way out of my depth in my new surroundings. I fancied myself academically, but I bore little semblance of social or ‘street’ smarts!
There he was at nine or ten, hailing from the reputable Harare ‘ghetto’ neighborhood of Kuwadzana. He was unmistakably intelligent, and his environment had made him street-smart. Thus, when we hit it off at church, neither of us (nor anyone else, for that matter) could have seen it coming. Yet we connected on a much more fundamental level. Our commitment to education, our involvement in the Sunday School, and the fact that we were being raised in single-mother households immediately gave us ccommon ground.
What had just begun then is one of the most influential relationships of my life. With time, he left for boarding school and we would only meet on school holidays. Eventually, I left for the U.S for college, and we lost touch for a few years. When we reconnected, it was as if we picked up from where we had left off back in our high school days. I shared with him the CLUBHOUSE vision, and before I had finished expressing that I could not think of anyone better to run the program in Zimbabwe, he was already on board.
It is safe to say that CLUBHOUSE’s work in Zimbabwe has taken off and been successful due, in large part, to Nyasha’s hard work there. He travels around the country, meets the scholarship recipients and their parents, shops, deals with the government authorities…He does it all.
That’s Nyasha Matavire, best friend extra-ordinaire, executive director of CLUBHOUSE Zimbabwe and, now, Bachelor (with Honors) of Commerce in Risk Management and Insurance.
The story of Nyasha is the story of CLUBHOUSE International. He has endured adversity, stayed committed to his values and community, taken risks, and given without any intention of receiving in return. He is , like a few of our founders, a product of the schools we now support. He is that role model we all are proud of!
It is with tears swelling in my eyes that I hereby congratulate him on his graduation; and on turning out to be the best version of a man he possibly could.
Congratulations to Mr. Matavire. May your star to continue to shine!