THERE were celebrations at Hwange Colliery stadium recently when over 700 people from
Matebeleland North received certificates after completing short empowerment courses under
an ongoing partnership between First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa Angel of Hope
Foundation and Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU).
The event which started with music, dance from entertainers such as the students of Hwange
Teachers college and the energetic Lwendulu Primary school learners was the beginning of a
new life for the graduates.
First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa, who has a passion for women empowerment, is not
leaving anyone or any place behind when it comes to empowering women and economic
development. The 726 graduands are pioneer beneficiaries of the free empowering short
courses training programme.
In a speech read on her behalf by the Minister of State for provincial Affairs and Devolution
Richard Moyo, she said in order to attain a prosperous and empowered upper middle-income
society by 2030, no place and no one must be left behind and that includes all
underprivileged citizens of Zimbabwe some of whom reside in Matebeleland North.
“Denying women and girls knowledge and skills is considered retrogressive in Zimbabwe
because females form 520/0 of the natural endowed human capital resource that would
significantly contribute to the attainment of NDS1 developmental goals,” she said.
“1 am sure that for most of you, it is your first time to be in the same space with deans of
faculties, professors and doctors, who are at your service, as is the case today. With Angel of
Hope Foundation/ZOU partnership zvinoita. university yave kuenda kuvanhu. Thank you
ZOU vice chancellor, Professor Gundani, and your team. Today, it is a special day for
Hwange people, here in Matabeleland North Province,” she said.
However the First Lady bemoaned that Matabeleland North Province has not yet benefitted
from basic counselling, disability management and sign language, health behavior, records
management, and basic nurse aid palliative care for the elderly due to unavailability of
“The Vice Chancellor informed me that Lupane State University Vice Chancellor indicated
his university's willingness to complement ZOU in the training of short courses. I, therefore,
anticipate that during the second certification ceremony of Matabeleland North Province
Angel of Hope foundation beneficiaries would have benefitted from all the 10 life-changing
short courses on offer” she said.
Meanwhile, ZOU Vice Chancellor Paul Gundani paid tribute to the Angel of Hope
foundation saying the short courses will benefit the lives of the community of Hwange
“Amai,,men and women gathered here are a group of individuals motivated by dreams of
better lives.Thank you for bringing the short courses to Matebeleland North province for it’s
one way of opening pathways to fulfilling some of Angel of Hope Foundation beneficiaries
He said foundation women empowerment initiatives speak to African Union’s Agenda 2063
whose thrust is meant to a difference to all Africans.
“Women in particular, constitute more than half of Zimbabwe’s population, women as
custodians of African culture deserved special consideration in the empowerment drive, thank
you Amai,’’said Prof Gundani.
Elizabeth Siziba one of the graduates thanked Angel of Hope saying Amai Mngangagwa is an
‘angel’ sent from heaven.
“I wanted to go to University of Zambia but I couldn’t go because the funds needed were a
lot so when the programme by Angel of Hope came, I grabbed the opportunity with both
hands. I had to grab as much as I could and ended up doing three courses at once although my
aim was to do five courses,” she said.
The courses have boosted my confidence as I now have a high self-esteem, I am now a
somebody in my family. My children now have confidence in me as a mother.
I grabbed this opportunity with my whole heart, because it was something that I have always
longed for. Now that I have the certificates I have somewhere to start in my education. I will
still continue with my studies, because Angel of Hope has given me the confidence that I can
go higher despite my age.”
Another graduate, Kwaziinkosi Joy Ndlovu, who completed a short course on heritage
studies said it has always been her dream to have a course .
“I am overwhelmed and joyful; I would not have done it without Dr Amai Mnangagwa,” she