Name: Hastain Karimanzira
Age: 26 Years Old
Institution: Midlands State University.
Program: BSC Peace Studies Honors Degree
Growing up was so difficult for me; I lived a life where I was passed on from one hand to another. I grew up without a mother, I never knew her and when I was grade three that’s when I was told that my mother was late, they told me that she died when I was very young. I was staying on my mothers’ side and life was very difficult because my grandmother was a widow and she was supporting a very huge family. Food and other livelihood requirements were a struggle for us and we would go kumaricho (Farm piece jobs) so we could get a bag of maize which was never enough for the family. My father was still alive but he had another family and he did not bother to even send child support to ease the situation. I had only met my father once and as if things could not get any better, when I got to grade five, I learnt that my father had passed away and that people in his family were dying mysteriously. My uncle then decided to take me to my fathers’ side around 2002.
I was taken to Nyazura in Rusape and during my first days my grandmother accepted me and celebrated that I had finally came home and deep within me I thought my trouble in life was over. My paternal grandmother was also a widow. However it was not long before her true colors started to come out; she would point out that I was an illegitimate son and I should leave her home; she would point out that she didn’t know my mother so I did not deserve to be at her home. My grandmother went further to accuse me of stealing her money all the time, she would hit me with anything; burning firewood, her own fist and even lock me out of the house. I remember at one point she threw hot water at me and deprived me access to food. I was familiar with stories of child abuse but I never thought I was going to be a victim of it until I started to live in Nyazura. Even though food was in abundance I started to miss the life I lived at my maternal grandmother’s house. In 2007 my grandmother passed away, and it was agreed that I was to relocate to Harare.
In Harare and I started staying in Warren Park with Amaiguru (wife to my father’s brother). She was also a widow and her family was very large. One of her daughters was of my age and was under Capernaum trust scholarship. Life was not so easy and we would struggle for things to balance because we were about fourteen altogether in one household. My Amaiguru had only agreed to offer me a roof over my head and food. So I enrolled at Kambuzuma High 1 but the school fees were not available. The debt at the school just kept on accumulating. By the time I wrote form four, acquiring exam fees became a headache for everyone and I felt like I was just a burden in peoples’ lives, I felt unwanted and I would be sad all the time. Due to the amount I was owing to the school I was not able to access my results. I had to wait for another year again. One of my sisters got a job and we were able to clear the balance at school and I got the results. I had passed four subjects; this was not enough so I became a vendor selling cosmetics in salons in Harare. I was able to raise some money and I wrote my supplementary exams and I passed in 2012.
In 2012 I became a member of the United Family International Church. During one of the services I learnt that Agape Family Care was giving scholarships and I was quick to act, I visited the offices and I was instructed to look for a lower six place in 2013. I enrolled at Dzivaresekwa High 1 School. This was the best opportunity of my life and I reported back to the offices and Agape Family Care gave me the priceless opportunity for me to further my studies. Each time I would visit the Agape Family Care offices the project officers would inspire me to work so hard. Fortunately enough I passed my A ‘Level studies and I moved to Midlands State University still under the Agape Family Care Scholarship Fund.
I am now in the final year of my University Studies and I really appreciate Mhamha Ruth Makandiwa and Agape Family Care because they have made me the person I am today. I am filled with gratitude because if not for Mhamha Ruth Makandiwa’s vision I do not know were my life would be right now. I never thought I would see a university door in my life but that changed the moment Agape Family Care took me under their wings and I have become one of their success story.