How best could I describe this amazing down to earth, self-driven and energetic man who is determined to achieve so much more? Looking from what he has achieved to date and the dream he has, the burning desire and passion to continue shining and release the giant within him, Patrick is a future game-changer and transformational leader in the making. I took a seat with Patrick Ndowa, a fellow University of Zimbabwe student who undoubtedly is a man of many hats. Below are the question and answer session I had with him.
Grace Khalawo: So tell me who is Patrick Ndowa
Patrick Ndowa: Patrick Ndowa is an empowered and outspoken young gentleman, a youth rights advocate who is passionate about Human Capital Development and Youth leadership development for the meaningful participation of young people in leadership, business, developmental, decision-making and professional spaces. He is a development enthusiast familiarized with global youth participation trends, empowerment laws, corporate governance, policies and procedures with experience in translating and localizing these into high impact and measurable program interventions and activities for sustainable development.
Patrick is a former member of Harare City Junior Council (2015-2016), and former Prefect and Vice-Headboy of Vainona High School(2015-2016). In his term of office, he designed mentorship programs to capacitate young people with strong leadership and public speaking ethics and he was very much included in team-building activities, giving back community outreach and youth empowerment programs. He is an eloquent speaker, an effective communicator and active participant in national and democratic dialogues and consultations, and currently, a second-year (part 2.2) student at The University of Zimbabwe studying BSc Honors Degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Technology.
He is also the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Agricultural Elevate Corporation a brainchild company of 2018 Hult Prize On-Campus Competitions. Patrick has a strong volunteering track record and of note is his participation at the National Conference of Youth and Child-led groups organized by RNCYPT Regional Network of Children and Young People Trust. He is greatly active in extra-curricular and capacity building activities like UZ Stallions Rugby Team, Debate and Public Speaking. He is the
- President of Toastmasters UZ Gavel Club (2019-2020)
- BOOST Enactus UZ Projects Coordinator (2019-2020)
- Hult Prize University of Zimbabwe Campus Director (2019-2020)
- Former ZICOSU UZ Chapter Vice-Chairperson (2019)
- He is also part of JCI Zimbabwe being affiliated to JCI Harare and Toastmasters International.
He has represented the school at the national and even global level which is the reason why he is being nominated to be The Vice-Chancellors Ambassador of the year 2019. He was part of the winning Enactus Team at 2019 Enactus National Competitions, and he has been on ZBC TV twice recently, (Good Morning Zimbabwe and Lunchtime News) where he was representing the school on issues to do with Social Responsibility, Leadership and Community Building in relation to Hult Prize University of Zimbabwe. He has shown great leadership skills by leading several clubs and organizations not only at UZ but also at the National and Global levels. He was part of the 2019 UNICEF-BOOST Fellowship Nutrition.
Which college do you go to?
Patrick Ndowa: University of Zimbabwe
Which program are you doing and why did you choose that program?
Patrick Ndowa: I am studying Electronics and Telecommunications Technology and I chose it because generally I did sciences at A-Level and I had to go to college and get an engineering degree so that I can make money working for Econet, Telecel, NetOne or any telecommunications company. But then I realized the true purpose of education that “Our ideas of education take too narrow and too low a range. There is a need for a broader scope, a higher aim.
True education means more than the pursual of a certain course of study. It means more than a preparation for the life that now is. It has to do with the whole being, and with the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, mental, and spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come.” So for me, I am studying that program to get exposure and experience at the same time so that I can start my own thing, start businesses and create employment, that’s Education to me. By the way, I am already working on my own company called Agricultural Elevate together with 2 friends of mine. It’s an agribusiness yet I am studying Electronics. So it’s about grabbing opportunities whenever they come your way. I don’t see myself as an engineer but as an educated CEO, Politician, and businessman.
From your profile, I noticed that you have been a Vice Headboy in high school, part of Junior Council and now you are in ZICOSU. What is the inspiration behind that
Patrick Ndowa: Well for me to be the Vice Headboy I was selected first to be a perfect and then the V.Headboy. It not because I was vocal or smart, but I had shown the potential to be an example to fellow students and also be a leader. This was quite a good experience on my side as it taught me a lot of life lessons that left a mark in my life. Leading a school with more than 2000 students by then was something big for me. It demanded discipline because I did a lot of stuff like playing First team Rugby and partly tennis, Being in Executive of Toastmasters, First Aid and Interact, being a “science student” and at the same time being a leader at school and representing my ward for Junior Council, this required careful consideration when it comes to planning and balancing my things so that I can be the best in all of them.
Being in ZICOSU was by choice and not by default because I would rather say I never was a political person or was I keen with student activism. Well I joined the University of Zimbabwe in a semester that had SRC elections and I was greatly challenged that I said to myself I want to be the future President of UZ SRC yet the best way was by being part of Union, and I would rather say I was warmly welcomed and invited by ZICOSU guys on my first-year orientation. I asked a lot of questions about ZICOSU, what it does how and the affiliation, I did a cost-benefit analysis and only to see myself as the Vice-Chairperson. The inspiration behind is creating a pathway for myself for my future in politics, leadership, and business
How has it benefited you
Patrick Ndowa: I have learnt a lot of lessons, networking with people I never imagined of and also getting a good exposure. As you lead others you sharpen your skills and become a better version of yourself. You grow into being a professional being with people at heart.
How do you manage your social life and school
Patrick Ndowa: It’s so simple; I just make sure I balance both. It’s all about prioritizing. I make sure I do school stuff first because that’s the greatest thing I can ever do, then social life comes later.
What’s your typical day like
Patrick Ndowa: Well for me I plan for the next day the previous night so that all activities of the day will be well planned and organized. I believe in the concept of “early to bed and early to rise makes a man wealthy, healthy and wise” So I wake up early in the morning, have a prayer and personal Bible study, I often go for a morning jog whilst listening to uplifting motivational music preparing my mind and body for the day. Then obviously I take a bath and have breakfast. This now gives me a green light to start the business of the day and that’s my agenda during the day. Then after all daily activities, I have some exercises and then reflect on my day, prepare tomorrow’s agenda and sleep as early as I can
How was your experience when you were nominated the Vice-Chancellors Ambassador for the year 2019
Patrick Ndowa: Since it was just a nomination I was just humbled and honored though we ended up not having the Awards though due to some reasons. But it was a great experience as I realized my great potential in becoming a better person.
Was your family supportive when you were nominated
Patrick Ndowa: Of course my family is everything. I have very supportive parents and siblings although I do some of my moves without telling them. I greatly acknowledge my Father’s wisdom and my Mother’s Love in I work hard in silence and let my success make the noise.
Who and what inspires you in your journey as a young leader
Patrick Ndowa: I am greatly inspired by what other young people around the world are doing for the benefit of their communities and society. Love and service to humanity which is the best work-life is the motivating force behind what I do. I want to be great but I have understood the concept by Martin Luther King Jnr which says “Everyone can be great because everyone can serve; greatness is measured by the amount of service offered to humanity.” I believe that we can succeed so quickly in life by helping others succeed.
Who is your role model
Patrick Ndowa: Honestly speaking I can’t say I do have a role model I look up to, I just admire and am motivated by several people who made it in life taking different concepts from each one of them but I have never had one person who is a role model to me. I can say that Jesus Christ is my mentor as I follow him and become acquainted with him I become the best version of myself rather than following someone because our stories are different and unique in their own way.
What advice would you give fellow young people out there
Patrick Ndowa: Put God first, last and best. Young people should be drivers of change and sustainability take charge by being leaders in business and politics. There is power in the youth. Not only do we have the power of procreation but we also have the power to take this world forward. Unfortunately, it is sad to fold hands when all prospects of a brighter future are snatched away by forces of evil and greed. In the youth lie divine deposits of physical, mental and intellectual strength. Come to think of it, which revolution in the world has happened independent of youthful active participation?
I am coming from a historical journey and I have realized that Alexander was just a youth when he conquered the world, Hammurabi the Amorite prince of the ancient ages too, the youthful Biblical Moses, Joshua, Josiah, etc. Even our Lord Jesus did his best in youthful years. The youth have been there, actively participating to change the narrative during the American Revolution, French and even the Chinese revolution. I crossed over to the Hitler Youth of the Second World War but then my mind was brought back to my motherland, Zimbabwe. I had to reflect on our liberators from the colonial regime. Looking at their ages when they started nationalistic movements they all, were very young.
Yes, they were youths when they challenged the colonial regime. My point is as the youth, if we continue to fold hands very soon we will become history! The time to create history is NOW, and yes HISTORY STARTS NOW!! Shall we remain silent, shall we hold our peace as the future is robbed away from us. As the hand of time continues to move we are also aging, it’s either we are slowly graduating into decadence or we are shaping the future of our coming generations. As things stand right now and we watch, trembling in fear and cowardice, my question is, is there a tomorrow?
The time to create history is NOW!! HISTORY STARTS NOW!! ARISE, YOUNG PEOPLE.