Tasimba Andrew Shawatu affectionately known as Tasy by his family and friends is a 16 year old visionary and dreamer. He is without boundaries, born and raised in Mutare. Tasy is a Zimbabwean by birth and Global Citizen by living. He is the last born in a family of 4 kids (2 girls & 2 boys). Tasimba is a Christian believer. He completed his Grade Seven at Mount Melleray Primary School in Nyanga in 2015 with 4 units. His philosophy of life is,
“Live to fulfill your life purpose and be the best version of yourself.”
He attended his O’level at Nyanga Boys High School Marist Brothers. The school is just a few kilometers from Mount Melleray Primary School. These two schools were known and are famous for producing WizKids. For his Ordinary Level he studied a total of 20 subjects. Can you believe it 20 subjects? I hardly managed to do my 6 subjects back in 2015. 20?? This young man is a star; a shining one.14 teacher taught and 6 self-taught he did namely: Agriculture; Combined Science; Mathematics; English Language; Shona Language; Heritage Studies; History; Geography; Computer Science; Physics; Chemistry; Biology; Literature in English; Economic History; Family & Religious Studies; Business & Enterprise Skills; Economics; Commerce; Principles of Accounting and Statistics. The subjects he adored the most were Computer Science; Statistics; Economics and Business & Enterprise Skills. He went on to obtain 17As and 3Bs making me the 3rd best student nationwide.
Earlier on in 2017, when he was in Form 2, he obtained 2 Distinctions in his HEXCO examinations, one in Computer Operations & Packages and another in Ornamental Horticulture. Outside the classroom, he was involved in vast extracurricular activities i.e.LEO Club; Ray of Hope; Christian Life Community; Creativity; Quiz plus Debate & Public Speaking. He had become a regular volunteer at Mount Melleray Orphanage and Clinic under the mentorship LEO Club, Ray of Hope and CLC. Tasy holds the 3rd position nationally in the 2017 Ozone Layer Essay Writing Competition. He won the NAC AIDS Quiz National Championship in 2018 plus NAC AIDS Quiz Provincial Championship in 2018 & 2019. This kid is making history and I am out-challenged. Tasimba is born a champion, a conqueror and a winner. Wow!!!
Currently, Tasy is on a gap year and he will commence his academic studies in January next year specializing in sciences and commercials. Rome was not built in a day or a split second. Like any other person, he encountered challenges along his way up especially in high school. The greatest challenge he succumbed was a lack of support from some teachers at his former school. They told him that he was like a flying ostrich aiming for the moon. This demotivated him instead of giving him a pillar of strength and hope to lean on. The second challenge he faced was that of the incompetent teachers. There are some subjects he did which were taught by under-skilled personnel and those who were also not prepared to deliver effectively to the litany of the learner’s understanding. The last challenge he faced which is also affecting the majority of Zimbabwean students is lack of internet access, minimal access to electronic gadgets and shortage of power. He strongly believes that Wi-Fi is a need rather than a want in the 21st-century world for the internet is a vast bank of knowledge. It has all the exposure needed to make learning much easier and more fun.
His dear parents were really the people who were his pillars of strength in this journey together with his caring siblings. Thank God for the blessing of a wonderful family. Bongani Mwonzora is also one person who supported him and was a source of motivation. What a great friend Bongani Mwonzora is? Indeed, birds of the same feather flock and tweet together.
Tasy is motivated by the knowledge that he has a unique purpose he was created to fulfill on this planet and that he can be anything he wants to be:
“I can do anything I want to do and I can go anywhere where I want to go. I also get motivation from multiple problems of this world. These give me the internal drive to strive hard to change the world for the better and leave my footprints on the sands of time like Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter sang in her musical masterpiece “I Was Here”. I am passionate about Youth Empowerment; Writing; Public Speaking; Education; Art; Leadership; Innovation; the Environment, Business; Humanitarian Work and most importantly the intersection of Technology and Entrepreneurship.”
Coach Mallvine: How did you manage to get 17As?
Tasy: Achieving such a massive academic took a fusion of different elements. Firstly, I managed because I planted positive thinking in me and refused to see obstacles for Albert Einstein quoted, “Obstacles are things you see when you set your eyes off your goals.” The other element was strategic planning and smart intensive studying. I also made wise use of ICT which I believe is a crucial learning aid if handled properly. Greatest of all was the God factor in his life for horses are made for war but it is the Lord who grants victory so at the end of the day all credit goes above.
Coach Mallvine: Now that you have 17As what is the next step?
Tasy: I can say the 17As is just the starting point. They are just a minute fraction of the greater vision I behold. Now his focus is less on academics and more on his personal development, advancing his technology skills, improving his emotional and social intelligence, spiritual growth, physical wellness, expanding his network, polishing the Tasimba Shawatu brand, entrepreneurship, and humanitarian work. His plan is to write a book, produce a documentary, establish a tech startup and a non-profit organization, all this year.
Coach Mallvine: What is your advice to the other students out there who failed, those who failed and parents/guardians?
Tasy: Firstly, what I can say to all the students is that failure is not the end of life, life happens to everyone even the successful. The only trick is to be able to get back up to your feet when life and continue with the fight when life knocks you to the ground. Failure is not a death sentence but a learning point. I encourage them to embark on a self-discovery mission so as to find what they are good at apart from academics and capitalize. There are many very successful individuals in the world today like Simone Biles, Rihanna or Cristiano Ronaldo who did not reach far in terms of academics but are currently richer and more influential than most of the well-educated people on the planet. His word is “Don’t Give Up”. Secondly, those fellow students who passed I would like to start by congratulating them on successfully completing a phase of life and crossing over to another. His word to them is to continue keeping their eyes on the ball like what his beloved father always preaches to me. I would like to remind them that life does not reward you for what you know but for what you do so they should not dwell much on the number of As but focus on creating solutions to problems and bringing about change.
There is much more to life than excellent grades or the number of degrees earned. The world is craving action, not concepts. 17As alone will not bring an end to the problems of mankind which is why Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are billionaires who changed the world regardless of being university dropouts. Lastly, to the parents, his nugget of advice is to stop trying to live your dreams through the children. I encourage parents to allow kids to follow their desired paths of life and offer 101% support to the young ones. I also advise parents to mentor and nurture their kids constantly because of one of the reasons why Africa is where it is now being that children are just left to grow up instead of being raised up. Parents should also try by any means possible to know and understand their children.
Coach Mallvine: You mentioned Cristiano Ronaldo, Rihanna, Albert Einstein and many other people. Who is your role model?
Tasy: I take a little bit of something from quite a number of people worldwide but there are 3 people I set apart as his role models I look up to. The first one is the late legendary co-founder & CEO of Apple Incorporated Steve Jobs. He was a visionary who was not ready to give up on his dreams and arguably the highest-rated entrepreneur to ever walk on this earth. His second role model is Dr. Strive Masiyiwa, the founder of ECONET Wireless because he has an excellent head for business and is an epitome of resilience exuded in the history of the formation of his telecommunications firm in the 90s. He is also an outstanding philanthropist involved in development work, something I greatly cherish. His dearest mother is his third role model. This is because she is a hardworking woman of steel and a lioness mom. She is one of the most dedicated Christian believers and most giving I have ever met in the 16 years of his life. She is also very talented and has good business acumen which I adore.
Coach Mallvine: It seems you have got a lot on your mind so what are your aspirations?
Tasy: His dream is to get admitted to Stanford University in the USA and study Robotics Engineering, Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence concentration), Statistics and Business Economics. I wish to establish a technology firm that will make use of artificial intelligence to provide enhanced solutions to problems in different sectors. Afterward, his dream is to establish a special hi-tech economic zone in Zimbabwe called “Zilicon Valley” in order to redeem our country from peril for I believe that technology holds the answers to everything.
We should not just sit around complaining while waiting for Silicon Valley in California to solve our challenges for us yet we have the brains and raw talent to be our own saviors. Apart from that, I aspire to be environmental; human and investor rights activist. I want to be a professional motivational speaker and author. I also want to nurture the African youth entrepreneurship and servant leadership for Africa suffers from the cancer of incompetent leadership. In addition to that, I wish to revolutionize the education system of African states. His dream is to make sure that his life is an inspiration to the present generation and many other generations to come. I want to make the world a better place for his children, their children and their children’s children which is why I want to be a philanthropist and set up nonprofit organizations involved in humanitarian and development work across the globe.
Coach Mallvine: What then is your dream job or career?
Tasy: To be a Technopreneur, Investor, Businessman and Social Entrepreneur.
Coach Mallvine: Can you a bit eavesdrop about the school you enrolled in this year 2020? Tell me what really happened and the choices you made?
Tasy: On the 2nd of February this year 2020, I enrolled on a full merit scholarship into STAR Leadership Academy which is a Masiyiwa family and Higher Life Foundation initiative. The school offers a three-year program. This first year which is gap year where I am specializing in Agriculture, Technology, Business, Social Entrepreneurship, SAT Preparation, Travelling, Personal Development, Spiritual Growth, Physical Wellness, Travelling, Hebrew, Servant Leadership, Volunteerism, Basketball, Karate, Grooming and Etiquette. Afterward, I will graduate and proceed to any of their partner schools i.e.: Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa in Eswatini, Saint George’s College, Watershed College and Dominican Convent Harare where I will spend two years of either International Baccalaureate or Cambridge Advanced Level then complete high school.
Coach Mallvine: Thank you Mr. Tasimba Andrew Shawatu for the succulent and motivating interview. I learned important life principles and the advice you gave to the people out there is a pinpoint life-changing message.