By Vicki Brown
Africa University’s new vice chancellor has “a rags-to-riches story” as a first-generation college graduate, said the keynote speaker at the inauguration of Munashe Furusa, the United Methodist-related university’s new leader.
“It is a rags-to-riches story when no one in your family has done it and you reach the top of the university,” said Tawana Kupe, deputy vice chancellor at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa. Kupe was a mentor when Furusa was a student at the University of Zimbabwe.
“He’s therefore the right kind of role model for students at Africa University,” Kupe said, adding that Furusa demonstrates what perseverance and dedication can accomplish.
Bishops and other dignitaries from The United Methodist Church, as well as several North Georgia United Methodists, attended the ceremony March 21, along with Zimbabwean government officials, chiefs, ambassadors and local business leaders, students and faculty.
Furusa called Africa University a “product of the rich legacy of The United Methodist Church” of starting education and health institutions. “Student success is our way of renewing Africa and investing in its future,” he said.
The vice chancellor serves as chief executive of the university. Before coming to Africa University about eight months ago, Furusa was dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at California State University, Dominquez Hills, where he was successful in establishing public-private partnerships that provided internships and job opportunities for students.