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Strive Masiyiwa’s Joshua Nkomo Scholarship Behind Zimbabwe’s World Best School Team

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Econet Wireless Founder, philanthropist and billionaire Strive Masiyiwa apparently is behind the success of Zimbabwe’s World Best School.

The Telecommunications mogul Masiyiwa founded Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo Scholarship Trust which funded Bulawayo born lawyer Mr Nqobile Dube (33) who is now the head coach of the history-making Zimbabwe National High School Moot Court team that was crowned champions of the world, beating even the United States team to earn praise from Zimbabwean President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.

Nine local girls and two boys, selected from different schools in the country, emerged victorious after competing with 15 other countries, that included the United States, Bulgaria, the Netherlands and Poland.

Congratulating the team at the weekend, President Mnangagwa also noted that Zimbabwe was the only African country to participate in the competition.

Boys, Karl Makahamadze (U6) from MCC and Kuziva Kulheya (L6) from Peterhouse, completed the team.

Mr Dube, who led the team, said even though he is based in Harare, he was born in Bulawayo and attended Thomas Rudland and Milton Junior primary schools.

“For my high school, I went to Northlea, Cyrene High and I found myself at Binga High School and that is where I did my A Level and got 15 points and afterwards, I got the Joshua Nkomo scholarship which allowed me to do my law degree at University of Zimbabwe,” he said.

“I have an Honours degree in Law. I grew up in Bulawayo that is my home town.

I developed an interest in Moot Court when I was in Law School at UZ.

It’s compulsory for all law students because it prepares you for the legal profession.

You are supposed to learn how to speak in court, address the court and argue in court.”

He said he felt that everyone should know and understand law so he found an avenue to take civic education to high schools, leading to local students participating in the international competition and conquered.

“People have the perception that law is difficult but at moot court we are not trying to push these children to have a Law degree but to have an understanding of what law is and that doesn’t require them to know the nitty-gritties about the law.

I am glad I worked with Dominican Convent school because they liked my idea.

I asked for facilities to train and coach the pupils and they gave them to me.

It worked very well,” he said.

Mr Dube said students he selected to represent the country have a background in debate.

“One of the organisations I run is called Ideas Matter and, in my organisation, I collaborate with prestigious institutions such as Oxford University and Cambridge and I run a regional qualifier round for the African continent and the best students from this regional qualifier round go on to represent Africa.

So, every year we send about eight pupils to the UK to compete against other teams from all over the world.

So, I selected these MC pupils basically from that competition,” he said.

“The qualities I was looking for, definitely the ability to argue and also confidence and hard work because this is a bit difficult than debate.

So that’s how we selected them.

This was the first MC team.

And not the final.

I will make it accessible to all schools, Government and private.

Every child must be given an opportunity to participate.”

He said being praised by President Mnangagwa over their performance was a great honour because as the Head of State, recognising the work they did was a great thing.

“It validates almost the effort and work that I put in as well as the work of the children so it was very exciting and I am very grateful for the recognition we got from the President and I think that with this tone we have set, I am hoping we get more support to roll this out across the entire nation.

There is great potential and it’s a travesty if we don’t recognise it.

“I gave them introduction to IHL (Internationally Humanitarian Law).

I taught them how to argue in a court setting.

“The process was quite challenging but fun.

We were part of history and made it special.

The children were interested in the competition and that’s why we did well,” he said.

Makahamadze said he felt highly honoured to represent the country in the competition.

“I’m an 18-year-old, currently enrolled at Midlands Christian College of which I am the head boy.

I’m the former Junior Mayor of the city of Gweru, former president of the National Junior Council’s association and I’m part of the Zimbabwe National Debate team.

In addition to all that, I’m concurrently active on the leadership and cultural front.

“I’m the president of the MCC toastmaster’s society, Journalism club president and Debate Club Vice-President.

In line with international debate, I’ve debated in numerous international debates under the Zimbabwean banner,” he said.

Makahamadze, who is doing commercials, said he is an avid prospective corporate lawyer and studying law has always been a goal that he is passionately working towards.

A Moot Court is a simulation of actual court proceedings.

Students are given a mock case and they argue it as prosecution or defence.

The particular case was centred on international humanitarian law and the focus was on war crimes.

It has been part of the process of training lawyers for centuries and plays an important role in legal education.

This was Zimbabwe’s first time participating in the prestigious competition that was held virtually.

Despite this, the team overcame all odds to be crowned world champions.

In the preliminaries the team beat countries which include Romania, Poland, Bulgaria and Scotland.

In the finals, they saw off challenges from fellow students from the United States.

Seven of the nine girls in the Zimbabwean team are from Dominican Convent (Harare) five being in lower six: Ruvimbo Simbi, who is team captain, Kudzaishe Makoni; Chiyevo Mukonoweshuro; Rosa Choto-Gwisai (all lower six) and Selumli Thulo; Tadiwanashe Choto (Upper Six) with youngest member of the team Palesa Sigauke (Form 2).

The other two girls, both in the sixth form, were Hazel Chiige from Arundel High School and Sharon Shumirai Marangwanda from the Midlands Christian College (MCC).

ross moyo

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