Sarikosi University 


Do you ever wander what the university of life looks Iike?

It comes in many unpredictable forms.

Family tragedies, mental or physical disease, financial debt, loss, bearevement, betrayal and even pregnancy.  Many are unprepared with the real expectations of life after completing their chosen field in tertiary education. No one teaches you how to handle yourself when it comes to a rental lease, a mortgage application, how to speak to police, how to apply for a credit card and how to handle yourself with etiquette in hostile situations.

This is the synopsis of many foreign students across the American landscape, so a lot of the above mentioned experiences are first time occurrences and they have to figure it out as they go along.  I speak about these experiences because I am a product of this lack of education.  As the only member of my family to enter the United States for university, I had to ‘figure it out’ as many of my peers did.  It’s riveting and adventurous, but if not guided, it can lead to teething problems that haunt your credit history, marriage life or even job prospects without you realizing.

Prior to college in America, I was fortunately able to take some classes at Saroksi University well before I even travelled for the first time on an aeroplane.  Growing up in Africa you are exposed to oral tradition and you learn potent stories of your ancestors which cannot be looked up in an encyclopedia or even Google.  You are propositioned to listen carefully and guard each of the stories in your heart.  As your life moves on, you have to be very aware because at some point you will need them.  After reflecting on one of the most memorable oral stories shared at Sarokosi University I smiled, because it’s many years later – it proved to be true.

Twelve years later, I enrolled at Bearcat University after receiving  the Mufuka-Mashura Scholarship to get training necessary to enter the business world and give back to my country.  One man took a chance on me and I am eternally grateful.  His name is King Kenny Mufuka.  It was a remarkable three and a half years of tough studies, classes and warm experiences.  I can say that my infant or newfound success was attributed to Bearcat University.

So what did I learn?

I learned about internal controls, accounting, risk, writing a resume,  contemporary art and writing a business letter very well.  I also learned the art of customer service by providing campus tours and working in admissions with fellow American students.  I also learned how to troubleshoot software and hardware problems in the school’s computer lab.  I also got my first ‘celebrity’ experience by serving as a campus leader and as a distinguished member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity (Blu Phi).  Serving the local durisdictin of the college campus gave a me a preview of what it is to be a leader, while creating programs and planning parties for the student body.   This is Bearcat University.

Bearcat University

Alas!

GRADUATION came in a sudden hurry I had to use my lessons from Professor Wood too ensure I landed gainful, legal employment.  It worked out.

So what happens when you finally get that job you always wanted?  Real life ensues and you have no time to slow down – to refer to your notes.  You are chained to your desk for 40-50 hours a week and only have two days to recover, but you probably have to work on Sunday to ensure you’re caught up.  Growth slows down unless you punish yourself with insane hours of continuing professional study to keep up with your industry and quite frankly just keeping your boss happy.  It’s then that I had to refer to the classes of twelve years before while growing up at Sarikosi University.
So where is Sarikosi University?

It’s located at Gota Village, Guruve, Zimbabwe and precisely where my father, uncles and aunts learned tough and strenuous lessons to make them the people they are today. If it wasn’t for Sarikosi University, they would have dropped out of the quest or game of life a long time ago.  One of the most successful sons became a huge success in the HR arena in not only Zimbabwe, but the World.  One became an illustrious pharmacist, another an Insurance professional, another a Church Pastor and a city Planner, and one a Biblical Scholar.  The others became successful customer service professionals while bringing up the kids or freshman of Sarikosi University.  I am one of those freshman so it isn’t surprising that I think I’m doing well in my 29th semester at Sarikosi University.

Who is Sarikosi?

Sarikosi is the Father of Gota Village and specifically my paternal grandfather who is the founder of Sarikosi University.  Every Christmas the family would congregate at his compound to learn lessons and chapters required the pass the examinations that life renders.  He was such a faithful man, he would wake up at 4am to pray to the ancestors for the rain.  He helped Zimbabwe’s liberation heroes as they made their journey through the hills and valleys to seek freedom from political tyranny.  He owned a grocery store.  He owned tractors, tobacco,  land and an American GMC truck that my father crashed mischievously.

The core values required for a family to grow and prosper emanated from his soul.  I distinctly remember his roundtable meetings every time his students or kids rather were in the same location.  He was widowed – but remarried.  He was a potent giver and generous Christian who settled on the values of his African customs and those of the Salvation Army Church.  He had the gift of prophecy, the heart of a lion , but the gentleness of a mother’s touch because his beloved late wife, Clara had passed by the time I met him for the first time.

#Sarikosi, #FatherofGuruve, #UncleofGuruve

You have to wonder how this man predicted so many things.  How did he know? Who told him?  Who was guiding him? All I can say he was truly a man of faith who was relentless in his pursuit of the preservation of humanity.  He helped hundreds and I believe if there was list of a thousand people who contributed to the freedom of colonized Zimbabwe, he’d be in the top 100.

Simply, I’m trying to indicate that Mr. Sarikosi Manyika was a great man.  He did what he said he would do.  He led with distinction.  He taught us to always give back and never forget where we came from.

Sarikosi passed away while I was at Bearcat University, but his spirit helped me reach my goal of graduating with honors. Part of why I write this blogpost is simply to honor him because even though he didn’t visit America, his name will live through a scholarship I founded just the other day at an illustrious American University.  Several months ago I was asked to serve on the Bearcat University Alumni board and identified as a potential leader.  With alarming excitement, I instantly began to contribute and learned that I could start a scholarship just like anyone else.  It didn’t require privilege.  It didn’t require specialized knowledge, neither did it require money, but just the spirit of generosity.  I can honestly say, I’m glad I took the leap.

Myself and Bearcat University Senior Officials met and coined the Sarikosi Scholarship.  Instead of constantly talking about it, I decided to be about it, so put some REPSPEK on his name.  I drove to their offices and decided to stop hiding behind my emails as a keyboard warrior.

Our goal is not only to fund the scholarship, but to make it permanent and endowed for centuries to come.  The Sarikosi Scholarship is a seed planted to give back to the next generation and will be administered by Bearcat University Senior Officials.  Here we are officially putting pen and paper together in a momentous occasion.

There must have been a celebration in heaven when the scholarship converted itself from an idea to a fact.

I leave you now because I wanted to make a call to action to all readers.  Please contribute gifts as small as $5 and up to $500 until we reach out goal of $10,000 and beyond. The goal of the scholarship is to serve a full-time African student who meets the following criteria:

1. Student who is a citizen of an African country.

2. Student meets the academic standards to earn and maintain and 3.0 GPA.

3. Student meets one of the following:

a)   Athletics involvement.

b)  Campus Leadership.

c) Community Engagement.

Now that I have shared the essence of this blogpost, let me share the story or myth that Sarikosi shared decades ago.

He said in life you can’t talk too much.  He specifically said be careful what you release into the wind because there are evil spirits and you can’t control the wind.  You are not God.  You don’t know where the wind will take what you release into its path.”  It’s only now at 29 years old I truly understand what he meant.  I have made the error of sharing myself or inner thoughts with too many people in the past because they handled the information in their own distasteful way.  I am still learning and hopefully I can pass this year’s class at Sarikosi University.

It’s the only school in the world you remain until your last breadth.

How to contribute to the Sarikosi Scholarship:

Willing contributors or donors should mail their checks to:

THE LANDER FOUNDATION (Sarikosi Scholarship),

320 Stanley Ave,Greenwood, SC 29649.

#landerscholarship #ripsekuru #sonofguruve #granddadwasaChampion #thankyouLU

© 2016 SonofGuruve

Bearcat University – Be You, Be Meek, Be Grateful.


Blessings come in all forms. Celebrate every one of them.  During struggles, draw from the positive, yesteryear accomplishments, joyful memories with loved ones and having faith.

I wrote this speech in 2009 for a scholarship banquet and after unearthing it from my archives, I had to share.  I hope to uplift others to relive experiences that make you realize how fortunate your journey has been in this maze we call LIFE.

Thanks for your time.

—————

November, 2009.

Dr. Ball, Honorable Guests, Sponsors, Faculty and Students, thank you for the opportunity and privilege to address you this evening.

Last April I was sat in an interview for an entry-level position at a multinational financial organization at their Upstate South Carolina branch. The intimidating interviewer posed a question:

SonofGuruve, so what separates you from the rest of the applicants?

I paused and knew this was an opportunity to market myself, so I responded with the following, “Sir, I am living an African Dream and pursuing an American Dream.”.

I am living an African dream, pursuing the American dream.

This statement has been my mantra the moment I realized I was coming  to America through the support of the  Mufuka-Mashura Scholarship in Spring of 2007. Since then, I have never looked back.

Having grown up and raised in the illustrious, great nation of Zimbabwe, Africa, it is home to 12 million with an unemployment rate of about 80 percent. In the last decade, Zimbabwe has been riddled with shortages of basic commodities, political discord, and harsh realities – Ladies and gentlemen, if you didn’t know it’s also an African Dream for some having the opportunity to leave and seek a better future for oneself.

Before every school term throughout my elementary and high school years my father sat my brother and I and said,

Sons, there is no substitute for hard work for one day you will be rewarded – maybe not today but certainly tomorrow.

Zimbabwe’s economy had continued to plummet before my parents decided to relocate to the UK pursuing more lucrative economic opportunities. I had no idea where I was going to university. Applications to universities in South Africa and the UK were successful, but all required financial resources that my parents would find difficulty supporting. Through the Salvation Army in York Corps, I found out about a Scholarship in the SC, United States and decided to apply. I contacted Dr. Mufuka with my High school certificates and a letter of application. Documentation and visa processing was smooth sailing and in no time I was on my journey to the USA to study an Accounting degree.

My youthful, curious mind was extremely excited and I didn’t know what to expect. I just knew I had to work hard and make my family proud. I wanted to confirm that Dr. Mufuka was not making a mistake in granting me the scholarship.  I was stunned to realize I could be granted more scholarships and so I hit the ground running from day one.  In my first semester I was offered the Business Freshman scholarship, and later offered the Harris Francis P Business scholarship. In my sophomore year I got the opportunity to go on a College and Business and Public Affairs Achievement program in Greenville, SC where I got to meet industry executives and enjoy some networking.

I WILL ALWAYS BE GRATEFUL FOR THIS PRIVILEDGE AND HONOUR!

I became heavily involved in Extra Curricular Activities including Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Lander Professional Business Society and the International Student’s organization. Lander has provided me the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds, friends from all over the Palmetto state and beyond. My cultural capital has increased and I have received invaluable advice from the superb Professors and faculty here at Lander.
I am so grateful, so indebted that words cannot express how I feel about the assistance the scholarships have given me.

Perhaps this might help: An old Swahili saying emphasizes,

Giving is a matter of the heart; don’t say it is a matter of wealth.

To all sponsors I want to tell you that your giving is not just of the heart, but that it touches my soul and others. The support you have provided to all the students PAST AND PRESENT will go a long way AND WILL stretch beyond your imagination. The doors you opened shall open even many others. The seeds you sowed will germinate, grow and bear fruit for Humanity. My scholarships have fuelled my aspirations to become an Accountant and one day I would like to contribute to the Lander Foundation because I am a firsthand account of what it achieves. It builds character and a willingness of the student to dig deep and achieve his or her best. I can stand here and tell you that my scholarships have given me a constancy of purpose every day. They have built the drive and determination that steers me through my classes each and every day.

I STAND HERE AS A BENEFICIARY AND HOPE THAT THE LANDER FOUNDATION SPIRIT WILL LIVE ON.

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My journey continues.

Watch me as I do me. As for you, Do you.

©️ SonOfGuruve 2018