We are delighted to announce that our MTC Youth Advisory Council chairperson, Tanaka Sabe who graduated high school at the end of 2022 has embarked on a nurse training program! Starting July 21st, 2023, Tanaka starts her classes toward a Registered Nurse diploma at ZIMPS University in Lusaka, Zambia. ZIMPS is a university that opened in 2015, offering, among others, courses in medical sociology, nursing, counseling, social work, and environmental health.
Tanaka served as chairperson of the MTC Youth Advisory Council in Zimbabwe, in addition to leading the girls' executive committee at Gavhunga Secondary School in Mhondoro-Ngezi, Mashonaland West Province.
Speaking from Lusaka, Zambia, Tanaka said of her time leading the MTC Youth Council, “ I am so proud of what we achieved as the Youth Council in Zimbabwe because we gave other girls a voice. It is not easy for schoolgirls in rural places like Mhondoro Ngezi to be heard. I was very proud to participate virtually in the 2022 UN Climate Justice forum. Being able to speak to other girls and governments around the world meant so much to me!”
Tanaka is also confident she has left a mark at Gavhunga itself. Of her involvement with MTC in high school, she says, “I remember we came up with a motto which says, ‘Focus is my Key to Success!’ All the girls at Gavhunga now know this motto. I think our mentorship sessions also helped motivate and keep us focused on our studies.” Tanaka practically lived this motto herself, emerging best student at Gavhunga from the 2022 cohort, including a string of As in Math and Science.
Looking ahead, Tanaka believes training as a registered nurse will help her understand and help communities like Mhondoro Ngezi. “It is obvious that areas like Mhondoro Ngezi lack access to good healthcare so I think I will be able to give back to my community as a nurse. Even if I don’t end up working there, people will know that Tanaka is now a registered nurse. Other girls will know that if you work hard and get the support you need, you can succeed and do something with your life.”
Maka Chikowero, founder and president of MTC Educate A Girl Inc, was elated to hear from Tanaka. “I am genuinely impressed, first, by your O Level results, especially in Math and Science subjects. I am also thrilled to learn that you are taking up this new opportunity to train as a registered nurse. You are a great example to the girls you led in Mhondoro Ngezi. Keep soaring, Tanaka!”
Tanaka Sabe speaks at 2022 UN Climate Justice Forum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJyf4hrSeFw
Reprinted with permission from St. Catherine University. View the full original article, which was published on March 7, 2023.
At just ten years old, Maka Chikowero ’26 was the youngest delegate to the 2015 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women conference. She had been invited to speak at the UN after her school project on gender inequality caught the attention of Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, a human rights lawyer, former African Union Goodwill Ambassador on Ending Child Marriages, and former General Secretary of the World YWCA. This early involvement was the launchpad for years of activism in women's rights and girls' education for Chikowero, and later led her to found her own nonprofit and to St. Kate's, where she is a first-year double majoring in women and international development and public health.
Chikowero’s nascent interest in gender equality blossomed after her first trip to the UN, where she was invited to learn more about how the issue unfolds on a global scale.
“That was an eye-opening experience for me, getting to see what gender inequality looks like and what people were doing about it,” Chikowero said. “I said, I want to take this back to my community in Madison, to my community in Zimbabwe, and help people in any way that I can.”
As a lifelong athlete and strong believer in the transformational power of sports — she played soccer and swam in high school, and is a student-athlete on St. Kate’s swim team — she decided to begin by donating soccer equipment to girls in rural areas of Zimbabwe. Her initial donations enabled the first ever girls’ soccer tournament hosted by Rozaria Memorial Trust in the Murehwa rural district in 2016. They now host girls’ soccer tournaments every other year to celebrate the Day of the African Child.
Making an impact through school and sport. After several years of learning the ins and outs of advocacy, Chikowero decided as a high schooler to start her own nonprofit, and MTC Educate a Girl was born. MTC operates in Zimbabwe, and works to support girls and women in rural areas through education, entrepreneurship, and sport.
MTC Sirens traveled the 400-odd kilometers from Nhedziwa to Magaya, Murehwa, to participate at the 3rd RMT Girls Soccer Tournament June 17-19, 2022. Running under the themes #ChildMarriage and #KickOut, the tournament was organized by Rozaria Memorial Trust. The tournament drew teams across Murehwa, Shamva and extended an invitation to The Sirens.
Incorporating Mega Nhanga, RMT's cultural innovation aimed at retooling culture to end child marriages, the two-day tournament drew a decent crowd who cheered on the 16 teams as they battled it out for honors.
Cheered on by MTC scholars and mentors from Mhondoro as well as MTC legal affairs board member, Adv. Knowledge Renzva, The Sirens were determined to make their mark.
Led by captain Kettina Japa and national Under 17 hopeful, Yolanda Shuhwa, The Sirens got off to a perfect start by dispatching hosts Magaya 1-0. Yolanda was on target. Next, The Sirens breezed past Takawira by a 2-0 scoreline. Lister Ngonjo weighed in with a brace. In the third match, The Sirens lost 0-1 to Chemapango. In the fourth match, The Sirens bounced back to winning ways with a 2-0 win over Chemhondoro. Topping the group, MTC moved to the quarter-finals to face Kapasura. The match was suspended at 0-0 as it was getting too dark! The next morning, MTC won the rearranged match 3-1. Our goalie, Beverly Mwakachiyei, saved three shots.
The Sirens faced Gono in the semi-finals, posting an emphatic 4-0 scoreline. Ruvarashe and Yolanda each struck once with Kettina scoring a brace. In the final, MTC faced off against Magaya. With no goals scored in regulation time, the match was settled in a penalty shootout. The hosts prevailed on a 4-2 scoreline to lift the winner's shield while The Sirens received silver medals.
Captain Kettina also won Player of the Tournament award while defender Tanaka Makondesa was voted Most Disciplined Player.
The Sirens were also invited to a special Nhanga by Dr. Gumbonzvanda, the African Union Goodwill Ambassador on Ending Child Marriages and founder of Rozaria Memorial Trust.
Way to go, Sirens!