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All lives are worthy and deserve a chance

Washington Fellowship
Motivational speaker and radio disc jockey Tafadzwa Nyamuzihwa shares the maxim of the organization he founded, “All lives are worthy and deserve a chance.”

Motivational speaker and radio disc jockey Tafadzwa Nyamuzihwa shares the maxim of the organization he founded, “All lives are worthy and deserve a chance.”


The young activist and sports enthusiast admits that five years ago, at the age of 24, he considered suicide when he first learned he was losing his sight.

A leader, he says, is someone who has faced a challenge, overcome it, and wants to create a change. “Now I’m working on a project to empower the blind in Africa by improving literacy skills” he says.

After going through counselling, Tafadzwa learned to cope with his disability and decided to assist other young people with similar disabilities.

He admits he could not believe the news when he learned he was selected as a Washington Fellow, part of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. “I went equal parts ‘Wow, America!’ and was humbled at the same time; the latter from the fact that I had been considered despite my total blindness,” says the young activist.

Tafadzwa believes that programs such as the Washington Fellowship give “much needed exposure for young leaders in Africa, an emergent crop that isn’t satisfied with doing business and running organizations in traditional ways.”

In 2012, he registered and launched a non-profit organization, Shine On International Trust, whose objective is to empower the blind in Africa.

The Trust is currently leading a pilot project in Zimbabwe.

Through his organization, Tafadzwa has taught young people with visual impairments life and computer skills and disseminated HIV/AIDS information to the blind.

During the Washington Fellowship, Tafadzwa will undergo a rigorous six week academic program at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, near Chicago. He hopes to hone his business and management skills and “explore ways to make my humanitarian organization more visible, fundable, and more approachable by deserving people in Zimbabwe and throughout Africa.”

Since being accepted in the Young African Leaders Initiative, he has profiled his Washington Fellowship cohort, using them to inspire youth throughout Zimbabwe on his radio program, “Shining Stars,” (which is broadcast on Star FM every Sunday evening at 8 pm.)

“I spoke to James (Bayanai) who was in the program recently and he told me about the amazing feedback he continues receiving after being on the show,” boasts Tafadzwa. “As a DJ, I will continue this tradition and spice my radio presentations with motivational elements that reflect my experience in the United States.”

The former Prince Edward School student was raised by a foster parent- the late Chipo Zengwa- after being neglected by his biological parents at the age of one. After completing high school, he worked as a sports coach at a prep school.

“I then went on to study a Diploma in Sports Management and Coaching at Varsity College in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, South Africa but unfortunately, not long after, I began experiencing eye sight problems at the age of 24,” says Tafadzwa.

He eventually lost his ability to see. However, after learning to live with his new condition, he went to pursue studies at The International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs in India.

You can follow Tafadzwa on Twitter via the handle @taffynyamz