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Gweru Student Gets Scholarship to Study at Havard University

Rebecca Zeigler-Mano
A Gweru student is bound for one of the top universities in America after getting a scholarship under the U.S. Embassy’s United States Achievers Program following his remarkable results in last year’s Advanced Level examinations.

Stancellous Matoreva lives in Gweru’s high density suburb of Mkoba 18, far from the reach of the first world that he will be soon living in. He cannot contain his joy and excitement that this August he will be going to Harvard University, one of the top universities in the U.S.

Stancellous was a student at Thornhill High School in Gweru where he attained distinctions in maths, physics and chemistry, an achievement that earned him a scholarship under the Achievers Program, which helps gifted students from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend university in America.

Every year, there are a number of whiz-kids who emerge from Zimbabwe’s ‘O’ and ‘A’ level examinations, but his achievement is more remarkable given the fact that at some stage in his schooling life, being the eldest in his family, he had to take care of his 11-year old young sister and nine year-old brother, as his mother, a civil servant, had been transferred to work in Bulawayo.

Instead of seeing it as a distraction or hindrance, Stancellous said such responsibility motivated him.

The former school headboy did his primary at Mpumelelo in Mkoba 15 and his Form One and Form Four studies at Mkoba 1 High School where he got 14 distinctions in his ‘O’ levels before going to Thornhill High.

Deputy head Maria Muzondo of Thornhill High, who taught Stancellous chemistry, praised him saying he is a young man of good character and is happy that he got a scholarship to continue his studies at Harvard University.

But some critics argue that it is of little use to have whiz kids like Stancillous being plucked from their developing nations like Zimbabwe to attain higher education in foreign countries.

Others also claim that a number of students who study abroad are often reluctant to return home.

Rebecca Ziegler-Mano, who is the U.S Embassy’s education advisor, said some Zimbabweans who have been educated in the diaspora - including the United States - have been hesitant to return home.

She said the U.S Achievers Program gives locals an opportunity to receive education from some of the best universities with modern education facilities.

Ziegler-Mano said more Zimbabweans are now keen tp return home after completing their studies.
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Stancellous wrote a Shona novel in 2011 - Chandakazviitira.