I am the 4th born child in a family of 6. My father is a civil servant in Harare and my mother is not formally employed and lives in Chegutu as we cannot afford for the whole family to live in Harare. During the 2007-2009 period, things got tough for my family financially as the economy turned sour. Our situation was further coupled by the fact that my father also had to financially support his late brothers’ children who were all still going to school. Despite all this, my parents were determined to see all of us through school as they used to always tell us that education was the greatest asset that they could bestow upon us their children. I was always inspired by my mum as she always faced situations with courage and conviction.

Tino and his father

I did my secondary education in the high density suburbs of Chitungwiza at Seke 5 High School staying with my father. Living in Chitungwiza in a way made me humble as I saw other kids of my age who could not afford to go to school. It made me grateful, that I was somehow getting an education although the school did not have adequate resources to give a proper education as teachers were constantly striking and there were no textbooks. These experiences made me passionate about being a voice for other children which saw me being elected as a Junior Member of Parliament at the age of 16 representing Chitungwiza South.

Upon completion of my O-Levels, I heard of the Makomborero Zimbabwe Scholarship Programme. I applied and was awarded a Makomborero Scholarship which saw me going to St Georges College. At the school I had all the resources to further my dreams, from good teachers to proper science laboratories. Attending St Georges on a Makomborero scholarship opened doors for me as I saw many of my aspirations starting to take shape. The scholarship greatly reduced the burden on my parents who were not sure where they were going to get the money to allow me to complete my A-Levels. Makomborero Zimbabwe is not only an organisation that helped me further my goals but it became a family where I have made lifetime bonds and for this I am eternally grateful.

tino4

I completed my A-Levels and got a full MasterCard scholarship to study at McGill University where I am pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering. Because of the experiences I was exposed to during my time with Makomborero Zimbabwe at St Georges college, integration into college was not too difficult as I had experienced culture shock there, although it might not have been to the same extent as being in Montreal. Adjust to the Montreal winter, and being so far from my family has been quite tough but I am thoroughly enjoying my experience and looking forward to the remaining two years. Seeing the way Mr and Mrs Albertyn run Makomborero Zimbabwe has also aided me in my survival in college as I have learnt you should always speak up and reach out if you are in need.

tino2

My passion for helping others has not rescinded as I volunteer every week at a Community Centre where I tutor students in the less privileged community of Tyndale, Montreal. I am also part of the Campus life engagement team at McGill where we offer workshops on coping mechanisms and finding peer mentors for them. I have been recently elected as the President of National Society for Black Engineers McGill Chapter for the 2016/2017 academic year. The Society mainly represents Engineers of colour and tries to establish equal opportunities for them within McGill and Montreal.

tino3

One of my favourite quotes by Albert Einstein is “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants” and Makomborero Zimbabwe has constantly been that giant for me.

I still remain passionate about my home country and I hope to one day bring back the skills I am gaining to better Zimbabwe.