Student Stories – Clive Uchena, a boy who found his family

Orphaned at age 7, Clive Munyaradzi Uchena was placed into the custody of his paternal grandparents. During this time Clive came very close to having his leg amputated after doctors failed to diagnose a problem with his knee. Thankfully he made an unexpected recovery and the amputation was avoided. Life with Clive’s paternal grandparents was not easy, and after having experienced physical and emotional abuse in their care, Clive eventually ran away from the torture to go and live with his maternal grandmother.

Clive and his grandmother

Clive’s grandmother had very little means to care for him, but she was kind. This was a defining experience for Clive, as he learnt from an early age that he would need to work very hard to improve his and his grandmother’s situations. Clive did his O-Levels at Zengeza 1 High School at a time when there were massive strikes in schools and political upheaval in Zimbabwe. In spite of having no teachers at times, very limited textbooks and no access to a Science Laboratory for practical experiments at school, Clive had a passion to make something better of his life. He taught himself and studied hard, and his performance at O-Level was outstanding.

Clive was one of Makomborero’s pioneer students in 2011. Having applied for the Scholarship, he was a natural fit. Not only was he an orphan, but his story was one of a young boy’s extraordinary courage and determination. Where many people would have simply given up, Clive had already overcome a lot of painful obstacles to get where he was.

Clive and friends

At the boarding house, we watched Clive transform as he experienced being part of a family for the first time in his life. A family he has learnt to cherish over the years. It was no surprise that he performed exceptionally well in his A-Level exams, obtaining 2 A*s in Chemistry and Physics and an A in Mathematics.

Clive has become a role model in his community and continues to help other young people with Revision classes. Some have gone on to pass with flying colours and are currently enrolled at different universities. On several occasions he has also been asked to give Motivational Talks at his former school, guiding and giving hope to his younger peers.

Clive in training

Having successfully completed his two years with Makomborero, we continue to sponsor him under our University Grant scheme. Clive is currently enrolled at the University of Zimbabwe where he is studying Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery Degrees (MBChB). This is a dream that he has carried from childhood, when his late mother used to refer to him as Doctor Uchena. He is now in his third year of the five year programme.


Clive continues to work hard in this demanding programme, balancing his practical learning at the University hospital with the clinical aspects of his studies. His dream is to specialise in cardiothoracic surgery and to help contribute to the health care delivery system in Zimbabwe.

Clive and Ella

Clive is a true gentleman, who we are watching grow and mature into a promising young doctor. He still often pops round for lunch where he plays doctors together with Ella!

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