Student Stories – Prince

My name is Prince Chakanyuka, the last born in a family of three boys. The first being 28 years, the second 22 years and I am 17 years old. This has been my family since October 2013 after my parents passed away in 2013 but on different dates. My oldest brother is the breadwinner in our family earning $120 per month of which $100 goes towards rent. We live in a two bedroomed house.


I was born in a high density suburb. My family lived a peaceful life. I moved to different schools for my primary education and after passing grade 7 I went to Mufakose 2 High for my secondary education. At this school I did a number of clubs such as debate, Model United Nations, First Aid, Environment Club, Justice for Children Trust and Science Club. I was elected the leader of First Aid and Debate. I was also in Junior Parliament as the Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare. I became the Deputy Headboy in 2013. I took part in the National Science Exhibition held in Zimbabwe in 2012 were my friend and I made bio-diesel from cooking oil.

Life started to change in April 2013. This was time that my father fell ill because he had TB and was diagnosed of meningitis in August 2012. This situation began to disturb my education but I tried to bottle it up and forced myself to act normal. My father then passed away on 14 June 2013 just a day after my 16th birthday. I was going to receive a merit award the day my father died. I forced myself to act normally and could not grieve for my father as I had to focus on my examinations. In September the same year my mother became ill but and would not tell me of her illness as she feared that it was going to disturb me. That term there was no money to pay for my school fees. My mother got worse and because she was staying in South Africa, she had to come back to Zimbabwe. I could not talk to my mother when she came back because she was taken to Gweru were she was being taken care of by relatives. In October 2013 my mother died. I did not know that my mother had septicaemia until the day she died. She died two weeks before my exams. I had to force myself to write my exams and the worst happened. I got chicken pox and stomach acids during my exams. I struggled to take in medication so I had to write the exams feeling sick. Despite all this, I got 8As, 1B and 1C in my Zimsec Exams.

I applied for a Makomborero Scholarship and God found favour in me and I made it. I am now learning at St George’s College. Without this scholarship, there was not going to be school for me. I am now living with my brothers and spend time at the boarding house. I wish to be an inspiration to many people especially orphans. I will always remember this – my last conversation with my mum was in a truck on our way to my father’s memorial service on 5th August 2013 and my dad on my 16th birthday.

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