Overcoming adversity and cancer to play a leading role in advocacy and wheelchair basketball…MunyaMahiya’s story…

I am a History Maker, known as MunyaradziMahiya and I have been part of the Higher Life Foundation family since 2010. I lost my mother at the age of 5 and after my father remarried and moved in with his new wife my sister assumed guardianship over me with no assistance from my father.

Life was not easy yet I desired to do well in school and to be a football player. However, on various occasions I was sent away from school due to unpaid school fees and this affected both grades and self-esteem. In 2008 I was diagnosed with knee cancer and my leg was amputated. People in my community started discriminating against me because of the disability and this turned my life upside down. I was suddenly aware that I could not do the things I had always dreamt of and thoughts of suicide began to plague me.

At the intervention of Higher Life Foundation my life transformed; I am confident and outspoken; issues of anger and bitterness have been resolved. I learnt to dream again and although I cannot be footballer, I am now Captain of the Zimbabwean under 23 Wheelchair Basketball Team. I enjoy and excel at the sport and I recently participated in a basketball camp in the USA.

As a member of the Leonard Cheshire Zimbabwe Trust, an advocacy group for the disabled, I represented Zimbabwe in Belgium at an advocacy meeting with the European Union parliament in February 2013. I am so passionate about advocacy and wish to study law in the future. Through this disability I have been enabled to fulfill my calling to elevate the status quo of the persons with disabilities in Zimbabwe particularly children

The Higher Life Foundation has changed my life; I am short of words to express my gratitude adequately. I am inspired by the work, the stories of other History Makers and the vision of Dr.Masiyiwa and Mrs Masiyiwa. Today I understand fully that there is no limit to my success.

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About Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, a diversified global telecommunications group with operations and investments in over 15 countries. His business interests also include renewable energy, financial services, media and hospitality. Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including Unilever, Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel, the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy, Morehouse College, Hilton Foundation's Humanitarian Prize Jury and the Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council. He is one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, the Carbon War Room, and a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education. Masiyiwa took over the Chairmanship of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) from Kofi Annan. He is also Chair of the Micronutrient Initiative, a global organization focused on ending child hunger and improving nutrition. In 2012, Masiyiwa was invited by President Obama to address leaders at the Camp David G-8 Summit on how to increase food production and end hunger in parts of Africa. In 2014, Masiyiwa was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. As a philanthropist, he is a member of the Giving Pledge, and his contributions to education, health and development have been widely recognized. Masiyiwa and his wife finance the Higher Life Foundation, which provides scholarships to over 42,000 African orphans. In 2015, he was the recipient of the International Rescue Committee’s Freedom Award and was presented with a UN Foundation Global Leadership Award for the work of the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, which he chairs and helped establish to fund the deployment of African healthcare workers to combat the outbreak in West Africa.

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