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Young engineer dreams big

Tinashe Mazuruse

By Style Reporter

American politician, diplomat and activist Eleanor Roosevelt posits that the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams and the same can be said for Tinashe Mazuruse (24) — a recent mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

For a boy whose story started at Zheke Primary School in Chivhu, through Liebenberg High School and shouldered by a couple of years at Marondera High School and right through to University of Johannesburg, the young engineer has set sights on the future and he believes nothing will stand in his way.

“Nothing gives me a greater sense of purpose and belonging than knowing that I am Zimbabwean. I have a dream for my country and Africa at large — a dream for a better-developed Zimbabwe, founded in a fourth industrialised world framework,” Mazuruse told Standard Style last week.

“I have an obligation to uphold the values and norms of Zimbabwe, however, in more a technologised way. The dream is far-ending, but I believe my acquired engineering skills will help me traverse that journey.”

It appears the young technocrat has always been into everything engineering from a tender age and he believes today’s generation should see beyond employment and innovate better.

“I have always been fascinated by machines from a tender age. This helped me narrow my choice to engineering as a career. Engines are my friends and the profession is now my sweet sport because of its agile and potential innovative cues as well as the firm foundation in shaping almost every structure and processes we see in society today. That alone can be a good launch pad for time-relevant industrialisation and employment creation,” he said.

The young engineer also revealed that he is inspired by new generation time punchers who have reason beyond their limitations to become well-to-do people who are giving a lot to the national development drive.

Tinashe Mazuruse (flanked by his parents) Michael and Mercy Mazuruse after graduating from the University of Johannesburg

“I believe ambition should have certain benchmarks and I have drawn inspiration from new-generation entrepreneurs who are thriving amidst the challenges and creating employment,” he said.

“On top of the list is Strive Masiyiwa and my namesake, Tinashe Mutarisi. The tenacity, drive, unrelenting spirit of these men, despite the various personal, academic and legal challenges they have faced is highly-inspiring.

“They struck the right chords, and their achievements tingle my youth energy to achieve more not only in specialised field such as engineering, but in have a bigger picture to address business leadership crisis in today’s world.”

Like respected statesman Nelson Mandela posits, after successfully climbing a mountain you will realise that there are more mountains to climb and the young gem believes challenges should spur the new generation to do more, worker harder and achieve more especially in view of industry dynamics.

“While the engineering field is a solution to the world, its practitioners still face some serious challenges. There is dire lack of proper structures or institutions, which will make it easier for the immersion or skills share between Zimbabwean and South African-taught engineers,” he said.

“Most Zimbabwean international students in South Africa wish to return home with top industry skills, but the resources challenge is an impediment.”

The young engineer, however, believes he has a solution to these challenges and will establish some collaboration between the South African and Zimbabwean engineering institutes.

“I would love to add on that cross-institutional collaboration between the Engineers Council of South Africa (ECSA) and Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers (ZIE) to attain greater good for the mother country,” he said.

“Another solution to bridge this gap is by sending more Zimbabwean students to South Africa to learn best industrial practices. South African engineering is recognised all over the world by bodies such as the Washington Accord and Sydney Accord.

“Also, they are more practically-oriented in enabling a fresh graduate to have sufficient entry level experience that is needed in industry. Mistakes are never cherished in the engineering field and the sooner we do away with them the better.”

Mazuruse has at least three top aspirations for Zimbabwe and is hoping this will help turn around the fortunes of the motherland.

“My wish is to contribute to the betterment of Zimbabwe with my qualification through establishing start-ups in Zimbabwe which will employ more young people and empower them with business skills,” he said.

“I would be happy to design a framework to send more students to study abroad so that they acquire specific skills that we lack in Zimbabwe.

“Equally important for me is encouraging the girl-child to venture into this male-dominated field of engineering through funding or helping them to secure funding.”

The young technocrat has already set his vision in motion through creating two startups aimed at kick-starting his desire for industrial growth in Zimbabwe.

“Through the inspiration I get from people like Masiyiwa and Mutarisi, I have recently launched two start-ups, Statistics Geeks and DIT. The former is an education start-up, which focuses on innovation and introduction of fourth industrial education tools; and the latter is an engineering consulting start-up focused on artificial intelligence and consultancy,” he said.

“I would love those studying to give it their best shot because times have changed, the world has become a global village and they now being bench-marked against the world.”

Mazuruse says his vision is for a Zimbabwe centred on innovation and development of skills like Silicon Valley or Shenchen province of China through STEM programmes and funding of talented Zimbabweans to go abroad and bring back the much-needed skills. He also spoke of the need for youths to be active in politics as politicians make decisions that affect them.

“I would be happy to conduct motivational school tours around Zimbabwe to encourage the girl child to take science related careers such as engineering,” he said.

“My focus is national development primed on industrialisation, but if politics calls for more I will be more inclined towards politics because I believe if sound and progressive people are in politics, then sound decisions will be made particularly in development as China did.”

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