The Sunday Mail
Sunday Mail Reporter
AS the nation remembers the late national hero Dr Cephas George Msipa, who died in 2016 aged 85, his philanthropic work has not gone unnoticed.
Dr Msipa was a renowned educationist, who as president of the Rhodesian African Teachers’ Association (RATA), championed the vision of the nationalist leadership in their quest to free Zimbabwe from colonial shackles.
True to his dream of providing education to children from disadvantaged backgrounds, in 2009 he established the CG Msipa Scholarship Trust, which endures to this day, four years after his demise.
The Trust is managed by a board of trustees chaired by Mr Canaan Dube, a senior partner at DMH Law Firm.
A statement from the Trust, issued to mark four years since the death of Dr Msipa, said the primary goal of the Trust is to assist intelligent but indigent Zimbabwean students pursuing primary, secondary and tertiary education.
The CG Msipa Scholarship Trust became active in 2011 when an initial grant of US$100 000 from Mimosa Mining Company was first disbursed.
“Through the continued generous support of the Mimosa Mining Company, in particular, The CG Msipa Scholarship Trust has been able to assist more than 300 students at universities and tertiary institutions all around Zimbabwe since its inception in 2011,” read the statement.
The Trust supports students who generally fall into three categories of vulnerability — orphans, economic dependants and general poverty.
It recognises that the HIV/Aids pandemic created a generation of orphans who have no one to pay for their education. It also recognises that the capability of the general public to assist vulnerable members of society, including children, has waned due to economic hardships.
Trust beneficiaries are currently studying at institutions of their choice. The programmes sponsored are equally diverse with students free to choose their degree courses.
Since the scholarship was established, 207 students have graduated from tertiary institutions in fields ranging from medicine, engineering, law and journalism.
The scholarship also assists students to secure places for industrial attachment and employment where possible. The activities of the Trust are funded through donations from corporates and interested individuals, the CG Msipa Family Trust, the annual fundraising dinner and the CG Msipa Scholarship Trust Charity soccer tournament, among other funding activities.
Beneficiaries of the CG Msipa Scholarship Trust have hailed the former Cabinet Minister and Midlands Governor for his unparalleled generosity and philanthropy saying his good works had fundamentally changed their lives.
One of the beneficiaries, Carlos Hove, attributed his success in life to the assistance he received from Dr Msipa, which enabled him to realise his dream of becoming a lawyer after having been orphaned at a young age.
Dorothy Tarambiwa, who was assisted by Dr Msipa from secondary school to university, said the late educationist was a father figure who had a kind heart.
His daughter-in-law, Mrs Mercy Msipa, described her father-in-law as a selfless man who never gave up looking for funding to pay for the needs of beneficiaries of the CG Msipa Trust.
Mr Charles Msipa, son to Dr Msipa, said he spent the early years of his life without his father who was imprisoned by the colonial regime for his political activities.
In a heart-rending tribute after his death in 2016, ZANU PF Secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo described Cde Msipa as a courageous nationalist who did not mince his words.
“He was a courageous leader who loved his country first and foremost. He spoke his mind with deep conviction. He was never a pretender. He played a major role in all nationalist movements, the African National Congress (ANC), the National Democratic Party (NDP) and the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), all led by the late Father Zimbabwe, Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo.”
The visionary Cde Msipa was also a unifier who pursued the unity agenda between PF-ZAPU and Zanu-PF vigorously, culminating in the Unity Accord of December 22, 1987 between the two liberation movements.
“Just as a significant post scriptum, when the PF-ZAPU contingent arrived back home from exile (Lusaka) in January 1980 led by its leader, the late Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, Cde Msipa and his dear wife offered us their house in Lochinvar and moved to a nearby cottage within the premises. The house was to be occupied by the late Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, myself as his special assistant and our presidential chief of security, the late Cde Albert Nxele. This was a touching gesture which I will never forget,” wrote Cde Khaya Moyo in his tribute back in 2016.
“CG was a political giant. A colossus. He hated tribalism, regionalism, factionalism, corruption and never engaged in the politics of hate. He was not a liar nor backbiter, and never craved for favours. He respected the people and believed strongly that his purpose on earth was to serve. He served this country pre- and post-independence with distinction in all portfolios assigned to him.
“A man of great humility and impeccable academic and liberation credentials, an educationist par excellence and an author of great repute — he had great respect for humanity. What was not his, he never claimed.
“He strongly believed that we must leave the world better than we found it. He has left a legacy which is unassailable.”