Professor Sunungurai Dominica Chingarande assume the role of Vice-Chancellor effective April 1 2021 following the retirement of the founder of the Women’s University in Africa (WUA), Professor Hope Sadza.
Prof Sadza leaves a track of indelible footprints in the academic arena, business field and the lives of the 10 481 graduates that have had the privilege of learning at the Women’s University in Africa, the only such institution in Africa.
Her passion has always been to touch the lives of those women who are economically disadvantaged in attaining education and qualifications that open up avenues to greater futures.
Her heart has always bled for those women whose backgrounds have contributed to their exclusion in the academic arena, whose culture made preference for investment in the boy-child whilst relegating the vulnerable girl child to a school dropout, early marriage and rearing of the family.
This led to the conception and realisation of the dream of offering mature women aged 25 and above, the second chance to access the all empowering and emancipating education that is today the hallmark of the Women’s University in Africa.
Prof Sadza’s ideas to accommodate, encourage and raise the mature woman are evident by the ‘one-stop-shop’ that is the result of WUA’s strategies to enable women to attend evening, weekend, online and holiday lessons in a bid to create a balance between family and academic life.
ECD centres are also available on campus to better enable the mature woman to focus on the studies at hand as the children are well attended to by professional teachers and caregivers.
Her dream to see women rise to upper management levels has become a reality as a profile of WUA’s Alumni will show.
Her life has been dedicated to addressing gender disparities and indeed fostering equity in university education.
The Board, Council, Management, Staff and Students of the Women’s University in Africa has great confidence in Prof S D Chingarande’s ability to occupy the esteemed position of Vice-Chancellor not only in the name, but action as demonstrated by her impressive insights and passion for gender equality in learning and inclusive education.
Prof Chingarande has extensive knowledge and experience in the education sector, and impeccable academic and research credentials.
She is a Professor of Sociology with a PhD in Sociology. She chaired the Department of Sociology at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and the Sociology Unit at Africa University.
She held the position of Vice-Chairman of the University of Zimbabwe’s Research Board.
She was Vice Pro-Vice Chancellor at Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University before becoming Vice-Chancellor for the same institution.
She is an external examiner for a number of universities on the continent, a content reviewer for various regional and international journals, a focal person for Zimbabwe on a number of research platforms that include the Technical Assistance Centre Network; Partner University LED Solutions Engine (PULSE); USAID funded initiatives such as Long-term Assistance and Services for Research (LASER) and the Research Africa Network which involves over 100 universities in Africa.
Prof Chingarande has also worked with various agencies including the AU Commission, SADC Secretariat, UN agencies in Zimbabwe and abroad, the EU, USAID, and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to name but a few.
She serves on various boards including the Centre for Zimbabwean Studies at Rhodes University. She has served in various capacities such as Gender Expert, Consultant, Lead Researcher, Team Leader and Evaluation Specialist in Africa notably in Zimbabwe, The Gambia, Madagascar, Ethiopia, and Tanzania to mention but a few.
The University is delighted to have a representative in Professor Chingarande as she prepares to lead the institution to the very best of its development.
The question then is: Will her feet fill the big shoes left by the iconic Prof Hope Sadza? It is evident that WUA is ground for greatness, led by great women in their distinct individual capacities.