Meet Tapuwa Muchinga, our A level Biology and Mathematics tutor from Zimbabwe.

Since 2020, Tapuwa has been following his dream, pursuing his PhD on Genomic Cancer research at UCT initially funded through the United Nation’s International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology — Arturo Falaschi PhD Fellowship (approx. $1020/month).

Due to the COVID pandemic crisis, the program has taken longer than anticipated and he finds himself in mid-stream without financial support to complete his studies. To make matters worse, the political climate in South Africa is overtly hostile towards Zimbabweans living and working in South Africa

Calum Wehmeyer, a student of Tapuwa’s, describes him as, “a superhuman amount of dedication, positivity and enthusiasm” Calum shared that Tapuwa guided him through two years worth of exam content within a year. He made extraordinary efforts to facilitate Calum’s learning, including setting up practice lab work and teaching on weekends and late night sessions during the week, often at short notice. Calum completed his degree in Biomedical Sciences at Edinburgh University in 2022.

If you would like to donate funds towards his academic career, please reference your donation: “Tapuwa.”

Account name:  The Institute for Leadership and Education Trust (TILE)
Nedbank South Africa
Current account no;  1145529283
Branch code:  198765
Swift code:  NEDSZAJJ

Note:  TILE is a section 18A NPO so donations can be tax deductible.

Tapuwa’s Story

I am finalizing my PhD, which I am doing under the auspices of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) Cancer Genomics Group in Cape Town in collaboration with the University of Cape Town. I am now done with my practical work. I am no longer receiving the ICGEB fellowship support because the scholarship ended on the 31st of December 2022. My PhD is on investigating the role of SPDEF in both Prostate Cancer (PCa) and Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (ESCC). I have acquired extensive skills and techniques during my more than seven years of extensive work and experience with ICGEB. My CV summarizes all my educational, professional and academic achievements over my 20 years of work experience.

My science education degree is a BScED in Mathematics and Biological Sciences (Double Major). It has been followed by over 20 years full-time and part-time teaching experience to with students of all grades and levels of the Cambridge Syllabus.

Furthermore, my extensive postgraduate qualifications include diplomas/certificates in subjects such as Medical Laboratory Sciences (Hematology, Clinical Chemistry, Microbiology, Blood Bank, Histopathology, Immunology); Quality Assurance 1&2. MSc MED in Medicine (Infectious diseases such as TB) and the current PhD in Clinical Biochemistry (Cancer Genomics).  Moreover I am a team player, self-driven and trained to  research and write accessible science articles as well as develop enhanced skills as a communicator. Already I have published four publications and have written a full Study Guide for students learning Cambridge AS/A2 level Biology. I am currently working on three publications on PCa and ESCC.

Besides the academic and professional experience mentioned above, I have contributed maximally to my community through preaching, teaching, raising awareness of and participating in campaigns on HIV/AIDS, Gender Based Violence, Stigmatisation, Environmental and Climate change awareness, Health and Temperance etc. Hence, I have always been an active communicator, speaker and writer on very important topics that impact my community in a big way.

Below is a testimonial from one of our former students Calum Wehmeyer regarding Tapuwa Muchinga’s ability and enthusiasm as a teacher when it comes to imparting his knowledge to his students.

Testimonial:  Calum Wehmeyer

In 2016, whilst in Grade 11 at Bishops Diocesan College, I made the resolute decision to apply to study at a university in the UK. However, I found myself in the situation where the National Senior Certificate offered by Bishops was insufficient to gain entry to nearly all UK universities. As such, I embarked on an ambitious and exciting journey with Sharon and Learning Unlimited to study for Cambridge International A-Levels. One of my teachers was Mr Tapuwa Muchinga, who taught me Maths and Biology. With a superhuman amount of dedication, positivity and enthusiasm, Tapuwa guided me through two years worth of exam content within a year. He made extraordinary efforts to facilitate my learning, including setting up practice lab work for me and teaching on weekends and late night sessions during the week, often at short notice. Without doubt, I had no hope of getting through my exams without him.

After having sat my A-levels, I headed off to the University of Edinburgh to study Biomedical Sciences, with the ambition of taking a very roundabout way into medicine. My BSc (Hons) and a global pandemic whizzed by, but I stayed on for another year to complete an MSc by Research in Biomedical Sciences, having picked up a keen interest in neuroendocrinology. I handed in my thesis in August, graduating with a distinction and moved up to St Andrews, where since September, I have been studying medicine. Only three more short years and I will have achieved the goal I first outlined to Sharon, Tapuwa and all those who helped me at Learning Unlimited. A better and more deserving group of educators, there are none.

These photos below are from my first day in St Andrews and my graduation in Edinburgh, decked out in my kilt.