Dr Willie Tafadzwa Chinyamurindi

Senior Lecturer, department of business management at the University of Fort Hare

All that Dr Willie Tafadzwa Chinyamurindi had in his pocket when he arrived in South Africa from Zimbabwe in 2002 was R1 200 and a letter of acceptance from the University of Port Elizabeth. “In a foreign country, all I wanted was to take the opportunities presented to me,” he recalls.

Armed with his grandmother’s “early to rise, late to sleep” work ethic and a strong value system, he didn’t look back. From 2002 to 2007, he received scholarships and grants to support his studies and eventually ended up graduating with a master’s in industrial psychology. Thereafter, he travelled to Ireland to take up a government scholarship for his master’s of philosophy and from there it was off to the United Kingdom to study for his PhD (also on a scholarship) at the Open University Business School.

These days Chinyamurindi is based at the University of Fore Hare, where he is a senior lecturer in the department of business management. He also serves as the research niche area leader within the faculty of management at the university. At 34, he is the university’s youngest niche area leader, in charge of an area of research concerning the vicious cycle of poverty and how it can be alleviated within rural communities. His role is basically to ensure that departments in his faculty are finding ways to meet this agenda through undertaking high quality research, as well as sourcing funds for this research to happen.

During the course of 2015 and 2016, Chinyamurindi has presented at six local conferences and one international conference, and published seven articles in peer-reviewed journals. He is also the joint editor of a special issue on technology in the African workplace, which will be published by the South African Journal of Human Resources Management. To date, he has supervised eight honours students and two master’s students to completion.

Chinaymurindi would like to become a professor. He also wishes to pursue research examining the lived experiences of refugees. Back in Zimbabwe Chinaymurindi schooled at Churchill Boys High, a school famous for producing achievers such as Tatenda Taibu (former Zimbabwe cricketer), Beast Mtawarira (Springbok rugby player), Nigel Chanakira (Zimbabwean businessman) and Peter Ndoro (SABC and TV personality). His name is right up there with theirs. — Fatima Asmal


Twitter: @chinyaz