An exceptional 14-year-old girl named Maud Chifamba set a record for being the youngest-ever student admitted into the University of Zimbabwe after she was accepted to study accountancy in 2012.
Maud Chifamba who was born into a poor family became an orphan at a very young age. Her father died when she was 5 years old and her mother died when she was 13 years old. The challenges of her parent prevented her from attending the proper formal education.
However, Maud Chifamba whose intellectual prowess was extraordinary fought her way and was later identified by the Ministry of Education and enrolled her to sit for the Advanced Level Examination in Zimbabwe. After an outstanding performance at the A-Level examination, she was granted a four-year scholarship of nearly $10,000.
At the age of 14, she was admitted to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy at the University of Zimbabwe and 4 years into the programme, she graduated as one of the youngest ever at the age of 18.
Maud narrated that the death of her parents made her realize that she would have to take her destiny into her own hands.
“It really motivated me to work harder because there was no one to take care of me except myself in the future. That was … a motivator for me to have something to do with my life,” Maud said.
Maud also narrated that she decided to study accountancy after seeing that all the businesses herself and her brothers managed after the death of their parent failed. “At home, we attempted to start businesses to change our circumstances. They always looked good on paper, but they failed,” she said.
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“This is why I decided to study accounting, to understand why businesses failed,” she added.
Maud Chifamba did not stop with her Bachelor’s degree, she furthered her study to earn a Master’s degree at 20 years old and became a Chartered Accountant at the age of 23.
“Although I was the youngest, school was easy for me at university because I did not have to catch up like I had done through primary and high school. Every semester had its workload which I managed with ease,” she said.
“My three years of articles becoming a Chartered Accountant showed me so much. It was a combination of school and real-life work experience. I can feel like I have grown so much,” Maud added.