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From Orphan to Whiz Kid! Despite Losing Both Parents at a Tender Age, 14 Year-Old Maud Chifamba Defies All Odds to become Zimbabwe’s Youngest Ever University Student



We often hear stories of young children excelling so well in their studies that they garner international recognition for their hard work. At young ages, they surpass their peers in their academic work and attain heights only common amongst people much older than them.

Some call them whiz-kids, some call them geniuses, some call them wonder kids.

Recently, BN featured a story of two young University students, a 12 year-old British boy and a 15 year-old Nigerian girl who attracted worldwide attention for their exceptional achievement {click here if you missed it}.

But, what is unique about Maud Chifamba‘s story is that unlike them, she didn’t have the luxury of living a “privileged” life with parental guidance.

As CNN reported, Maud was born on November 19, 1997. She lost both parents at a tender age and grew up in “grinding poverty”. However, she has defied all odds and now has her name written in history as the youngest ever university student in Zimbabwe!

She recently earned a four-year scholarship of nearly $10,000 after scoring 12 points at her Advanced Level exams last December. Her astonishing feat earned her a place at the University of Zimbabwe and she has just started her studies toward a Bachelor of Accountancy Honors Degree.

Maud’s teachers noticed her gift at an early age. She impressed her primary school teachers with her remarkable aptitude and they decided to move her up from Grade 3 to Grade 6.

At the age of nine, she took her final primary school examinations, where she obtained top marks for all of her subjects. But because she lacked the financial support to undertake her high school education, Maud studied on her own and completed her Ordinary Level in just two years after skipping two forms.

Maud was born to a poor family in a community called Chegutu, central Zimbabwe. She lost her father when she was just five years old and her mother last year. Her two brothers who are general workers at a farm were unable to pay the fees required to keep her at formal school so Maud started studying vigorously at home all by herself.

“I studied very hard. For the biggest part of the day and even into the night,” she told CNN. She added 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,” she added.

Now an undergraduate, Maud told CNN that she is enjoying her studies at the University. “I’m really enjoying it,” she says with striking modesty. “It’s better than what I expected. I’m just enjoying all the lectures.”

We recognize and celebrate the intelligence and determination of this brave African teenager and say we are proud of her.

Well done Maud!

Photo Credit: | CNN 

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. Mariaah

    September 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    OMG!! Congrats girl!! May the sky be your starting point!!!!

  2. toyin

    September 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    he is a she wow , wow from grade 3 to grade 6 so nice.may all her dreams come true

  3. Chattyzee

    September 19, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Very inspiring indeed. God Bless her and make her way prosperous.

  4. Anon

    September 19, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    When Jesus says yes, nobody can say no! This is a child of destiny; despite everything he still came out on top. It shall be permanent, Amen.

    • mzafrique

      September 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      Ummm……Maud is a girl.

  5. omoibo

    September 19, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Well done, this goes to show that when we as humans set our mind on a goal and willing pay the price the sky is the limit…….Congrats again young lady and wishing you continued success in all of your future endeavors

  6. Aibee

    September 19, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    “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,”

    Very inspiring in truth. A lot of adults have not realised this truth that this 14 year old has discovered by herself. May God bless her and open doors for her.

    By the way, BN, I love this new slant you guys are taking this days. Inspiring stories are now a daily thing. Thank you guys.

  7. Sandra

    September 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    whaooo am realy impressed May God bless and keep her.

  8. Traditionalbay

    September 19, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    brought tears to my eyes. The Lord shall keep and preserve you dearie.

  9. babe

    September 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    All d best

  10. zoomzoomzoom

    September 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Very impressive! Wishing her great success in future.

  11. Laila Ikeji

    September 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    woww, incredible! God will def keep her and increase her and preserve her.

  12. Kach

    September 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Thanks Bellanaija, for celebrating success.

  13. Gorgeous

    September 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Shes a very practical and smart girl. Look at her hair? Boy cut. Shows she is going to school to serious things, not makeup and brazillian weave. The babe is on a mission. I hope she keeps this signature cut even after she starts making big bucks. All the best to her. It is amazing how vulnerable we feel when our security blanket is yanked off by the cruelty and reality of life. When life throws bricks at you, you collect them and build a house. I am currently where she is in my life, though it is one parent lost. But men! The guy was my world, and financial backbone. Now i have to fight and work hard! So i feel you fine girl. May God guide you and may you never waver.

  14. Pendo

    September 19, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Wow well done young lady!

  15. konnie

    September 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Heart warming. God always takes care of his children. May He take you to unimaginable heights. Proud of you girl, God bless

  16. Gina

    September 19, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    congrats babygurl. pls dont lose focus plssss. God bless u.

  17. brandigest

    September 19, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Poverty or lack is never an excuse not to become successful. I wish her many more attainments.

  18. cathy

    September 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    ride on dear

  19. speak it

    September 19, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Well done Gul! The Lord is your strenght, greater things to come.

  20. Kemi

    September 19, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Wow! what she said about taking her destiny into her own hands is really touching… at the age of 14 😮 Well done girl!!!

  21. iniobong

    September 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    guirl you are for signs and wonders, ride on

  22. anonymous

    September 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    seriusly all these accolades and scholarships for this babes is kinda much cos i also entered uni at 14 buh i wasnt this honoured and given a scholarship

  23. brian chibi

    December 11, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    well done ,may God guide you in everything that you do in your life,it sounds impossible bt with God everything is possible

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