Kelvin “Terminator” Tinashe Mutize was born on November 24, 1986 in Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. The oldest of three children, Kelvin and his brothers Mallvine and Victor, witnessed their parents helping and caring for others from the earliest age. The Mutize home was constantly full, because people were always being invited in if they needed a place to stay, a shoulder to lean on, or just someone who would listen to them. Kelvin attended Chembira Primary School. He moved to Glen Norah High 1 Secondary and then Harare High School for his A-Level (Advanced-Level) studies.
As the eldest child, and one with parents that were excellent role models, Kelvin developed his leadership and community development skills from an early age. He earned the nickname “Terminator” because if there was uncompleted work that needed to be done within a short time frame and with certain results desired, he could be counted on to make it happen.
After completing high school, Mr. Mutize was moved by the plight of HIV/AIDS orphans around him and began volunteering with Champions for Life, an organization started by Tom and Bonnie Deuschle that works with children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. Following in the footsteps of his parents, Mr. Mutize began to offer the family home as a place of refuge for those that did not have a roof over their heads, sometimes due to their HIV positive status.
Working in the HIV/AIDS domain, Mr. Mutize has had the privilege of working with some selfless and very inspirational people including Dr. Andrew Reid (Co-Founder of Champions for Life) and Gift Makwala (Program Co-Director of Champions for Life). Eight years after starting with Champions for Life, Mr. Mutize is still volunteering with the organization. He has helped it to branch out into more than 10 African countries, making Champions for Life one the largest psycho-social spiritual support programs for youths living with HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa.
While continuing his volunteer work with Champions for Life, Mr. Mutize also began pursuing his tertiary education. He completed a Diploma in Marketing at the International School of Marketing, Diplomas in Information Technology and Information Systems at the Macmaine School of Computing and a diploma in Business Administration at Celebration College. After completing his studies between 2006 and 2009, Mr. Mutize turned his attention to putting his recently acquired computing and administrative qualifications to good use. He joined Endless Possibilities, a non-profit organization that seeks to empower youths that are living with physical disabilities and studying in Zimbabwe’s tertiary institutions. The organization was founded by Mr. Edmore Masendeke, the first Zimbabwean living with disabilities to build a fully functional disability-friendly home in Harare. Mr. Mutize is in charge of all the administration for Endless Possibilities, including for its social media platforms. He also assists with leading workshops for the non-profit across the country.
Today Mr. Mutize is still very much involved with volunteering, but is also committed to building a start-up he co-founded with Munya “Bloggo” Dodo in September 2013 called TV Yangu or “My TV.” TV Yangu is a video on demand website used to share the best African-made television and short film-based entertainment from across the continent. TV Yangu was a 2014 nominée for the African Social Media Awards. Mr. Mutize also uses his personal webpage, Tehillah Media, to “tell the African story the African way.”
In June 2015, Mr. Mutize was selected to be a part of the US Government-sponsored Mandela Washington Fellows program that supports exceptional young leaders from across the African continent. Each fellow participates in a six-week training course held at an American university. Mr. Mutize was based at Arizona State University where together with 24 other Fellows from 19 African countries he completed a Civic Leadership course. Out of this experience YaliCreatives was birthed. YaliCreatives is an initiative of the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellows which facilitates collaboration by Media, Arts, & Entertainment professionals from across the continent.
Mr. Mutize has been featured on Voice of America to discuss some of his collaborative projects and his thoughts on Africa rising. In December, Kelvin Mutize made national and regional history when he became the first Zimbabwean and the first Southern African to win the coveted Future Africa Award in Community Action 2015 for his work with Champions for Life. The award was given by The Future Africa Project in Nigeria. The Future Awards have been deemed by the World Bank and Forbes as among the most important African youth awards, equating them to Nobel Prizes for young Africans.
Based on the literature on international development and personal success, why has Mr. Kelvin Mutize been so successful in his undertakings?
Some key characteristics come to mind:
Mr. Mutize understands the importance of ROLE MODELS. He found inspiration from his parents, non-profit organization founders, and his TV Yangu co-founder to be his very best.
Mr. Mutize WORKS HARD and has a PASSION for the projects to which he has committed himself. He has been willing to support the projects he believes in for many years, even without pay.
Mr. Mutize strives to create and support initiatives of the HIGHEST QUALITY.
He has a DEFINITE CHIEF AIM of raising people’s awareness of and interest in Africa’s promise, potential, and future.