Bishop Marcus and Barbara Matthews honoured for a lifetime of service and unparalleled dedication


11 February 2019

Story by

Jeanette Dadzie

On the 4th of February 2019, The Africa University community and Board of Directors gathered at the institutions’ sports grounds for a special ceremony like no other. It was an occasion where love and the fruits of sacrifice were abounding as the eagerly awaited Africa University Swimming Pool was dedicated.

Speaking on the legacy and service of Bishop Marcus and Barbara Matthews, Associate Vice Chancellor Mr. Jim Salley said,

“Bishop Marcus Matthews was enamoured with the dream of Africa University from the first time that the seeds were planted.  When the charter that brought this university into existence was ratified, Bishop Matthews leapt in to the air in pure jubilation and celebration! Africa University continues to grow from that vison and this swimming pool is the first phase in what will become a sports complex. The dream has indeed begun.”

Vice Chancellor Professor Munashe Furusa expressed his gratitude to the Matthews’ going on to explain,

“As a university we are immensely grateful for this gift that has been bestowed upon us in Honour of Bishop Mathews and his wife. They were moved to action by the call for us to develop for the youth of this continent an educational experience that is wholesome and well- rounded touching on spiritual, physical wellness and academic excellence. With the plans that we have in place to reconfigure our sporting facilities, Africa University aims to become a centre of excellence and innovation in the field of sports development and performance in the region.”

Led by Reverend Maudy Muchanyereyi, Africa University’s first female Chaplain, those in attendance prayed over the swimming pool in keeping with the university’s values and ethos to bless the facility and all those who will swim within its waters.

The dedication ceremony culminated in a dinner where friends and colleagues of the Matthews’ gathered to celebrate the couple, most especially the service of Bishop Marcus Matthews during his tenure as the Chairman of the Africa University Board of Directors.

Mrs. Barbara Matthews delivered an emotional message of gratitude for the experiences of joy and the opportunity to serve Africa University saying,

“I never once thought as a young girl that I would return to the Mother Land and give back so much to this amazing community and continent. It has been a pleasure and it has been an honour.”

Bishop Mathews added,

“You are here today to thank me but it is I who is thanking you. Thank you for supporting and getting behind this dream that we have for Africa, thank you for this occasion and know that my work is not yet done. My involvement and commitment to Africa University will not cease and neither will my love.”

Africa University is home to the best swimmers amongst universities in Zimbabwe who dominate collegiate competitions across the country, an accolade that the institution aims to maintain with the addition of the Olympic grade swimming pool that will be utilized as a training ground to hone the skills of the AU swimming team.