Meet one of our #IZSpotlights
Rutendo is a Freshman attending Barnard College, Columbia University in Manhattan, New York City on a full ride scholarship. She is from Harare, Zimbabwe but has lived in Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa, something she believes has immensely shaped her identity as an African woman. Rutendo is interested in double majoring in Applied Mathematics and Electrical Engineering and minoring in African studies.
In 2016, she was accepted into the prestigious African Leadership Academy to complete a two year diploma programme. Not stopping there, Rutendo was chosen out of thousands of applicants by the Bezos Family Foundation to be a Bezos Scholar in 2017. The only Zimbabwean chosen and one of only one Africans, she attended the Bezos Scholars Programme in Aspen, Colorado. There she attended the Aspen Ideas Festival where she interacted with many changemakers such as David Miliband and Angela Duckworth. An avid believer in educating the youth, she secured funding from the Bezos Family Foundation to host the South African Ideas Festival in 2018, a 3 day entrepreneurial leadership program for disadvantaged African youth. She and a team of friends also organized a similar version of this festival in Harare in 2017 with more than 50 Zimbabwean youth attending the two day festival.
Rutendo was also part of the African Leadership Academy Model African Union (ALAMAU) 2019 team and managed to secure 300 students from all over the African continent to attend the festival whilst working as the editor of the ALAMAU Times. She is an avid believer in the future of the African continent and believes that empowering the youth is one of the most instrumental ways of ensuring Africa’s success. Rutendo is also an advanced Bridge and Marimba player representing her region, Mashonaland, in 2015 and 2016 Bridge championships and playing the Marimba at the Harare Agricultural Show in 2016. She is planning to pursue a Data Science degree after graduation with the hope of using Mathematics to help her home country Zimbabwe