The pursuit of knowledge: Celebrating success with Dr. Farai Chigaru (PhD)
“Rejoice and put God first”.
TS: 10 years ago you promised yourself that you would get a PhD before your 30th birthday. Well, you are 29 and have now achieved that long term goal, congratulations Dr.!
FC: Thank you so much! I believe school has been good to me and I am thankful. I have obtained my PhD (economics) from Peking University (China); having graduated with distinction, as I also did at Master’s and Bachelor’s level.
TS: I’ve noticed that we both have Shona language first names, what does Farai mean?
FC: It means to rejoice!
TS: I bet it perfectly suits your mood right now! Unlocking such an achievement at a young age should be celebrated. Tell me, where did your high education journey begin?
FC: I graduated from Chancellor College (University of Malawi) and from Capital University of Economics and Business (China).
TS: What has been your motto throughout your academic career?
FC: Always to put God first. You do that and everything else makes sense.
TS: You have reached the pinnacle of academic success, what are your values for personal growth?
FC: Knowing oneself. Knowing what you are good at. Using that knowledge of self, invest in those skills to make them more competitive: whether it is in humanities or sciences; make sure you follow the path that puts you at a better edge, given your natural ability.
TS: You promised yourself to get a PhD before your 30th birthday, what has been your motivation over the years? How did you conquer the challenges you faced throughout?
FC: Consistency is the key! My motivation has always been never to let education qualifications be an obstacle for me to acquire opportunities. Challenges will always be there, but the benefits that would accrue over time kept me focused on my goals; the ability to delay gratification is the key.
TS: What are the real factors that define and propel you to achieve such real results?
FC: I would say nothing is constant and certainly people aren’t; they are ever-changing. Therefore detailing what makes me who I am would be inconsistent to reality, but I would detail the lens through which we can envisage that path to real results; have an open mind to changing environments (and challenges) and adapt accordingly.
TS: Do you remember your lowest point in your academic career?
FC: To me, the start was and should always be the lowest because every step from the start, positive or negative, was growth on my part.
TS:Why economics? What do you think are the ways economic growth can be achieved in Malawi?
FC: Malawi has to focus on what it has as a country and align its strategies along those factor endowments. Malawi has to identify and dedicate its resources in empowering key economic sectors, consistent to Malawi’s comparative advantage (guided by the factor endowment). This makes growth affordable and sustainable. Being a labor abundant country, Malawi has a comparative advantage in labor intensive industries. There is a need to align its resources in labor intensive industries relative to capital intensive industries. You can read more about my thoughts on the economy here: Click here to read
TS: And that’s why Malawi needs young and practical thinkers like you! It’s been an interesting conversation and I’m glad you decided to share your personal development story with me and the world. Your journey has just begun and I hope you will motivate and inspire other people to achieve their academic goals.
FC: Thank you so much!