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Zimbabwean 16-Year-Old Aiming to Become Youngest Law Student at University of Zimbabwe

A 16-year-old Zimbabwean girl, Ruvarashe Shammah Mitsouko Shayi, is aiming to enrol in the law programme at the University of Zimbabwe after skipping three grades at primary school and attaining 14 points in the 2022 Zimsec A-level examinations.

Competing against hundreds of prospective law students, Ruvarashe sat for the Family and Religious Studies, History, and Literature in English exams. If selected, she will go down in the institution’s records as one of the youngest law students.

Ruvarashe, who is based in the Westgate suburb, stated that she decided to pursue law for several reasons, including advocating for human and children’s rights and working with society. She also mentioned that her hobby has been reading books.

In an interview with the Herald, Ruvarashe said, “The examinations were tricky. I cannot say they were easy or hard. In the event that I fail to make it this year, I will definitely try again next year. While among other prospective law students, I felt good. In every situation, I try to feel normal like others regardless of age difference.”

University of Zimbabwe’s Entry Requirements

The University of Zimbabwe has three entry types: normal, mature, and special entry. The law programme is highly competitive, and in recent years, the minimum entry qualification has been 15 “A” level points. The institution said that since 2010, the competition for vacancies has increased so much that only candidates with 15 points were usually guaranteed a place.

Mature entry is subject to the usual university requirements, and only five places are reserved for this group. Special entry reserves five places each year for magistrates or prosecutors working for the Judicial Service Commission and the Ministry of Justice.

Ruvarashe’s Future Plans

If admitted, Ruvarashe will follow in the footsteps of Maud Chifamba, who enrolled for a Bachelor of Accounting Honours Degree with the University of Zimbabwe in 2012 when she was just 14 years old. Maud went on to complete her undergraduate studies.

Ruvarashe said, “I chose law so that I advocate human and children’s rights and also for prestige. It will also open opportunities for me to work with humanity and getting to understand society better.”

She remains hopeful about making it into the law programme and is determined to pursue her passion.