It is with great sadness that we share the news that USAP and Lynn University alumnus Energy Maburutse died on February 24, 2016 at home in Zimbabwe. Energy was home in Honde Valley and developed a bad cough. He was brought to the local clinic where he was then admitted to the hospital where he died, with the brittle bone disease (Osteogenesis Imperfecta) he was born with compounding the illness. Energy’s father and one brother are currently in the same hospital, recovering from serious injuries sustained when they were traveling in public transport a few weeks ago. Energy was buried by family and friends at his home village on Saturday, February 27.
Energy grew up in his family’s rural village as one of seven children in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe. He was fortunate to go to school, a rare privilege for disabled children in Zimbabwe, first at Jairos Jiri and then at King George VI School in Bulawayo. While at KGIV, he was an avid marimba player and joined the band Liyana that toured both Europe and the United States and about which an Oscar winning documentary film was made. After attending Petra High School for A levels on a scholarship, Energy was selected to be part of USAP.
Through USAP, he obtained a Presidential Scholarship at Lynn University in Florida, where he graduated in 2015 after four engaging years studying political science and communications and working in the admissions office.
We will miss Energy’s wit and his fierce commitment to equality. We will miss his huge smile, his laughter, and the way he would light up each room he entered. As the first wheelchair-bound student from Zimbabwe to study in the United States, his victory in obtaining a degree and making an impact will continue to serve as an inspiration for many disabled students in Zimbabwe to aspire for their dreams. His nearly five years in the United States opened a whole new world for him, but they also allowed a wide range of people to be impacted by his life and his stories. Energy was focused on removing the deeply ingrained stigma attached to being disabled in Zimbabwe and to reminding us to focus on that which really matters.
Those who would like to make a donation in Energy’s memory that will go toward the education of disabled children at KGIV can do so through this link .
In Energy’s own words ““My vision is to work toward helping creating better communities, a better Zimbabwe and a better world.”