Previously published in the 2018 Ouachitonian yearbook.
A landlocked country located in southern Africa between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, the country of Zimbabwe is home to over 13 million people. At the center of all this activity, the city of Harare stands proud as the capital and is the former home to Tinashe Chigede, a senior accounting major from Tulsa, Okla., and former resident and citizen of Harare, Zimbabwe.
“My family came to America when my dad decided he wanted to go to college here to get his master’s,” said Tinashe. “He ended up getting his M.B.A at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa. He already had his accounting degree from the University of Zimbabwe, but he believed America would offer better opportunities for him and his family.”
His father came to the U.S. in 1999 and was shortly followed by Tinashe, his mom, and his sister, Rejoice, in 2000. They left behind family and friends to chase the American dream.
“I was 4 when we moved, so I don’t remember too much. My favorite memories would be with my cousins and me. We would go out and play soccer in the front yard. Soccer was a big thing in Zimbabwe,” said Tinashe.
The Chigedes are no strangers to the sport. Tinashe’s dad played professional soccer, and Tinashe booked four years at Ouachita. During his career, he was four-time Offensive MVP, All-Time Leading Goal Scorer, three-time First Team All-Region, three-time First Team All-Conference and Offensive Player of the Year. Tinashe’s younger brother, Trust, also plays for the U.S. Olympic Development Team.
“Everyone in my family at one point has played soccer,” says Tinashe. “We all have soccer in common and it helps strengthen our family even more. All I know is that there are a lot of trophies in the house.”
Ouachita was more than a college to Tinashe. It was close to home and offered his family a chance to come and see him play. His soccer dreams didn’t just end after college, however.
“My dream is to play for the Zimbabwe national team and represent the country that I am from. Until then, I want to continue my skills and keep playing the sport. Ouachita was my home for four years, and I have enjoyed the people and relationships with all of them. I wouldn’t take back these past four years for the world.”
By Miranda Huddleston
Do you have a story you’d like to tell on the Ouachita Voices blog? Or a friend who needs to tell a story on the blog? Contact email@example.com with your idea.
The Ouachita Voices blog is a place for the people of Ouachita to tell the stories of Ouachita. Lend your voice to the conversation. Submit your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.