Conversations Archives

The Other Important Day...

By Mr. Shingi Mavima (CLUBHOUSE International Director)Sentiments on the 2015 CLUBHOUSE Festival

‘The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”- Mark Twain

I have always felt I owed an overwhelming debt to Dangamvura, the (subjectively) idyllic Mutare neighborhood in which I grew up. An upbringing that heavily emphasized philanthropy and an opportunity at travel and education that allowed me to witness a more holistic spectrum of suffering as well as continuously garner ideas for the uplift of our people only added to said debt.  At the tail end of 2011, as I sat up in my college apartment, I decided it was time to begin repaying. Countless hours of writing, delirium-inducing discussion, and innumerable phone calls and e-mails later, CLUBHOUSE International was born.

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A Society's Handicap...

The Importance of Re-Evaluating our Views and Treatment of Disability

By Nyasha Matavire (Exec Director, CLUBHOUSE Zimbabwe)


Sometimes when I make my Mutare trips to visit the kids on my own, I go by bus and travelling by bus in 
Zimbabwe is quite an experience. You encounter a lot of things and sometimes you have to endure a lot 
of discomfort: what with the roadblocks; the heat in the bus; the many stops; the mothers who just can’t 
seem to stop eating and feeding their children! Things are even worse when you get a seat by the aisle, 
you will have to dodge everyone coming in and getting out of the bus during the many stops. You also, 
however, learn a lot during these rides.

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A Special Congratulations to Mr. Musa Milupi

(By International Executive Director, Shingi Mavima)

Congrats to our incredble co-founder and director of marketing, Musa Milupi!

I first met Musa some seven years ago. Already three years into my college career, I was already established in my involvement around campus when he first came to Grand Valley State University. I had been a founding member of the African Student Council and president at the time, a Resident Assistant and active in my fraternity. Up until then, I had desperately tried to rally friends- African or otherwise- to get involved in all the things the school had to offer; with various and mainly meager levels of success.

Thus, when Musa approached me upon introduction and barraged me with a dozen questions about how he could get involved, I was slightly caught off guard. Who was this kid, and who had put him up to this? In time, his relentless pursuit for the uplift of his community could not go unnoticed. Within a year of arriving at GVSU, Musa was presiding over the African Student Council, on the GVSU Soccer team, a Resident Assistant, a member of the fraternity, among other things. We also grew to be particularly good friends due to an endless list of other similar interests: we were both lifelong Arsenal fans who played goalkeeper prior to college, hailed from southern Africa, and were committed to overturning the perception and condition of the continent.

In all this, three qualities about Musa stuck with me even as I graduated and left the state: his uncompromising work ethic, his steadfast dedication to community service, and his eternal childlike eagerness to learn new things. When the idea for CLUBHOUSE International began to take shape, I had no qualms in my mind about who I needed to sign up on our US-based team. Four years later, Musa has continued to be part of the CLUBHOUSE lifeblood that dates back to its founding.  He has fundraised, programmed, met with people, fought with me and others- all to ensure that the work we do continues to grow and help those it was created to.

Sillier Times! Back in the day, with Musa and I taking a break from a study session

As I write this note on occasion of Musa’s graduation from George Mason University with a B.A in Sports Management, I am especially awed by his dedication. Here is a man who, twice, has been forced to leave school in the US and even return home to Zambia, and yet has persevered and walks out of the halls of his Alma Mater with a hero’s tale to tell and the world at his feet. In so many ways, Musa embodies the CLUBHOUSE essence at its core. We are honored to have him on the team, and I am personally humbled to call you one of my best friends.


Congratulations Baby Moose!


Feedback from the Staff and Students

Since our founding, we have worked with dozens of students and several members of the community; mostly with your undying support. Whenever we get feedback from the schools and our friends in Zimbabwe, we like to share that with you as well. Here is a stitched pic showcasing some of the highlights that the two schools shared with us recently!

We have also received video testimonials from some of our students! Here is one from a young lady named Waraidzo!

And here is another from our friend Tadiwa! Hope you enjoy these videos!

As their second term approaches, you can still contribute to the scholarship tuition by visiting our donation page at the link below! 



Doing What we Can...When We Can

When I was 12, my mother and I lived in second-floor a studio apartment right at the edge of Harare’s City Center (Downtown, to my American friends.) Because of its location, we would see all sorts of folks from around Harare and out of town going into and out of the city.
Mother and Son; CLUBHOUSE’s formative moments!
One day I was downstairs, basking in the sun with a friend, when a family of six or seven- the parents and five girls- walked by. Their dress suggested they were attending some church event in the city, and their demeanor said they had been walking for hours. They were sweaty, dry-lipped, and their pristine white garments were tinged with the brown of many a dirt path traveled. As they walked by, the father said to me “Good afternoon young man. Is there any way we can get some water?” 
I ran upstairs to where mother was busy with her weekend cleaning and said, “Mom, there is a man downstairs asking for some water.” Being busy, and taking the statement at face value, she filled a glass up and sent me back on my way. I, in my childish naivety, questioned it no further and took the glass downstairs.I watched that family of seven painstakingly share one glass of water, passing it from the youngest daughter to the father. I was about to offer to run back and get some more, but they had to get going, so they thanked me ever so graciously and went on their way.
It wasn’t until dinner that evening that I narrated the incident to my mother. She sat there half-bewildered and half-guilty (the latter unwarranted, as her understanding had been consistent with how I described the situation.) She asked, “Why didn’t you tell me there were seven people there? We could have sent them off with a gallon of water at least!”
Of course, at that age, I had thought little of it all: the journey the folks had traveled; the heartbreaking humility of a father having to ask strangers for water; the privileged position we stood in at that moment of having water unlimited; the quiet acceptance and gratitude of the family as they went on their way. 
The incident, however, has stuck with me over the years and has shaped my views on philanthropy profoundly
What did I learn?
1) When someone asks you for help, chances are it has taken every ounce of humility in them to do that. Listen intently, and get to understand exactly what their plight is.
2) If you know of/ see a need; it is your mandate to address it. You cannot expect another (my mother in this instance) to fully appreciate the extent of need if they have not seen it like you have. Hence, make sure you either deal with it yourself or make sure that you go over and above to make sure that those who can potentially help have understood fully what the need is, why it  matters, and what they can do to help.
3) Recognize your privilege: In that moment, we had water galore and it would have cost us virtually nothing to share it with this family that was in dire need. Typically, that is how much the world ever asks of us: to give of our bounty to those who have not. As sure as the sun rises in the east, we are bound to find ourselves in the reverse position at some point in our lives; 
how would we want that to go?


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