University of Cape Town: ZIMSOC and IAPO host financial literacy webinar series for students

The University of Cape Town (UCT) Zimbabwean Society (ZIMSOC) hosted a financial literacy series in conjunction with the UCT International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO). In the webinar series, which comprised three events held on 22, 23 and 24 September 2021, guest speakers explored topics such as the responsible management of finances, building wealth as a young person, personal finances, banking and investments.

Outgoing chairperson of ZIMSOC, Chris Kateera ,said that these webinars are aimed at shedding light on aspects of responsible financial management and building wealth as a young adult, as well as at familiarising students with investments and the latest financial technology trends, such as blockchain and cryptocurrency.

“It is imperative that the youth be educated on matters of finance that affect our day‑to‑day living. Through discipline, financial goals can become a reality,” said Kateera.

On 22 September, Kudzai Simango, Ennireta Tigere, Barbra Chitumba and Noah Sithole from ZB Bank spoke about managing personal finances, cutting expenses, investment options, utilising banks effectively, and financial sanity. ZB Bank is a Zimbabwean bank, and the guest speakers discussed the Ketso product offered by the bank to Zimbabweans and foreign nationals abroad.

Financial planning

On the following day, financial advisors James Hemsley and Dean Rishworth from the Hereford Group spoke about the stepping stones to financial freedom. Their webinar focused on growing, managing and preserving wealth.

“Through discipline, financial goals can become a reality.”

The two speakers introduced the topic of financial planning, which is “an ongoing process where financial goals and objectives are identified and plans and strategies are put in place to achieve these goals while protecting ourselves from the problems in life”.

In the questions-and-answers (Q&A) session, the speakers were asked several thought‑provoking questions. One participant asked about the best investment strategy for early retirement. In his response, Hemsley said that the key consideration is the length of time that your money will have to sustain you between retirement and death.

“We will set up an investment structure that will incorporate three different structures. The one will be a retirement annuity, which you can access at 55; the [second] will be a tax‑free savings account, which is for long‑term growth; and we will [also] look at unit trust investments, which are also very tax efficient,” he said.

Holistic growth

The last event of the series took place on 24 September. The guest speaker was Kaluba Chikonde, who is a data engineer at and who is passionate about fintech, blockchain and coding.

“These webinars tied in well with the part of growth on the financial literacy front.”

ZIMSOC has been working closely with IAPO throughout the year. For the purposes of this webinar series, ZIMSOC and IAPO collaborated to take advantage of the online space to reach a larger crowd and thus have a greater impact, as the series was relevant to the wider UCT student community.

ZIMSOC’s mission is to create a space for Zimbabwean students and other foreign students to grow holistically, to engage and to network.

“These webinars tied in well with the part of growth on the financial literacy front,” said Kateera.

“Students start earning and having financial responsibilities, and its pivotal that this knowledge is shared for them to thrive. This helps students manage finances well and work towards financial freedom from a young age.”

All three events in the series were concluded with informative Q&A sessions. Incoming ZIMSOC chairperson, Mitchel Muza, concluded the webinar series by saying, “Our aim was to provide a platform where people can gain financial knowledge, and I believe we have achieved that through this webinar series.”

ZIMSOC plans to host more webinars about investing, leadership and entrepreneurship. The aim is to cover different topics, to embrace the diversity of their members and try to cater for everyone’s needs, and imparting practical skills, which can be implemented immediately.