Ruth First Scholar (2013-14)
Barbara Mutedzi is from Zimbabwe. She graduated from the University of South Africa with a BA in Health Sciences and Social Services in 2010 and Honours in Anthropology in 2013. Since 2009, Barbara has played a leading role in the management of Chiedza Support Group: a voluntary organisation that provides a range of clinically based psychosocial support for adolescents living with HIV/AIDS. She has also been involved in a number of other charities helping disadvantaged children in Harare.
Just prior to coming to Durham, Barbara was also working as a brand strategist, trainer and research consultant for a market research and brand management company in Harare, as well as a programme assistant for a media company that acts as a catalyst for transformative change within the media sector across Africa.
At Durham, Barbara took an MSc in Medical Anthropology. She was a member of St Chad’s College, which supports the Scholarship by providing subsidized accommodation for all Ruth First Scholars. She wrote a dissertation on the provision of support for adolescents living with HIV. She is featured on one of the University’s “What our students say” webpages.
Within the Anthropology department, Barbara was the Postgraduate Consultative Committee representative for Medical Anthropology, and part of the Anthropology postgraduate conference organizers team. She was also Trinity Hall’s representative to the College Committee and the College Middle Common Room.
Barbara returned to Zimbabwe in October 2014 and worked as a Consultant Researcher and Data Analyst with UNICEF on a joint multi-country study on the drivers of violence in Zimbabwe. In April 2015 she wrote: “We are collecting data on violence against children, investigating the causes as well as the solutions to reduce incidences. We are working with a publishing house that has book teams around Zimbabwe, which hold workshops with young people, listening, collecting and publishing their stories and experiences of violence in their respective communities. As we evaluate their already published material we are trying to find other areas where deeper analysis can be performed. We are also conducting field visits around the country to collect primary data on violence. Within the programme we are training junior researchers, building the capacity of collecting data in the field, managing, analysing and reporting on it. We shall be recording the training process as well so that it can be used as a standard operating procedure for other countries.”
Update February 2019:
“I am currently working with young people and leaders: helping young people figure out their life purpose as a guiding torch and tool to making the right decisions in all areas of their lives; and also working with leaders, helping them transition from a space of transactional leadership into a space of transformational leadership where everyone grows and gets to use their talents for their own benefit as well as of the team and organisations they are affiliated with. I am now trained in Neuroscience-based coaching, which is an additional tool to help people understand how their brains work and how to harness that for higher performance.”
Barbara moved to Bali in October 2022: “I continue with my coaching business, plus I now coordinate and lecturer at the Bali Campus of a Netherlands-based university (NHL Stenden). The 2 modules that I coordinate and lecture in are called ‘The Inspirational Coach and Leader’ and ‘Mindful Leadership’. Both super important topics that add value to the way the world is going and also both close to the person that I am and what I teach. I recently completed Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Metaphysics. My thesis was on ‘Consciously living your life from the inside out using meditation and positive thinking’. I am also completing an online PhD in Conscious Business Ethics with the University of Sedona.”