I fell in love with intellectual property after I investigated and discovered the gaps in my field of work. I felt that IP strategies could complement my strategic management background as part of a business competitive advantage and a distinct way to make a difference. My Dissertation topic was: “Challenges and opportunities in branding of products by food vendors in Midrand (South Africa). Our informal sector is our tomorrow’s formal businesses as such one needs to develop a positive entrepreneurial mind-set from the start.

Imagine what a better world it could be with innovations and great ideas commercialized to eradicate pandemics and poverty. I have since decided to empower the small entrepreneurs in my circle for them to realize the valuable IP assets they own and better utilize them. I have more upcoming projects in the pipeline and to be launched. The journey to all this began with enroling for the 10th cohort of the MIP program at Africa University.

The 10th Cohort was comprised of a unique group of professionals representing 20 African countries. On the first day, the humorous MIP programme coordinator, Mr. George Mandewo advised everyone to “derole” to fit in the student mind set. As I was later to appreciate his advice, indeed there was a clash of personalities and egos. Thankfully, the spirit of Africanism could not be unheeded for long. My experience from the cultural diversity is priceless. The journey was not easy, but I developed emotional strength along the way.

I kept myself encouraged by reading my bible in the morning and sharing my readings or quotes with my friends. In prayer we find purpose for the pain, strength for the struggle. My faith level was untouchable, thanks to the university being a church based institution.

Thanks too to the good internet service at Africa University, I could reconnect with my kids, who fervently expressed the emptiness of my absence. Their voices always echoed in my mind and became my driving factor to focus, and bring out the cry deep down my heart of an ambitious woman fighting to leave a legacy for her kids. “My background will not determine my future” was my motto.

Coming up with dissertation proposal and then writing it while juggling between work backlogs, family and motherly responsibilities made me feel like drawn into a black hole – I forgot how to live. It’s beautiful at the end. All efforts will make sense as the dots connect backwards.

Life is what you choose it to be, it’s all in your mind, and with God anything is possible.

Personal Experience with the MIP at Africa University Moreblessing Sithole +263773 023 475 Email: mobbymurex@gmail.com

I received an email from Africa University (AU) telling me that I had been accepted in the 10th Cohort of the Masters in Intellectual Property (MIP). I was on the self-sponsorship list, it was a good time because I had set my agenda clearly thus, ‘school is the way’, scholarship or no scholarship. I packed my bags and headed to AU in Mutare to further my knowledge and education. The most interesting part was to connect and find inspiration from other young women and men from different parts of Africa.

I am grateful the music is now sounding more melodious, everything now looks more beautiful and making more sense; food tastes nicer, and colors now look brighter. My career started to develop and change the day I was at AU. It was the transformation phase that has begun to shape my life. AU provides a good environment with excellent facilities such as the library and a reliable Wi-Fi.

IP is everywhere and a driver of our economy. I have graduated thanks to the collaboration between AU and its partners ARIPO and WIPO in rolling out the MIP program. I am now looking forward to a great future of applying the IP concepts I have acquired and to also help in preaching the IP gospel.

As the late Nelson Mandela rightly taught us, education is the most powerful weapon one can use to change the world. To fulfil this teaching, one of the best decisions I have since made is to enroll in the MIP degree programme at Africa University.

My Experience at Africa University as an MIP 10th Cohort student Winnet Mupaso Principal IP Examiner ZIPO

It was a great opportunity for me to be enrolled in the 10th cohort of the MIP class at Africa University. The journey started with three months of distance/ on-line learning. On 1 August 2018 the journey took another twist as we went to Africa University (AU) for the residential phase of the study. At AU, I met and lived with a new family – my MIP 10th cohort fellow students. I also met a team of eminent IP professionals, experts and IP industry gurus, who imparted IP knowledge and skills to us.

Lectures were organized in a methodological approach, which ensured connection between class lectures and practical sessions through group presentations. I met people from various backgrounds, both professionally and culturally. I so much appreciate the multi-cultural setup which exposed me to a unique and diverse platform for exchange of ideas, values social and cultural life experiences. I learnt so much through working and discussing with others during group assignments and class discussions. I am happy to say that the environment at AU is just conducive and effective for networking especially in light of sharing experiences from our different walks of life. My stay at AU helped me to respect other people’s opinions and views which enhanced my team work skills.

As another author says, ‘the Chakata fruit on the ground belongs to all, but the one on the tree is for she who can climb’, as an MIP 10th cohort student, I have learnt not to pick up fruits on the ground but to climb the tree to get them. My experience at Africa University has taught me not to give-up and fight hard in building respect for IP in my country Zimbabwe and Africa at large. The Masters in Intellectual Property has left me with a passion and the zeal to dig more and join hands with other IP professionals in creating an IP culture in my country as well as the continent.

I will forever cherish my life at Africa University with special thanks to WIPO, ARIPO and Africa University for affording me this great opportunity to advance and to make my dream come true as far as IP is concerned.