March 9, 2020
Malvin Kadzomba, a BYU-Pathway student in South Africa but originally from Zimbabwe, joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age 15 after a woman staying in his home invited him to church. After attending his first sacrament meeting, he thought, “I feel like I’m home now.”
He later met his wife, Audrey, when he was the best man and she was a bridesmaid at a wedding. They have been married for two years and live in Cape Town, South Africa.
In 2018, Malvin’s bishop asked him, “What do you want to do with your life?”
Malvin was working as a waiter at the time and had a diploma in motor vehicle systems, but he wasn’t passionate about either. His bishop said, “Why don’t you join BYU-Pathway? It’s a good opportunity. You can learn something new that you want to do.”
At first, Malvin told himself he didn’t have time for the program, but as he thought about it, he realized it was something he needed to do. He enrolled in the Mowbray Cape Town PathwayConnect group.
Malvin enjoyed his classes and especially his friendships with his group members. In addition to the 42-kilometer (26-mile) journey to his gathering each week, Malvin drove another 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) each way in the opposite direction to pick up other members of his group who didn’t have transportation.
“The moment you sign up for PathwayConnect, you realize that you’ll never walk alone,” Malvin said. “You have the entire group to lean on. BYU-Pathway is and always will be a strong foundation for your future career and your spiritual growth.”
Malvin’s experience wasn’t without its challenges, though. He was working two jobs while taking classes and often wouldn’t return home until midnight. Finding reliable internet for an affordable price was also hard. However, his most difficult challenge of all took place right before he joined PathwayConnect — his and Audrey’s first child, a little baby girl, passed away.
Malvin’s PathwayConnect group helped him through that devastating loss. “[My] group … gave me a shoulder to lean on. It gave me that comfort, that hope, that Christ loves us and that He loves me personally,” he said. “Even as you face difficult challenges in BYU-Pathway, just stay true to what you’re doing and hold on to the iron rod, because at the end of the rod1, you’ll surely create success.”
Malvin is a great example of creating success through faith and hard work. At the end of his second semester of PathwayConnect, he decided he wanted to improve his employment and asked his boss for a promotion. “I more or less gave her a one-minute pitch about my goals and what I wanted to do and what I could offer them from what I learned in those two semesters,” Malvin said.
It was intimidating, but Malvin’s confidence and faith paid off. His boss didn’t have any open positions for him at the moment, but she offered to put him in contact with a friend of hers who owned several five-star hotels.
Malvin pitched himself to the owner and his managers, and they told Malvin they had a position for him. He was expecting an offer to work in the hotel’s restaurant, but instead they promoted him to finance and operations assistant.
“If I have climbed so much with just PathwayConnect, how much more will I climb when I’ve finished my degree?”
Malvin is still working with that company and has been promoted again to stock controller. “Before I joined PathwayConnect, I’d never even dreamt to be holding such positions at big companies,” he said. “If I have climbed so much with just PathwayConnect, how much more will I climb when I’ve finished my degree?”
This perspective keeps Malvin motivated. He is currently in the first semester of his online bachelor’s degree in applied management from BYU-Idaho, presented and coordinated through BYU-Pathway, and will be the first member of his family to earn a college degree! He is working toward receiving a certificate in hospitality and tourism management in April 2020.
To current and future BYU-Pathway students, Malvin says, “Things might be challenging in the beginning, but believe me, they will surely get better. Go on with hope, courage, and faith. If you know who you are, and you know that the Savior loves you, and you know your goals … you will [be able to] move forward.”
How have you been able to overcome trials as you continue your education? Share below!