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Challenges: A Chance to Change

At 17 years old, Munyaradzi didn’t know what to do when he woke up deaf

BYU-Pathway student Munyaradzi, who says he found God through his challenges.

Most people would call Munyaradzi’s unexpected hearing loss a tragic event. But he realized there was a greater power because of it.

When Munyaradzi was 17 years old and living in Zimbabwe, he went to bed one night, unsuspecting of anything. The next morning, he woke up deaf. For a few years, many people didn’t believe him, and by the time doctors did, there was nothing they could do to help. They still never found a medical cause for his hearing loss.

At that point in his life, Munyaradzi didn’t care much about his actions and made some decisions he later regretted. But losing his hearing helped him find God and a second chance.

“I believe I lost my hearing because God wanted to save me from myself,” Munyaradzi said. “[My lifestyle] was quite dangerous for me.”

Meeting the sister missionaries

After accepting he would never hear again, Munyaradzi became depressed. He needed to find a purpose for why this happened.

In 2017, he met two sister missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Munyardzi was intrigued as they taught him about the plan of salvation. He may not have fully understood why he lost his hearing, but Munyaradzi came to feel God had a plan for him.

Learning about God’s plan gave him hope for the afterlife and taught him that he could retain the knowledge he learned on Earth. He wanted to learn more and eventually accepted the invitation to be baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ.

BYU-Pathway student Munyaradzi is currently studying software development.
BYU-Pathway student Munyaradzi is currently studying software development.

Finding BYU-Pathway

After being baptized, Munyaradzi was added to a WhatsApp group chat, in which he saw an ad for BYU-Pathway. He and his friends investigated the website and couldn’t believe how low the tuition was. They thought it wasn’t legitimate at first, but Munyaradzi trusted the Church of Jesus Christ.

He said, “I said to these guys, if it’s from the Church, it has to be real."

Munyaradzi decided to apply, knowing online learning would be easier with his hearing loss than in-person learning. He was accepted and later received the Heber J. Grant Tuition Discount .

He began sharing about his education with his family and explained that he was paying significantly less than if he attended other universities.

“That’s almost free education,” Munyaradzi said. “Don’t let it go. That’s why I’m getting an education. You don’t want to be the person who got an opportunity like this and didn’t take it.”

Help through technology

Munyaradzi is currently studying software development . He enjoys how his classes challenge him and how he can connect with the world through technology. While he's still able to speak to others through a Zoom call, for him, the speaker’s voice is subtitled on his computer, allowing him to communicate back.

Having been deaf for many years now, his goal is to create technology to help those with hearing loss. He wants to help them in ways only he can understand.

“Do not tire”

Munyaradzi is grateful to BYU-Pathway for providing the support and resources so he can pursue a degree despite his hearing loss.

To other students experiencing challenges, he said, “Do not tire. The work is great.”

What challenges have led to positive challenges in your life and educational journey?