I am the second youngest in a family of seven. I was born and raised in Zimbabwe, in a small township called Glendale in the farming region of Mazowe. My parents were both uneducated, and like many Zimbabweans of my age, I grew up in an environment where the highest form of success was a General Dealer at one of the local stores. Writing the Ordinary Level examinations was considered as “finishing school”, and most people never cared about taking education seriously.
My family struggled a lot financially, and from a very young age, I was determined to change that.
Upon realising that school was relatively easy and much rewarding for me, I decided to focus on education over soccer as a means of getting my family out of the situation we were in. With a little bit of luck and good fortune, the decision to invest my time in learning has taken me to places that have positively impacted my life. My notable academic achievements include getting 9 As and a B (the best result since Rujeko High School was instituted ) on the Ordinary Level examinations in Zimbabwe, with 3 of those being classes I studied on my own. I also got 43 points for my International Baccalaureate Diploma, and Summa Cum Laude in Computer Science at Princeton, with also an “unofficial but official” degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering making me the first student to do a double major since Princeton was instituted.
Some of my friends make fun of me saying that “Felix always does things the hard way.” That might be true but as articulated by Josh Waitzkin in The Art of Learning, “growth comes at the point of maximum resistance.”
I always consider myself to be a community-child because I am what and where I am today as a result of the tremendous support I got from my friends who gave me clothes and food at some point in my life, and several scholarships and donations I have received. I still vividly remember a particular Sunday in February of 2011 when my family walked into a Sunday Service at a local Salvation Army church asking for donations so that I could attend a boarding school and have a chance to study what I was passionate about; to this day, I honestly can’t believe the support we got; it was just a miracle.
Regarding consistent financial, social and spiritual support, Higherlife Foundation was at the centre of everything, and it won’t be an exaggeration to say that my life would not be the way it is right now if I had not become a beneficiary of the organisation. They pulled me out of the mud, took me under their mentorship and groomed me in ways I could not imagine.
For most of my life, I didn’t have a father figure, mother figure or someone to guide me. Being the first person in my family to do a lot of things starting with successfully graduating from High School, I had no direct contacts to help me with any advice — I just had to rely on figuring things out along the way. As such, I realised very early the importance of having guiding principles to use as the pillars to inform my decisions and actions. Some of them are the following:
- Seek the truth
Most people in my family and the community I grew up have had their lives destroyed due to blindly following false beliefs and things they cannot objectively justify. For instance, for most of my childhood, my family was part of a church that was against the use of medicines and seeking professional medical attention when people are sick, and also supported unreasonable things like not sending girls to school. To this day, the number of lives and families that got ravaged through sicknesses and other destructive beliefs pains me a lot. As such, I value brutal honesty and zero compromises on the truth, and I use frameworks from my education in philosophy and math in analysing what is true and is more likely to be true from what is not true.
- Listen to everyone but follow none of them
I believe that one can only say that he/she understands something when he/she has a demonstrative understanding of that thing. Also, I believe that most of the fundamental problems that our society faces come mainly from the fact that people do not think for themselves. As a result, I gather what everyone has to say and then perform my deliberations to reach my own conclusions. The conclusion I reach might be similar to what someone might have said before, but independently arriving at this conclusion means that I will have internalised it, and hence fully understand why that particular decision is the right one.
- Live your truth
I believe that the easiest way for people to live happily is through effortless expression. Fortunately, the only way to express yourself is through figuring out and tirelessly pursuing what works for your life within the realms of what is naturally permissible and beneficial for everyone.
Now and the future :
I believe that everyone should have a chance to enjoy life and feel spiritually, emotionally and intellectually fulfilled, and that as a global citizen, I have the responsibility to help others reach their full potential.
As someone who sees technology as driving force for creating more abundance and improving quality of life around the world, my goal in life is to build technology companies that solve some of the hardest problems that our societies are facing. To accomplish that I plan to use what I call the “Elon Musk Model” where I build one successful company and then use the proceeds from that to finance my future ventures. Currently, I am working on a company that my friends and I co-founded, called BlockX, which is decentralised applications company. Our current product is called Afari, which a social network that facilitates authentic self-expression and uses a token to reward content creators for creating enjoyable content.