Lecturers are useful in the creation of new knowledge. This justifies their existence in the corridors of academia.

Who is better to lead such a process than someone who has researched to produce new knowledge in their respective field? “Towards an Integrative Leadership Model: Can Servant and Transformational Leadership Models Provide an Impetus to the Performance of State-Owned Enterprises in Zimbabwe?” was the title of Dr Gabriel Maibvisira’s PhD thesis

After spending 15 years in the private sector, Dr Maibvisira joined MSU’s Graduate School of Business Leadership as a lecturer in 2010.  In 2013, he registered for PhD with the University of KwaZulu Natal after realising that it was imperative for him to have this qualification to complement his industry experience to the benefit of the university’s major stakeholders which are the students.

Driven by the desire to enhance his research skills, the choice of this area was prompted by the need to explore possible home-grown solutions for the struggling Zimbabwe’s state-owned entities as a result of seemingly leadership deficiencies.

“Initially, I must confess, I felt obtaining a doctorate was a preserve of the few and I was not one of those few”, he said.

Like any other journey in one’s life, his journey was characterized by ups and downs.

Among the many challenges he faced, two stood out the most on his research journey. His supervisor fell ill before submission and he had to be assigned a new supervisor. After missing his submission date and having to work on the new contributions, he was able to submit in July 2019.

The last challenge was the world-wide novel coronavirus which denied him the opportunity to have a conventional graduation ceremony which was scheduled for April 2020. Hence, the graduation was done virtually in May 2020.

Dr Maibvisira extends sincere gratitude to Midlands State University for the financial support through the Research and Postgraduate Studies Office. The Faculty of Commerce and the Graduate School of Business Leadership also created an enabling environment for him.

In as much as the journey was financially and socially demanding, he worked his fingers to the bone to attain his goal and now takes pride and comfort in the fact that nothing great comes easy. Therefore, his word of advice and motivation to fellow colleagues who intend to embark on the same journey and those who are already on the journey, he says, “NEVER give up regardless of the challenges you face because challenges are part of the game.”

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