Tawanda Mupini, a young doctor-to-be thriving in Fudan

Release Date:2024-03-19Views:12

Having grown up in Zimbabwe, Tawanda came to Shanghai in 2016 to pursue a degree in medicine. He has this goal of becoming a doctor since childhood, in which the experience of raising animals motivated him to do more to protect lives. “I found joy in tendering sick farm animals, driven by a genuine wish to aid those in need and to offer comfort and care.”

But why Fudan University? He explained,“Fudan, being one of the top-tier universities in China, embraces students from diverse backgrounds, offers high-quality education, upholds values like teamwork and sacrifice which deeply resonate with me, and crucially, gives students access to advanced technologies in medical domain.”


Fig 1. Tawanda (1st from the left) in an operation

Once completing his in-classroom theory study at Fudan in the spring of 2023, Tawanda immediately immersed himself in clinical practice at Zhongshan Hospital affiliated to Fudan University. There he rotated through various departments and engaged himself with a variety of emerging medical technologies including micro-cut remote surgery. 

During his first visit to Shanghai, Tawanda was amazed by the sweet taste in braised chicken, the annular viewing platform inside Shanghai Tower at 546m off the ground and row-upon-row skyscrapers along the Bund. 

Now after seven years studying and living here, he has only found himself loving his life in Shanghai more. “It's always very safe to walk outside. We get packages delivered right to doorstep and convenient payment through smartphone, which makes our life so easy.”


Fig 2. Tawanda and “Gugu”(1st from the right)

He has forged a strong bond with his “Gugu” (means “aunt” in Chinese) over the past five years whom he got acquainted with during a trip to Chongming Island, the northernmost reaches of Shanghai. “Gugu” often cooks his favorite Chinese dish “Twice-Cooked Pork” for him when Tawanda visits her at weekends. They go fishing, celebrate birthday and Spring Festival together like real family, “Gugu has been a big part of my life in China.” 


Fig 3. 

At the beginning, being an international freshman, Tawanda faced academic challenges on top of language barriers and unfamiliar surroundings.

“I know sometimes life can be really hard but there are ways to deal with it.” Tawanda took a step forward. “Otherwise what's the point of coming to China?”

Fig 4. 

He seized any opportunities he could. “ I used to be afraid to give a speech in front of people, but I decided to face up to this weakness and conquer it.” He took public speaking classes at Fudan and later even represented Fudan in the 6th SFLEP Cup National College Students’ Intercultural Competence Contest and the Belt and Road Youth English Speaking Competition of 2023. 


Fig 5.

In the Belt and Road Youth English Speaking Competition, he delivered a speech on the transformative potential of artificial intelligence in healthcare for developing countries and the Belt and Road Initiative's contribution to Zimbabwe's agricultural development. “The Belt and Road Initiative is a transformative force that holds immense potential for countries like Zimbabwe to thrive in the global economy,” he commented. “I’m excited for the journey ahead to see where this path of development and cooperation will lead us.”

In the past seven years, Tawanda has been getting closer to realizing his ambition of becoming a good doctor. “My study in Fudan has provided me with a unique perspective on global healthcare systems, as well as the knowledge and skills invaluable for my medical career, allowing me to contribute to the health and well-being of individuals in Zimbabwe and beyond.”