Fay Chung

Fay Chung

Fay Chung (born March, 1941) is a Zimbabwean educator and an independent candidate for the March 2008 Zimbabwean senatorial election. She is one of the early public supporters of independent presidential candidate, Simba Makoni, who announced his presidential candidacy in early February 2008. She was Deputy Secretary for Administration in the Ministry of Education from 1980 to 1988 and Minister of Education in President Robert Mugabe's cabinet from 1988 to 1993. In 1980, 5% of the black population in Zimbabwe had access to basic education; by 1993, Zimbabwe had achieved a 95% primary education rate. Fay has worked to extend access to education and to bring ‘education-with-production’ principles into school curricular in Zimbabwe and other developing countries.


Fay grew up in a Chinese family in racially segregated Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in the 1950’s and trained as an educator at the University of Zimbabwe (then known as University of Rhodesia) and in 1968 went on to earn her post-graduate degree in education and masters in philosophy in English literature at the University of Leeds. Most recently, Fay also earned a BA in Economics from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

During the 1960’s, Fay taught underprivileged students in one of the largest Zimbabwean townships in Gweru and in the early 70’s became a lecturer in the Department of Education at the University of Zambia. In Zambia she became a vocal supporter of the African nationalist movement. With the escalation of the guerrilla war inside Rhodesia Fay joined the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) the Zimbabwe liberation struggle in 1973. Her participation in the liberation struggle forced her into exile in Tanzania and Mozambique in the mid and late ‘70’s where she learned to speak Shona fluently. Her initial role within ZANU was in the Information and Media Department she subsequently became the senior official responsible for implementing ZANU’s teacher training and curriculum development in refugee camps through the 70’s.


Fay co-founded ZIMFEP, an NGO that combined education with agricultural production theory to assist war veterans and their families and was subsequently appointed Deputy Minister of Administration of the Ministry of Education at Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980. Fay was appointed Minister of Education by Mugabe in 1988. During her tenure at the Ministry of Education, Fay developed and implemented a nationwide primary and secondary education program. She resigned from the Ministry of Education after disagreeing with the government.

After resigning from the Ministry of Education, Fay worked to replicate the Zimbabwean education platform in developing countries around the world as Chief of the Education Cluster at UNICEF in New York. In 1998 she returned to Africa where she was the founder and first director of UNESCO’s International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa based in Ethiopia.

Return to Zimbabwe

Fay returned home to Zimbabwe in 2003 ostensibly to retire, though she has continued to be outspoken on Zimbabwean politics. In 2006, she authored Re-Living the Second Chimurenga: Memories of the Liberation Struggle for Zimbabwe, her memoir. In addition, she has continued to be active in various organizations, including supporting various women’s education, leadership and empowerment efforts in Africa. She is a founder of FAWE (Forum for African Women Educationalists), ASHEWA (Association for Strengthening Higher Education for Women in Africa) and is also the Chairperson of the board of Trustees of the Women’s University in Africa which she helped co-found in 2003.

2008 Senatorial Election

Fay has worked for education and social and political change in Zimbabwe. She has been asked to return to politics as an independent candidate. Her candidacy for the 2008 senatorial elections marks her return to the political arena.

Fay Chung is running as an independent candidate for the Zimbabwean senate in the Hatfield and Waterfalls Constituency of Harare Zimbabwe. The multi-election (parliamentary, presidential and senatorial) could see a change in the political, social and economic future of Zimbabwe.


Fay has been officially endorsed by Simba Makoni.

See also


External links

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