I’m Denzel, And This Is My Uncommon Story

I’m Denzel, And This Is My Uncommon Story

My name is Denzel Takudzwa, a 2022-2023 student at Uncommon.org and that’s a picture from the recent Uncommon 5 Year Celebration.

Can you guess which person I am??

Today, I took over the Uncommon.org mailing list. My goal was to share my story with all of our supporters – so I’m happy to share it here on our blog as well.

Ok so growing up, I’ve always been overly passionate for everything art and technology. And I always dreamed and prayed for an opportunity where I could express myself in that space.

In my head, I kept saying, “When I’m 19, I’m going to apply for a scholarship and go to the UK to study Graphic Design and Software Development.”

But of course that didn’t happen. Life’s not that easy, lol.

When it all seemed as if I had to give up on my dream and choose a different path in life, I met Beaven, a 2021 Uncommon Bootcamp Cohort alumnus, who introduced me to Uncommon.org.

And I’ll be honest, it sounded too good to be true. But, I signed up for it anyway… And I got accepted.

I packed my stuff and hit the road from Kwekwe, a small city in the Midlands of Zimbabwe. Since then, I’ve never looked back. I was enrolled in the bootcamp at the Mufakose Hub, and the experience there has just been phenomenal!

I’d never thought it possible, that all that I’d dreamed about doing after high school, could be done.

I didn’t even have to go to the UK for it. And better yet, I didn’t have to pay!

Thanks to the team at Uncommon, I received my first job offer just 3 months into the bootcamp. At the age of 20.

And things have only looked up ever since!

While I still hope to graduate with Uncommon, I also can’t wait to get started at my first job!

I chose to take this opportunity because I can see the potential for growth at the company I’m joining. I want to see how far I can go, how far I can push myself. I want to increase my creativity and efficiency.

I wasn’t really planning on starting to work this soon but I just told myself, “why not?”

I’m not working to earn, I’m working to learn.

But…it’s great to get paid while I’m doing it! 

For all that Uncommon has done for my life so far, I can only be grateful. For their provision, drive, motivation, and commitment to bettering our lives, I am determined to learn as much as I can so I can give back to the students that will follow in my footsteps.

So thank you Uncommon.

And thank YOU reader, for giving me an opportunity and being a part of my uncommon journey.

Looking Back & Looking Ahead to 2023

Looking Back & Looking Ahead to 2023

As the year comes to an end, our team is filled with immense gratitude for the Uncommon community. 

In a world that is becoming increasingly digital, we believe that a coding & technology education should be universal and accessible to everyone.

Your support of and belief in our mission has meant so much to our young team. 

While we’ll be sharing our 2022 Annual Report soon, we wanted to highlight some of the past year’s accomplishments as well as what we’re excited to be working on in 2023:

2022 Highlights

🚀 Relaunched our youth coding program for 1,235 students across 24 partner schools.

🎓 Graduated 80 Bootcamp students and welcomed an additional 97 unemployed young adults into our 12 month, full-time program.

✏️ Hosted our first teacher training workshops to empower government school educators to teach coding in their classrooms.

👩‍🎨 Designed our first product, the Uncommon Playground – an offline platform to make coding easy, fun and accessible in Shona and Ndebele (Zimbabwe’s two largest languages).

🚧 Broke ground on our 7th Innovation Hub, and began designing our 8th.

We are so proud of the team for accomplishing these (and many more!) milestones in 2022 but we’re only just getting started. 

2023 Goals:

📈 Bring free coding lessons to 5,000+ youths.

👩‍💻 Train 140+ unemployed young adults in our full-time technology Bootcamp.

👨‍🏫 Train 100+ government school teachers in our youth coding curriculum.

💻 Build, test and launch the Beta version of the Uncommon Playground offline desktop application.

🏗️ Build and launch our 7th and 8th Innovation Hubs in Mbare (Harare) and Victoria Falls.

💗 Continue growing the amazing, Uncommon Community

Our goal is to make 2023 our most impactful year yet.

As a charity, none of this work is possible without the amazing generosity of people like you, and we can’t thank you enough. 

If you’d like to make a final contribution to our year end campaign, you can do so here.

If you’d like toget more involved with Uncommon and help in other ways, please simply reply back to this email. We’re always looking for volunteers and would be delighted to welcome you to the team!

Thank you for making this uncommon journey so special. 


Briget’s Uncommon Story

Briget’s Uncommon Story

When Briget applied to join Uncommon, she was young and recently married with a child of her own. 

She supported her family by selling notebooks and ice-pops on the side of the road not far from the local primary and secondary schools.  

We were inspired by her entrepreneurial spirit. When asked how she’d support her family if she were to join our full-time Bootcamp, she replied that she had already agreed with her husband that he would take over their stall so she could pursue her education.

After completing our crash courses, Briget chose to specialize in Digital Marketing and she wasmatched with a Mentor working for a fin-tech startup in Israel.

Upon graduating from Uncommon, we hired Briget as a junior Digital Marketing instructor where she taught our next group of students, developed her leadership skills and further explored the world of Digital Marketing. 

After finishing our Resume and Interview Prep workshop, Briget began applying for jobs. With multiple offers, Briget was able to negotiate the deal that was best for her and her family.

We couldn’t be more proud!

Our goal is to impact 5,000+ lives in 2023.

In communities where our target demographic is surviving on just $3 per day, access to technology education & employment has the potential for significant positive change. 

If you’d like to help us reach 5,000+ lives in 2023, please consider making a donation to the Uncommon Fund. 100% of your donation will be used to further our free, technology education mission. Thank you so much!

Help Our Students Learn How to Monetize Their Tech Skills

For the last 4 weeks, we have been piloting a partnership with Tofara Online, a Digital Marketing and Innovation Consulting Trust founded by one of our program Mentors, Tofara Chokera.

Eleven of our Uncommon students/instructors received 8hrs of group training and 2hrs of one on one mentorship where they learned how to earn money with the digital skills they’ve gained through our Bootcamps. In a depressed job market like Zimbabwe’s – unfortunately acquiring tech skills alone doesn’t necessarily guarantee employment, so teaching our students how to be entrepreneurs and monetize their skills is crucial.

Through our partnership, we were able to provide our beneficiaries with this awesome opportunity for just $25 per person. Today, we’re launching a campaign to raise $3,000 to allow all of our Uncommon students and staff members to get this training. If you’d like to help us reach our goal, please consider donating below.

Donate Today

Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.

Donation Total: $25.00 One Time