Meteorologist Lucy Samvura Motsi passed away only one exam away from earning the Master’s degree in Science and Management of Climate Change, joint initiative of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and the CMCC Foundation. Her Master certificate was presented to her family in a ceremony held in Ca’ Foscari’s Aula Magna.
In her home country of Zimbabwe, Lucy was working at the national weather service since 2013 and presenting forecasts on television. Then, at age 34, she chose to resume her studies to become a researcher with the goal of helping address climate change. So in 2021 she packed her bags, destination Venice, to attend the Master’s program in Science and Management of Climate Change, co-organized by Ca’ Foscari University and the CMCC Foundation. In 2022 she began her PhD, with a fellowship funded by the CMCC and a project on Heatwaves, Urban Heat Island and Human Health in Southern Africa supervised by Enrica De Cian, professor of Environmental Economics at the Department of Economics at Ca’Foscari, research scientist at CMCC, and PhD coordinator, and by Paola Mercogliano, Director of the regional climate modelling Division at CMCC.
Lucy Samvura Motsi, however, at the same time as she began her doctorate, faced a personal challenge against cancer. Last summer, in fact, she was diagnosed with a recurrence of a cancer that she believed she had defeated for good in previous years. Despite this news, although alone and bedridden, she decided to stay in Italy and continue her study efforts while fighting the disease thanks to the treatments initiated at Mestre Hospital. Determined and pugnacious, joined by her husband, assisted by doctors and the Association of Volunteers Assisting Oncology Patients, and supported by faculty, research and doctoral colleagues, she endured until the night of March 13, when she passed away.
She leaves four children, ages 12, 10 and two 3-year-old twins. Her wish to be able to re-embrace them one last time was granted just in time thanks to donations from friends and faculty, which helped defray the cost of the trip from Harare, capital of Zimbabwe, to Mestre, where Lucy Samvura lived with other students.
To pay tribute to her dedication in study and research and to the sacrifices she faced with determination with the ambition to contribute knowledge to the good of her homeland and beyond, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice awarded Lucy Samvura Motsi a Master’s Certificate in Memory. She was, in fact, only one exam away from earning the degree. The certificate was presented to the family on March 24, 2023 by Luisa Bienati, the university’s pro-rector of Education, in a ceremony held in Ca’ Foscari’s Aula Magna.
This title to her memory is in addition to the various degrees earned in her career. After graduating in mathematics and physics from the University of Zimbabwe and a diploma in meteorology from the Department of Meteorological Service of Zimbabwe, he obtained a degree in meteorology from Nanjin University in 2017.
The return of the body to Zimbabwe will be made possible thanks to donations from volunteers and people who were close to her.