Andrew Chad Nyanguru (28 Mar 1953-14 May 2014)

Contributions by Abel Matsika, School of Social Work, Zimbabwe


Prof Andrew Nyanguru was an Associate Professor in Social Work. His research interest was in gerontology. He has done research in all aspects of the elderly ranging from social issues, like sexuality, the elderly, social security, economic challenges and their health seeking behaviour. His studies includes the elderly in institutions and in the community. He has also undertaken research on the rights of the elderly and child abuse. The late Professor. Nyanguru attained a Diploma in Social Work, a Bachelor of Social Work General Degree in 1980 and a Master of Social Work Degree in 1985, both from the University of Zimbabwe. He earned Professorship from the National University of Lesotho in 2006.

Professor Nyanguru (left, black jacket) during one of his several gerontology conferences. Here he is captured with colleagues in Pretoria, South Africa.

Associate Professor Andrew Nyanguru re-joined the University of Zimbabwe from Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE) as a permanent Full-time Associate Professor with immediate tenure at the School of Social Work on the 1st of July 2010. He was subsequently appointed the Director of the School of Social Work until December 2011 when he was re-assigned to full time lecturing and research. He was an accomplished academic and published researcher who published so extensively on issues of gerontology and social development that at the time of his death he had 27 publications to his name and 8 papers undergoing publication peer review.

He was a veteran of statutory social welfare services provision in Zimbabwe having joined the then Department of Social Services (DSS) in 1981 as a District Social Welfare Officer at the Highfields DSS office and rose through the ranks to be Drought Relief Provincial Head for the Mashonaland Region from 1983-85. He left the public service in 1986 to join the School of Social Work as a Lecturer for many years until he left to join the National University of Lesotho. At the time of his death he was the only resident social work Professor in Zimbabwe and was ceased with providing academic and professional mentorship to a large pool of upcoming academics and practitioners. He had been an external examiner for the BUSE Department of Social Work for many years. He had previously been a visiting Professor at distinguished Universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham, Capetown and Iowa. The late Professor was predeceased by his wife and is survived by 3 children and 4 grandchildren.


  1. Nyanguru,A.C (1987) ‘’Residential Care for the Destitute Elderly: a comparative study of two instututions in Zimbabwe’’, Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology Vol .2, (1): 345-357.
  2. Nyanguru, A.C (1990) ‘’The Quality of Life of the Elderly Living in Institutions and Homes in Zimbabwe’’, Journal of Social Development in Africa Vol. 5, (1) 25-43
  3. Nyanguru, A.C and Peil, M. (1990) ‘’Zimbabwe since Independence: a People’s Assessment’, African Affairs, Vol. 90 (2)’607-620.
  4. Nyanguru, A.C, Adamachak, D., Wilson, A and Hampson J. (1990) ‘’Elderly Support and Integration Transfer in Zimbabwe: an analysis by Gender, Marital status and Place of Residence’’ Gerontologist Vol. 6, (2): 71-98.
  5. Nyanguru, A.C (1991) ‘’The Health Problems of the Elderly Living in Institutions and Homes in Zimbabwe Journal of Social Development in Africa Vol. 6 (2): 71-98.
  6. Nyanguru, A.C, Adamachak, D., Wilson, A and Hampson J. (1991) “A Study of Well-being of Elderly People in Three Communities in Zimbabwe, Age and Aging Vol. 20, (2); 275-279.
  7. Nyanguru, A.C and Peil, M, (1993) ‘’Housing and the Elderly in Zimbabwe’’, Southern African Journal of Gerontology, Vol.2 (1): 3-9.
  8. Nyanguru, A.C (1994) ‘’Family Support for the Elderly in Zimbabwe”, Southern African Journal of Gerontology Vol. 3, (1): 22-26.
  9. Nyanguru, A.C. (2002) ‘’Income Support and the Elderly in Zimbabwe’’. \Review of Southern African Studies ISAS Vol. 5, 2001 5(2): 71-86
  10. Nyanguru, A.C (2003) ‘’Income Support and the Promotion of the Rights of the Elderly in Lesotho’’, The African Anthropologist Vol. 10(2): 154-179.
  11. Nyanguru, A.C ‘’The Rights of the Elderly in Lesotho Journal of Social Development in Africa, Vol. 20:2 June, 2005.
  12. Nyanguru, A.C. (2007) ‘’Migration and aging: The case of Zimbabwe’’, International Journal of aging and Social Policy (forthcoming)
  13. Nyanguru, A.C. (2005) ‘’The health seeking behaviour of the elderly in Zimbabwe’’, International Journal of Aging and Social Policy (forthcoming)
  14. Nyanguru, A.C (2006) ‘’The rights of elderly male prisoners in Lesotho’’ Lesotho law Journal Vol. 16(1) 119-149.
  15. Nyanguru, A.C (2006) ‘’Income Support and the elderly in Zimbabwe’’ (Revisited) Review of Southern African Studies.
  16. Nyanguru, A.C (2006) ‘’A Review of the promotion of Food and Nutrition for the elderly,’’ Review of Social Sciences in Lesotho.
  17. Nyanguru, A.C (2007): The case of providing universal non-contributory pensions to older persons in developing countries’’ in Shava, P and Samson-akapan, E (ed).
  18. Nyanguru, A.C. (2007) ‘’Old age Pensioners and promotion of human rights of older people in Lesotho’’, Journal of Social Development in Africa Vol 21(1) Food and Nutrition.
  19. Nyanguru, A.C (2007) “A Review of the Old Age Pension in Lesotho’’, Lesotho Social Science Review
  20. Nyanguru, A.C (2007) ‘’The Sexuality of Male and Female Elderly in Lesotho’’ (Escalo) Journal of Social Anthropology, Department of Humanities, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
  21. Nyanguru, A.C (2007) ‘’The historical development of institutional care in Zimbabwe
  22. Nyanguru, A.C (1993) ‘’A Home that is its community’’, in Tout, K (ed) Elderly Care: A World Perspective London Chapman, pp41-57.
  23. Nyanguru, A.C (1994) ‘’Social Services for the Elderly in Zimbabwe’’, in Kosberg, J (ed) International Handbook of Services for the Elderly, London Macmillan 1994. Pp472-482
  24. Nyanguru, A.C (2005) ‘’Elderly women as caregivers to relatives affected by HIV/AIDS in urban Lesotho in Kalabamu, F, Mapetla, M and Sylvester, A Gender,Generation and Urban Living in Southern Africa, ISAS PP.219-235.
  25. Nyanguru, A.C (2005) ‘’Social Sciences and Aging in Africa’’ in Okeibunor, J.C and Anugrurom, E.E, The Social Sciences and Aging in Africa’’ Obikeze, Great AP Express Publishers (Ltd) Nsukka, Nigeria, pp285-295.
  26. Nyanguru, A.C (2007) ‘’Psycho social problems of Basotho children involved in incest’’ Journal of Child Abuse
  27. Nyanguru, A.C (2007) The Elderly in the family’’ in Maundeni, Taud Elabor-Indemudia (eds) Contemporary Families: African Perspectives.
  28. Nyanguru, A.C (2007) ‘’The Historical Development of the old age pension in Lesotho Maetla and Groome, D (ed) Old Age Pensions in Lesotho: A study of Manonyane District Council.
  29. Nyanguru, A.C (2007) ‘’The Pensioners speak out in Mapetla, M and Croome, D (ed) Old Age Pensions in Lesotho: A study of Manonyane District Council.

Nyanguru model of ageing

Nyanguru was a social work academic who taught in Zimbabwe and Lesotho. The focus for his research was ageing. He viewed aging from an African ubuntu perspective. Basis elements from his work on ageing are:

  1. Families have the ultimate responsibility to take care of older persons and this has to be encouraged. In one of his researches he reported with surprise that “Many of the children were unable to support their parents because of their own family obligations. The majority of the children neither lived with their parents nor visited them regularly. The elderly parents received few remittances from their children, even those who were employed”, (Nyanguru et al, 1994)
  2. “Maintenance of the family structure should not necessarily be subject to legislation but should be the basis of all national planning”, (Nyanguru et al, 1994).
  3. Institutionalisation should not be a priority “Not enough thought has been given to alternatives to institutions in many developed countries”, (Nyanguru et al, 1994). Problems of older persons in institutions are too many (Nyanguru, 1990, 1991) including but not limited to health, income, psychological (loneliness, stress and unhappy dying process) and housing among others. African older persons unhappy in institutions “European respondents in homes were much older than their African and coloured counterparts, and were also more educated and had had better jobs than the other respondents. They tended to live near their previous place of residence and therefore had more contact with relatives and friends. They were more satisfied with their lives in institutions than their African and coloured counterparts”, (Nyanguru, 1990, p. 1)
  4. Supporting caregivers “Action can be planned at relatively low cost, e.g. by ensuring that a family caregiver is supported by cash disability allow- ances, or constant attendance allowances. These allowances would cost less than the medical fees of a trained professional or an institution”, (Nyanguru, et al, 1994).
  5. “The possibility of establishing surrogate kinships, such as “adopt-a-gran” or “sahwira,” is important in developing countries where the disintegration of the family following mass migration is often immediate, final and irreversible”, (Nyanguru et al, 1994).
  6. “Another important consideration in planning for the aged is the involvement of the elderly in all stages of the planning and implementation”, (Nyanguru et al 1994).
  7. “The elderly should be allowed to stay in their jobs as long as they could… keeping their jobs as long as they could, will as long as they could, the elderly will be able to meet their basic needs from their earnings. Work can also enhance their self-esteem and self-worth as human beings in their society. They would feel that they are making a meaningful contribution to their families, communities and society at large”.
  8. “Zimbabwe  should  look  at  the  question  of  pensions  for  the elderly.  The  National  Insurance  Pension  Scheme  which  has  been instituted seems to protect those who are already protected, in that it covers those in formal employment.  The majority of our elderly are not  covered  as  they  are  either  unemployed  or  are  subsistence farmers”, Nyanguru (1993, p.124)
  9. “It  is  suggested  that  children  or  relatives  who  are  looking  after elderly people should get tax relief as is done with those who have dependent  children.   Many  children,  most  studies  have  shown, would like to care for their elderly parents, but fail to do so because they lack adequate resources (Nyanguru, 1993, p.124).
  10. Migration posed several challenges when people become older.


Nyanguru, A.C. (1987). Residential care for the destitute elderly: a comparative study of two institutions in Zimbabwe. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gemmology, 2(4): 345-58.

Nyanguru, A .C. (1990). The quality of life of the elderly living in institutions and homes in Zimbabwe. Journal of Social Development in Africa. 5(2): 25-43.

Nyanguru. A .C. (1991). The health problems of the elderly living in institutions and homes in Zimbabwe. Journal of Social Development in Africa. 6(2): 71-89.

Nyanguru. A.C. (1993). A home that is its community. In: Tout. K. (Ed.) Elderly care: a world perspecrive. London: Chapman & Hall. pp. 47-52.

Nyanguru. A.C. & Peil. M. (1993). Housing and the elderly in Zimbabwe. Southern African Journal of Gerontology. 2(I): 3-9.

Nyanguru, A.C. & Hampson, Joe & Adamchak, D.J. & Wilson, Adrian. (1994). Family support for the elderly in Zimbabwe. Southern African Journal of Gerontology. 3. 22-26.

Andrew C. Nyanguru MA (2007) Migration and Aging, Journal of Aging & Social Policy, 19:4, 57-85.