Leonard Tawayena Kapungu of Chinyabowa, Zimbabwe, died April 20 at home in Oak Bluffs. He was 80.

He was born on August 23, 1940, to Muchawira and Teresa Kapungu in Nyanga, Zimbabwe. After graduating from Kutama High School, he went on to study political science at the University of Rhodesia. As a refugee in Botswana and Zambia, he was offered a full scholarship to Colorado State University in Fort Collins and then completed his doctorate at the London School of Economics. After years of teaching as a professor in the U.S., he joined the United Nations where he had a 35-year vibrant career, traveling to over 40 countries, where he passionately advocated for countries that were in turmoil and needed to be independent, including his native Zimbabwe.

In 1969, he met Mercy J. (Muchena) Kapungu in New York. They married in 1970 and had three children, Chivimbiso, Chisina and Fungayi.

After retiring in 2000, Leonard spent his time creating the Center for Peace Initiatives in Africa and built a Catholic church in his rural homestead where he expanded his family farm. With his abundant energy and passion, he also developed and managed Brackenridge Resort as a loving gesture to showcase Zimbabwe’s ongoing economic development to international visitors. Never tired, always loving, he was there for people in need and always full of hope and ideas for any person, or country in crisis.

In addition to his wife and three children, he is survived by his four grandchildren, Jalen Muchawira, Juliana Masorodzi, Zoe Chiedzo and Tristan Tamuda.

His funeral mass will be private; he will be interred at the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Oak Bluffs.

For online guestbook, please visit chapmanfuneral.com