A truly amazing day at Pakati….12 months on

Mugove Chifaka & Chris Walker – Heads of Pakati Secondary school past and present,
on the day in September 2019 we celebrated

I was only reminded very recently, that the anniversary of my visit to Pakati last year was coming round. Had I thought about it? The answer was no, I hadn’t. But after giving it some thought, I put together this https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/09/26/looking-back-arriving-at-pakati-1-year-ago/ just yesterday, 26th September. Here below is what I said on Facebook at the time at the start of the next day, where we were going to celebrate the donations from https://www.stephensonpersonalcare.com and https://www.scunthorpe-united.co.uk :

“I cannot desribe how I feel right now, but if I could bottle it and sell it I would be a very rich man. Its wonderful to be back somewhere that I have so many good memories of. The welcome has been overwhelming. Today I know will be a great occssion, as I will formally hand over the donations to the school with the blessings of the community and its representatives. I will post more pics when I can, plus on the blog when I am able to.”

My hosts live very close to Pakati Secondary school.

Before the events, things were being prepared, some of the pictures below were taken prior to the celebrations

When summarising it all last year, I said this: “I met with the Head, Mr Cifaka, and we discussed all aspects of the day ahead. I also met with local dignatories including the local MP Hon. Mr Jonah Sewera, local councillor Alderman Israel Maliki and other councillors, Dr. Gurajane CEO of Murewa Rural District Council, Heads of local villgaes, School Development Committee members, local donors and supporters of development for women and girls organisation VaTonatsa members, along with staff from both schools.”

Below are just a small handful of pictures taken during the events:

Here are the links to the 2 posts I added last year: https://friendsofpakati.com/2019/09/28/a-truly-amazing-day-at-pakati-part-1/ and https://friendsofpakati.com/2019/09/29/a-truly-amazing-day-part-2-the-ceremony/

As I was so well looked after and assisted by Bothwell, and he is an active supporter of Friends of Pakati, I feel he should also provide us with his own thoughts and memories..:

“Time is very slow whenever you are waiting for something to happen. It goes very fast when you are doing and enjoying something special. Exactly a year ago Pakati Primary and Secondary school hosted ‘Gushungo’ as Chris is affectionately known here. The mission was to handover and set up the computers before he left.

We went for a refuelling along Samora Machel Avenue in Harare, and then hit the road. Within a couple of hours we were parking and offloading an assortment of computer hardware at the secondary school with a jovial Mr Chifaka assisting too.

The rolling day, a Friday, was for me an unforgetable one. What initially looked like a small event was later graced by the local Councillor , Member of House of National Assembly, councillors from different wards around ward 14.

A presentation was done and the Guest of Honour delivered a memorable speech centred on how he had an indelible relationship with Pakati. Of course most of the people knew about him teaching at Pakati in the late 80s. But no-one had ever thought of how the ward gave him a wife and two golden boys. The MP gave the closing words and appreciated Chris for a sterling job, and the manner he handled the program. Time flew like no-one ever thought and the lunch was served with people mixing to socialised and exchange some stories.

The setting up was carried the following day. Chris showed everyone how to setup the computers and I did a demo lesson for the Primary and Secondary schools was done. Students were given soccer jerseys for sports. The next couple of days were spent moving between Pakati, Murewa and Harare, just trying to fix some logistics.

Chris said goodbye to Zimbabwe after a few more days visiting friends and former students. For me as well as Chris, a very memorable experience, and as he says, a truly amazing day at Pakati”

It was certainly a day I will treasure in my memory for many years to come.

Looking back – arriving at Pakati 1 year ago

My flight by Kenya Airways, docked at Schipol International Airport, Amsterdam, Holland.

12 months ago I arrived in Zimbabwe for a memorable visit, to bring the donated computers, equipment and football shirts to Pakati schools. I landed at RGM International Airport, Harare, to be met by my hostess for the first night, Donna.

The first day was not particularly warm in Harare, though the welcome certainly was. Donna’s two boys were very happy to see me as I had brought some gifts for everyone.

My hostess, below, Donna:

The donated goods were kept safe by Donna, securely stored away from prying eyes, until my arrival.

Next day, a Thursday, I travelled from Donna’s place in the Harare suburbs, setting off for Pakati with my good friend, Bothwell Riside. He was also my driver, host, companion, translator and guide whenever I needed. The journey to Pakati took around 2 hours with a couple of brief stops…here are some pics while travelling:

The Harare-Murewa-Mutoko road
About 60km from Harare is the turn-off towards Musami, known as paCross
About 10km from the turn-off is the small Township of Musami. Just before entering Musami is a signboard for Pakati, now off the tarred roads.
Once across the Shavanhowe river, turn right and pass Ngomamowa hill, and just a few km further is the main signboard for Pakati….
…..where the nearby Njenje family gave me a very warm welcome!

I finally made it down to the Secondary school, where they had been keenly awaiting our arrival. We set about unloading everything, before putting them in a secure room ready for the celebaration and formal presentation to the two schools and local community the next day.

We then set up some of thr equipment to make sure nothing had been damaged in transit.

Once everything was tried out and safely stored, I then joined my friend Bothwell at his family homestead very close to the Secondary school, where I was staying for the few days of my visit to Pakati. Once more I was made incredibly welcome, and could not have been better looked after at a 5* hotel.

There will be much more in the next post, as I look back at one of the most extraordinary days of my life, as I called it last year, a truly remarkable day at Pakati.

Portia Nemaruru’s story – part 2

Here is part 2 of Portia Nemaruru’s story (See part 1 https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/08/21/star-profile-former-pakati-student-portia-nemaruru-a-very-humbling-story-part-1/ ), this time she is talking about how her time at Pakati secondary school has influenced her, and the transition to the Rose of Sharon school to study for her A level’s. In addition, she shows us and tells us a little about her recent trip back to the Pakati area.

“Before I move on to my progression to A level, I want to add more about how Pakati Secondary school has helped me in my life. Firstly, there is the Headmaster, Mr Chifaka, who was also my accounts teacher. Although l got a disappointing symbol (C), I felt motivated by him because he used to say ‘the greatest disability is in the mind’. Also ‘if born in a poor family, a rich family must come out of you’. He shared with me a little of his background life before all the achievements he made academically. He also said that ‘your background does not determine your future. What you to today doesn’t mean you are going to die like that’. He emphasised on good associations and this has helped me a lot.

Indeed Pakati Secondary school molded my character, attitude, spiritual life. Mr Chizenya, History teacher and also my volleyball coach, took most of his spare time sharing good news concerning the gospel of the Trinity God . At primary level Mr Nyamahohwa, my best teacher ever, taught me more about character, attitude, purity, faithfulness, transparency, integrity, love …quoting from the book of 1 Corinthians 13. This molded me into a loyal and faithful woman like Ruth, have the bold spirit of Esther, and a submissive heart like Mary.

With Miss Murape, now Mrs Pindura, at Chemhondoro high school.

Mrs Pindura, the Deputy Head at Pakati Secondary school, took you to Chemhondoro?

Yes, l went with her to Murehwa Mission in Form 1 for my first time in office as a junior councillor, this was the second time. We were given a topic in advance then had to present it from memory as if you are already a councillor. The first topic was….how to eliminate harmful social practices affecting African children especially the girl child. My competitor was supposed to come from Chanetsa secondary, unfortunately but was an advantage to me as they never sent a representative.

How did you decide to become junior councillor?

It was not my choice… Mrs Pindura called me and another girl who was in Form 2 by that time, then she gave us an impromptu speech to make. At the end of the day she said ‘l will go with Portia’.

Ok, did you enjoy it? How long were you junior councillor?

Yes l enjoyed it a lot, l gained exposure and confidence from it which helps me today. I was a junior councillor for the 4 years at Pakati Secondary.

I recently returned for a visit to my home area, and passed through the school grounds.

I could not find much coverage for my phone network, but managed to do so at the fence marking the boundary to the Mapuranga homestead in Chidawaya village.

Having loved my time there, I would like to see more developments and improvements at Pakati, including to the Science education there. I feel if the lab was better equipped, they could teach individual Sciences – Physics, Chemistry, Biology – and perhaps several other subjects – up to A level there. In addition, more and better IT equipment would improve all aspects of education at both Pakati schools.

I moved to Zimre Park, in thr Harare suburbs, in February 2019, where l was going to serve as a housemaid. One Sunday in May, l had an encounter with Tanyaradzwa, a sister to Blessed Tema. He was the Headboy at Pakati Secondary, a friend and also a brother to me. l was surprised and filled with joy to meet her, since it was a long time without seeing each other.

She asked several questions without giving me any room to answer. “Do you stay here in zimre, where are you going, what about O level results l know you were that bright to make it, are going to school or working?”. It was my off-day and l was on my way from church in Ruwa. l was alarmed and astonished with her questions. I asked myself why Tanya is much concerned with my life, my future indeed. I decided to lie to her that l just visited my aunt and l gave her house number.

The following day she came to work house and l told her the whole story. She said, “Portia do you want to go to A level?” I answered her with a big “YES”.

“Portia, leave everything to me ok, it will be fine with you alright. I have a brother who works at Rose of Sharon High School, he is a chaplain there. Tanya came back after lunch hour and said she had spoken to her brother. He had said that l have to go there on my own.

l went there on a Tuesday morning to meet him. He said that you are lucky the Director of Education, Dr Fatima Maruta is here in her office we can go to her with your story, after asking me few questions like where are my parents, what drove me to be a maid whilst l have passed my O levels.

Upon meeting Dr Maruta, my eyes flooded with tears. I saw her removing her spectacles to mop up tears down her cheek after hearing my story. Without wasting much time she said,”Portia, l offer you a full scholarship till you reach your destination, so tomorrow come prepared for schooling”. She jotted down all the necessities and the following day everything was there complete school uniforms of high quality and stationery.

l moved in to Rose of Sharon on 8 May 2019. Everything happened seemed as if l was acting or dreaming, l didn’t know or believe that l deserved something better, even more than that to be offered a full scholarship at a boarding school, not least because from me being a village girl from a rural day school at Pakati Secondary.”

Wow. I don’t know about you, dear reader, but as I was compiling this, I definitely had a tear in my eye…very moving indeed. There are, apparently, more parts to come in Portia’s story – life at Rose of Sharon, social life, and her ambitions for the future. Certainly a lot to look forward to!

At the Shavanhowe river, close to Pakati Primary school

Other matters..

• I have more to come from Debbie Chadbon about her planned fundraising

• Oscar Bumhe, Chairman of the road project committee at Murewa Rural District Council, about the ongoing development in Ward 14.

• There are also other stories still being prepared for publishing in the near future

Keep following Friends of Pakati, check out other pages including the fundraising page https://friendsofpakati.com/fundraising/

Fundraising activities for Friends of Pakati

There are some relatively small fundraising activities either planned or ongoing, which together will add to our ability to help the two Pakati schools. One larger event is planned as well. At the bottom of this post is a request for more ideas…

Approach road – ahead for the Secondary, left takes you to the Primary

One is from former Pakati Secondary school teacher, Debbie Chadbon. She tells me that she grows a mixture of crops on her allotment, here is part of the message she sent me earlier:

“I am planning to have a harvest stall at a local sale trail selling homemade jams and chutneys and pumpkins we have grown on our allotment, to raise funds for Pakati.”

Debbie in preparation for the now-postponed Bristol 10km, taken in March 2020

Later she sent this message:  “I will take a picture of my allotment although it’s not looking it’s best as everything is beginning to die off now.  I’ll also take some pictures of the stall on the day of the fayre.  Every so often in our area they have a sale trail, where people can set up a stall outside their house and sell stuff – like a car boot fayre without the car.  They produce a map on social media highlighting where all the stalls are.  This time because it is harvest time they are also having tables in the local church grounds which you can hire and sell produce.  Because we live in a cul de sac I didn’t think we would get much footfall so I have decided to hire a table in the church grounds.  Hopefully the weather will be kind and fingers crossed it isn’t cancelled due to COVID (otherwise I’ll be giving lots of jam and chutney for Christmas presents!).
I am planning on doing the Bristol 10K run next May.  I have been going for a short run once a week but wouldn’t be up for 10K anytime soon!
Best wishes
Debbie”

Debbie at Pakati Secondary school. 1992

The second is by a fellow Scunthorpe United fan Gary Lundie, who is based in Glasgow, Scotland. He has odered some unique badges for sale, and is publicising them on his twitter feed and facebook page.

Gary says he is willing to given a portion of his sales to Friends of Pakati (as well as local charities in Scunthorpe), and it is great of him to consider doing that for us – a big THANK YOU from Friends of Pakati👏👏. He has had a delivery of them and says they are selling well🤞

Badges for sale

As reported here https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/09/19/september-2019-to-september-2020/ there is also the Author’s weight loss, which is also generating funds. That particular idea has run its course and come 1st October, I will only carry on for my own self. I do expect one or two further donations as a result.

losing weight, September 2020

The question is, what should I, or we at Friends of Pakati, do to raise funds in the next 12 months? Could be something large or small, we will consider all thoughts before chosing. We are therefore asking for suggestions please…

Sponsored walk, April 2019

September 2019 to September 2020

Since January 2019, Friends of Pakati has been trying to raise funds for IT equipment for the two Pakati schools. As ever, http://gofundme.com/friends-of-pakati is open for donations

With additional donations of computers from https://www.stephensonpersonalcare.com plus sports kits and money from https://www.scunthorpe-united.co.uk we managed to raise £2740 by the end of September 2019.

We spent £2700 of that on items such as support for a sponsored walk, additional IT and ancilliary equipment to supplement the donations, plus storage and transportation of the various goods from here in the UK all the way to Pakati.

September 2019 was a very memorable time for all of us connected to Friends of Pakati, as we delivered the IT & sports goods to the schools with great celebration from the community and local dignitories.

In the year since then things have changed dramatically. We planned a number of fundraising events and discussed other ideas, most of which then became put on the back burner thanks to Corona Virus globally.

Some of the things we had planned were temporarily abandoned, postponed, as the events we were relying on – a 10km run and a football match – were called off.

However, one thing has been ongoing, is the Author’s challenge – to lose weight and ask people to donate for Friends of Pakati. Here is how it is going…

From a starting point of 113.4kg in mid-January to mid-September with a weight of 98.8kg means I have lost 14.6kg overall…this has lead to some if the donations in recent weeks

The result has meant a small steady stream of donations via http://gofundme.com/friends-of-pakati over these 12 months,bringing in a total of £687. With £40 left over from the previous year we have had a total of £727.00 in the pot. This includes sponsors donations from Mortz Property Services https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mortz-Property-Services/345098472550527&ved=2ahUKEwitoamH75fpAhWG and Nakai Skincare & Cosmetics https://www.nakaiskincarecosmetics.com

Of that total, we spent £412.04 on a joint venture with a partner organisation VaTonatsa Foundation, much of which has been discussed elsewhere on the blog e.g. https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/07/11/joint-venture-back-story-and-responses/

This haa left us with a total of £314.96 as confirmed at https://friendsofpakati.com/fundraising/ recently. There are things we woukd like to buy for the schools (see https://friendsofpakati.com/2020-vision-friends-of-pakati-the-project-continues/ ) so it is vital we keep the funds coming in. We also need some new fundraising ideas and help to spread the word. Can you help? Do you know anyone who might help us too? Can you share this with your contacts please? Thank you👍👍

Schools re-opening, Road developments, New and updated pages and Part 2’s to come…

Firstly, Schools re-opening in Zimbabwe – Exam classes are re-starting at both Pakati Prinary and Secondary schools soon. There will be protocols in place to protect staff and students alike, see below:

A recent exchange of messages between myself and the Heads of the two Pakati schools is shown below:

“Good morning. Regarding the Questions you asked: Schools will open for exam classes, Cambridge (A levels) – 14 September and ZIMSEC (O levels and Grade 7) – 28 September. All teachers will be at school. There is a Covid 19 guide lines module prescribed by Education ministry in partnership with Health ministry (see image above). Other groups will subsequently come but there is no date yet. I think government and UNICEF will provide majority of PPEs, as yet we are still to know what exactly they will provide.

At the Secondary we are doing markings for individual desks (for social distancing). We are doing this as we wait for ministry’s assistance. We don’t know what we will get, but the schools are doing their best to meet the requirements.”

Secondly, there are some road improvements underway within Ward 14, into the area which includes the catchment area for Pakati schools:

First of all, let me thank the following people for their help in providing information, pictures, advice and/or contacts:

Alderman Israel Maliki (Councillor for Ward 14, Murewa), Mai Mapanga (Road Project Treasurer) and in particular, Oscar Bumhe (Chairman).

Full list of Committee members to be found withinthe following message I received from the Chairman, Oscar:

There are 2 areas of the road requiring special attention as identified by the Engineer. We require cement over 700bags of cement to fix these dilapidated areas. Our capacity to mobilize resources to this extent is now stretched to the limit. We have a fully fledged committee constituted as follows :

Oscar Bumhe – Chairman
Eileen Chinyuku – vice chairlady
Chris Gutsa- Treasurer
Petros Majonga-Secretary
Wiriranai Karimbika-logistics
Other comittee members:
Roderick Matemadombo (UK)
Succeed Chikuvire(UK)
Misheck Masango
Enock Matemadombo
Mrs Mapanga
Maxmos Bosha
Charles Jaji

We welcome any form of contribution that anyone can mobilize towards this communal initiative designed to improve the lives of the people of this community. Sky is the limit. We aim to further the development of our area resources permitting.

Thirdly, this website has been undergoing some changes, some additional pages to help readers who are interested in a particular topic, for example, Pakati Sports https://friendsofpakati.com/pakati-sports/ Fundraising and Actvities https://friendsofpakati.com/fundraising/ Pakati People https://friendsofpakati.com/meet-pakati-people-profiles-and-success-stories/ and the ongoing story ‘Outside Zim Borders https://friendsofpakati.com/outside-zim-borders-every-chapter-in-one-place/

We are creating others too, including everything about the Schools – classrooms, equipment, IT, lessons, etc., also local area developments – roads, joint ventures etc. If other things appear appropriate, we will create more pages.

Forthly and finally for this post, part 2’s. There are a number of Part 2’s being prepared for the blog, including Portia Nemaruru, Mr Mutyavaviri, and Pastor Aggie Fombo. In addition, our storyteller Pauline Machengo will bring us more about her tale of life as a foreigner in South Africa. The next chapter is about Capetown life she tells me, particularly for tourists.

More of what people say about Friends of Pakati

It has been a pleasure to read so many positive comments from diffrrent people, we get great encouragement from all of them. They are a follow-up to the earlier comnents we reported recently here – https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/08/29/what-have-people-been-saying-about-friends-of-pakati/ – please read on!

First let us hear ftom Mrs Pindura, Deputy Head of Pakati Secondary school:

“The blog is very insightful and refreshing. I like your vision of bringing the Pakati community and its alumni together through sharing stories on the blog. I have seen many people moved by your efforts on the blog enough to see your vision as it is and want to step ahead with you, e.g. donors who have given us computers, sports uniforms among many other things. Your efforts in facilitating all this and personal expenses incurred is very much appreciated. I like the fact that you have managed to mobilise local leaders to rally behind you because they have seen that you dont just talk but act well. Your word is to be trusted and for that we thank you. I hope more people chip in, more alliances continue to be forged, and I hope the blog continues to be interactive and flourish.”

Jim Coulson, left, interviewing Daniel (age 13 then!) as Max Bell looks on

Jim Coulson, freelance content writer, radio presenter and video maker, plus former Stadium Announcer at Scunthorpe United: “It’s amazing to see the great work going on through this project and everyone should be so proud of what they have achieved and are continuing to do. Also, I’m a big fan of spreading the word of Scunthorpe United far and wide too!”

Pastor Aggie Joramu Fombo

Contributor to Friends of Pakati (https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/03/14/mrs-agatha-joramu-fombo-former-pakati-student-now-a-pastor-in-mutare-zimbabwe/) Pastor Aggie “Chris you are doing so well in collecting all these stories from different people with a Pakati School history. You are doing such an amazing job for our community – keep up the good work! Much love from Zimbabwe👍

Neal Campbell

Neal Campbell, Chair of the Scunthorpe United Official Supporters Club (SUOSC) told me recently that…: “I think the blog looks good. Hearing about other people’s perspective and how the blog works has been educational, how sending a message has truly enabled people to be empowered. You are truly inspirational to those who most need it.”

Portia Nemaruru

Recent contributor Portia Nemaruru (https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/08/21/star-profile-former-pakati-student-portia-nemaruru-a-very-humbling-story-part-1/) Commented in the blog recently: “Thank you Mr Walker for the platform for us to be reunited, motivated, inspired and also to learn more … this is a great job you are doing and l really appreciate it, thumbs up👍👍”

Recent follower of Friends of Pakati, Hoora Hajee, had this to say: ” Absolutely inspiring stories!
The set up of the website is fantastic and easy to use too.”

Lervena Mkudu, another regular follower, messaged me not long ago: “You are doing a great job at Pakati”

Emmanuel sent us a lovely message a couple of weeks ago: “Very interesting and inspiring stories! I enjoyed reading them. Please continue with your efforts to uplift and make a positive change to the lives of the school children, and ultimately, community of the area. The impact will be felt for many many years to come.”

The Author, September 2018

If you have any comments, criticisms or thoughts/ideas about the content, the website or the project as a whole, then please do let us know👍 https://friendsofpakati.com/important-links/ or https://friendsofpakati.com/contact/ Thank you!

**Midweek Star** Mr Mutyavaviri – Former Teacher at Pakati Secondary school (Part 1)

I am delighted to (re)introduce Mr Mutyavaviri, a recent former teacher at Pakati Secondary school. He is popular among former colleagues and students alike.. Firstly, I will repeat the brief profile he have us back in 2019, before adding much more information recently. Read & enjoy…

Staff Profile – Mr Mutyavaviri, Head of Humanities, teacher of Maths

Born: Kadoma, Mashonaland West

Trained: Belvedere Technical Teachers College (2008)

Specialist in Economics & Accounts, can teach Maths, Commerce & Business Studies

Teacher at Pakati: since 2011

Life at Pakati – It is OK, but would like a more reliable & perennial indoor water supply.

If I wasn’t a teacher….I would be a book-keeper, accounts clerk, data capture clerk or any other business/accounting related job

Hobbies/interests: watching movies, reading, and writing articles

Fact no-one knows about me: nobody knows or can believe that I used to be a vibrant gospel preacher

With colleagues Mrs Pindura and Mrs Munatswa during a staff training course in Harare

“Hi everyone, I hope I find you well. Here is a narrative story of my life at Pakati which comes in two parts. The first part focuses on how I joined Pakati and became a well known part of the Pakati Secondary school staff community.

In May 2011 I was deployed to Pakati Secondary as an Accounts and Commerce teacher, moving from Nyamashato Secondary in the same district of Murewa in Mashonaland East. I had been at Nyamashato for two years and wanted to move either to a school in Harare, or closer to Harare as I had just registered for my ACCA studies.

Nyamashato was too far from the city for me to do studies. I couldn’t find an immediate school in Harare to move to, instead I found a swap transfer to Pakati Secondary, which was a good move. When I got to Pakati, there was no Accounts at the school at that time, I was told that the teacher I had swapped with taught Commerce and Geography so I had to take those subjects.

I indicated to Mr Chingoriwo, the then Headmaster, that I couldn’t teach Geography so I was going back to the district, to tell them that they had sent me for a wrong deployment. Instead of letting me just go, he asked me the other subjects I could teach besides Accounts which wasn’t being offered.

On a school outing with some students, 2018

Being a Commercials person, Maths was the only other subject at the school I could teach but there was already a teacher for Maths. Mr Chingoriwo made some internal arrangements to change the allocation for the then Maths teacher so that I could have a Maths and Commerce teaching load, and it worked out well.

A few days after joining the school, the Head tasked me to take up the responsibility of coaching the school senior boys soccer team. I’m generally good at most sporting activities undertaken in schools, but my passion is in baseball and volleyball. I tried to avoid the responsibility but after he indicated some technicalities, I accepted the role accordingly.

On meeting the soccer team, I enquired how the school team had been performing against other schools, and was told that it had been long since the team managed to get through to finals at zonal competitions as there were bigger High schools in the zone (Musami High and Chemhondoro High) which always dominated. I set a target that we would reach finals at the zonal competitions that year (2011) as I needed time to get to know the students, and that the following year (2012), we would reach finals at district competitions.

My target seemed outrageous as there where 9 schools in our zone that time, Pakati secondary being one of the small ones and beating Chemhondoro and Musami was something the students didn’t envisage. I had to work extra hard to achieve the target. I focused much on training physical fitness and building a team spirit. On the zonal competitions day, we beat Chemhondoro in the semi finals and were beaten by Musami in the finals. Wow, thank God for answering my prayers, my first target at the school was just a success.

The local community noticed the achievement. Next was to focus on how I would manage to get the school team to reach district competitions the following year. My players needed to be motivated, so I pleaded with the head for the school to procure a new soccer uniform for the boys. Seeing the passion I had and the performance of the team at the ended zonal competitions, the head promised to work on my request.

In 2012, I started training the team during the last weeks of first term. During the same period, the school gave us funds for a new soccer uniform, I chose a Barcelona uniform and the team was nicknamed Baca. This was motivational to the players. I would take the boys to a steep dwala (small hill) in Chinhoyi village near Mr Baye’s home.

My thrust was to have a physically invincible team because it wasn’t going to be easy for a small school like Pakati. To beat all the other 8 schools in our zone and proceed to district competitions was something I believed was possible. God started working to our favour before zonal athletics competition of 2012, as our zone was divided into two (Musami A and Musami B). Pakati was placed in Musami A, where Chemhondoro High was also placed. This meant that one huge task (Musami High) had been removed.

Mr Magabaza training Pakati Senior boys soccer team, 2018

Mr Magabaza, the then sports director at Pakati, went on leave during that term and I was asked to act on his behalf. I was voted to be the sports zonal representative. On the athletics zonal competitions days, we realised that the manner in which the zone had been divided was unfair. The two high schools were each put in a seperate zone, meaning each would still remain the power house in its zone.

Being the zonal sports rep gave me the capacity to push for reshuffling of the zone, which I managed to accomplish before the soccer competitions. My aim was creating a way for Pakati to reach district competitions. The 2012 senior team zonal competitions were held at Pakati, a positive thing for the team. Our local community had been witnessing how hard I was training the team, so they thronged the school grounds to support the team on the day of the competitions. The team won the zonal competitions, thank God. Morale became high within the team but the target of reaching finals at the district was still a hard one to achieve.

This lead to Pakati soccer team getting a new nickname – as we talked about the game someone said ‘we bulldozed them!’, hence we called ourselves the Bulldozers ever since.

Nyahuni high, which had gone to semi finals as second position team in our pool won the other semi finals so we had to meet them for the second time in the finals, after beating them in the pools stage. The match officials for the finals connived with Nyahuni to work against our team which saw our scores being denied leading to our students giving up and abandoning the match. However, we just encouraged them to finish the game, which due to obedience they did, but without any more heart hence we were beaten in penalty shoot outs of the district competitions.

I still maintain vivid memories of my 2012 Pakati soccer team which was captained by Gilbert Mhishi (now based in South Africa). It was a well behaved and committed team. This made the then new teacher (me – Mr Mutyavaviri) at Pakati Secondary well known in the local community. In 2013 I told the headmaster that I had accomplished my targets for the soccer team and was moving to the sport of my passion, thus I moved to volleyball.

Part 2 of my story (which will be with you soon) will focus on the academic circle and social interactions of my stay at Pakati as well as comments on development, achievements and general overview of the school during my time there.

Till next time. Mutyavaviri, T

Greeting the Author, September 2019

**Star Profile** – Former Pakati student, Oswell Israel Nadzo

Welcome to Oswell’s story! Here is a man brought up in the area, attended several schools in the ward including Pakati Primary, and has returned recently to showcase the area on film. Like so many, he has had struggles to overcome, and is proud of his roots. Read on please…..

Oswell in Harare

“My name is Israel Oswell Nadzo, and I was born in Murewa Dustrict in 1981, at St Pauls Hospital in Musami. My mother passed away when I was 1 year old, so I grew up with my grandmother in Muchagonei village, 2 km from Pakati Primary school, just across the Shavanhowe river. I started my Primary education at Chanetsa in 1988, then Pakati in 1989. From end of 1989 up to 1994 I was at Mabika Primary school. I then continued my education at Mabika, at the Secondary school, up to form 4 (O levels).

My friends at Mabika were called Fostage Macheka, Michael Muchagonei and Owen Chitongo. Classmates at Pakati I still remember more than than 20 years ago ate Isaac Zambezi, Marvis Nguwo, Learnmore Makuvaza, Bothwell jani, Edwell Gatsi, Vena Mapiti and others. Bothwell Jani and Isaac Zambezi were my friends from Pakati Primary school.

Also in Harare

I was a nomadic child, because my grandmother was too old, so some times I lived with my relatives in Makuvaza village near Pakati, or the others in Chanetsa village . My father only took care of me when I was 14 years old, until I finished my O level, but he passed away in 2017, so that kind of life I passed through was not easy at all. I didn’t get enough further education though, but I am now talented at writing Shona dramas, movies and novels.

From left Enock Kasawaya former Chanetsa Primary student, Oswell Nadzo and Isaac Zambezi former Pakati school student, just after O Lavel exams in 1998 waiting for Xmas in Harare

I am trying to use my talent to educate people upon the experience of life that i have had. I had learned about importabt things – Love, Peace, Harmony, Justice, and Fairness in our community. We have orphans, elders and other poor people in the community who need help. Musami area is veey much behind in terms of development, though I don’t know why. Some are educated and some are ignorant, others are heartless, that’s why you see no even a celebrity or a public figure in our areas.

Oswell in Chigwada area, on the way to his family area not far from Pakati

My massage to the people is let us unite and make something, lets make the road of the future generations, ARISE AND SHINE Murewa. Elders of the community, children educated and non-educated people must learn from what Mr Chris Walker is doing in our area.

Oswell with some of his theatre group, MITAMBO YENHARIRE THEATRE.

MITAMBO YENHARIRE THEATRE group was formed by three groups which included Chingwe Drama Club and New Youth Generation. Chongwe drama leader was Farai Josiya, New Youth leader was Collen Nhinga, and both of them are former Pakati school students. Together we formed Mitambo Yenharire Theatre group, and I am the leader.

Coming soon…this was filmed in the area Oswell is familiar with, Murewa Ward 14

Currently I am living in Harare, and I am an Embroiderer and an actor. I am a father of 3 Emmaculate, Elshimah and Elmar, who is my only my son. Acting was and is my hobby since 1989 when I was in Grade 2. My wish is to bring our community together as one, and not to be a lost generation – United we stand divided we fall, Arise and Shine MUREWA.

My upcoming Movie is titled MUTUNHU UNEMAGO (A Human Being), and its about the villages without future, jealous villagers, poverty, hatred, gossip and Wicthcraft. The elders of that village were busy militarising children, preaching the message of hate, but at the end no development in the area came until they become united and gave support to each other.”

Gwangwadza hill in the background, at Chigwada

My thanks go to Oswell for allowing Friends of Pakati to tell his story…I hope you, the reader, enjoyed it all.

Coming soon:

• A former teacher tells the story of how the Pakati Secondary boys football team got its nickname ‘The Bulldozers’, as well as reflecting on his time at the school

• Pauline Machengo continues her story ‘Outside Zim Borders’ with chapter 11 on its way soon

• Former student Portia Nemaruru brings us up to date with part 2 of her profile, describing her transition from Pakati to Rose of Sharon, including the inspirational leader there, Dr Fatima Maruta

• More of what people are saying about Friends of Pakati

What have people been saying about Friends of Pakati?

The Author

I have been looking back recently on comments I have read about Friends of Pakati, the project itself, the blog, the fundraising activities, the stories, the people involved, achievememts so far and our priorities in the coming months/years.

Below are some of the messages I have had in the last few months about Friends of Pakati…it seems we are making a good impression!

Mrs Maenzanise (left), Head of Mapanga Primary school

Mrs Maenzanise had this to say recently: …”thanks so much l enjoyed every section of the blog. Quite interesting dear.👏🏻👏🏻” Also, regarding our recent joint venture with VaTonatsa Foundation (see https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/07/11/joint-venture-back-story-and-responses/ ) she said: “Hello friend Chris. Thanks so much for bringing our area to greatest height. Our learners have been introduced to a new thing in their lives. Revising while at home with the help of relatives and friends during the covid period. We really appreciate your love and help for them to excel in their school work. The material will go a long way…… Thanks to all others behind the scenes. Be blessed.”

Mr Chifaka, Head of Pakati Secondary school

Mr Chifaka also told me this after the success of the joint venture: “…On behalf of Pakati Secondary school, l thank Friends of Pakati and Vatonatsa Foundation for their work in favour of ward 14 learners. The examinations books they prepared for us will be of great use to the learners and will prepare them for their final examinations….. May God bless Friends of Pakati and Vatonatsa Foundation by giving them more strength to continue their invaluable work.”

Vari Mayez, founder of VaTonatsa Foundation

Vari Mayez commented on Friends of Pakati: “..All I can say is that my heart is overjoyed. It’s great to see a project that involves such huge numbers come alive. At VaTonatsa we have worked with children, but this time we made a huge impact thanks to the partnership and collaboration with Friends of Pakati.”

Pauline Machengo, frequent contributor to this blog

Pauline Machengo, Author of ‘Outside Zim Borders’ (see https://friendsofpakati.com/outside-zim-borders-every-chapter-in-one-place/ ) said this after reading https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/06/24/friends-of-pakati-6-month-review/ : “…So I visited the blog -what a review! Keep on doing the great job! Nice one, people are enjoying it and we really do appreciate your effort.”

Second from left, Roj Rahman

Roj Rahman of Mortz Property Services in Scunthorpe, a key donor to Friends of Pakati: “… Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be involved and make a contribution to a very worthy cause. Knowledge is power, and the best way to help the next generation move forward to achieve peace, prosperity and progress is through education. I wish you and Friends of Pakati and VaTonatsa Foundation to continue the excellent work and wish you all the best of health and continued success.”

Mr Mahachi with the Author, 2019

Pakati Primary school Head, Mr Mahachi told me this earlier: “..The blog is providing me with a good learning experience, its informative and inspiring. I’m learning a lot through stories being shared. I’m appreciating life through other people’s life testimonies.”

Sponsor – Nakai Skin Care & Cosmetics

Maggie of Nakai, who is based in Canada and is one of our sponsors (see picture below), said to me earlier today: “It’s not very often that you see people continue to have the heart to a place that they left over 25yrs ago. The work that Chris and his team is doing is just heart warming.The students of Pakati are so hard working and with the little that they have, they seize every opportunity. The success stories are beautiful.

Magdalene Lafontant, creator of Nakai Skin Care & Cosmetics, sponsor of Friends of Pakati

One thing I’ve learnt in life is that dreams have no measure. A child in Canada and a Child in Murehwa all share the same dreams in life. Circumstances and environment may differ but by helping out donating to the students of Pakati will make each child one step closer to making their dream a reality.”

Below are some of the comments I have seen from contacts on various social media platforms:

John Needham of Iron Trust, a Scunthorpe United supporters group, sent me this message recently: “I’ve really enjoyed reading about events past and present at the Pakati school from your work for VSO many years ago to the inspiring stories from the present. At this time where IT equipment is even more crucial for pupils to have access to learning I’d urge Iron fans to support this project if possible.”

Resident of Ward 14, Murewa, in the Chanetsa area, is Oswell Israel Nadzo: “I am enjoying the blog. Foward ever backward never Mr Walker! I do appreciate your work and your love of Murewa people.”

Journalist and Author, Max Bell: “…Your blog’s content is always very good!”

Recent former teacher at Pakati Secondary school, Mr Mutyavaviri, has been keeping up with the blog: “… I usually read the items when I have enough data, the link between Friends of Pakati and VaTonatsa is commendable.”

Gary Lundie, fellow fan of The Iron (Scunthorpe Untied) said: “…Lots of great work going on here 👍”

A former Pakati student now living in South Africa, Tau Madziva, told me that “…Mr Walker the people of Pakati salute you”

Friends of Pakati – The Author with Lorraine Mapuranga & Bothwell Riside, October 2019

And finally, from two key friends of Pakati and of the Author, the following joint message was sent this morning:

“Did you ever think that, just from your decision from a mere visit to the school in 2018 you would touch the lives if so many people? Keep it up Mr Walker!! Keep up the spirit too to our donors, some who are known (& mentioned above) and most of those behind the scene. More wisdom and more ideas..we will together reach our dreams. Great teamwork shown from supporters, story tellers , funders. Thank you so much for putting us together..One world means One people 👍🏻 Great stuff!