Something new & some news…

Well we have something different this week…a follow-up partly to our recent blog – – with a first for us: a Vlog!

Something new

A video blog between myself and our Podcast host Bradley Mell, where we talk about our fundraising efforts during April, how our plans are going for the next event in July, and what the funds are to be used for. Here it is…

As we mention in the vlog, and have done previously, one of our special guests for the event is live music from E.v.i.e. – featuring Evie Gallagher (vocals) and Dan Walker (guitar) – who are due to give an acoustic set after the Iron Bru podcast part of the evening.

Picture credit – instagram – @will_fawcett_photography

Some news

Recently I have had further discussions with Carol Sibbald, Business Development and External Engagement Coordinator at the University of Huddersfield Business School.

We talked about what Friends of Pakati hopes to get out of the opportunity of a consultancy project with some of their Masters students. We have come up with 4 key areas where  help is most needed:

  • Becoming a registered Charity
  • Fundraising ideas/activities
  • Online presence – website & social medis
  • Marking strategy to attract donors/sponsors

I hope to have more news on this in the next couple of weeks, so watch this space!

Coming next Sunday….

Friends of Pakati Podcast Episode 6 features Debbie Chadbon, one of the teachers who came to Pakati as I was leaving in 1991. Here is a small taster of Debbie’s interview:

Debbie’s World Map can still be seen on the end of one of the classroom blocks, and is one of our designs for merchandise!


She talks about her time at Pakati, how she came to be there & what she has done since. We both feel that even though we left Pakati, it has never left us, and that explains our involvement some 30+ years on.

We have more podcast episodes still to come, and are due to record our next one in the coming week – former Pakati student & occasional contributor to this blog – Pastor Rev Agatha Fombo Maravanyika – we anticipate another great podcast with Aggie!





Podcast Episode 5 – Bothwell Riside Speaks!

Welcome everyone to the long awaited Episode 5 – a great Friend of Pakati, Bothwell Riside, has a lot to say…..

Bothwell teaching in Cambodia, 2019

Bothwell in his element….this time at Pakati delivering our (impromptu) first IT lesson in September 2019


Hope you enjoyed the Podcast as much as we did recording it!



4 things….

Hi everyone! This week’s blog has 4 things to report on, plus what’s next

Arriving at Pakati Primary School this week

Our 4 things this week are:

  1. Pakati Primary school
  2. Pakati Secondary school
  3. Our next fundraising event
  4. Funds raised & what they are for


Students in class at Pakati Secondary school on Thursday this week

1. Pakati Primary

Thanks to Mr Mahachi & Mr Chorichi for the pics & info👍

As the students arrive, Covid protocols continue as they have their temperatures checked

A charity in Zimbabwe -Mary’s Meals – gives all students at Pakati Primary a daily helping of maize porridge. Local parents prepare & distribute the porridge to students during their late morning break-time.

Porridge being prepared….

Students getting ready…

…enjoying their porridge before the next activity…


2. Pakati Secondary

Thanks to Mr Chifaka for the pics & info.

Avril Njenje and Tadiwanashe Chiurunga (form 3) collecting text books from English office for their English lesson.

Form 3 learners raising hands to answer a mathematics question…

Mr Shongorisho teaching mathematics in form 3A.

Head of Pakati Secondary Mr Chifaka in his office

Deputy Head Mr Chizenya busy preparing for class

The power supply at the school has been inconsistent, and the sources of power have proved troublesome recently, both from ZESA and from Solar power.

The expired batteries

The now faulty regulator

Similar problems are also being faced by the Primary school too.

3. Next Fundraising Event

After the success of GET TIED UP FOR PAKATI recently we now concentrate on the next event – An Evening With Iron Bru Podcast Live, with Special Guests to be confirmed.

It will be on Sat 9th July, in Scunthorpe, where people will be able to buy tickets for the evening soon. They will be for entry to the venue, and include food from in-house caterers. We will have a raffle for donated prizes which are mostly Scunthorpe United-related memorabilia. Friends of Pakati will have a stall selling Merchandise.

Live music to be provided by E.v.i.e. which includes Eve Gallagher & Daniel Walker

We have a sponsor who has agreed to support the event, and we are hoping to finalise full details very soon.

4. Funds Raised

So far we have just over £1700 in our bank account, thanks largely to the money raised through GET TIED UP. We aniticpate a good sum from the event above, plus we are currently aplying for grants and appealing for sponsorship from companies to boost our total.

Realistically, it is likely to cost somewhere around £2500 – £3000 to get the donated IT out to Zimbabwe.

In addition, the cost of installing satelite wi-fi seevices to the schools has been quoted to me at between £800 and £1100, plus a monthly charge of around £85-90.

So, we do need to raise quite a bit more to at least ship the goods out to the schools. If you can spread the word, please do by sharing/liking/retweeting etc. If you can spare a few pounds, please do via

Coming up soon….

This guy…



Bothwell Riside translating for the Author as Friends of Pakati officially handed over donated IT & sports goods in September 2019

Bothwell Riside has been involved with Friends of Pakati since early in 2019, and tells us his story in his own inimitable way in our next Podcast, Episode 5, something I am sure people will enjoy hearing!

Podcast Episode 4 – Lorraine tells her story!

Friends of Pakati Podcast host & editor Bradley Mell and the Author are delighted to introduce a guest speaker in this 4th episode, the first of a series of guests with an association to Pakati schools,  the local community, or of Friends of Pakati. Our first guest fits all 3 categories…

We are excited with this episode, which is the story of one of my former students – Lorraine Mapuranga – in her own words.

Thank you so much to Lorraine for telling us what it was like as ahe grew rural Zimbabwe & went to Pakati Secondary school, where I first met her in 1991 as a student in Form 2.

Lorraine (left) as a Form 3 student in 1991 with her friend Chido

Catch up here – below are links to our first 3 episodes of the Podcast:

In a couple of weeks we will be releasing Episode 5, featuring another former student of Pakati schools, with another remarkable story…

Bothwell Riside & the Author, September 2019

Other episodes are being planned, including another former teacher at Pakati, a representative of the Stephenson Group (donors of the IT Equipment), plus our partner organisation, VaTonatsa Foundation.


We will talk about our next fundraising event – July 9th – as we are now in the planning stages after such a success with GET TIED UP FOR PAKATI recently. See here to find out more –

We will also discuss more about the funds raised & what they are to be spent on.

Also, we will bring you up to date on the Consortium of Zimbabwe Charities ( ) as they have been very active recently, and Friends of Pakati are very much involved as a member of the Consortium.


Podcast 3 – Mr Walker in charge!


Welcome to our 3rd Friends of Pakati Podcast…this episode is mostly about my time as Acting Head of Pakati Secondary school in 1991. Once again I would like to thank our host & editor Bradley Mell for his efforts, and for offering to do these for us👍

Chris in 1991 – holding a baby crocodile at Victoria Falls

Episode 3 – Chris in charge from January to August 1991

If you would like to hear more about my time at Pakati Secondary school, have a listen to the first two podcasts here:

For those wanting to hear from others associated with Pakati schools, Episodes 4 & 5 are already recorded & edited…our first two guests are both involved with Friends of Pakati too. Both will be published in the coming weeks

Ep.4 has Lorraine Mapuranga as the guest, one of my former students, while Ep.5 features Bothwell Riside, who studied at both Pakati schools just a few years behind Lorraine. Both of them are good friends of mine, meeting up together at Lorraine’s home in Harare in 2019 – see below:

Latest on Fundraising

Once all the promised funds come in, we will have over £1700 in the bank towards the cost of transporting IT equipment out to Pakati schools in August/September this year.

Now that GET TIED UP FOR PAKATI is over we move on to the next event:

An Evening With….Iron Bru Podcast & Special Guests, including music by E.v.i.e.

Iron Bru are working on a guest speaker, most likely a former player, and hope to do the podcast live from the venue.

Food provided, raffle of memorabilia, merchandise stall

Day & Date: Saturday 9th July

Venue: Redbourne Club, Scunthorpe

In aid of Friends of Pakati


Today we report on the events of yesterday, as many football fans GOT TIED UP for Pakati at the match between Bradford City & Scunthorpe United. For me, it started with an Iron…

Preparation for the day…ready to GET TIED UP FOR PAKATI

During the morning, I started to hear from friends coming over from Scunthorpe for the game, and also from some who couldn’t make it. Some were sending pictures for me already whether they were coming or not. Early contributions are seen below:

By lunchtime, friends were arriving in Bradford, and sent me their first pictures. We were to meet up at the stadium before kick-off.

Along with my son Daniel and my friend David Scott (whose idea GET TIED UP was) we walked from the city centre to the ground, which took around 25 minutes or so.

Supporters on their way were sending photos…

…while those unable to attend also sent their photos too

By the time we got to the ground, the coaches from Scunthorpe had just arrived. Quite a few supporters had turned up wearing ties of many colours, shapes and sizes & in different ways!

Once we got into the ground, others had turned up wearing ties…


Throughout the day, donations were coming in to our fundraising account – as they had been during the 3 weeks leading up to the event. All donations received by cash and paypal have been transferred into the single bank account I use to hold all Friende of Pakati funds.

Early in April, the balance in the account stood at £648.11…

At the end of yesterday, thanks to donations from people from Scunthorpe and Bradford, it now stands at £1194.51…

GET TIED UP FOR PAKATI instigator David Scott has also said he will live up to his promise of matching the first £400 during the coming week. In addition, there is at least another £100 which has been collected on the Scunthorpe United supporters coaches, which will be given to me at the club’s ground next Saturday. This will bring the total up to around £1700 !!

Massive THANK YOU!!!! to everyone who has donated – it means a lot to us here at Friends of Pakati 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻


This coming Saturday is our first major fundraising event – GET TIED UP FOR PAKATI

The basic idea is for football fans of Bradford City & Scunthorpe United going to the game between them on Saturday 23rd April to wear a tie, send us a photo/short video, and donate (at least) £1 to us via  – pics can come to us via email or a tweet to or even via

The question for fans is how to wear their tie….? Lots of options – see our page for some ideas – but I am sure people can find many other inventive ways to GET TIED UP FOR PAKATI!

We have a new page ready for the best examples we see from the game – so please send us your pictures! Many will get shared on social media, so please be aware that by sending them to us, or posting them yourselves, you are consenting to them being shared.

What is it all for I hear you ask? Well it is about this:

Helping us to get these computers…

….donated by this company…



…shipped out to these schools in Zimbabwe…

…so that these students…

….can learn more about IT & how to use it in the modern world, just like we can…the foundations of which are already in place thanks to our first delivery back in 2019.

Thank you!


We have two podcasts already released – and so please do catch up…

We have recorded 2 more episodes which will be published in the coming weeks. Episode 4 introduces our first guest, Lorraine Mapuranga, former student at Pakati, who tells us about what it was lije growing up in the area & going to school at the Secondary school. Its a fascinating story to hear!


Friends of Pakati Podcast No.2…

Welcome to the second Podcast for Friends of Pakati, and thanks once again to our host & editor, Bradley Mell for his efforts.

Chris as a member of the teaching staff at Pakati Secondary school in 1989

This one gives a bit more background to how I came to be at the school, some early experiences, and the day I was surprised! Enjoy….

In episode 3, we are hoping to cover a bit more of my experiences at the school & in the community, but also to have our first guest. She will be one of my former students, who came to Pakati Secondary in 1990 when I was her Maths teacher, and was there in 1991 (after I was surprised!)

Friends of Pakati contributor & supporter, former student at Pakati Secondary school from 1990-1992, Lorraine Mapuranga in 1991 (left, with her friend Chido) and in 2020.

There is a lot still to be discussed, and it will be great to hear from people associated with the school, be they as students, teachers, parents or local community members, plus those involved in various capacities with Friends of Pakati.

I managed to get another article in the local paper here in Bradford this week, about the fundraising event coming up soon…

I have added a new page where all our podcasts can be essily found in future, along with a new Gallery page ready for pictures sent to us regarding that upcoming fundraising event, to find out more please go to



2022 – 1st Quarter – so far so good!

Well I have to say that I was a bit unsure of what might happen with Friends of Pakati this year. However, in spite of that, it is turning into a fascinating year with a lot of promise.

I was concerned we might struggle to fundraise, get visitors & views on this website, not do as well as previously. There have been periods where things have not gone so well, and I talked about it here on the blog more than once.

The thing is, when you get involved with something like this, you really dont want to give up too easily. Thanks to the support of so many, both from the Pakati community & diaspora and from people here in the UK, I began looking ahead in late 2021. I started to plan & come up with ideas to raise funds for, and awareness about Friends of Pakati.

So, let me summarise what has gone on so far, and what is (hopefully) to come this year.

January to March

During this first 3 months of 2022, these are the key things which have happened:

  • Fundraising event 1 – GET TIED UP FOR PAKATI has been gradually growing, and will take place on 23rd April
  • Publicity for the event has also been growing, with newspaper articles & radio interviews. More to come in the lead up tp the game.
  • Both football clubs – Scunthorpe United & Bradford City – and their fans are increasingly involved

  • Fundraising event 2 – An Evening With…Iron Bru Podcast (plus special guests) – room booked and guests being arranged
  • Publicity to go ahead once GET TIED UP is over
  • A sponsor has agreed to help pay towards the event

  • Friends of Pakati is joining forces with VaTonatsa Foundatiom to help us help each other where our interests overlap
  • We have also joined the Consortium of Zimbabwe Charities, to strengthen the position of so many organisations who work for Zimbabwean communities

  • Friends of Pakati is looking for help & support to develop its activities, and have applied to Huddersfield University for ideas to market ourselves & improve our online presence
  • They have put us forward as an organisation who could benefit from the efforts of some if their Business & Marketing students at Masters level

April to September

Following on from our first Podcast – – we have a number of others planned. In no particular order:

  • Stuart Pine, IT Manager at the Stephenson Group, our key donors on computers
  • Bothwell Riside, former Pakati student, now teacher at an International School in Asia
  • Lorraine Mapuranga, former student at Pakati, frequent contributor to Friends of Pakati living in South Africa
  • Roj Rahman, Scunthorpe Businessman & donor/supporter of Friends of Pakati
  • More from the Author about how he came to be at Pakati, and his experiences at the school

The two fundraising events discussed earlier will, we hope, raise enough funds at least to transport the IT equipment promised to be donated by the Stephenson Group – I estimate the cost at around £2500-£3000.

If we are successful. Then we will get the goods shipped out to Harare in late August, so that they will be there shortly before I arrive myself in mid-late September to hand the goods over to both Pakati schools.

I intend to visit other local schools in the area to see if we can help them too in some way. I also hope to meet up with local dignatories & organisations, similar to what happened in 2019

All of this will be detailed here on the blog, and with luck & plenty of hard work, we can meet more of the aims of our Vision.

Pakati Primary school updates (Blog Part 2)

Before I get onto the updates, I feel I must say something about this recent post – – as I have had a tremendous response from people. I am grateful to all who read the post and liked/shared or commented on it. It is the single most-read post on the blog for two years, currently standing at 148 views. Thomas was a much-loved character in the area, and it is hard to imagine not seeing him when I revisit Pakati later this year.

Pakati Primary School

My thanks go to Mr Mahachi, Head of the Primary school, for the following information and photos.

Here is the message he sent me earlier this week:

“Hi Chris, we have embarked on an ambitious but achievable project. We intend to have portable water at the school. We intend to pump water from the borehole in the vlei in the school area (we showed you the site). We have bought a solar pump (as our transformer needs replacement as it was hit by lightning during the rainy season), 5000litre tank, pipes, and accessories. The trench from the borehole site to the tank site is complete. The tank stand is being built using locally available bricks and materials to reduce costs. Parents with fees arrears are being used also to minimise costs. See attached pics. I will keep you updated on developments.” Below are the pictures he sent me:

In addition to this, Pakati Primary are one of thr beneficiaries of a local charitable organisation called Mavambo. Again, here is what Mr Mahachi sent me:

“Mavambo trust is a non-governmental organisation funding Mary’s meals program, and our school is a beneficiary. It is supplying the school corn soya bean porridge to all learner’s at the school. The CSB porridge is being prepared by volunteer parents, who have made a duty roster from Monday to Friday.” Pictures sent by Mr Mahachi are below:

It is great to see such local initiatives going ahead to support the youngest learners in the area.