Pakati: A return by a former student and a reminder for the author

Today at Pakati

Today one of Pakati’s best known and most successful former students, Doc Bothwell Riside (see earlier posts for his Profile & other contributions), came to Pakati Secondary school to speak to the students at an assembly.

He said “It was more of a motivating speech. I started by giving an introduction of myself and told them about how l was helped & raised by the school. I spoke about about the importance of admiring and respecting teachers, since in a teacher/pupil relationship it’s the students who need to follow the teachers lead, since failure to do so means they themselves may fail, and it’s the students who will face the music.

I spoke about the need to work hard and said that there is a lot of advantage to that, even though it might not seem so at the time.

Then l also mentioned that the teachers come and go and if the students do not utilise them, then they will lose out.”

The talk was jointly arranged by Mr Chifaka the school Head and Doc Riside following an earlier meeting between them. It seems that was not the only thing they discussed: they spoke of earlier developments for the area…

Still working after 30 years!

The borehole seen here was part of a small-scale development project I was involved in 30 years ago…funded largely by the British High Commission from their development funds.

It originally included a water tank, fencing for an Agriculture plot, and a pipe with a tap for use near the school buildings.

Only the borehole remains, but is still maintained by the District Development Fund, and is used by the community to this day. The water is good and clean, and is a reliable resource for them. It works when other ones are out of action for whatever reason.

It makes me happy to know I have left one good lasting legacy at least!


My name is Chris Walker, and between January 1989 and September 1991 I worked, through VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), at Pakati Secondary School in Murehwa South district in Zimbabwe. I was a Maths teacher for 2 years, the Acting Head for the last 8 months there. I have also taught in Botswana & the UK, had 4 years working for VSO, and have been a Civil Servant in Bradford since 2005.

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