Pakati: Review of the Year – Part 4

Welcome to Part 4 of our review of 2019! What an eventful year it has been, leading up to the events described below. For me, the author, Chris Walker, a genuinely moving, humbling but also momentous few days at Pakati were capped by the formal handover of donated goods to both schools. Read on….

“Iron fan on Tour” Chris arrives on a cool day in Harare, Zimbabwe

I was met by my relative, Donna, where I stayed for my first night back in Zimbabwe. The computers, equipment and football shirts were delivered to Donna’s place a week or so before my arrival.

Goods all safely stored

Next day, my friend and host Bothwell arrived to collect me and the packages, to take us to Pakati.

Passing Ngomamowa means we are not too far away from Pakati

Arriving at school after a couple of hours driving, it was a real pleasure to meet my friend Mugove Chifaka, the Head of the Secondary school, again. He was instrumental in the setting up of the project, involving the Primary school, and making sure local protocols were followed correctly. Also I enjoyed meeting the staff again, and of course seeing the students too.

Mugove Chifaka & the Author unwrapping the donated goods – September 2019
The staff and I unwrapped the 7 crates of donated goods in he school sraffroom

We then set up a computer and a laptop to check if the goods had survived the journey undamaged.

Checking the equipment for damage – all arrived safely!

Next day, Friday 27th September, everything gradually came together for an utterly memorable day for me….the official presentation of the donated goods to Pakati schools. We had a number of important guests – including the following: local MP Honourable Jonah Sewera, CEO of Murewa Rural District Council Dr Gurajane, local councillor Alderman Israel Maliki for Ward 14, other councillors from nearby Wards, Local village Headmen, School Development Committee members from both schools, Heads and staff from both schools, and, of course, parents and students from both schools. We also had visitors from a local organisation which supports under priveleged children, Vatonatsa Founddation, Vari and Holly. Below are just a few of the hundreds of photos taken at the event…a little taste of the day.

Councillor Maliki giving a welcome speech
MP Honourable Jonah Sewera and the author embrace as the other VIP guests look on, while donations are passed on to the schools representatives
Students displayed some of the sports kits donated with VIPs looking on
The Author surrounded by well-wishers…
Holly, Bothwell, Councillor Maliki, Chris, and Vari
Guests were given a hearty meal afterwards inside the staffroom

During the event, a number of students came forward to give short pieces of entertainment. Some poems were read out before and in between speeches. Here below are those poems:

Poems recited by learners from Pakati Secondary School in showing appreciation to Mr Christopher Walker for the computers that he donated to the school

Who am I?
By Belinda Machika form 1A
I am not a person but I can think
I am not a person but I can communicate
I am not a person but I can see
Who am I?
I am a computer

Without me life is difficult
Without me life is not sweet
Without me life is a misery
Who am I?
I am a computer

I can send messages
I can show videos
I can play audios
I can calculate equations
I can do many things
Who am I?
I am a computer

Takanga takasara
(We were lagging behind)
By Laverty Chiunya form 1A
Takanga takasara (we were lagging behind)
Takanga takasara chokwadi takanga takasara
(We were indeed lagging behind)
Takavata pachikoro pedu tisina chizvinozvino
(We were lacking modernity at our school)

Mazita Takanga tanzwa nawo ekunemerwa
(We were being given names)
Zvanzi vekumachonyonyo
(We were identified as people from remote areas)
Zvanzi veshure
(We were called backward people)
Zvanzi vakasara
(We were called primitive people)

Vadzidzisi vaiita man`a mumaoko nekunyora pachidziro nechoko
(Our teachers were developing cracks on their fingers as a result using chalk to write notes on the chalkboard)
Vana tichizvimba maoko nekunyora manotes mumabhuku
(Learners fingers were swelling as a result of writing huge amounts of notes in their note books)

Macomputer pfacha pano paPakati
(Now that computers are here at Pakati)
Vadzidzisi vodzidzisa nemavideos
(Teachers are now using videos in their lessons)
Manotes ongonzi name pachidziro neprojector
(Notes are now being projected on the chalkboard)
Magames takuita saruraude
(We now have many games to play on the computers)
Maemails tongotumira patadira
(We can now send emails)
Kuwatsura hauzomboda
(We can now communicate on WhatsApp platform)
Kuzoti kugoogler painternet, huya zvako uone
(We can now research on the internet)

(Thank you)

Thank You Mr Walker
By Sydney Jeke form 2 learner

Thank you Mr Walker, thank you sir
Thank you for giving us computers
Thank you for giving us football jerseys
We shall forever be grateful

Now we can play games on the computers
Now we can watch educational videos
Now we can look smart in our football jerseys
Our school can now print examinations papers
Thank you Mr Walker and all the friends of Pakati schools
We hope this is just the beginning of greater things to come
Thank you

After the weekend, myself, Bothwell, Councillor Maliki, and the staff at both schools were involved in setting up the computers and laptops at both schools, getting a few students in to try them out and have a short lesson in basic IT.

At the Secondary School
At the Primary school

This really was the culmination of the work began in 2018. I want to personally thank everyone involved, be they students or staff at the schools, VIP guests, visitors, those who looked after me in Zimbabwe, donors of goods, time, effort including walking, or money, or publicity, or who have supported this project in any wway this year – a MASSIVE THANK YOU!!!

Thank you from Chris, here at Pakati in September this yezr

There will now be another part to this review….including people I met this visit, Miss Chadbon, and where the project goes in 2020 all to come in part 5!


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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