Friend of Pakati revisits school after 25+ years

Regular contributor to Lorraine Mapuranga, on holiday from her job in South Africa, made a brief return to her family homestead recently. During this trip she went to Pakati Secondary school for the first time since she was a Form 4 student in 1992. Below is her report and pictures from the area including her home area.

Keith, Promise and Previous Mapuranga and thier cousin Martin Kasere on their way home.
Lorraine’s hat can be seen in the background…

“Hello Mr Walker, I hope you are well. As I told you previously that I would, I visited my home village of Chidawaya, and as promised I paid a visit to my former school, Pakati Secondary. Going home to visit where we all grew up together is always exciting, as it reminds us all of how we lived back then, and what it is like for us now.

Lorraine back at her home area of Chidawaya, or kwaMapuranga as she calls the homestead itself

We arrived at the vilage, and were met by relatives and friends from the area. It was very hot – a drought is currently affecting crops and cattle locally, and it reminded me of 1992 when I was doing Form 4. We spent the night there, and in the morning I could see maize crops (staple food in Zimbabwe) wilting in the heat.

Lorraine with Mr Chizenya, teacher at Pakati Secondary school

On our way back we passed through the school and saw one of the teachers, who introduced himself as a History and Heritage teacher – Mr Chizenya. The school
was very quiet as was the norm with any school holidays during our time.

Thanks to Mr Cizenya who welcomed us as we introduced ourselves as old students of the school, and myself personally as a contributor to Friends of Pakati. We discussed a few topics as we only had limited time. Among those discussions were the developments of the school after your visit, one of which was a staff toilet which was built following donation by Dr Gurajane, CEO of Murewa Rural District Council, and also a new school tuckshop being built.

I asked about any further planned projects, and Mr Chizenya showed me a fowl run which was built some time ago, and they intend to use it for raising chickens. I think there are some financial constraints hindering it’s functionality. We also had some pictures taken, though limited since the Head was not there and we could not go against the school rules.. you know the moment you set foot at the school your mind goes back to being a student and obedience is one of the characters of who we were!

Lorraine sees the new (to her) Admin block at Pakati Secondsry school

We complied with all the do’s and dont’s that we were told, but generally it was a very exciting moment for me to be back at the school after such a very long time – before my son was born – and I went to the school with him this time around. He had attended his grade 3 at the Primary school. “

My home – briefly – in September 2019

Lorraine tells me she passed by my host Bothwell Riside’s home, but sadly no-one was home at the time. Nice for me to have a pictoral reminder of my wonderful stay there recently – thank you Lorraine!


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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