**Saturday Star ** – Mrs Maenzanise, former teacher at Pakati Primary school

Earlier this week I got a pleasant surprise from a former teacher at Pakati Primary school when she sent me her story to publish. As usual, I have edited very little so people reading it will get the ‘feel’ of what she is like. There will also be a pleasant surprise for her from one of her former students towards the end of the post. Below is Mrs Maenzanise’s story in mostly her own words:

Mrs Maenzanise, Head of Mapanga Primary school – with Councillor Maliki addressing the School Development Committee

She wrote – Hello Chris,

“My husband started teaching at Pakati Primary in 1984, so I had to transfer from Beta Primary and joined him in 1985. I taught Grade 1c where I first came across Bothwell Riside, a very bright young student.

Grade 2 – Bothwell Riside at Pakati Primary school

We had our first baby son on 23 April, a blessing while we were stationed at the school. We were 28 teachers with less than 10 qualified. Most of us were on a temporary basis but you could not notice any difference. We were a workaholic team in both academic and all sporting disciplines. In 1984 Mr Chihaka the former head was transferred to Munamba, while Mr Chirapa joined the school. In 1987 he was transferred to Nyamashato while Mr Rugoyi joined us.

The school was under the Roman Catholic responsible authority and better known by name St Blazioz.
I remember these teachers
Remember it’s 35 years down the life line 🤣🤣🤣can’t list them all. Some of them are late.
We lived as a family. We shared challenges and happy moments. It was our home.

We used to cross the Shavanhohwe river to Musami for transport and would proceed to the Nyamapanda high way if missed it or if it developed a technical problem. At times during the rainy season when the river was bursting banks we took 3hrs walk through Ngomamowa to Chigwada where there’s a bridge.

Shavanhowe bridge with Ngomamowa in the background

Month end we used to break at 10am to allow teachers to access transport or walk to different places in order to collect their salaries. I think this is just a brief summary of what I still remember. I am married with two children and three grand children. I am still working in Murewa as a Head, at Mapanga school. My husband is a Head in Harare.”

Friend of Pakati Bothwell Riside has told me how happy he was to be reunited with his former teacher, who apparently taught under her maiden name of Miss Takawira. I asked him what he thought about her back then – not usually a man of few words – simply said ‘She was cool and she was young’

Also, her school, Mapanga Primary, has been featured on this blog before more than once, as her neice -Vari Marez – has been involved in small scale development projects through her organisation Vatonatsa Foundation.


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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