Profile of former Pakati student Pauline Machengo – part 2

Welcome to part 2 of this fascinating story….read on!

“So in 2008 I moved and started staying in Macheke with my father, while my mom and other family members were still in Chadenga village. We have a farm there and thats where I started my Form 1 at a school called Craigie Lea Secondary school. Only a fence separated the school and our house. This was perfect for me. I was now able to reach school in time. The Headmaster was Mr Munyuki. He is a great man. I learned there up to Form 3. I was happy to change environment and also to attend school that is so close to our house. God has answered my prayers. But on the first day of school things didn’t turn out so well for me.

When I started my Form one at Craigie Lea there were big students then which were in Forms 3 and 4. A lot of them were bullies. As Form ones we were their easy targets. I was so scared of them and I had no one to fight for me. This was now different, a new environment, new school, new level of education. I had a lot to adapt to. One day I fought with another guy who was always hitting girls for nothing and I earned myself a black eye which lasted for two weeks. That was the most painful moment I faced when I was in Form 1. Pakati was better. I had cousins brothers and friends who could fight for me but in Macheke I had to face my demons. *No to bullying*. I told my father that someone pushed me and I bump into the wall. He just told me to stay away from trouble of which I did and my little body by then helped me a lot. I was unnoticeable.

This was the Form 1 class. There were not enough classrooms for all grades so Forms 1 and 2 were to learn sitting outside at one of my farm little hills. There were logs that were put in place like benches and they were few so it was like first come first served. My classmates had to fight for a place to sit and if you came late to school it means you had to sit down on the ground. The school was still developing so they didn’t have enough blocks. We only had one mobile chalkboard and the teacher had to write and rub and we had to write fast in order to keep up with the teacher or else you could end up missing other notes. That was tough for my other colleagues but my primary teachers from Pakati had prepared me well. I was doing fine. The education system there wasn’t that bad but my parents wanted the best for me so I moved to Macheke High.

Meet my Mom and Dad at our farm in Macheke. These people are my heroes. They made sure that I went to the school of my choice. So in 2012 when I was in form 4 I transfered to Macheke high school. Its located in a small town.

This was my class at Macheke High school. I was doing arts because thats what I wanted to do at A level. Macheke High is a very big school. I was exposed to all educational systems. I was concentrating on arts subjects because that’s what I wanted to do at A level. The school offers a lot of sports, but well I stuck to my interaction club. We had the privilege of mingling with A (top) schools such as Springvale, Peterhouse Girls, Watershed, UMA, Monte Casino and other good schools for things like debates. I used to go to some educational seminars where we met some authors who could explain things better to us. You know hearing things from the horse’s mouth and sharing ideas with some kids from other schools. That was an opportunity I know that students at Pakati school don’t have. I wish they could have such exposure.

So in 2013 I proceeded to Form 5. l took History, Literature and Geography. I wanted to do journalism but anyway I changed my mind lol. This guy was our head boy Russell Manyura. We were all doing arts. My History teacher was Mr Mutsvairo and Mr Muzembi, they were great. Literature was Mr Sibanda and Geography, Ms Laita. Meet me (below) in Form 6 – Oh My God things were getting tough now.

How did I cope with all this pressure? Well I did what I needed to do which was……

….to visit my Mom. Weekends I would go back to our farm to see my Queen😃😃😃. A week without seeing my Mom was very hard. l always found her ready to give me a lecture – you know how parents are especially to girls. However sometimes that was needed….

… much as I tried to be a good girl well I wasn’t perfect. I also did some juvenile delinquency 😃😃😃.These were my classmates celebrating the death of a mere green mamba snake. A week before we had been punished for sneaking out of school and went to see an anaconda that was occupying our local disposal area. The anacondas were scary yet cool because I remember one of my classmates wrote on its back with a might marker and the snake didn’t do anything. It was so exciting but unfortunately we got punished for our little adventure.

Macheke was blessed with this community organization called YODAT which was founded by one of the Macheke residents. It was were youth could showcase their talent. It was a recording studio and they could hold some campaigns against child abuse and other substance abuse. I also joined scripture union at our school. This is the picture of us in our small community hall. Well I come from a religious family or should I say Christian family. Mr Muzembi was our scripture union leader. It was good having time to pray and listen to God’s word at school. We used to do some gatherings with other schools also sharing the Word of God.

Sometime after completing my A levels in 2014, one of the things I did was that I started working as a temporary teacher in 2016 at a certain college in Macheke. Well I have a passion in teaching and acting. I can say I like educating people. Reaching out to all ages, that’s why now I choose script writing too. In 2017 I taught at another college in Macheke called Destiny Academy. Kids and staff from that academy were great. I enjoyed my every moments there.

Some of our kids were from surrounding schools who came for extra lessons. Extra lessons are important and I think Pakati school should do them if they’re not doing it already. It improves kids understanding and gives them a room to have a one on one with the tutor. Teaching is great especially when you’re teaching good kids. This academy were open for external candidates too so sometimes my afternoon class was filled with older people than me but I didn’t gave up because they also believed in me.

Also in 2016 I pursued my career in acting. I acted in two Zimbabwean movies Love of the nurse which is on YouTube and Snake in the palace where I took a leading role as a princess. I also wrote my first movie and filmed it but unfortunately I didn’t release it.

So in 2015, before doing my temporary teaching and the acting, my parents helped me with capital and I started my small business of a butchery at our farm, which continued into 2017. Things were good and I purchased my first car at 22 lol to me that was an achievement. It was a Toyota Corolla and it helped me running my errands. This car was a fuel saver and I could manage it properly. I sold it in 2017 when I left for South Africa….the subject of Part 3 of my story.”

Wow! Quite a story I think you will agree. Find out in part 3 how she came to be in South Africa, what she wanted to do, what she ended up doing, what she has achieved so far, and how she is coping in what are currently very challenging circumstances. Enjoy!


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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