**Star Profile** Former Pakati student Portia Nemaruru – a very humbling story – Part 1

Please read and enjoy this girl’s inspiring story!

At Pakati Secondary school in 2017. The World Map was re-painted not long after this was taken

“My name is Portia Nemaruru from Makuvaza village in Murehwa District in Mashonaland East Province. I am a girl aged 20. Currently l am doing my A Level at Rose of Sharon High School doing Business Studies, Geography, and Economics. I have hope and passion to be a Postgraduate Master of Science in Tourism and Hospitality Studies. My current school is located in Zimre Park, on the edges of the subburbs if Harare, in Mashonaland East Province. I’m a volleyball star since primary level at the age of 10 years when l started and was in Grade 4 at that time. l also enjoy handball and soccer but volleyball is my best sport l enjoyed most. Let me tell you more about my earlier schooling…

I was raised by one parent, my mother. My father passed away 2008 when l was in Grade 2 at Pakati Primary School. Life at home was not that easy at all. Things were not fine. Sometimes my mother could even fail to settle my school debts, school uniforms, books. She used to grow many cash crops for us to have a better life after death of my father, even to work in other people’s farms to try and make things better for us.

Pakati Primary school sports stars, 2019

My lifetime at school at primary level was something else to me. It was the beginning of the whole journey. I joined the prefect body while I was in Grade 4, and became Vice Head Girl in Grade 6, and finally Head Girl at Grade 7.

I enjoyed most the school benefits through sports, and also workshops we used to hold at Chemhondoro and St Paul’s (both nearby) schools, e.g. prefect training, poetry writing, article writing, although l have no passion for these fields.

Grade 1 and 2 my class teacher was Mrs Kupara, Grades 3 and first term 4 was Mrs Mukupuki. Then from there to Grade 7 it was Mr Nyamahohwa who was and still is my best teacher ever since. We used to pray before anything and some times having Bible study which usually heals me and it has transformed my life. God remembered his class at final it was the best class.

I enjoyed most my life time at Pakati Secondary school. I started Form 1 2014 and became the pioneer junior councillor of Ward 14, Murewa, at the age of 14. l managed to change our school uniform during my term in office, in support of my pioneer Headmaster Mr Chingoriwo and his Deputy Mr Chifaka. Mr Chifaka who is currently the Pakati Secondary Headmaster, and all staff members and School Development Committee (SDC) also supported the move. I became Vice Head Girl in 2015 while studying Form 2, and finally the Head Girl during Form 3.

Pakati Secondary school students resplendent in their uniforns, 2019

I started playing handball and soccer (number 5) at secondary level. My volleyball coach at primary level was Mr Juru, unfortunately he passed away when l was in form 2. Mr Mutyavaviri, also my Mathematics teacher, and Mr Chizenya, my History teacher, were my volleyball coaches at secondary level (in Mathematics l got an A, and History B at O level).

For me to make it took hard work and a lot of determination, in the hope and desire it would change my life story. It would help my mother, my family, and my community at large. I worked as house maid in 2018 and half of 2019 after finishing my O levels. l failed to collect my results because l was unable pay fees for Forms 3 and 4. My mother failed to make it by that time because she was suffering from health problems from the year my father died, till 2018 when it stopped for good .So during that time it was at its extreme, so she was not able to grow crop or work for my fees.I thank God she managed to raise registration fees for only 6 subjects out of nine. Then God sent a wingless Angel, Mr Katonha my Science teacher (l got a C in Science) and he paid for another two subjects to make it 8. l love God too much because he loves those love him, takes care of them, gives them what they asked for.

Portia in Harare

I used to make friends with some very clever students. At primary my best friend was Aqualine Matsika, and she was the student with best results at Grade 7 final exams. At secondary my best friend was Head Boy Blessed Tema, who succeeded me when my term in office was due as a junior councillor. He wrote his A level examinations last year and did very well, doing Accounting, Business Studies and Economics.

For my mother to let me gain exposure to different things and to the other side of the world (Harare – a very different world to Pakati) was very difficult for her on her own. We went on a trip in 2015 from school when l was in Form 2, to the city of Harare, to some areas of interest where tourists often visit. We went to Mukuvisi Woodland, Harare International Airport for my first time and that was my fantastic, some of the most interesting moments during my life time at Pakati Secondary. It was organized by Mr Mutyavavri (my Mathematics teacher). We also used to hold variety shows every term, when we would go to school in non-uniform clothes and had some funny, modeling competition, eating, singing, dancing competition. l enjoyed eating competition above all, because if l didn’t win I didn’t feel defeated because l already benefited from the food, unlike modeling and dancing. Some boys came wearing dresses or skirts and wigs just for fun and some played crazy dances.

I was a maid for the money to pay my arrears at school so that l could get my O level certificate. God heard my cries, and l was offered a full scholarship at boarding school where l stay now. Its like a home, the founder of that school is Dr Fatima Maruta and she has orphanages. She is my role model and my mentor. I will add more about my time at this school in Part 2 of my story.”

Portia at her current school, Rose of Sharon, based in Zimre Park, Harare

Thank you Portia for your story here…we very much look forward to Part 2 here at Friends of Pakati!

Latest news…

I am currently writing a personal statement which I intend to release, and add to the Vision page in full. Its purpose is to explain in some depth why & how I am so passionate about Friends of Pakati, and thus the reader can better understand the Vision. See https://friendsofpakati.com/2020-vision-friends-of-pakati-the-project-continues/ before I complete the re-write.

Another small donation this week has take our total close to £300 – hopefully much more will come our way. See https://friendsofpakati.com/fundraising/ for full details

So 2 out of the 3 recently promised articles have been published – just waiting on the one from a friend in the UK now…🤞

I am about to contact a former teacher from Pakati Secondary school to see if he is willing to tell his story…watch this space👍

Author:

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 spent the last 14 years as a Civil Servant in Bradford. I married a Zimbabwean woman & we have 2 sons.

One thought on “**Star Profile** Former Pakati student Portia Nemaruru – a very humbling story – Part 1

  1. Thank you Mr Walker for the platform for us to be reunited,motivated,inspired and also to learn more …l really appreciate thumbs up

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