Portia Nemaruru’s story – part 2

Here is part 2 of Portia Nemaruru’s story (See part 1 https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/08/21/star-profile-former-pakati-student-portia-nemaruru-a-very-humbling-story-part-1/ ), this time she is talking about how her time at Pakati secondary school has influenced her, and the transition to the Rose of Sharon school to study for her A level’s. In addition, she shows us and tells us a little about her recent trip back to the Pakati area.

“Before I move on to my progression to A level, I want to add more about how Pakati Secondary school has helped me in my life. Firstly, there is the Headmaster, Mr Chifaka, who was also my accounts teacher. Although l got a disappointing symbol (C), I felt motivated by him because he used to say ‘the greatest disability is in the mind’. Also ‘if born in a poor family, a rich family must come out of you’. He shared with me a little of his background life before all the achievements he made academically. He also said that ‘your background does not determine your future. What you to today doesn’t mean you are going to die like that’. He emphasised on good associations and this has helped me a lot.

Indeed Pakati Secondary school molded my character, attitude, spiritual life. Mr Chizenya, History teacher and also my volleyball coach, took most of his spare time sharing good news concerning the gospel of the Trinity God . At primary level Mr Nyamahohwa, my best teacher ever, taught me more about character, attitude, purity, faithfulness, transparency, integrity, love …quoting from the book of 1 Corinthians 13. This molded me into a loyal and faithful woman like Ruth, have the bold spirit of Esther, and a submissive heart like Mary.

With Miss Murape, now Mrs Pindura, at Chemhondoro high school.

Mrs Pindura, the Deputy Head at Pakati Secondary school, took you to Chemhondoro?

Yes, l went with her to Murehwa Mission in Form 1 for my first time in office as a junior councillor, this was the second time. We were given a topic in advance then had to present it from memory as if you are already a councillor. The first topic was….how to eliminate harmful social practices affecting African children especially the girl child. My competitor was supposed to come from Chanetsa secondary, unfortunately but was an advantage to me as they never sent a representative.

How did you decide to become junior councillor?

It was not my choice… Mrs Pindura called me and another girl who was in Form 2 by that time, then she gave us an impromptu speech to make. At the end of the day she said ‘l will go with Portia’.

Ok, did you enjoy it? How long were you junior councillor?

Yes l enjoyed it a lot, l gained exposure and confidence from it which helps me today. I was a junior councillor for the 2 years at Pakati Secondary.

I recently returned for a visit to my home area, and passed through the school grounds.

I could not find much coverage for my phone network, but managed to do so at the fence marking the boundary to the Mapuranga homestead in Chidawaya village.

Having loved my time there, I would like to see more developments and improvements at Pakati, including to the Science education there. I feel if the lab was better equipped, they could teach individual Sciences – Physics, Chemistry, Biology – and perhaps several other subjects – up to A level there. In addition, more and better IT equipment would improve all aspects of education at both Pakati schools.

I moved to Zimre Park, in thr Harare suburbs, in February 2019, where l was going to serve as a housemaid. One Sunday in May, l had an encounter with Tanyaradzwa, a sister to Blessed Tema. He was the Headboy at Pakati Secondary, a friend and also a brother to me. l was surprised and filled with joy to meet her, since it was a long time without seeing each other.

She asked several questions without giving me any room to answer. “Do you stay here in Zimre, where are you going, what about O level results l know you were that bright to make it, are going to school or working?”. It was my off-day and l was on my way from church in Ruwa. l was alarmed and astonished with her questions. I asked myself why Tanya is much concerned with my life, my future indeed. I decided to lie to her that l just visited my aunt and l gave her house number.

The following day she came to work house and l told her the whole story. She said, “Portia do you want to go to A level?” I answered her with a big “YES”.

“Portia, leave everything to me ok, it will be fine with you alright. I have a brother who works at Rose of Sharon High School, he is a chaplain there. Tanya came back after lunch hour and said she had spoken to her brother. He had said that l have to go there on my own.

l went there on a Tuesday morning to meet him. He said that you are lucky the Director of Education, Dr Fatima Maruta is here in her office we can go to her with your story, after asking me few questions like where are my parents, what drove me to be a maid whilst l have passed my O levels.

Upon meeting Dr Maruta, my eyes flooded with tears. I saw her removing her spectacles to mop up tears down her cheek after hearing my story. Without wasting much time she said,”Portia, l offer you a full scholarship till you reach your destination, so tomorrow come prepared for schooling”. She jotted down all the necessities and the following day everything was there complete school uniforms of high quality and stationery.

l moved in to Rose of Sharon on 8 May 2019. Everything happened seemed as if l was acting or dreaming, l didn’t know or believe that l deserved something better, even more than that to be offered a full scholarship at a boarding school, not least because from me being a village girl from a rural day school at Pakati Secondary.”

Wow. I don’t know about you, dear reader, but as I was compiling this, I definitely had a tear in my eye…very moving indeed. There are, apparently, more parts to come in Portia’s story – life at Rose of Sharon, social life, and her ambitions for the future. Certainly a lot to look forward to!

At the Shavanhowe river, close to Pakati Primary school

Other matters..

• I have more to come from Debbie Chadbon about her planned fundraising

• Oscar Bumhe, Chairman of the road project committee at Murewa Rural District Council, about the ongoing development in Ward 14.

• There are also other stories still being prepared for publishing in the near future

Keep following Friends of Pakati, check out other pages including the fundraising page https://friendsofpakati.com/fundraising/


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.

2 thoughts on “Portia Nemaruru’s story – part 2

  1. Great job Mr Chris Walker thumbs up don’t tire ,,,l I’m looking forward to read many stories from friends of Pakati

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