A truly amazing day at Pakati….12 months on

Mugove Chifaka & Chris Walker – Heads of Pakati Secondary school past and present,
on the day in September 2019 we celebrated

I was only reminded very recently, that the anniversary of my visit to Pakati last year was coming round. Had I thought about it? The answer was no, I hadn’t. But after giving it some thought, I put together this https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/09/26/looking-back-arriving-at-pakati-1-year-ago/ just yesterday, 26th September. Here below is what I said on Facebook at the time at the start of the next day, where we were going to celebrate the donations from https://www.stephensonpersonalcare.com and https://www.scunthorpe-united.co.uk :

“I cannot desribe how I feel right now, but if I could bottle it and sell it I would be a very rich man. Its wonderful to be back somewhere that I have so many good memories of. The welcome has been overwhelming. Today I know will be a great occssion, as I will formally hand over the donations to the school with the blessings of the community and its representatives. I will post more pics when I can, plus on the blog when I am able to.”

My hosts live very close to Pakati Secondary school.

Before the events, things were being prepared, some of the pictures below were taken prior to the celebrations

When summarising it all last year, I said this: “I met with the Head, Mr Cifaka, and we discussed all aspects of the day ahead. I also met with local dignatories including the local MP Hon. Mr Jonah Sewera, local councillor Alderman Israel Maliki and other councillors, Dr. Gurajane CEO of Murewa Rural District Council, Heads of local villgaes, School Development Committee members, local donors and supporters of development for women and girls organisation VaTonatsa members, along with staff from both schools.”

Below are just a small handful of pictures taken during the events:

Here are the links to the 2 posts I added last year: https://friendsofpakati.com/2019/09/28/a-truly-amazing-day-at-pakati-part-1/ and https://friendsofpakati.com/2019/09/29/a-truly-amazing-day-part-2-the-ceremony/

As I was so well looked after and assisted by Bothwell, and he is an active supporter of Friends of Pakati, I feel he should also provide us with his own thoughts and memories..:

“Time is very slow whenever you are waiting for something to happen. It goes very fast when you are doing and enjoying something special. Exactly a year ago Pakati Primary and Secondary school hosted ‘Gushungo’ as Chris is affectionately known here. The mission was to handover and set up the computers before he left.

We went for a refuelling along Samora Machel Avenue in Harare, and then hit the road. Within a couple of hours we were parking and offloading an assortment of computer hardware at the secondary school with a jovial Mr Chifaka assisting too.

The rolling day, a Friday, was for me an unforgetable one. What initially looked like a small event was later graced by the local Councillor , Member of House of National Assembly, councillors from different wards around ward 14.

A presentation was done and the Guest of Honour delivered a memorable speech centred on how he had an indelible relationship with Pakati. Of course most of the people knew about him teaching at Pakati in the late 80s. But no-one had ever thought of how the ward gave him a wife and two golden boys. The MP gave the closing words and appreciated Chris for a sterling job, and the manner he handled the program. Time flew like no-one ever thought and the lunch was served with people mixing to socialised and exchange some stories.

The setting up was carried the following day. Chris showed everyone how to setup the computers and I did a demo lesson for the Primary and Secondary schools was done. Students were given soccer jerseys for sports. The next couple of days were spent moving between Pakati, Murewa and Harare, just trying to fix some logistics.

Chris said goodbye to Zimbabwe after a few more days visiting friends and former students. For me as well as Chris, a very memorable experience, and as he says, a truly amazing day at Pakati”

It was certainly a day I will treasure in my memory for many years to come.


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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