**Thursday Star ** Patience Chinhoyi, former student at both Pakati schools

Welcome to Patience’s story! She was just one year away from being at Pakati Secondary school when I was there, being in Grade 7 at the Primary in 1991. Have a good read, again a tale of when resilience and determination shines through…

“Hi, I am Patience Chinhoyi, now 42, former student at Pakati Primary and Secondary. Please let me tell you a little about myself and my family, but let me begin with my education.

I did my grade 7 at Pakati Primary school in 1991, and attained 4 units. I proceeded to Pakati Secondary school from 1992 to 1995, and I was the Vice Head Girl while I was in Form three. Honestly I think they wanted me to be responsible since I was naughty. I was the most talkative in class but very intelligent. I was made the Head Girl in 1995 when I was in Form Four.

I remember when Miss Chadbon taught geography, and she drew the world map on the wall of our Form 4 block.

She wanted every student to know it without referring to the map. It has been repainted, in 2017.

I am the third of four girls in my family – Nyarai, Fortunate, Patience and Gracious. Our mother is still with us, but sadly our father passed away in 1993, leaving mother to raise us alone. (Fortunate was the only one of the family I taught, in Form 4 in 1989, when she was also Head Girl at Pakati Secondary)

We stayed in Chiremba village which was about 5km away from Pakati. Mr Walker occasionally visited our family during weekends and he would enjoy our culture and our traditional foods. At times he would help carrying out house duties (apparently I helped out watering the garden…).

After completing my O levels I could not proceed to A level due to financial resources. I went to Kushinga Phikelela College, (just off the Harare-Mutare Road, a short way past Marondera) studying for a secretarial course. After completing my studies I was employed at a construction company. At the company we were roofing specialists and at times would do civil works. I was the administrator there. Would do quotations, invoice the work for payment. Business in the construction industry is quite lucrative, but the challenge right now is the inflation rate.

I also furthered my studies with Calvary University for my MBA specialising in Human Resources. The major reason I left employment is trying to establish my own business, though it’s very difficult at present. Still in the formation stage, although already we are producing at a small scale, and looking to expand.

Bags of groundnuts awaiting to be processed into peanut butter, I buy them from many local farmers. This is the current project I am working on since I quit work.

VITAPACK natural and organic smooth peanut. My wish is to expand and start exporting my product across the world.”

For me, these stories from people who have passed through either or both Pakati schools, demonstrate that all things are possible regardless. If students from Pakati – and any other similar rural schools – can succeed in life, go to further study, raise families, set up their own businesses, live and work in their home ares, towns and cities, in Zimbabwe and abroad (I have a story in the pipeline from overseas), then what could they have achieved if they had access to the same facilities as the bigger schools? This is really at the heart of what Friends of Pakati is all about, trying to improve the educational experiences of all Pakati students, and by extension, the community.

If you woukd like to help, http://gofundme.com/friends-of-pakati or contact us https://friendsofpakati.com/important-links/ and spread the word!

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.

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