A word from the Author as 2020 comes to an end…

December 2020

As I sit here in my home in the UK, I often think back to what I was doing at Pakati Secondary school. This time 30 years ago, I was back at my parents home in Scunthorpe for Christmas, and planning to go to Bradford where my closest friends lived. The idea was to celebrate New Year at my favourite watering hole – the now defunct MacRory’s Bar, close to Bradford College where I had trained to be a teacher.

I had no idea of what was to come when I returned to Zimbabwe a few days later – the full story has been told on this blog before – https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/07/07/pakati-memories-part-2-sports-entertainment-and-so-much-more/ – towards the end of this post. It tells the story of my being promoted to Acting Head at Pakati Secondary, something of which I am immensley proud of to this day.

I spent two terms as Acting Head, and I have always thought I did more for the school than I had in two years as a teacher. I was able to organise the administration, sort out the timetables, resolve staffing issues, and occasionally, I still took a lesson. Eventually however, there wasn’t time for me to teach, and it wouldn’t have been fair on the students for that to continue I felt.

Mr Chifaka, Head of Pakati Secondary school, with the Author in 2018

Now, after recent re-visits to Pakati in 2018 & 2019, Friends of Pakati is becoming more established as it enters its 3rd year in January 2021. I am optimistic, looking forward to the next round of challenges ahead – Charity status, Merchandising, Fundraising, IT & other equipment, new stories & profiles, tales of life at both Pakati schools & among the community, developing the reach of friendsofpakati.com in new ways – all likely to be celebrated in some style come September/October, circumstances permitting.

http://gofundme.com/friends-of-pakati

As always, there are things going on in the background, which I am unable to elaborate on at this time. There are people also in the background helping me – us, the team running & advising Friends of Pakati – some of whom do not want to be named. There are new people becoming involved in our venture, as supporters, fundraisers, advisors, facilitators, etc., which is part of the reason for my optimism.

Please allow me to thank everyone concerned with Friends of Pakati for their efforts, either as contributors, donors, sponsors, collaborators, writers, photographers, advisors, readers, supporters, followers on the various social media platforms, those who like/share/retweet our posts, those who contact us with encouragement – All of you give me personally the inspiration to continue. So THANK YOU! and please keep spreading the word as widely and as often as you can.👏👏👏👏

September 2018

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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