Profile of Juliet Valley, ex-Pakati Primary teacher – Part 2

From time to time, I hear from people associated with Pakati schools, and post their stories on here. I am often able to update the blog with new material from them with more recent photos.

Here, then, is a long-awaited follow up to Juliet Valley’s first post back in August 2020 – see it here: for some background.

Juliet is a market vendor in Kotwa, a small town on the Harare-Murewa-Mutoko road, not too far from the border with Mozambique.

She lives in a village about 35km away where she grows a number of crops in her fields. They are partly for consumption, but a lot go for sale.

Seen here in her fields back in February this year, she tells me most of her crops were planted in December 2020. Thanks to a good rainy season this year, she has a good amount of produce to sell both at her own market stall, and in Harare’s biggest market – Mbare Musika.

Water melons and pumpkins are favourites in many rural communities

Sorghum is widely grown in the rural areas of Zimbabwe

African beans are very much part of the diet across Zimbabwe

These two bags contain groundnuts. Juliet says they will keep for many months. She intends to sell them in Harare, at Mbare, come September. She expects to get a better price for them later in the year. All the remaining goods Juliet says she will sell in Kotwa market in the coming weeks.

Life can be hard as a subsistence farmer, but when the weather holds, and rains are good, then there is a chance to make some money for these communities. This is then good news for rural schools like Pakati, as it means fees are more likely to be paid, meaning they can buy more equipment for their teachers and learners. When the crops are not so good, they can struggle. This is especially true if there are emergencies, such as we have seen at both Pakati Secondary and Mapanga Primary schools when their power supplies were damaged and cut off. As you will know, Friends of Pakati helped Pakati to restore power, and are appealing for donations to get Solar power to Mapanga.


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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