**Weekend Star** Tinashe Mudzvatangi

Welcome to Friends of Pakati, the blog dedicated to Pakati Primary & Secondary schools.

Allow me to introduce Tinashe Mudzvatangi, former student of both Pakati schools, and our Weekend Star. It is a tale of triumph over adversity….I hope you enjoy his story!

“Hello hello my dear Friends of Pakati, my name is Tinashe Mudzvatangi and l grew up in Murehwa area. As a child, I attended both Pakati Primary and Secondary schools. l grew up in a village called Makuvaza about 5 kilometers from the school though am not sure how accurate that is.

l remember it was, and still is, a subsistence farming area where people grow enough to feed their families. However things have changed with time, as people started growing Sweet potatoes and other crops for sale in Mbare musika (a large market in Harare) to try and make ends meet.

We used to go to school bare footed because my grand parents couldn’t afford to buy shoes sometimes, especially during my pimary education. Fast forward to grade 6 thereabouts l vividly remember not attending school for about 3 weeks due to lack of fees, and my class teacher Mr Nyamahohwa had to send a letter to my Granny asking that l report to school the following day. There was a test we ought to write, which l did and came up on top in our class!

My friend Aaron and myself in 2002, when I was in Form1 at Pakati Secondary

I can honestly say l never had a complete uniform at primary school. It sounds very sad now when l look back, l am a sportsman l love playing soccer and l still do. When the grade 7 results came out l was happy because l had passed, but the dilemma quickly came back to my mind because l didn’t have the fees to enroll at Pakati Secondary.

l herded people’s cattle in trying to raise the money but it just wasn’t enough. My granny pleaded with the school authorities and they allowed me to be in form one, but l always got sent back as l could not pay the fees in time. l was devasted each day that l could be sent back from the school.

This is 2015 in Mbare with my friend Pedzisai Munemo.

Struggling like that and really having no clear view of what l was going to become, then came a program called BEAM headed by one Mrs Emma Gweshe. l don’t know the criteria they used to select those whom they could pay fees for but l found myself in their program. l believe someone within the school authorities played a very big and important role on my behalf, and to this day l am very grateful.

With my friend Edwin Ndawana in Kambuzuna section 3 (Harare suburb) in 2010.

Now, fees were paid on time and they (BEAM) came at intervals to see how all the kids that they paid fees for were doing. I then rediscovered myself during this time and attended school each and every day. My grades improved to the gratitude of Mrs Gweshe and I really competed with the best in my class. She was happy and developed trust in me such that she even visited our homestead to meet my Granny.

I was delighted to be appointed the President of all orphans who they paid fees for, so l could look into the community and convince those who had already dropped out to come back under this program. I got my first complete uniform when l was in form 3 and l tell you it felt so nice and comforting, l sat for my ‘O’ level on 2006 and managed 3 Bs’ in English , Geography ,Science and a C in Agriculture. 8 am grateful to Emma Gweshe and her entire team.

With my friend Chrispen Kubhadya in 2016 in Mufakose, Harare.

In 2006 when we sat for our O level examinations (GCSE) we were meant to start writing English. However our English paper was reported to have been opened by someone in Marondera (administrative centre for the region) so it was postponed. We didn’t write on our first day and it really affected all of us but l personally didn’t worry. We had to then write it lastly and am glad l passed it.

Just 2 days after, l left Murehwa for Harare where l stayed with my uncle in Glenview 1 (in the Harare suburbs). As we all know you can’t just be staying and eating somewhere, but you must contribute. So l started looking for a job without anything to show for any job since l was waiting for my results.

I got a job at a wholesale selling drinks and they needed strong man because the job requires a lot of energy. l almost left the first day but l had no option other than to stay. I worked there but the wholesale closed down after 8 months owing to debts.

Since then l have worked in Supermarkets, at Zfc Limited, Securico security services at Chitewe Law Practice where l have been for the past 8 years. l am now working as a legal clerk and still aiming high.

May l just mention my Science teacher then Ms Shupikai Mutongi, History teacher Blessing Mushaninga, Mr Chifaka who taught us Commerce, Mrs Chingoriwo my Agriculture teacher, Mrs Makaza who was my English teacher, Mrs Mazarire and Godfrey Katonha and Mrs Katonha who played their distinctive roles when we were away from home, thank you!

With my wife Vaidah Muchemeri

Am a proud father of twin boys who are 7 years old now . To those friends who will read this please may you be blessed and share your stories on this platform. To all my teachers l say thank you for everything, most of us are who we are today because of you so again thank you!”

My twin boys now aged 7

How great to see Tinashe doing so well! Coming from such a difficult set of circumstances, it is an inspiration to many fron the area. It is one of the reasons I publish this blog, to show that no matter what your background is, with help and/or the right approach, there is always hope for the future.

 

 

 

 

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 have been a Civil Servant in Bradford since 2005. I married a Zimbabwean woman & we have 2 sons.

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