**An Amazing Evening for Friends of Pakati!**

Wow! That really was an amazing evening last Saturday (7th August)…here is my report on the event – see here https://friendsofpakati.com/2021/07/31/promoting-friends-of-pakati/ – which I attended to try and get more attention for Friends of Pakati. It had been postponed from July due to Covid restrictions – that turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as I suffered minor heart problems on 3rd of July…thankfully I was well enough to be there in the end

Photo courtesy of Gray’s Photo Plus

The event – Appreciating Positive Change Makers – was arranged by Dr MamboKadzi Tsitsi, founder of the Women of Purpose organisation. It was held at the Brooklands Hotel, in Weybridge, Surrey, on the outskirts of London, not far from Heathrow Airport.

The Brooklands Hotel

My invitation came from Dr Tsitsi via Caroline Zimano, who was the MC of the event. She also happens to be the founder of TheTeamCaro Foundation, recent sponsors of Friends of Pakati – see https://friendsofpakati.com/2021/06/13/great-new-support-welcome-to-the-teamcaro-foundation/ for more details. These lovely ladies very kindly ‘adopted’ me as an honourary member of the team for the evening!

Left to right – Caroline Zimano, Chris Walker, Sharon Chihota Paul, and Lynn Kanyowa-Ndlovu. Photo taken by TeamCaro supporter Maria Dumba.

Friends of Pakati showed off our latest merchandise, and were able to sell several t-shirts and other items on the night, such as mugs and badges. If you are interested in any of our items, please visit https://friendsofpakati.com/merchandise/ then email us with your order & details to friendsofpakati@gmail.com

Both photos courtesy of Deborah Jay Kelly & Andre Holland

We shared a stand by the entrance, where we were met by the Red Carpet Hostess Deborah Jay Kelly, and photographer Andre Holland – see their photo below.

Photo courtesy of Deborah Jay Kelly & Andre Holland

All who were due to receive awards were photographed and many interviwed on the way in on the way in – here is the Author, and the TeamCaro ladies – on the Red Carpet….

Both photos courtesy of Deborah Jay Kelly & Andre Holland

…along with the organiser Dr MamboKadzi Tsitsi

Photo courtesy of Deborah Jay Kelly & Andre Holland

Once inside the room where the event was being held, things moved pretty quickly. MC Caroline (see pic below) kept a tight reign on proceedings, allowing only 2-3 minutes for each award recipient to introduce themselves & their work.

Photo courtesy of Deborah Jay Kelly & Andre Holland

Myself, I was sat near the back of the room on a table with the remaining Team Caro members…

Lynn, Sharon & Chris, photo taken by Maria Dumba

….and gradually, it was my turn to speak (I kept it short & sweet).  As it was my first event of this kind, I have to say I was a little nervous. Thankfully, everyone there made me feel welcome, and I had lots of encouragement from TeamCaro! I thus collected an award…

Photo courtesy of Deborah Jay Kelly & Andre Holland

…followed not long after by the TeamCaro Foundation themselves!

Photo courtesy of Deborah Jay Kelly & Andre Holland

Our awards!

There was the opportunity to network with others, and swap ideas and contact details – something which will hopefully bear fruit in the coming months.

All in all, I believe it was a successful event, well worth attending, and will hopefully lead to greater things for us and our developing partnership with TeamCaro (They looked after me very well!).

A huge THANK YOU!!! to Dr Tsitsi & the Women of Purpose organisation, the TeamCaro Foundation, sponsors, all other award winners and attendees, Red Carpet Hostess, photographers, video operator, and to the Brooklands Hotel staff! Back next year? Hope so…

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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