Pakati Visit 2022 – Day 2 – Around Both Pakati Schools

Welcome to Day 2 of my visit! Building up to the ‘Business end’ of the week, Lorraine Mapuranga, her son Keith, & myself spend time at both schools, talking to staff & students about Pakati.

Here is the link to Day 1:

My view in the morning was pretty good…this pic was around 5.45am, temperature just starting to rise from around 15°C overnight, to a high of between 28 & 32° during the day.

There are some video interviews we recorded which will feature in later blogs, some of which may well feature as audio files as podcasts. We will review the footage with Bradley Mell, our (usual) podcast host. Let us now start the day…

Mrs Katonha seen watching the School Assembly

I wanted to try something different, and after talking to Lorraine, we agreed to walk to school on the Tuesday morning! I wanted to get a feel of what it is like for students themselves…and it transpired, at least one staff member who lives close to Lorraine! We thus walked 3.5km to school with Secondary teacher Mrs Katonha…it took us 35 minutes, and was enough to break out in a sweat for me!

After a few minutes, I was invited to address the School Assembly – something I had not done since August,1991! Here is a clip, translation is by teacher Mr Ediyeti.

Soon after the assembly, we took a walk down to the Primary school here at Pakati, where we met with Mr Mahachi, the Head, in his office to begin with. Just as I had done with Mr Chifaka earlier, I gave Mr Mahachi some Friends of Pakati merchandise – a mug, a coaster, a key ring & a badge – both Heads were delighted with them!

Mr Mahachi receiving his gifts

Mr Mahachi then took us around part of the school, as Grade 7 classes were writing their exams each morning that week.

We saw the preparation & distribution of the free porridge provided to all learners from ECD up to Grade 7. A local organisation provides the food, and local parents take turns to cook it & give it to the children. Here below are some of the images I took that morning:

We also saw the classroom which is condemned, but is occasionally used still if weather permits ,& space is needed. We reported on this in an ealier blog

There is an established well in the grounds of the school about 200m away. It is ready for work to be completed on a project to put a water tank & pipes to.the school.

After completing our visit to the Primary, we briefly returned to the Secondary before heading home.

One of Lorraine’s neighbours currently works in South Africa, and wanted us to take a photo with her daughter who is doing Form 4 at Pakati Secondary. We found her (Rosemary) and were happy to oblige.

Once more, in the late afternoon, we explored around the area of Lorraine’s home, where there are a lot of rock formations. We were accompanied by her son Keith who took many of the photos during this trip.

Here are a few pictures to show you:

In part 3….

The day I have been looking forward to for 3 years – celebrating with the schools, community & local dignatories – once again an extraordinary day at Pakati!


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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