Profile of former Pakati student Pauline Machengo – part 3

Here is the final part of Pauline Machengo’s story – to catch up on parts 1 and 2, click on these links: https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/04/18/saturday-star-profile-of-former-pakati-student-pauline-machengo-part-1/ and https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/04/23/profile-of-former-pakati-student-pauline-machengo-part-2/ – so welcome to part 3 of Pauline’s remarkable story…it is quite a long one, so please take the time to read and enjoy!

“Hello! Welcome to the last part of my story. I am Pauline Machengo, a Zimbabwean based in Cape Town, South Africa, and I came from Murehwa. I hope you will enjoy and get to know me better, as I’m going to dwell much more on my current life here in South Africa.

Through the economic hardship in Zimbabwe, in October 20217 I decided to look for greener pastures. I was so excited to leave Zimbabwe for South Africa especially Cape Town. A new life, new country, meeting my sister again – I was so overwhelmed. I bade farewell with my family and friends, and embarked on a 3-day journey to Cape Town by bus. This was going to be both tiresome and exciting. I wanted to see what South Africa looks like and what it is like to be in South Africa. I was hoping for a better life. I was really looking forward to all the glitters that South Africa can offer. Unfortunately things are different that side, so sometimes I think that home is best.

After three days we arrived in Capetown. I was glad to meet up with my sister Patience, the first born in my family. It has been long since we were together, eight years apart from each other. When I was in Primary she was already in secondary school😃😃such a gap. In my family we are all five years apart from each other so you can tell that I enjoyed being a baby🙈🙈.

Above all I was happy to meet my three niece’s. These girls are the best in the world. We share same interest lol. They’re into acting, singing, modeling and designing. I always enjoy their company. So…Hello everybody meet my nieces. Before you read just give them a round of applause👏🏻👏🏻.They have been there for me since day one although we have our ups and downs🥰🥰🥰. The elder one is Audrey. She’s nine years old. She’s so hilarious, so multi talented. She’s an actress, singer, designer, comedian, so flexible she does ballet. Followed by Anna. She’s very welcoming, an actress, considerate, humorous, and kind. She’s only 5.

Last one is Chloe, she’s so energetic, flexible, shy, a singer and a fast learner. She’s only three, and I have been looking after her and her sisters in lockdown….I’m spending my time watching three year old Chloe doing some ballet moves. All along I didn’t notice that she’s that flexible. I think I should take her to ballet school😂😂.

Upon my arrival in Capetown, I started working for this company for baby goods. We were making those incredible baby carry cots, duvets and all sorts of baby things. That was a nice experience because I grew up loving sewing. I started sewing when I was only five. My parents were scared that I might hurt myself with a needle since I was still young. They didn’t want me to use the needle but as a kid with passion for sewing and I didn’t comply, so they eventually gave in😃😃😃😃.

After the baby company I worked as an ECD teacher at one of the Educare centres in Cape Ttown, it was a racially mixed school. It was a nice experience working with toddlers but very difficult for me. I was used to teaching adults, so teaching young kids was totally different. I love challenges but this one 😃😃😃unfortunately I couldn’t help it, it just wasn’t for me. 2018 after my failure on ECDs, I started working as a Nanny. I was taking care of two kids, a four year and a three year old. Almost same age with two of my nieces. Having my nieces pulling me from left, right and center made me qualify for the job as a Nanny😃😃. Well I worked there for 3 months but then I quit.

2019 I ventured into entrepreneurship. I started selling clothes and sneakers. I’m still doing it and I’m my own boss now. Working flexible time and having time for my script writing. Yes I’m still doing movie things big time🎬🎬

Last year I joined these guys for filming production. We shared the same sight. This was a pic after our meeting. We were only two Zimbabweans the rest were South Africans. I was happy to be member of this group because I saw it as an opportunity to come out in the spotlight in a foreign land. I was considered as a script writer so I was to edit our first script of which I did, but unfortunately things didn’t turn out as expected. Segregation was present and some were uncooperative.

Following on from some of my experiences at Macheke High school (as seen in Part 2), interaction didn’t end at school. I’m still meeting up with some Zimbabweans in Cape Town to have some fun. Its so relaxing you know spending the whole day with your patriots and speaking your Mother’s language (Shona). Socialising is so essential especially when you’re a script writer. You get the sense from people and have the ideas and stories to write about.

I met this lady Shahid. She’s into filming also and we are preparing a good project together here in Cape Town.

This is my page name for script writing. I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can like my page on Facebook and/or find out more.

So after all those experience in Cape Town I missed home. I had missed my parents, my young sister, brother and friends. I was so longing to see them. I had also missed fresh air from Zimbabwe. Here in Cape Town you can count trees that you can see on one hand. Its like a desert. We are breathing polluted air but such is life.

This is me in Masvingo Zimbabwe early last year. I was going home. Home sweet home. This was a best feeling ever. You know just to walk in the streets without fear of being robbed or shot. I was tasting freedom once again from our Motherland Zimbabwe🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼

Meet me and my young sister Rejoice. She follows after me in my family. She completed her A level last year in 2019. She’s suppose to be in university this year but Corona virus had something stored for us 😃😃. I always miss my sister. She’s so intelligent and she’s a sporty person. She has an award for volleyball , she’s an athlete, she was a goalkeeper for Macheke high girls soccer team. I think she took some of the talents that was meant for me🤪🤪🤪. She can’t sing though😃😃😃.

Me and my little brother. The only boy in my family. I hope you all know what he means to everyone. An Apple of my parent’s eyes😁😁😁. He’s so shy but I hope it will all end because one day I would love to have a daughter in-law. Ooh I forgot to tell you his name. His name is Nimold and he’s 11 years old. He’s doing he’s 6th grade in one of the private schools in Marondera, Zimbabwe. Well as siblings we have our ups and downs as this little chap thought that since he’s a boy he can hit me. Well, its not bad to dream but that will never happen or should I say not now lol. I love my brother

Being home is always good especially at our farm. We have a lot of cattle, sheep and goats. I used to herd the cattle when I was growing up. I didn’t like it one bit. That was the worst thing I did whilst growing up. My young ones are lucky because we now have a helper. I’m so jealous. I mean they should experience what I experienced too😒😒😒lol

My parents are still practising commercial farming. They grow cash crops such as tobacco and sweet potatoes. They used to grow sweet potatoes in Chadenga village just like everyone in Murehwa. Here in Macheke people don’t grow sweet potatoes but my parents do and by the look of it you can see that the soil is so rich for the sweet potatoes. My father was proud of his crops thats why he has a picture snapped right in the middle of his sweet potatoes😃😃😃 he’s not kinda person who can just take pictures.

Welcome to the cowgirl side of me. See I grew up around this gun. I love it and I always have a moment with it and of course without my father’s knowledge. Despite the fact that he taught me to hold and fire it, he doesn’t want me to have it. He knows me very well 😃😃I don’t blame him. See I grew up wanting to be a soldier but unfortunately I didn’t qualify, so yeah I used to go to Agricultural shows when I was in Zimbabwe. There I could visit the Zimbabwe Defense Forces tents and have a look on one or two machine guns. I love guns but not the firing part.

So here I am now, in Cape Town. Still pursuing my dreams in the filming industry. I hope one day I will write something about Murehwa people’s social life and have it aired. But what is it like being under lockdown? I have talked about my neices, but that is not everything…

Well this corona virus is doing numbers on me. First day of the lockdown I went for an appointment at the hospital, but unfortunately I didnt make it to the hospital, I got stuck in town. There were no taxis in town and police roadblocks were every where. I spent the whole day sitting at a Shell garage in fear of the police. Unfortunately it was their food cafe😄😄😄 so every five minutes a police car would pull up for them to buy food. Some were questioning me like what I was doing in town when I’m supposed to be indoors. You can imagine the fear I had, given that I’m a foreigner breaching the presidential order. That was my last day going outside. As you can see on my picture above, the streets are deserted. People are so scared and they’re obeying the rules.

Anyway I can go on and on talking about my life. I will come back sharing more of my experience on South Africa. Hope you won’t laugh at me🙈🙈🙈. For now help me thank Mr Walker for what he has done to recognise our area and Pakati schools. Pakati is in a remote rural area, so having Mr Walker putting it in the spotlight is a blessing. I wanna thank him for the good stuff he is doing for Pakati schools, donating computers, sports jerseys and all the things Friends of Pakati are trying to do for both scools. I want to encourage other people to assist Pakati schools through this project, or in whatever way they can too. I have learned so much from him. I think as a society we should give back also to the society that groomed us. Thanks Mr Walker and goodbye guys. Hasta LA VISTA. See you next time.😘😘😘”

Here at Friends of Pakati, we are so grateful to Pauline for sharing her amazing and inspring 3-part story with us! We hope you, our readers, enjoyed it all. This is yet another story showing how people can come from a difficult background such as hers, yet still succeed in life. I know there are more stories yet to be told…is yours one of them? Let us know please…

Pakati Primary school – still under lock-down

As schools in Zimbabwe are still closed, and we don’t yet know when they will re-open. I have been sent the following pictures and information by the Head, Mr Mahachi – thanks to him for that!

School premises during lockdown

Adminstration offices and computer room.

ECD (Early Childhood Development) block vacated

Mrs Mandingaisa, one of the teachers staying at the school during lockdown

Some of the teachers are maintaining their vegetable beds during the lockdown period.

Mr Maunje our caretaker is maintaining the school wire, garden, and ECD play centre during lockdown.

Mr and Mrs Chakanyuka going for washing during lockdown. They say they have just completed harvesting their crops and are just assisting their children with holiday work during this lockdown period.

Mrs Mahachi is one of teachers at the school and during lockdown is taking this time to help her children, especially Percy who is in grade 7, to prepare for his exams. She is hoping the lockdown ends soon to meet and socialise with colleagues, and because prices of basic goods has shot up during this period.

Some children at the school who are waiting for their peanut butter being worked on by one of the teachers, Mr Kupara.

Mr Kupara, one of the Grade 7 teachers, milling peanut during the lockdown period. He is worried about the future of his learners if the lockdown continues and learners continue not coming to school. In the meantime he has created a whatsaapp group where he is posting learning materials for his learners and interfacing with parents of the children being assisted. However the challenge is that not all parents have got smart phones or even phones at all.

Some children of the teachers punching a sand bag as a pastime during the lockdown period.

Other children of teachers are seen around the school compound.

Mr Madziva and his son. He is the OSA (Old Students Association) secretary and neighbour to the school. He says he enjoys being with his family during this locksown as they are usually apart. He wishes the government can deal with the price distortions during this lockdown if it has to continue.

Infant classes have been vacated during lock down

Mr Mahachi, Pakati Primary school Head, has this to say about lockdown and its possible lifting, including what he would like to see in place to provide a safe place for learners and teachers alike:

“I am using the lockdown to harvest my maize, groundnuts, cowpeas etc. The crops did not do well due to rainfall shortage. I am also taking time to see that the school is well kept and all materials are safe. I wish the government can only open schools when it is safe to do so or when adequate measures have been put in place. The suggested measures are as follows: 1. Availability of running water as the school is using a community borehole 500m away and doesn’t have a perennial source of water of its own. 2. Appropriate teacher-pupil ratio.3. Adequate furbishment for social distancing. 4. Adequate and appropriate personal protective equipment for teachers and learners.”

I am encouraged to hear about people in the area following the guidance regarding lockdown, as I want to know the community is safe and well.

Friends of Pakati have been very lucky to have been able to continue publishing stories. This has been due entirely to the material being sent in – so please do keep sending more pics and information for us to edit wherever you are – UK, Zimbabwe, Australia, NZ, Canada, USA, rest of Africa, rest of Europe, Asia – please tell us your stories. If you aren’t connected to Pakati directly don’t worry – if you read this blog then we want to hear from you!

Locked down in Harare suburbs – student Mitchell Karasa

Friends of Pakati are a real mixture of people, African, European, Asian; they live in many different countries; they are male and female, old and young, rural and urban; students, workers, farmers: donors, supporters, casual readers; many have a strong connection to Pakati and its surrounding communities, others may have slightly more tenuous links. Here is one such story…

Meet Mitchell – pronounced as Michelle – she is a 19 year old student in Harare, capital city of Zimbabwe. She lives in Hatcliffe, one of many high-density suburbs on the outer edges of the city. As the colleges schools and universities are all currently closed, like all other students, Mitchell is having to stay home. Not the most interesting times for someone normally so active and with a wide circle of friends….

Some of her time is taken up with continuing her studies at home, though this is sometimes limited as internet/wi-fi is not always as regular as she would like, so online lessons are not always possible. She is studying an advanced Office Administration course at Trust Academy in Harare.

Mitchell with Jabu

Thankfully she is not alone, as she has two cousins staying with her, Jabu and Noku, both aged 19, both are at University. Jabu is in the second year of an IT course, while Noku is doing Motor Mechanics and is hoping soon to go on attachment (placement).

Mitchell with Noku

Mitchell and her cousins have to entertain themselves some of the time, so out come the cards, especially if the electricity supply is off as it can be sometimes, though more recently this has improved.

Sometimes they will watch movies in TV in an afternoon and evening time too, hence the popcorn

So her typical day will involve house chores, bathing, studying, listening to music and dancing, cooking….

The view from her front gate

…taking a walk outside the house and seeing a friend if she can do it safely….

…she misses college and being with her friends though.

At college, early March before Lockdown

So you might ask how I came to know Mitchell? Well her mother is a good friend of Pakati, as well as being my former student, Lorraine Mapuranga. I visited the family last year, and with friends we went to Domboshawa caves, just a few kilometers from Hatcliffe.

Lorraine, Keith, Mitchell, the Author, Esther, Admire, Pamela, October 2019

It was a pleasure for me to see my student grown up, with her own family, and to meet them at their Hatcliffe home.

Outside the family home in Hatcliffe, December 2019

Keep following the blog…still so much more to come!

Lockdown Laughs 3

Thanks again to those who contributed…👍🏽

Any more you want to share? please forward via usual channels friendsofpakati@gmail.com or DM http://twitter.com/friendsofpakati or IM http://facebook.com/Friends-of-pakati or for those who have my mobile, whatsapp is fine to use.

Much more to come on http://friendsofpakati.com including Pauline Machengo – part 3, lockdown in Harare suburbs, plus around the two Pakati schools at this time.

Day 3….Arrived!

Made it! One year to the day…

Friends Of Pakati

Karen, Chris, Alice and Daniel

Karen and Brian (plus Daniel)

Daniel and Alice completed the whole distance – FANTASTIC BOTH OF YOU

I completed day 1 and day 2, plus the last couple of miles on day 3 (due to injury)

Karen and Brian completed day 3 – THANK YOU!

Great reception from Scunthorpe United FC and fans!! Thanks to Rob Noble, James Moody for the ‘behind the scenes’ work, plus those who edit & publish The Iron matchday programme. Thanks to those who presented me with the shirts and applauded us in the restaurant, and thanks to the club Chairman, Peter Swann for his kind words and even kinder ofer to double whatever we have raised. THANK YOU ALL

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

In the club restaurant

The roads seem endless…but arriving in North Lincolnshire means ‘almost there’

A well earned break brought a donation from people in the pub…

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Walking…the plan for Day 3 – Saturday 27th April

Plan for the final day one year ago

Friends Of Pakati

View from St Enochs Road, Bradford, 11th April 2019

Day 3 – Saturday 27th April

At the end of Horse Fair Green turn left onto South Parade, then next right onto Ellison Street, this becomes South End, then Clay Bank Road.

At the end of Clay Bank Road, turn right onto Green Bank Road, then left onto High Levels Bank (A18). Follow the A18 through Althorpe, over Keadby Bridge & through Gunnness.

At the roundabout where the A18 meets the end of the M181 there is a footbridge over the M181, coming out on Doncaster Road (A18), turn right at the next roundabout down Jack Brownsword Way to Glanford Park, Scunthorpe.

14 miles/22.5km

Glanford Park, Scunthorpe

Due to arrive around noon, 27th April in time for lunch at the club restaurant, before the 3pm kick-off for the League 1 game between Sunthorpe United and Bradford City.

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Day 2… struggling on…but made it to Thorne

Here is a snapshot or two of Day 2 – I still remember the difficulties, but also the support from Daniel and Alice

Friends Of Pakati

Left Ackworth this morning….

A lot of countryside is like this between Ackworth and Stainforth

Still a fair way to go here…

Crossing the canal near Stainforth

Going the right way…

Over the railway line before going under the M18 motorway…

Almost there…..!

Finally made it! Arrived around 4.30pm

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Walking…the plan for Day 2 – Friday 26th April

One year on – this is what was planned for Day 2 of the walk

Friends Of Pakati

View down Beldon Lane, Bradford

Day 2 – Friday 26th April

From Moor Top Lane, turn right onto Bell Lane, turn left onto the Doncaster Road (A638), until 2nd roundabout at North Elmsall, then turn left onto Wrangbrook Road (A6201).

Follow this road until crossing the A1 using the A639, & then on to Woodfield Road, which becomes New Road as it enters Campsall. Turn right onto Park Drive, turn right onto Church Field Road out of Campsall towards Askern.

Turn right onto A19, in Askern turn left onto Station Road which becomes Moss Road through Askern. Follow Moss Road which becomes Kirkhouse Green Road/Lodge Lane/Jack Row Lane/Woodhouse Green Road/Plumtree Hill Road into Hatfield then becomes Thorne Road & then Kirton Lane.

At the end of Kirton Lane turn left onto South Parade in Thorne, then left onto Horse Fair Green for the Fair Green Hotel.

20 miles/32km

Bradford University…

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**Saturday Star** Vari Mayez, a Friend of Pakati, under lockdown in Harare

Vari is the founder of VaTonatsa Foundation, an organisation dedicated to helping poorer children with access to education, currently concentrating on Ward 14, Murewa. I came across her last year when she visited Pakati during our presentation of IT and other equipment to the two Pakati schools. Since then we have become supporters of each others projects, and are currently looking into some kind of collaboration in the future. Here is what she had to say about life under lockdown at her home in Harare..

“For me the lockdown period has kept my hands full. I am mostly occupied with work as an accountant, work at VaTonatsa Foundation, motherhood, being a student and personal care. In other words I am trying to maintain a grip on my usual life but in a different environment – my home.

L to R: my new friends Holly from VaTonatsa, Bothwell, Councillor Maliki, myself, and Vari from VaTonatsa, at Pakati, September 2019

A typical day for me starts with household chores, then I workout. In the past I would go for a 5km jog 3 days a week, but due to the lockdown I now improvise some workouts at home. I am fortunate to work with a professional trainer and friend Kim Vee who assists via her WhatsApp group. After breakfast I start work. When I am not working formal work, I study. Its good that my studies at UNISA have always been distance /online learning, so they are only slightly affected. Assignment submission deadlines were moved and exam dates are yet to be announced.

The flip side of lockdown is that our fundraiser and calendar events at VaTonatsa Foundation have been negatively impacted. We postponed our event initially slated for 28 March “My Dreams of the future” to a date to be announced in the future.

Some of our fundraiser projects are in Murewa, for example the Moringa projects, so we cannot travel during this time for hands on supervision. We however believe it’s for the greater good that we postponed these events. At this stage it’s important to preserve human life. Also in our culture – we are finding it hard to social distance because in the past it was a sign of kudada or kusema, so some think if I demand distance it means ndasema next person (Kusema= to despise/ndasema= I despise/Kudada=to be full of yourself or to be pompous).

The lockdown has given me some flexibility so I can schedule things in my own way, unlike when I have to be in the office at 8 when it’s normal days. I am grateful to have more time with my sons Taye and Zuva.

I am able to spend more time with them both, including planting some Moringa at our home. We are making a small Moringa nursery in the front yard. We intend to plant the seeds in Murewa when we can travel after the lockdown. The boys help with seed sowing, watering and weeding.

When I am not working we play board games such as Chess (Taye has taught me a lot) and Snakes and Ladders.

Zimbabweans seem to have ebraced the need for social distancing, but some do find it difficult to follow it strictly, particularly where funerals are concerned. I believe we shall overcome these tough times, especially if we can adhere to the measures put in place. I put this paper on my fridge for the boys to stay aware.

I am a believer that life has various seasons but with time all this shall pass. It is important to stay positive and I encourage people to follow information from verified sources so that they have correct knowledge about COVID19.”

In happier times earlier in 2020, Vari at Victoria Falls displaying the Zimbabwe national flag.

Day 1… survived!

One year ago today I set off with my son Daniel and his girlfriend Alice on a 3 day journey…quite an experience for us all

Friends Of Pakati

Start…

Started outside Bradford City football ground

crossed the M62 in Birkenshaw

Left Batley via Soothill

went through Wakefield past the rugby league ground

…past Nostell Priory…

.and ended at Ackworth 24 miles/38km later

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