Meanwhile at the Secondary school…

This week I have had contact with Pakati Secondary school. According to the Head, Mr Chifaka, he spent the first week back enrolling new students into Form 1, along with welcoming all returning students.

Some of the Pakati Secondary school students during break time today

The classes have resumed for returning students, although economic problems have made the situation difficult for many, particularly in the rural areas which have been hit by drought, thus affecting their crops and income. The school has had to raise its fees, so fewer students are likely to enrol.

Break time today…with the hill Ngomamowa in the background to the left

I am hearing of staffing issues at the school, as one of the teachers has not returned from the Summer break. However, lessons are proceeding as normal in most subjects, apart from those without teachers.

Mrs Pundura, Mrs Munatswa, Mr Chifaka and Mr Chizenya in 2018

Last week the Deputy Head Mrs Pindura went to Murewa to buy supplies of stationery for the teachers – chalks, pens, notebooks and covers – while they wait to see what funds they have for text books from school fees raised.

Murewa centre last week

i understand from the staff that the athletics competitions for this year are beginning soon, with the Zonal competition first on 31st Janaury. Sports training afternoons are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Pakati Secondary.

Much more to come in the following weeks from both Primaty and Secondary schools, showing everyday life at both, including lessons, break-times and sports. Pictures and full reports from all competitions. Hoping to get some more personal stories from teachers and students at both schools too.

Week 1 update! Weigh-in results and donations so far

How much change can Ì make to this shape?

Today – Tuesday 21st January 2020 – the second weekly weigh-in at work took place

Day 1 – first weigh-in

Weigh in at start – Karen Harper Weight in imperial    10st . 4lb

Weigh in today – Karen Harper Weight in imperial    10st . 3.5lb

Result: -0.5 lb

Day – weigh-in results/evidence

Weigh in at start – Chris Walker Weight in both measurements:  17 St. 9lb or 113.4 kg

Weigh in today – Chris Walker Weight in both measurements:  17 St. 3lb or 110 kg (kg reading not as accurate this week – that scale wasn’t working…)

Result: -6lb or -3kg

Evidence of todays weight – loss of 6lbs/3kg

Latest on donations:

Today brought in another donation through which was from a work colleague. I promote the project at work by all-office emails, and include/copy in senior managers who have supported me since I started the project last year. Today, one senior manager has said she will donate £1 for every pound (lb) I lose…so her total thus far is £6, but hopefully we will raise the figure substantially come 1st June.

Hoping for more computers, Internet, security but also ptinters, books & classroom furniture

Update about things…

Following on from the recent blog ‘Coming up on friends of pakati very soon’, I have delivered on much of what was promised:

Launch of the Authors fundraising ‘event’ for this year – losing weight!

First day I had a weigh-in to show a starting point, and now I have also started walking again, similar to last year, around my local area of Bradford. The good news is that donations have started to come in once more, and already I have had a number of promises of more.

Bradford by night

Still waiting for confirmation of Debbie’s precise involvement in fundraising activities

Email from Debbie suggests she is looking to do a sponsored event, either walking, running or cycling in the Bristol area. All funds raised to go to

Debbie in 1992

Pakati Primary school sends pictures from the first few days of Term 1

Mr Mahachi, Head of Pakati Primary school sent a number of photos this week of the start of the first term in 2020 for students and teachers alike.

Grade 4 learners in class

Former student revisits Pakati Secondary school

Lorraine Mapuranga went back to Pakati Secondary school for the first time since she completed Form 4 in 1992, and sent her report in recently.

Lorraine happy to be back….

I will continue to update the blog with all aspects of the project, from Zimbabwe and the UK, to keep followers, donors and interested parties involved throughout the year.

Key links are the usual

Pakati Primary – back to school!

Grade 4 learners back at Pakati Primary

This week saw schools re-open on Tuesday across Zimbabwe. Pakati Primary school Head Mr Mahachi sent me a number of photos from the first few days of the new term. This is the first term of the school year in Zimbabwe.

Mr Mahachi in his office

The children at Pakati Primary semm happy to be back at school after their summer break

Grade 5 learners back in class

The school garden needs some work doing…

Plenty of weeding to be done
The maize crop

Students around the school….

The computer room is yet to be used this term as it has been used for secure storage of school stationery
Once everything is distributed then the room will be used for computer lessons

Many thanks to Mr Mahachi for organising the photos! We look forward to hearing more about progress at the school this term.

Day one of the Authors' challenge….

The purpose behind the fundraising activities

Well I sent an all-office email out today, declaring my intention to lose weight over the coming months. I got a great response from several colleagues, and hope that by 1st of June I will have lost enough to generate a good amount of money for

Colleagues took pictures as I got weighed today

At 1pm today I was weighed officially, and below are my results:


17 stone 9 lbs / 113.4 kg for me.

My colleague & friend Karen registered a weight of 10 stone 4 lbs

I want to lose as much as I can by 1st June so we can use funds raised in good time before late September when I hope to return to Pakati.

Please help me help the wonderful students of both Pakati schools via

Lets repeat scenes like this last September when some lucky students were the first to try out the computers donated and delivered to pakati schools

Fundraising for Friends of Pakati 2020

Following on from the first official post this year – 2020 – one of the promised items was about fundraising. The priorities having already been decided ( see relevant page on this website ) it is time to launch the ideas that have taken root, and the main one for me, the author, will come as quite a surprise to those who know me well…..

Hmmmm….bit of a bulge there…

It is this. My aim is to lose weight. Some tell me I need to, others tell me to stay as I am. However, it is clear to me at the age of 62 that my current weight (to be confirmed in the next day or so) is not sustainable in the long run if I want to live longer….so….to give me added impetus to succeed, I have decided to make it a challenge to myself to use it as a fundraising idea for this project. Rather than set a target amount of weight loss, I have set a date target of 1st June 2020. Anyone willing to sponsor me can either agree a set fee, or to do it at so much per Kg, measured on 1st June. Monies to be paid through the usual fundraising page of http://gofundme/friends-of-pakati or in cash for me to donate to the page myself.

Defintely a bit overweight here….

Other ideas that look promising are things like events at my workplace such as a dress down day, cake sale ( hard for me to deal with that!), or something for Iron fans to get involved with – maybe an away day where as many as possible dress up in shirt & tie, or fancy dress in some way…to be agreed as am consulting right now…

Should anyone have any ideas on other fundraising event large or small, please do not hesitate to contact me through the contact page or important links page, both can be found at the top of this homepage.

My friend and work colleague Karen has decided to join in, as she wants to lose some weight. As she helped on last years event, she wanted to get involved again this year – she is very supportive of and its aims. We walked together occasionally when training during February to April 2019, so plan to do so again this time as part of the lifestyle changes needed to support weight loss.

My colleague at work Karen, Bradford City fan, who helped by joining our sponsored walk last year

I also hear from former teacher Debbie Chadbon that she is contemplating a challenge of her own – maybe walking, running or cycling to raise funds for us – Thank you Debbie!!

Former Maths & Science teacher at Pakati Secondary school – Debbie Chadbon

Well that’s the cat out of the bag now….so with lots of support I hope to raise more funds for this cause, helping the school and community where I was made so welcome 30 years ago, but as I found out just 4 months ago, we haven’t forgotten each other.

Friend of Pakati revisits school after 25+ years

Regular contributor to Lorraine Mapuranga, on holiday from her job in South Africa, made a brief return to her family homestead recently. During this trip she went to Pakati Secondary school for the first time since she was a Form 4 student in 1992. Below is her report and pictures from the area including her home area.

Keith, Promise and Previous Mapuranga and thier cousin Martin Kasere on their way home.
Lorraine’s hat can be seen in the background…

“Hello Mr Walker, I hope you are well. As I told you previously that I would, I visited my home village of Chidawaya, and as promised I paid a visit to my former school, Pakati Secondary. Going home to visit where we all grew up together is always exciting, as it reminds us all of how we lived back then, and what it is like for us now.

Lorraine back at her home area of Chidawaya, or kwaMapuranga as she calls the homestead itself

We arrived at the vilage, and were met by relatives and friends from the area. It was very hot – a drought is currently affecting crops and cattle locally, and it reminded me of 1992 when I was doing Form 4. We spent the night there, and in the morning I could see maize crops (staple food in Zimbabwe) wilting in the heat.

Lorraine with Mr Chizenya, teacher at Pakati Secondary school

On our way back we passed through the school and saw one of the teachers, who introduced himself as a History and Heritage teacher – Mr Chizenya. The school
was very quiet as was the norm with any school holidays during our time.

Thanks to Mr Cizenya who welcomed us as we introduced ourselves as old students of the school, and myself personally as a contributor to Friends of Pakati. We discussed a few topics as we only had limited time. Among those discussions were the developments of the school after your visit, one of which was a staff toilet which was built following donation by Dr Gurajane, CEO of Murewa Rural District Council, and also a new school tuckshop being built.

I asked about any further planned projects, and Mr Chizenya showed me a fowl run which was built some time ago, and they intend to use it for raising chickens. I think there are some financial constraints hindering it’s functionality. We also had some pictures taken, though limited since the Head was not there and we could not go against the school rules.. you know the moment you set foot at the school your mind goes back to being a student and obedience is one of the characters of who we were!

Lorraine sees the new (to her) Admin block at Pakati Secondsry school

We complied with all the do’s and dont’s that we were told, but generally it was a very exciting moment for me to be back at the school after such a very long time – before my son was born – and I went to the school with him this time around. He had attended his grade 3 at the Primary school. “

My home – briefly – in September 2019

Lorraine tells me she passed by my host Bothwell Riside’s home, but sadly no-one was home at the time. Nice for me to have a pictoral reminder of my wonderful stay there recently – thank you Lorraine!