By Style Reporter
In a development set to bring a new dawn to one of Zimbabwe’s oldest and most famous schools, former students of Gokomere High School have come together to revive their old school which has taken a huge dent to its lustre and status due to age and the prevailing national economic challenges.
Founder of the group Gilbert Mafuku said when the idea came to him, he never imagined the dream would become reality with the speed at which it happened.
He sent out the first WhatsApp message to a fellow alumni and friend, Johnson Tagarisa early last year and today, over 600 ex-students have converged from all corners of the world with huge determination to revive their former school.
“My biggest wish is to see the spirit of unity of purpose continue to fester and grow among us and to continue building resources for the restoration of our beautiful school,” said Mafuku in his speech at the alumni’s inaugural annual general meeting recently.
“It is my wish to see our group become the model alumni in all respects — a group where everything is done with great professionalism and unparalleled integrity.”
The group is known as the Gokomere Alumni Society (GAS).
Working in consultation with school authorities, the former students have pulled resources together to roll out projects such as restoration of the virtually defunct water reticulation system at the school.
Water has become Gokomere’s biggest challenge which resulted in the school having to introduce blair toilets as an alternative to the once well-running ablution system. It is the sight of the blair toilet that jolted the former students into making delivery of a fully functional water supply solution to Gokomere top priority.
GAS has since purchased eight 10 000-litre water tanks to replace the old steel tanks that can no longer hold water because of age and rust damage. The school took delivery of two of the tanks three weeks ago and the rest are expected shortly. The plan is to procure and install a total of 13 tanks with a capacity to hold 130 000 litres of water.
Also on the GAS project plan is the construction of a new and modern computer laboratory, provision of the internet, refurbishment of dormitories and staff quarters, among other projects.
Two weeks ago GAS held a virtual AGM where the inaugural executive council, led by Tagarisa as chairman, was elected.
Other members of the executive are Elizabeth Marabwa (deputy chair), Stephen Murambasvina (administration and legal affairs), Norman Nyamandi (treasury), Constance Chaduka (fundraising), Onesimo Nehowa (projects), Tangai Chipangura (communication), Chris Ngara (affiliate affairs) and Gilbert Mafuku (council member).
A board of trustee was also put in place and is headed by Zivanai Chapanduka. Members of the board include Vonai Chimhamhiwa, Ephraim Mpofu, Tererai Mhungu and Lawrence Gondo.