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Peterhouse Girls

Peterhouse Girls Speech Day 2019

We held our Speech Day on Saturday 26th October. Congratulations to all our Prize Winners at this occassion.

PRIZE WINNERS – 2019

D Block
Mathematics & Science - Chloe Chiremba
Language & Humanities - Anike Mparuri
Practical &Vocational - Anike Mparuri
Industry - Anike Mparuri
Progress - Chloe Hewer

C Block
Mathematics & Science - Makanaka Dzvurumi
Language & Humanities - Makanaka Dzvurumi
Practical &Vocational - Makanaka Dzvurumi
Industry - Amy Chadwick / Fadzai Zitsanza
Progress - Erin Mann

B Block
Mathematics & Science - Idi Musimwa
Language & Humanities - Deborah Davy
Practical &Vocational - Luanna Page
Industry - Tawananyasha Banda
Progress - Temwani Chibiya

A Block
Mathematics & Science - Laura Lagesse
Language & Humanities - Jemimah Muusha
Practical &Vocational - Bridget Lapham
Industry - Tinotenda Mapani
Progress - Mufaro Motsi

Vth Form
Business - Tanatswa Njanji
Physical Education - Andie Kuipers
Travel & Tourism - Emma Kuipers

VIth Form
Accounting - Mariska Donga
Art - Bryony Dawson
Biology - Chiedza Njike
Business - Tanatswa Chivizhe
Divinity - Adeline Boka
Geography - Katrina Dumont de Chassart
History - Chipo Chidakwa
Learner Hunter/Guide - Shannen Wilson
Travel &Tourism - Matinatsashe Hove


SPECIAL PRIZES

Most Improved Musician: Amber Charles

Choir Prize: Omega Nyamushanya

Best IGCSE Results 2018: Shirea Brits

Greatest contribution to the cultural life of the school: Bekezela Mbofana

Head Girl’s Prize: Danai Mandebvu


TROPHIES

Tarisai Mushiko Memorial Trophy for IT, donated by the Computer Society of Zimbabwe in memory of Mrs Tarisai Mushiko, Head of IT:
Anashe Utsiwegota

Blake Award for A Block French, donated by Madame Blake, PHG’s first French teacher:Chimwemwe Msiska

Munjoma Trophy for best IGCSE Science Results 2018
Shirea Brits

Carter Cup for best IGCSE Accounting Results 2018
Tanatswa Njanji

Wilkins Cup for most points gained in Allied Arts Competition
Deborah Davy

Anne Johnson Palette for A Block Art, donated in memory of Anne Johnson, an artist and mother of four Peterhouse girls.
Kyra Zartmann

Most Promising “Chef”
Mercy Magaya

Smith Trophy for most promising/versatile Musician
Deborah Davy

Head Chorister’s Cup
Danai Mandebvu

Paynter Cup for contribution to Eland
Lilian Pope

Bakaris Cup for contribution to Impala
Bryony Dawson

Kudu Cup for contribution to Kudu
Rebecca Gau

Sable Cup for contribution to Sable
Tatenda Zvidzai

Martha Querl Trophy for Sportswoman of the year
Makanatsa Mtausi-Gwaradzimba

Jon Calderwood Trophy for courage
Samira Turk

Parmar Trophy for service to the community
Chiedza Njike

Jenny Calderwood Rose Bowl for service to the wider community
Louise van der Westhuizen

Alan Megahey Memorial Trophy for Leadership
Matinatsashe Hove

Pioneer Trophy for greatest contribution to the life of the school made by a girl in six years at Peterhouse Girls
Bekezela Mbofana and Megan Hough




HEADMISTRESS’ SPEECH
MRS TRACY BLIGNAUT

Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr. Stuart Mattinson and Mrs. Penny Mattinson; Rector of Peterhouse Group of Schools, Mr. Howard Blackett and Mrs. Suzie Blackett; Guest of Honour, Ms. Sarah Savoury; governors, invited guests, ladies and gentleman, girls of Peterhouse, welcome to the 2019 Speech Day for Peterhouse Girls.

At the beginning of the year, I asked the girls these two questions:

What do you want to achieve academically this year?
And what are you willing to give up to achieve it?

Many things are possible, but all things are not;
there is always compromise to be made.
And success has two often forgotten elements to it: failure and sacrifice.

Your speech day insert and the awards we present today cover many of the achievements of the girls but they do not show the sacrifices and failures that are part of those successes.

When we celebrate the successes and achievements of some of the girls today, we are also celebrating the commitment, the hard work, the losses, the disappointments of all the girls.

Academically we are proud of all that is achieved here, both in terms of effort and examination results.

The ALPHA Centre was completed just under a year ago and has been welcomed by teachers and pupils as a place for focused learning. It is used in a variety of ways including the provision of Rx Reading & Maths and NILD, and the Mentorship Programme started this year where Vth and VIth Form offer support to the A and B Block girls.

In public examinations, the A Level pass rate continues to be outstanding at 99% and at IGCSE we have now maintained a pass rate over 90% for four years. Special mention should be made of Michelle Mwenje, in her absence, who achieved 3A*s and 1 A at A Level.

We are also proud of our girls who received Cambridge Learner Awards this year:
Andie Kuipers received an award for High Achievement in IGCSE Physical Education; Dhalika Goven received Top in Zimbabwe for IGCSE Design and Technology; and Michelle Mwenje received Top in Zimbabwe for A Level English Language.

Congratulations to them and to their teachers.

Service is an important part of what we do here at Peterhouse and it can take many forms: raising funds, donating or simply giving of our time - the clubs and societies here do all of those things.

Clubs such as Leo and Interact teach the pupils how to fundraise effectively.

This year Leo Club raised over $12 000 and donated to a number of worthy causes including an abandoned baby.

The highlight for Interact is always the Variety Concert and this year was no different, raising $9 000.

We have pupils who visit Ida Wekwako and spend time with the children from Kukura neShungu and we encourage the girls to crochet blankets for Musha weVanhu and donate to Girls R Us and Kidzcan.

Music continues to be an integral part of the school and the Music Department work towards a variety of events during the course of the year:
Eisteddfod, Combined Schools Concert and Carol Concert to name but a few.

The chapel choir also work tirelessly throughout the year and this term saw us having our first Choral Evensong, conducted by Mr Jera, with Mr Griggs as cantor, giving the pupils a different experience of worship within the Anglican faith.

In the Eisteddfod Festival, over 500 pupils across the group of schools participated, including the orchestra and 13 choirs. The senior mixed choir won a cup and in total they recorded 10 honours.

The Music Department have also continued to work with the Drama department and this year saw the production of ‘Once On This Island’. This was perhaps my favourite of the musicals performed at Peterhouse during my time here and the girls were stunning in their performances, especally Danai in the leading role.

The Drama Department has been very busy this year, with Ms Hall continuing to work with her senior drama girls, Ms Bronkhurst focusing on developing the junior girls and Ms Mtakwa revelling in her new role as Head of Drama for the two high schools.

There were so many highlights including the excellent Inter-house plays, ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘Lion King’ performed by the junior dramatists just a few weeks ago.

The girls also did amazingly well in the NIAA Speech and Drama Festival, achieving 8 honours and 26 1sts, with Rufaro stealing the show.

And in the Literary Arts Festival, 27 entries were made, with Deborah Davy achieving one of the 4 honours and winning the National Prize for Form 3 Prose.

And just in case any of your parents think you can’t get a “proper job” from your passion for drama, one of our Petreans, Mr Richard Hudson (from Malvern 71) is a world renowned designer of sets and costumes and amongst many other awards and accolades, in 1998 he won a Tony Award for his stage design for the Lion King on Broadway, and is currently the President of the Society of British Theatre Designers.

Hospitality Club is a perfect example of a club which both serves its community and teaches the girls important skills. The hard work and commitment of the girls is invaluable throughout the year but never more so than during the Michaelmas Term where they, so ably led by Ms Rinashe, host so many events during the course of the term.

There are exciting new clubs and opportunities too, with Budding Authors Club and Film Club both being introduced at the beginning of this year. The Budding Authors are working towards an anthology of pieces written by Peterhouse girls and they are collaborating with the Film Club to write a script and turn it into a short film.

Never let it be said that the girls cannot find avenues to explore and develop their creativity.

Sport remains an important focus at Peterhouse.

Our Basketball team, led by the first team captain, Anesu Nzenza-Grant has worked hard to get back into the A League and swimming has improved under Mr Takaedza’s helm where we are a solid third and are working towards narrowing the gap with Chisi and Hellenic.

Hockey had a great season, narrowly missing out both in the league and in Golden Girls.In the league they placed second and were the highest goal-scoring team. In the Golden Girls tournament our 1st Team were the only team to finish the pool with a full set of 5 wins. They lost to Chisi after a nail-biting final where Chisi scored a golden goal after extra-time and Makanatsa Mtausi-Gwaradzimba was named the 2019 Golden Girls Player of the Tournament.

Individually, our girls do very well both at Provincial and National level: we have 47 girls representing their provinces and 36 National Reps over 10 different sports.

At the Peterhouse Equestrian Centre, horse riding is thriving. Katie Loubser and Erin Elliott were selected to represent Zimbabwe at the African Nations Shield Competitiont in Namibia, where Katie won 1st place in Cross Country and together, they won 2nd place in the team event.
  
In tennis, Tanya Midzi joined in D Block and immediately earned her place alongside Makanatsa Mtausi-Gwaradzimba as 1st seed couple. She continues to make headway on the international tennis circuit and is currently ranked 10 out of 300 on the Confederation of African Tennis circuit in her age group.

Lilian Pope was selected for the Zimbabwe Ladies National Team and travelled to Stellenbosch to compete in the Africa Shield: the African Nations qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Whilst they sadly did not qualify, they won bronze and certainly did their country proud.

Andy Kuipers has had a tremendous triathlon season; she competed in the Africa Games in Morocco where she won a bronze medal and the highlight of her season was competing in the Junior World Triathlon Championships in Switzerland. From her performance there, she has improved her world ranking by ten places and is now ranked 58th out of 70. She is working towards qualifying for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and we wish her all the very best.

Our outdoor education continues to thrive, adapt and improve. We are delighted that Andrew Shoesmith is back at Peterhouse as the Director of Outdoor Education and we are excited for the changes that are being made.

Of course, the change to the B Block Chimanimani trip was one made out of necessity due to the destruction caused by Cyclone Idai. A phenomena that shall never be forgotten and whilst tremendous efforts have been made by so many, lives were and continue to be, devastated by it.

This was the first year that an all-girls group went to the Eastern Lakes and it was lovely to hear such positive stories both of these girls and the whole Block in terms of how they coped with challenges and adversity.

The A Block will be forging new paths as they head towards the Matopos after their IGCSE examinations and we look forward to hearing all about the trip upon their return.

The Duke of Edinburgh International Award continues to be popular and really is a great way of stretching the girls and focusing their endeavours. If you want a way of standing out from the crowd when putting together university applications, this is the way to do it. We currently have 93 girls participating in the DofE and awarded 10 Bronze awards during the course of the year.

These opportunities really are unique to Peterhouse and they are something your children will appreciate and learn from, if not now - sometime in the future. Mrs Shoesmith in fact had a letter from a former pupil earlier this year asking for evidence of his participation in the Chims trip and in his own words “it’s definitely an opportunity to grab with both hands and whilst they maybe grumpy 15 year olds now they must realise that the rewards will be ever so evident later in life.”

We are so very blessed to have Gosho Park on our doorstep and Penny Raynor and her team do a great job managing the park and protecting the game and their environment. Being able to walk in Gosho and see the game and birdlife is something we should not take for granted.

It was particularly delightful to see so many of our D Block parents camping in Gosho with their girls at our first Tatanga Camping weekend here at Peterhouse Girls earlier in the year. I confess, I had always thought that the event would not be well-supported and I am pleased to have been proven wrong. Thank you to all in the Parents Association, past and present, who have worked hard to make this happen. And special thanks to Dr Hildebrand and her prefects for organising such a fun weekend - I am sure many special memories were made.

At the beginning of this year a number of new staff joined us and they have all settled into their new roles and routines: Dr Hildebrand was appointed House Mistress of Tatanga and Ms Hall was appointed as Senior Mistress.

The year has also seen a number of departures both during the year and those planning to leave at the end of this term, and we wish them all the very best in their new adventures.

We are excited to have completed almost all of the appointments for 2020 and we are confident in the talents and abilities of those that are joining us: Ms Nyeke is joining us in January as the new Deputy Head and I am delighted she is able to join us here today; we also wish Mrs Satumba and Mrs Chigavazira our love and best wishes as they take maternity leave next term. We look forward to welcoming three new babies to the Peterhouse community at the end of the year - if they wait until then!

As a school, there is much we can be proud of but we have faced two major challenges:

Firstly, looking outwards - The turmoil of the country at the beginning of the year seems a dim and distant past; Peterhouse offered a safe haven for the girls to continue their education and we even had a handful of girls who were not able to go home for fixture free. But who could have known then, where our economy was heading as we now enter hyperinflation for a second time.

I was reading Mr Bawden’s Speech as Rector in the year 2000 just the other day and rather sadly, some of his words ring equally true today: “the economic situation in the country is also very worrying and every time we put up the fees we will lose some pupils”; “it is easy to sell Peterhouse, but not very easy to sell Zimbabwe”; and “we, like others have experienced problems with power cuts and fuel shortages”. But Mr Bawden also said, “it is important to remember we still have an educational system which is the envy of many other parts of the world”, and this is also still true today.

While the economic challenges of the country impact us all in different ways and to varying degrees, we need to applaud the efforts of all who work hard in such difficult circumstances to make a Peterhouse education the envy of others:
  
Firstly, you - the parents - who are often the unsung heroes here. The sacrifices you make to provide your children with a first class education cannot be understated. We thank you and may God bless you in all that you do to provide for your children.

Secondly, the staff of Peterhouse, who continue to give of their best even as the real value of their salaries has been decimated. I am continually humbled by the dedication shown by these men and women. They know your daughters, they teach them, they guide them, they reprimand them, they love them, they laugh with them and they cry with them. They give so much of themselves in building into the lives of these young ladies and they deserve our upmost respect and appreciation.

To the board of governors, committee members and Rector who bring so much expertise to the table for the good of the school, who guide and steer us through these choppy waters, and who prioritise the recruitment and retention of quality staff at every opportunity. We thank them for their unwavering support and commitment to Peterhouse.


And perhaps most importantly of all, the Accounts staff, led by the business director Mr Whitaker and the Accountant, Mrs Heathcote, who really do take the brunt of it all. They work tirelessly to implement changes, react to new regulations, deal with frustrated parents and staff as they are weighed down by financial worries and do all of this on top of everything that they already do. A full time job, on top of a full time job. We are grateful for all that you do for Peterhouse, for our parents and for our staff.

Whilst the economy is something we have no control over, looking inward, one of our biggest challenges is one which we collectively have absolute control over -the simple act of being kind. Too many times this year, and even this term, have I needed to deal with situations which could so easily have been avoided.

As the financial pressures mount at home, whether you realise it or not, your daughters are affected by this and we see it in their behaviour and pastoral needs at school. This certainly does not excuse their behaviour, it simply helps us understand it.

I said to the girls in assembly once, that if I could have one magic wish for them all, I would not use it to bestow great intelligence, top examination results or sporting prowess upon them, I would simply wish that they be kind to each other and to themselves. And this I truly mean. It is important to celebrate achievements: academic excellence, sporting victories and other accomplishments. But we should never lose sight of what is most important of all: Character and Values.

These, we try to inculcate each and every day both for their own sakes and for the betterment of the communities they are a part of, now and in the future. And where they go, what they do, and what kind of people they are when they leave Peterhouse is really what it is all about.

In fact, if you ever wonder what does happen to Petreans in life beyond Peterhouse do take time to visit the Petrean Society website and go through the listings. It makes for fascinating reading.

During my time here I have often said, that I am merely the guardian or caretaker for a short period in the history of Peterhouse Girls.

I have tried hard to talk about our school, not my school and indeed the time will come when it is time for me to call it your school.

As I hand the privilege of being Head of Peterhouse Girls to Mrs Hough at the end of the year, I know the school is in safe hands to steer it forward on the next part of its journey.

Before I take a few minutes to address the girls, I would like to say a few personal thank yous.

To all the support staff that make Peterhouse work - transport led by Duff Rogers, Maintenance run by Jason Driscoll, Leon Greeff and his estates team, along with Jo Baxter and the gardeners, Upenyu and all the Introwise staff, the housekeeping staff, san sisters, Rutendo Mudiwa and the PHB tutors, Doug Trewartha in IT, Cat in marketing, Corralee as the development officer - the list is endless and their contributions countless. We are so grateful for all that you do for Peterhouse - thank you.

To Mark and Graham - for allowing me to be part of a great team. Mark’s patience as I have navigated and learnt about school finances - which are challenging even for a maths teacher; and Graham, whose greatest challenge has not been having to contend with yet another head of Peterhouse Girls, but having to deal with my rather noisy dogs living next door to him and Liz.

And to my team, my people- all the staff here at Peterhouse Girls, and in particular Claire, Michelle, Bronwynne, Tanaka and Diedre - for supporting me, guiding me, understanding me, avoiding me occasionally, and when they are feeling particularly brave even correcting me and pointing me in the right direction.

I have been truly blessed to have such wonderful people by my side and I will miss each and every one of you.

Tanaka - we wish you all the best in your new role at Ruzawi and I really couldn’t have done it all without you.

To Claire, it has been a privilege working alongside you as we took this unknown path together and I wish you all the very best for your future here at Peterhouse Girls.

And finally to the Rector: for taking a chance when appointing me some 5 years ago and then for being patient in his teaching, wise in his guidance and generous in his friendship.

I will truly treasure having had this opportunity to be Head of Peterhouse Girls, albeit for a brief 5 years. Wherever I may go, I will hold Peterhouse and all that have worked, lived and studied here, dear in my heart.
  
And so finally to you, the girls:
A rather frustrated teacher was teaching addition and was trying to make the problems relevant, as only maths teachers know how and so she said to little Sammy...

"If I gave you 2 cats and another 2 cats and another 2, how many would you have?"

Sammy thought for a moment and answered confidently "Seven."

The teacher tried again...."No, listen carefully... If I gave you two cats, and another two cats and another two, how many would you have?"

Sammy thought a little longer, and answered less confidently this time...."Seven."

The rather exasperated teacher tried yet again: "Let me put it to you differently. If I gave you two apples, and another two apples and another two, how many would you have?"

Again Sammy thought for a moment and answered assuredly, "Six."

The teacher, relieved that Sammy had finally grasped the concept, decided to confirm by asking the original question: "Good. Now if I gave you two cats, and another two cats and another two, how many would you have?"

Sammy, getting more confused and equally frustrated answered once again: "Seven!"
The teacher was losing her cool by this point.... “Sammy, where in the heck do you get seven from?!" and Sammy replied "Because I've already got a cat!"

The moral of the story girls - make sure you have all the facts before reaching conclusions, try to take the time to understand other people’s experiences and perspectives and don’t make assumptions!

And finally, this message is particularly for the VIth Form as they leave Peterhouse, but it is also for each and every one of you for now and for your future...
Love and live life passionately;
never lose sight of who you are;
be financially independent if and when you can,
but know also when to turn to others for help;
drive safely, your life depends on it, but more importantly, the lives of others depends on it too;
love your children and those of others who will be a part of your lives - you will learn so much more from them than you can ever teach.

Thank you.

Now, before I introduce the guest of honour, if you don’t want to know the rugby score, block your ears and try not to lip read...

And now to our guest of honour....

Ms Sarah Savory is a single mother of two children, Luke 9 and Mika 6. She is the daughter of Alan Savory, a world renowned ecologist and founder of the Savory Institute. Impassioned by her father’s teachings, she has been working to educate others on environmental and ecological issues.

In 2015 she wrote and published, “What on earth is that?”, a children’s book; the idea was for children to learn about the pangolin and in turn for the adults who read them to learn too. She has since written two more books to teach children about the Holistic Management Framework, which her father developed, in a fun way.
She has also worked with Government agencies to bring about policy change.

I invited Sarah to speak to us today because I admire her courage and passion. She is willing to stand up for what she believes in, to have a voice, and she works hard to make a difference.

I am pleased to present, Ms Sarah Savory....



GUEST OF HONOURS SPEECH
MS SARAH SAVORY


Good morning everyone. I must admit, I was extremely surprised when I was asked to be your guest of honour today because I wasn’t exactly a model student! I think most of my teachers would be very shocked to see what I’ve achieved since those days! Except maybe my biology teachers. Ever since I can remember, I have been obsessed with all animals: big, small, wild or domestic. With a particular passion for wildlife.

A few years ago, I decided I would do something to raise awareness about pangolins just because they are one of my very favourite animals and so few people even knew about them, let alone that they are the most trafficked mammal on the planet. After a lot of thought, I decided that the best way I could educate and get through to the most people would be to write a children’s book, because, not only do the children learn, but the adults that read to them do too! So, I wrote my first children’s book, called What On Earth Is That? which is a fun rhyming, illustrated adventure, with pangolin fact and photo pages at the end. What started out as a small thing, turned out to be a huge success and the book got picked up by Penguin Random House who are the biggest publishers in the world.

But that book was simply to raise awareness about a specific animal: you cannot save any species of animal without looking at the entire ecosystem it lives in. From the micro-organisms in the soil, to all plants, animals and humans…everything is intricately connected in a web of complexity we will never even begin to be able to understand.
It’s funny how fate gives you nudges in the right direction because it was this little book that set out the course and plan for the rest of my life.

I don’t think my love of wildlife is a coincidence…my father, Allan Savory, is a world famous Zimbabwean ecologist who has dedicated his entire life to finding the solution to reversing desertification in order to save the wildlife he loves. On this lifelong journey to find answers, he stumbled upon a far bigger issue. He realised that desertification is not only the biggest threat to all wildlife in Africa, but to all life on our planet and it now threatens humanity as a whole.

Desertification is the cause of most of the global issues we are facing today - ever increasing droughts, floods, poverty, poaching, wildfires, social breakdown, mass emigration to cities, violence and climate change. And what he discovered was that desertification was being caused by one single thing. HOW we make our management decisions.
He worked out that all tool using animals (including humans) use a genetically embedded, universal decision making process: we have a goal, or objective, which is always based on a need, want, desire, or to solve a problem. The context, or reason, for our decisions has always been very narrow, or simple, but because our tools became far more sophisticated, it entirely changed our social behaviour and therefore our environment. As soon as this advance in our technology happened, we created an unavoidable web of social, cultural, economic and environmental complexity or knock-on consequences for ourselves with every decision or action we took.
From that time onwards, we began seeing increasing symptoms of our inability to manage the complexity we had created. All our actions had became unintentionally reductionist, with devastating environmental effects because the reason we make decisions had suddenly become too simple for the complexity we were now dealing with.

Treating the symptoms of a problem and ignoring the cause is pointless. Imagine if someone is hitting you really hard over the head, once a day, every day, with a cricket bat. It really hurts, but instead of taking the bat away from them and stopping the blows, you just take a painkiller to deal with the headache it's caused and let them carry on.
So today, we have endless successes with everything we make…planes, computers, cars, phones, dams, chemicals, etc. But, absolutely everything we manage is collapsing all around us - croplands, grasslands, forests, air quality, fisheries, water supplies, water quality, economies and finance, institutions, wildlife, human relationships, human health, etc.
In 1984, my father developed the holistic management framework, which, for the first time in history, allowed us to be able to successfully manage complexity. This framework asks people to make a simple but fundamental shift in the context, or reason, they make all their decisions, And anyone who manages land is truly dealing with all social, cultural, economic and environmental complexity so they get to learn about animal impact and the holistic planned grazing process: a new biological tool that can be used, in the right situations, to regenerate land.
Holistic Management will ensure that you always make the best decisions or chose the best practices appropriate for your unique situation at any given time, because nowhere on earth will you ever find the exact same social, cultural, economic and environmental complexity being managed twice.

This process is already being used successfully on over 60 million hectares on 6 continents to reverse man-made desertification and save wildlife and the communities that live amongst them.
Because my father was so used to dealing with scientists, when he spoke about it, it would sound very complicated…I used to challenge him to simplify it and when he thought he was, I would tell him to simplify it further. And as I understood it more and more, and got more and more frustrated, it dawned on me that I could simplify it myself and that’s when I realised that is what my next educational children’s books had to be about.
I have recently finished those next 2 books and they are about to be published. I plan to get these into junior schools throughout, not just Zimbabwe but globally. Even though it is not published yet, one of them, That’s How We Roll, which is about a dung beetle and a pangolin is already being done as a play by a couple of schools.
I am determined for all children and the wildlife we love to have a future and I have dedicated my entire life to teaching children about this vital new way of making decisions because adults struggle so much to accept or adapt to this new thinking, but children pick it up very quickly.

I am now teaching holistic management as a subject in a senior school in Harare and have more and more schools interested, so we are now working on urban and rural curriculums for it.
We are also working on getting Zimbabwe to be the first ever country to develop a National Holistic Land Policy. If we succeed, Zimbabwe will lead the way in the future of management and reversing desertification and climate change.
Reversing desertification and all it’s worsening and terrifying symptoms is a race against time and I do believe that educating children is the key - if our students were leaving school already capable of managing complexity in whatever field they choose to go into, we would very quickly change our entire world. And because this framework is a Zimbabwean born idea, I am determined that Zimbabwe should lead the way in showing the rest of the world how it’s done.
Look at the difference kids like Greta Thunberg are making. Those children may have the entire world’s attention but Zimbabwean kids like you are the ones who will be able to show the entire world the solution!



HEAD GIRLS SPEECH
DANAI MANDEBVU


Zuva ravakupinda muna mai varo asi richabuda zve mangwana.

Good morning to our guest of honour-Ms Savoury, the Chairman of the board- Mr Mattinson, the board of governors, the Rector- Mr Blackett and his wife, Mrs Blackett, the Headmistress, Mrs Blignaut, our amazing Peterhouse staff, welcome parents, guests and fellow Peterhouse pupils.

The Shona saying I have just read to you starts off with an incredibly simple Shona phrase which is ‘zuva ravakupinda muna varo mai varo’.
Translated it means ‘the sun is now going back into its mother- the Earth’ but it is often used figuratively to represent the end of the day- sunset.

This phrase though very simple resonates deeply with my soul and beautifully encompasses the emotions surrounding the end of my last year at Peterhouse Girls. So much so that it inspired me to write a poem in an attempt to describe these emotions to you.

The sun, like a child, sinks back into the womb of Mother Earth,
Drawing its rays away from us,
Leaving behind the land whose every curve we have memorised,
Revealing every shadow we have come to know,
But you, I and Mother Earth look forward
Knowing the sun will be reborn.

For all of us, this Speech Day marks the end of 2019 but for some of us present - 6th from, Mrs Blignaut and departing members of staff- it marks the end of an era. The sun is setting on our time at Peterhouse Girls and as endings often lead us to I have found myself reflecting on the moments its light has touched.

As I look back on our time here I am struck by all that we have accomplished individually and more importantly, as a school and a community. The people we have become and are becoming. When I walked into this school for the first time in D Block I was a very small
girl, dressed in oversize khakis, carrying a bag big enough to touch the backs of my knees. My mother confessed to me earlier this year that she didn’t know if I would make it. Gee thanks mom! As she watched me walk away from her taking two steps where my peers took one she said to herself, “Mwana wangu achaita sei?” which means, “What is my child going to do.” Something tells me a few of the parents here can relate, yet here we are.

From that first day we have grown mentally, spiritually, emotionally and, thank goodness, physically, but that is not because of any special effort on our part. The people we are today must be credited to this community. That is the aunties and sekurus who care for our
environment and make this school a home, the loving and committed staff who work tirelessly to mould all of us into the best versions of ourselves, our peers whom we learn the best of lessons from and grow with, our parents who so selflessly support us in all we do and the kitchen staff who do such an amazing job at feeding us. all. well. every. single. day. All of you make up the land that has become an integral part of us.

We have also had the pleasure of bearing witness to how different people, from different backgrounds, cultures and with different characters can be nurtured into truly inspiring human beings that are able to enrich our community. It is my belief that all of the pupils
at this school are capable of being extraordinary human beings and it is my hope that each of you will use the opportunities given to you here to reach new heights, be it in sports, culture, academics or in a different way entirely.

By using the various supports of this school in the different departments and drawing inspiration from those around you to become this. We can look at individuals like Andy Kuipers, whose dedication to triathlon alone one has no choice but to admire and when coupled with her accomplishments at the Africa Games and World Championships
for Triathlon leave you in utter awe; Rufaro Songore, whose acting talent has earned her two Honours and three first grades at this year’s NIAA Speech and Drama Festival, along with prominent roles in almost all drama productions since 2014; Tanyaradzwa Midzi who is
currently ranked the tenth best junior tennis player in Africa and the youngest person in first team for tennis at PHG.

Of course, we cannot all be sporting or cultural prodigees. I only ask that we all see the value within ourselves and strive to reach our full potential. For me, it was a love for music and drama that was enhanced by my high school experience at Peterhouse. Giving me the
opportunity to act in school musicals like ‘Once on this Island’ and ‘Sister Act’, while also being a part of outstanding musical performances in the choir at the Eisteddfod among so many others.

For others however, it is the talent of uplifting the disheartened, be it by making their sides ache with laughter or by showing a heartfelt act of kindness that lets them know that they will be alright. People like Adeline Boka, who lights up dark days with wise sayings like, “What my ears have seen, my eyes have never heard!” and Tinaishe Madavo whose compassion and consideration led her to begin the Girls R Us sanitary towel drive at our school.
  
This was the goal of this year’s prefect body- ‘Extracting your excellence, for our excellence.’ As a team we wanted to help each girl in the school to recognise her worth and work towards her best self and by so doing produce a better school. I can honestly tell you it was not easy, but nothing truly valuable ever is. I have learnt so much from my prefects, my 6th form and the staff under the guidance of Mrs Blignaut and to you, Mrs Bignaut it has been an honour and a privilege to have been chosen to be Headgirl of PHG in 2019 and I wish you the very best out of this next chapter of your life. I would like to thank all the prefects that, much like pillars, have held up this school. You worked hard and not without difficulty. You overcame
challenges, made me laugh and made my job a lot easier. I am proud to have worked with each and every one of you and I thank you for growing me and allowing me to lead you.

To my Deputy, Megan Jenna Hough, the first time I met you in D Block you ran up to me and said, “Hi! We should be friends. Do you want to be friends?” and then ran away. Five years later you aren’t my friend, you are my sister. Regardless of whether we agreed or not I knew you were always there for me. So Mer, I pick you, I choose you, I love you.

To my friends, you maintained my sanity, filled my days with endless joy and laughter and you have been a God-sent in so many ways. I thank God for you every day and I don’t know what I would have done without you.

My dear 6th form, it has been a long, long ride. A ride filled with moments that have split our faces with laughter and ones where we had to hold each other through the loss of loved ones and countless tears. For six years we have seen each other through the best and the worst and I will miss you dearly. I will carry with me these moments the sun has kissed forever and each of you will always hold a special place in my heart.

Above all, I would like to acknowledge and thank my parents who have sacrificed so much to give me the best education. I would be nowhere without you both and I will be forever grateful for the loving humans you are. I love you Dad. I love you Mom.

Certain is the sunset but just as sure is the dawn. Lastly and finally, I would like to leave a few words to those who follow after us who are leaving. My father once said, ‘climb the ladder for as long as the ladder exists’. So in all things I encourage you to aim always
to be better. Be it a better person, a better student, better at your craft or a better daughter. Always aspire to grow in whatever you do and you will not regret the choices you make. The sunset is fast approaching and with it many goodbyes but remember that you, all of you are the sunrise.

Zuva ravakupinda muna mai varo asi richabuda zve mangwana. God Bless.


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