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Peterhouse Girls

Speech Day 2018

Well done to all the girls who received prizes on our Speech Day. It was a lovely morning with some special speeches received from our Head Girl, Mazvita Mtausi-Gwaradzimba; our Head, Mrs Tracy Blignaut and our Guest Speaker, Mrs Andrea Whatman.

D Block
Mathematics and Science - Kyuri Kim
Language and Humanities - Kyuri Kim
Practical and Vocational - Kyuri Kim
Industry - Kyuri Kim & Mafaro Musimwa
Progress - Bridgit Botha

C Block
Mathematics and Science - Deborah Davy
Language and Humanities - Deborah Davy
Practical and Vocational - Deborah Davy
Industry - Praise Jakaza
Progress - Talia Meikle

B Block
Mathematics and Science - Laura Lagesse
Language and Humanities - Gamuchirai Mhere
Practical and Vocational - Rebekah Royston
Industry - Erin Elliott
Progress - Abigail Mahofa

A Block
Mathematics and Science - Shirea Brits
Language and Humanities - Abigail Davy
Practical and Vocational - Dhalika Goven
Industry - Sharonrose Mandudzi
Progress - Trish Gwiza

Vth and VIth Form Prizes were presented at Peterhouse Boys’ Speech Day:

Vth Form
Accounting - Mariska Donga
Art - Bryony Dawson
Biology - Natalie Moores
Divinity - Laura Mutyambizi
English Literature - Matinatsashe Hove
English Language - Bekezela Mbofana
Geography - Katrina Dumont de Chassart
Global Perspectives - Wadzanayi Chiweshe
History - Tawana Mapako
Learner Hunter/Guide - Sarah Wellock
Travel & Tourism - Matinatsashe Hove

VIth Form
Best AS Level results in 2017 - Michelle Mwenje
Accounting - Shumirai Njaravaza
Art - Shannon Kleinschmidt
Biology - Hazel Chitere
Business - Michelle Mwenje
Chemistry - Deeyana Patel
English Literature - Michelle Mwenje
Geography - Natasha Simpson
History - Michelle Mwenje
IT - Haley Kingsely
Mathematics - Susan Li
Physics - Shumirai Njaravaza
Travel &Tourism - Ruvarashe Nyika


Most Improved Musician - Tatenda Zvidzai
Choir Prize - Chloe Mujaranji
Best IGCSE Results - Chiedza Njike
Duke of Edinburgh International Gold Award - Hailey Hawkins
Duke of Edinburgh International Gold Award - Aqua Evans
Duke of Edinburgh International Gold Award - Jessica Palmer
Duke of Edinburgh International Gold Award - Lindsay Edwards
Greatest contribution to the cultural life of the school - Shamiso Chigadza
Head Girl’s Prize - Mazvita Mtausi-Gwaradzimba
Tarisai Mushiko Memorial Trophy - Dhalika Goven
Blake Award - Holly Wallace Eggersglusz
Munjoma Trophy - Natalie Moores
Wilkins Cup - Stephanie Lawrence
Anne Johnson Palette - Holly Wallace Eggersglusz
Most Promising ‘Chef’ - Ashley Mavengere
Smith Trophy - Sibusisiwe Maswaure
Head Chorister - Tadiwa Mushita
Paynter Cup - Jamie-Lee Soper
Bakaris Cup - Hazel Chitere
Kudu Cup - Ruvarashe Nyika
Sable Cup - Julia Lagesse
Martha Querl Trophy - Jamie-Lee Soper
Jon Calderwood Trophy - Mazvita Chiduuru
Parmar Trophy - Hailey Hawkins
Jenny Calderwood Rose Bowl - Jessica Palmer
Alan Megahey Memorial Trophy - Yemurai Machacha
Pioneer Trophy - Julia Lagesse

Headgirl’s Speech 2018

Mazvita Mtausi-Gwaradzimba

I remember coming to my first speech day in form 1, and sitting in the back and listening to the headmasters speech, and also that of the then head girl Kudzai Zinyengere. Both emphasised that it had been a good year for Peterhouse, from the classroom to the sports field and everywhere in between. As a dewy eyed young girl I thought to myself “wow, how lucky am I to have come here in one of the good years.” As it turned out however, if we are to go by speech day speeches, the year after that was also a good year, and so was the one after that, and the one after that. It will therefore come as no surprise to anyone who has attended more than one speech day, that I too will be addressing you regarding how 2018 was a good year for Peterhouse.

A pleasant morning to the Chairman of the board, Mr Mattinson, the Rector, Mr Blackett, the headmistress Mrs Blignaut, invited guests, parents and ladies of Peterhouse.

My first suspicion, when I realised that every headmaster/headmistress and headgirl seems to highlight the success of the school when they speak at the end of the year, was that there must be some master speech which is passed down from headgirl to headgirl, with an instruction to change just enough of it for it to appear original, like copying someone’s homework and changing it up a bit so that the teacher doesn’t notice. I asked Mrs Blignaut for a copy of this master speech. She said there is no such thing, but that if I did come across it, I should give her a copy so she too could save time.

Upon reflection of the last year, however, and all its ups and downs, I realized that it is no mistake that we come up here year after year and speak of success. It is in the DNA of the school to be successful, to achieve and to flourish. Don’t get me wrong, we do not attain perfection every year. There’s always room for improvement. Generally though, the school sets itself up for success. Part of this, I think, is in the clarity of the schools vision: to prepare our young ladies for the world which awaits them. I’m sure every girl here knows the 6 c’s by now, and no, “coolness” is not one of them, although given how stylishly our girls dress on Sundays, I would propose to the Board of Governors that we perhaps add it as a seventh C.

What I like about the six Cs, is that they give the school a criteria on which to evaluate their options and decisions. Critical thinking, Creativity, Communication, Character, Collaboration and Cross-Cultural skills. These 6C’s are the North Star that guides the school. As individuals, I think it is important for each of us to also have a vision and principles which guide us.

As we become young ladies, we will find suggestions and opinions coming from all angles. You cannot let each and every opinion hurt you or bring you down, and at the same time you shouldn’t get offended when people try to correct you. Contrary to what Drake said when he asked “ Please, please tell me why you always hating?” Not every opinion that’s not necessarily positive is intended to bring you down. You may find opportunities in front of you, fighting for your attention. And of course challenges will not want to be outdone, they too will fight for your attention. How do you identify the difference between constructive criticism and opinions given out of spite? I don’t have an answer to that – but I think knowing what you want to achieve, and knowing which direction you want your life to take, helps. My mum insists that whenever I go shopping, I make a list of the things I want or need. She says if you don’t know what you want when you go into the shop you might leave with anything, including a pack of earrings from Mr Price when your ears aren’t even pierced.

Basically if you go into a shop knowing what you want, you’ll be able to tell that you don’t need milk if you intend on preparing a rice dish. In the same way, if you go through life knowing what you want to achieve, you’ll be able to distinguish between opinions that are necessary to take on board from those which aren’t worth any further contemplation.

I’d like to think that when I stand up here and say that Peterhouse has had a good year, I mean that it has helped each of us develop skills and values which will serve us well as we go into the world. We have had a good year in sport. We had 2 girls represent us at the youth Olympic games. We had Andie kuipers win a silver medal at the African youth Olympic qualifiers, the rowers won the trophy for best Co-Ed school again at the SA champs, our waterpolo team won not one but 2 games this season and if you ask the hockey girls, they’ll tell you, had there been Golden Girls this year, we would have another win to add to this year’s list of achievements. Beyond the sports field, we had a great school play where we showcased some stellar acting from the likes of Danai Mandebvu, Shannen Wilson and Megan Hough, just to name a few. We had a great interact show, where students were able to showcase various talents in dancing, singing and of course the crowd favourite, modeling. These are some of the headline achievements, but more importantly, however, I think is the opportunity we have had to continue to grow, whether in the classroom or on the sports field, on the stage and in the dorms, where we learn to live with others, to collaborate and work in teams, to work hard to achieve our goals, to persevere when things get tough, to become better versions of ourselves.

As Newt Gingrich once said, “Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did”

So as I stand here, I say with confidence that it has been a good year, not only because of the fruits of the achievements we have reaped as a school, but also because of the seeds we continue to sow. Each intake of form ones is the next runner in this relay, ready to take the baton and carry the school into continued success. Each graduating class has hopefully passed on an important ethos to those who follow.

This is usually the time when most people blank out or are well onto their 3rd dream, so I think there’s no better time to say my thank you’s in hopes that if I miss someone out, chances are they’re not paying attention anyway.

I’d like to firstly thank Mrs Blignaut and Mrs Hough for giving me this opportunity and helping me grow in the little time I had in this post

To my mentees: Sam, Dani and Amy thank you for making my life easier every morning by going out of your way to keep my room neat, and your letters and the tea parties we had, hold a special place in my heart.

I’d like to thank Ms Cordy for helping me so much with my knee injury and making sure this season wasn’t awks for me. I appreciated your help far more than you could possibly imagine.

To Miss Candy, thank you for always making sure I was emotionally ok and for always going out of your way to make sure we all felt comfortable and had someone to talk to at all times

To Miss Rinashe, firstly I’d like to say , I forgive you, for forgetting my birthday even though we had a long conversation about it the day before. Thank you for being there for me since D block, for always laughing with me in uncomfortable situations.

To my close friends, especially those I made in yellow house: Nyasha, Yemurai, Mercedes, Laura, Kundai, Tan, Dobbie and Kudzi, the memories I shared with you were priceless and on behalf of yellow house 2017, I’d like to apologize to every teacher on duty who had the misfortune of seeing us in action. Sorry for always making noise and running away from the foyer when we saw you coming, even though it was a glass door and you had already seen us.

To my 6th form- “you did the things that needed to be done.” I could not have asked for a more dramatic, ‘musically gifted’ block, to share my high school experience with. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors and I just have one piece of advice for you. I think its high time you learn how to speak English again, “Sith is lleary ton my nwag and its awks for you cause I ton really rake” is not a real sentence and you will struggle in the real world if you don’t familiarize yourself, once again, with the English language.

To my prefect body: I have never met a more kind and caring group of girls, you dealt with every challenge in a dignified and mature manner and never ceased to amaze me every Wednesday when someone would forget the prefects breakfast and have to sprint to the dining hall, whilst still trying to get dressed and act natural, to avoid unnecessary attention.

I’d also like to thank the person that’s probably very anxious right now, worried about what I’ll say about her, Georgie lock, relax I’m not going to mention how you used to bite me when I wouldn’t let you through my door or how you refused to spray the mosquitoes with repellent because you didn’t want to hurt their feelings. Instead, I’ll only mention what a positive ray of sunshine you are. I’m sure everyone who’s had the pleasure of meeting you would agree that you radiate positivity and it’s so infectious. Thank you for making my job easier, for always seeing the good in every situation, for always distracting me in prep by making me play Uno with you. It has been such a pleasure and a privilege working with you.

And last but not least, I’d like to thank my parents. Mum, I’ve never met someone who is as kind and grateful for every little thing, as you are. Thank you for demonstrating the power of a positive mind and for always sending me encouraging messages everyday. Thank you for being there at all my hockey and tennis matches cheering me on.

Dad, I’ve never met someone as driven as you. Thank you for teaching me to go after what I want, for teaching me that I’m never too old to dream. Thank you for showing me that there’s always a way and if you want something you have to go and get it.

I’d like to thank my parents for always believing in me. For always being understanding and supportive. I love you far beyond words can express, you will forever be my greatest blessing.

As I conclude this speech, I’d like to remind everyone seated here of the vital part they play in the schools success. Each and every one of you are amazing in your own way, embrace that. Contribute to this school as much as you can in the most genuine way possible, you’ll build yourself and grow along the way. Hopefully in a few years time, 10 speech days down the line, we’ll still be hearing of the school’s success.

Headmistress’ Report 2018

Mrs Tracy Blignaut

Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr. Stuart Mattinson and Mrs. Penny Mattinson; Chairman of EXCO, Mr. Simon Hammond and Mrs. Nikki Hammond; Rector of Peterhouse Group of Schools, Mr. Howard Blackett and Mrs. Suzie Blackett; Guest of Honour, Mrs. Andrea Whatman and Mr. Dave Whatman, governors, ladies and gentleman, girls of Peterhouse, welcome to the Peterhouse Girls Speech Day, 2018.

The year began with 100 new pupils joining us, the IGCSE pass rate again in the 90s and parents feeling positive and hopeful for the future – both for their children and our country.
Less than a year later, the country is in a far more challenging environment than many of us could have anticipated but now is not the time to worry about the present or ruminate about the future. Rather it is time to celebrate: to remember both individual accomplishments and the achievements of the school as a whole.

It is important to remember though, that whilst we highlight some of these achievements today, they are like Instagram! A snapshot of some of the best highlights of the year. We will all have experienced milestones, successes, disappointments and difficulties, and each and every one of you has played your part in this year at Peterhouse.

Two significant events in the school’s calendar were the Festival of Music, Food and Wine and the Combined Schools Concert. Both were wonderful events, with Corralee Greeff and Sarah Shoesmith organizing them respectively. These two ladies worked tirelessly to organize two very different events, both creating occasions for people to enjoy music together. They were two examples of what can be achieved when you work with a great team of people who all work together for a common goal. If any of you ever groan at the idea of group work in the classroom, be assured – this is real life! Very few jobs, if indeed any, exist in isolation and teamwork and collaboration are critical skills.

The Music Department were of course pivotal in both of these events and the team of music teachers – Billy St John, Grant Roberts, Theresa Covini, Joe Warinda and Cara Amm – are another example of how working together can bring such great reward. They work relentlessly with the boys and girls, nurturing their talents and demanding high standards and long hours of practice, and the results are wondrous both to the ear and to the soul.

The school encourages creativity in many other ways too and the girls are given many different forums to showcase their skills. The Buckland Arts Festival enjoyed its second year of a more streamlined, modern format; there were numerous entries for the three NIAA festivals: Speech and Drama, Literary Arts and the Eisteddfod; the C Block girls enjoyed modelling their wearable art which had been created in Art lessons; many of the girls were involved in the Senior Drama play, “Anansi” and in the school play, “It runs in the Family” both on and off stage; even World Literature Day saw a display of creativity both from pupils and staff.
There were many achievements in the NIAA festivals, but most notable were the 10 honours at Eisteddfod, the 3 Honours for Speech and Drama and the 8 honours in Literary Arts. In the Eisteddfod, the Junior choir won the Form 1 and 2 girls choir trophy and three girls also won National prizes for their poetry and prose: Deborah Davy, Caitlin Theron and Stephanie Lawrence and we enjoyed listening to them present their pieces in assembly. Sibusisiwe Maswaure and Julia Lagesse should also be commended for recently achieving their ABRSM grade 7 in clarinet and flute respectively.

The prefect leadership goal this year was to “Enhance School Pride, and embrace you”: working together for the common good, whilst recognizing the value of each individual. Their assemblies during the course of the year have highlighted some of their skills and values such as collaboration, creativity, heart, empathy, grit and positivity and both as a prefect body and as a year group, they have achieved great things in their unity.
One way in which grit and determination are developed is the Duke of Edinburgh International Award. Whilst we had been concerned that the change in structure would affect participation, we have been pleasantly surprised by the number of girls who have completed or are working towards their Bronze and Silver awards. And whilst we will be presenting the gold awards later this morning, I would like to extend my personal congratulations to the four girls who achieved their Gold this year. They are our first group of girls to complete all three awards – Bronze, Silver and Gold - and they have each put in more than 100 hours to achieve all three awards over the course of their high school career. The Gold level alone requires 52 hours of commitment across service, skill and physical activity. They each will have learnt so much from their personal journey. Well done to Lindsay Edwards, Aqua Evans, Hailey Hawkins and Jessica Palmer for such a great achievement.
Sport is, of course, an important element of life at high school – not only for the benefits of an active body but also for the lessons learnt. The year has been one of both highs and lows. In hockey, the cancelling of Golden Girls at the 11th hour was a devastating blow to the 1st team hockey players who had trained and prepared so hard for I; Ruvimbo Dobbie, Mazvita Gwaradzimba, Merce’des Beekes and Lillian Pope were selected for the Youth Olympic team and whilst Ruvimbo and Mazvita chose to stay behind, Merce’des and Lillian have just returned from the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. Our basketball players perhaps did not have the successes they had hoped for in the season but three girls were selected for the U20 Provincial side and Anesu-Nzenza Grant was selected for the ATS Zimbabwe U20 side. In cross country, Peterhouse Girls was placed first in all the season’s meets. And in triathlon, Andie Kuipers competed in the Africa Champs and the Youth Olympic qualifiers and she along with Erin Elliott and Jamie-Lee Soper represented the Zimbabwe Triathlon Team. In horse-riding, Katie and Kylie Loubser were both National Show Jumping Champions in their divisions. In rowing, Genevieve Shoesmith and Holly Bicknell returned with medals from the SA Champs and Peterhouse once again won the Co-Ed trophy. In swimming we have 6 provincial reps, Amy Doorman and Courtney Herring have MCD Performance awards, and Courtney Brown is a Zimbabwe National rep. In total we have 51 Provincial reps and 29 National reps across 10 different sports.

On the academic front, the development of our curriculum support building and the launch of the ALPHA programme across the Group of Schools has been an important and exciting development for Peterhouse Girls. Tapiwa Kapuya was appointed as Head of Curriculum Support in January 2016 and under her leadership, with the support of the Director of Studies, Michelle Scott Elliot, and the other teachers in the department, Ann Glover and Shamiso Whitcomb, the provision of curriculum support has been excellent. The programmes and methods of support are under constant review and adapt to the needs of the pupils. The weakness has only been in perception and understanding of what is on offer and the introduction of the ALPHA programme aims to address that. The new building will be a wonderful addition to the school and the Curriculum Support Department are looking forward to moving in before the end of term.
A Peterhouse education stands out from the crowd for many reasons, but most of all for the breadth of opportunity; an education built on values; the development of skills which prepare your daughters for life beyond high school, academic success and a dedicated and committed staff.
The breadth of opportunity is important for two reasons. Firstly, of course, it gives the girls options but the afternoon programme is not designed to fill their time but rather to fill their minds and souls. Having hobbies and pastimes is essential for our well-being, and the hope is that the girls will use their time here to try different sports, clubs and activities to develop interests in different areas and hopefully hold onto some of those for the future.

Secondly, the breadth of opportunity is a gateway to develop the values and skills which we believe are important to mould and prepare the girls for the future. The 6 Cs: Collaboration, Creativity, Communication, Critical thinking, Character and Cross cultural skills; and our seven core values: loyalty, honesty, decency, humility, service, self-sacrifice and respect - whilst some of these can be developed in the classroom, the afternoon activities are in many ways far more effective.

Academic success is a goal for any well-respected school but it means different things to different schools and is achieved in different ways. For us at Peterhouse Girls, academic success will be achieved if your daughter leaves high school with these four things:
• A love of learning
• A sense of what “feeds her soul” • The development of skills needed to be able to pursue her own path of lifelong learning, and • A set of examination results which she can be proud of
High school is structured to enable pupils to achieve all of these things, but too often our focus is almost entirely on the last of these – the examination results. Examination results should not come at the cost of losing the joy of learning, but rather they should be a product of it.

The breadth of subjects studied in D and C block give the girls the opportunity to explore our world through a number of different lenses – through language, science and the humanities. It is here the love of learning begins to be cultivated. D and C Block are the years in which to begin to consider which elements of our world speak to your soul. For some it may be developing their understanding of the physical world through the sciences, others may pursue their knowledge of the world by developing their linguistic skills or learn from history to better understand the future, for others it is by creating through art, in the kitchen or in the workshop.
Then at the end of C Block, again at the end of A Block and as you enter university, you take a step each time, drawing on previous years’ experience to guide and inform you as to what you are good at, what you enjoy, what you should be focussing on in the years ahead.
And at each stage of the journey you are exploring the world with a narrower focus but a greater depth and understanding.
A quote from Paulo Coelho’s “Brida” says “When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.” And these too are also part of the path of academic success.

To the teachers who take that journey with the girls – who are available at all hours of the day to help with prep, who take their pastoral care responsibilities to heart and who care deeply for the girls – they are a remarkable group of ladies and gents. They continually give of themselves for the betterment of these young ladies and they deserve our support, praise and recognition. Thank you to each and every one of you.
Secondly, to all the support staff: our san sisters who take care of the girls; our admin staff – Tanaka Mawadza, Diedre Steynberg and Doug Trewartha – who contribute so much to the smooth running of the school; to Duff Rogers and his team – who transport staff and girls even before the day has begun, as well as all the trips to fixtures and journeys home on fixture free weekends; to the kitchen staff, led by Upenyu Magumise who prepare and serve our meals and clean the kitchen every day and always with a smile on their faces; to Leon Greeff, and his groundstaff who work so hard to manage the estate and the sports facilities and to Jo Baxter and the gardeners for creating the beautiful gardens; to Jason Driscoll, Patrick Ndere and the maintenance staff who work so hard maintaining our school; to the Accounts Department, led by Sue Heathcote and to Cat Borman in marketing and Corralee Greeff in the Development Office; to Tracey Kloppers who runs the tuckshop and thriftshop; to the wonderful housekeeping staff, led by Loice Sachinda, who serve our school so well and truly care about the girls - to each and every one of them we owe our deepest gratitude – they all help to make this school a wonderful place to live and work.

I would like to make special mention of two particular people. Firstly Chipo Mtakwa, our Senior Mistress for the last three years, who will be leaving us at the end of the term – assuming her baby lets her stay that long! Whilst she will remain at Peterhouse, beginning her new role as Head of Drama for Peterhouse Boys and Girls after her maternity leave, we at Peterhouse Girls will miss her as our Senior Mistress. She has given her life and soul to the well-being of the girls during her time here and whilst her roles are varied, her commitment and strength have been unwavering.

One of her areas of responsibility has been the outdoor education programme, coordinating and supporting the outdoor trips for D, C, B and A Block. These have become an intrinsic part of school life here and the memories made will remain with the girls for decades to come.

The driving force behind this is Andrew Shoesmith, and whilst he is of course firmly ensconced on the dark side, I mean the other side of the road, at Peterhouse Boys, his commitment to the girls’ school and to the girls has been exceptional. We will miss Andrew’s expertise, his dedication to the development of the girls in the outdoor arena and his very dry sense of humour!
Finally I would like to thank all those who are involved in the management and governance of the school. To my management team of Chipo Mtakwa, Michelle Scott Elliot and Claire Hough who are always there by my side, guiding, supporting and occasionally correcting! Mr Graham Peebles, Mr Mark Whitaker and Mr Howard Blackett – I am blessed to be part of a supportive management team who guide the group of schools so securely, even when the country is facing troubled times. And to all the committee members and governors who give freely of their time – we are so very fortunate to have you advocating for our school.
Before I close my report and introduce our guest of honour, I would like to take a moment to speak directly to the VIth Form who will be leaving us all too soon (or not soon enough by their reckoning!)
There was a story told recently about a king who had a close friend that he grew up with. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, "This is good!"
One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, "This is good!". To which the king replied, "No, this is NOT good!" and proceeded to send his friend to jail.
About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, and bound him to the stake.
As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way.
As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. "You were right" he said, "it was good that my thumb was blown off." And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. "And so I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this."
"No," his friend replied, "this is good!"
"What do you mean, 'this is good'! How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year."
"If I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you."
And so girls, as and when life brings you adversity – and it surely will, try always to see the good or trust that in time it will be shown to you.

And that concludes my report for 2018.
Here at Peterhouse we work with and for some of the most privileged in our society and I regard it our responsibility to encourage and guide the girls to consider how they can help their community.
I am not talking about the community and charity work which takes place whilst the girls are here at Peterhouse – that is of course very important and the community benefits from it – but my greater focus is for when they step outside of Peterhouse. Will your girls be so driven by their own success that they forget to look at the world around them? I truly hope not. I hope they will take time to consider their community and find a way to support those less privileged than themselves – to find a way to give back to society.

I am often humbled by those who are working with disadvantaged communities and this brings me to our Guest of Honour today.
She is in her own words a “reluctant leader”. I have known Andrea Whatman for many years – believe it or not girls we used to train in the gym together, and maybe enjoyed a party or two! I did not fully understand or appreciate her story back in our gym-bunny days but she is someone for whom I have the utmost respect.
Andrea was born in Masvingo and has lived all her life here in Zimbabwe. She is married to David Whatman and they have a 27 year old son, Lawrence. After 3 years studying graphic art she came home and worked in advertising at Barker McCormac for 10 years as Art Director. Due to ill health she had to give this up which directed her focus to Children With Cancer in Zimbabwe.
Kidzcan began as a mission of Northside Community Church and over the last 26 years has grown in to what Kidzcan is today.
Andrea herself has survived three primary cancers, the first being when she was only a young child. Her founding of Kidzcan is a truly remarkable achievement.
And she is a remarkable woman, all the moreso because her own humility prevents her from seeing or acknowledging this, and it is with great pleasure I welcome her to address you all this morning.

Guest of Honour’s Speech

Mrs Andrea Whatman

Good Morning. Thank you for the privilege of being your guest speaker this morning. Peterhouse Girls and the others in the Group of Peterhouse Schools have a very special place, not only in my heart but in the staff and patients of Kidzcan.

Our first encounter with the Peterhouse community was the 2nd Run for Josh (Josh Cragg one of your students had been diagnosed with cancer and you as a community wanted to help). As Josh was responding so well he decided to donate all proceeds from that run to Kidzcan. The Peterhouse community has remained over the many years committed and consistent in your support for Kidzcan.

Kidzcan would not exist if it were not for Peterhouse Group of Schools – one of our biggest contributors of our year. You have allowed us to purchase life saving drugs for children suffering with cancer. There are many children today who survived all odds because you gave us the means to save their life.
No words will ever express our gratitude.

History – It is hard to imagine anything good could come out of a 10 year old girl being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. In 1967 the survival rate for childhood cancer in the First world was 4%, I was in the middle of Africa. I cannot begin to imagine how my parents must have felt being told I would be lucky if I survived 2 months. However, God promises that the plans He has for our lives are for good not evil. We could never have foreseen His plan.

After being a Creative Director in Advertising for 10 years I finally got married to my school yard sweetheart and was blessed with a wonderful son, my cup runneth over. But there was a dripping tap in my head… I wanted to give God something back for this wonderful life He had given me. I remembered being so ill that I could not hold up a book but I would have loved to be read a story. That’s it! That’s what I will do!

I tried the posh hospital 3 times and 3 times I was turned away. I then got a phone number on a scrappy piece of paper to call. Oh nooooo it was a group of volunteers in Parirenyatwa. Nooooo! I did not want to go back to those familiar wards, that hospital smell and so many familiar things that I had locked away for so long.
That incessant drip sent me to visit and I have never looked back.

Kidzcan was not built on expertise but by faith. Pure grit and determination. When God gives you a purpose you cannot rest. Our office is small. We have 6 paid workers including our Executive Director, Daniel McKensie who is awesome. Most of them started as volunteers and are now integral part of our work. We have covered 238 registered patients and assisted 300 more from the beginning of 2018 to date. We have spent from January 1 – 30th September $45 412 .00 on drugs and spent
$8 039.00 on scans. We also supply transport money, what good is Kidzcan with free drugs, scans, blood products etc. if the family cannot afford the bus fare to access them. How can we allow a child to die for a bus fare.

Kidzcan has a long way to go, but has come a long way against all economical social and political hurdles. Know this Kidzcan will never give out or give in on any of our patients.

So to the school leavers, the real reason we are here:
My first bit of advice is Don’t’ Panic. The first 40 years of life are the hardest… ask your parents!!!!!
And if by 60 you haven’t grown up you don’t have to!

Scare the world, be exactly who you are and tell the truth. Know that each one of you is totally unique in every wonderful way. You and only you have been given gifts that the world desperately needs.

The heart can do anything, do not be frightened to follow the fire in your belly. What you do with your life will always speak louder than any words.

Girls don’t be a diva, or a princess… be a warrior and never turn your back on the battle field.
I have seen children reach deep inside themselves and turn horrific stories into blessings.

My wish for each you is
• That you find and marry the love of your life.
• That you live long, happy, healthy, lives.
• That you will find God, may you be grounded by faith and realize that once you are His you are on the most exciting adventure of your life.
• That you find the Fire in your belly and that you are brave enough to DO it
• I pray that you will always remember your roots but be brave enough to spread your wings.
• That you never for get your school friends, the principles of your school and all those that crafted the foundation of who you are today. We may all take different paths in life but we always take a little of each other.

Finally always remember: impossible is not a fact, merely an opinion. But more importantly - the heart can do anything.