Thursday, December 10, 2015

Reflecting on Graduation from High School

It has been 30 years since I walked out of the gates of high school at Kafue Secondary School in December 1985. Then I was a young teen at 17 years old. With so much hope for the future in terms of education and all! I had dreams of pursuing a career in Science but through God’s providence my career path was in Education after I went to do a Bachelors degree in Education at the University of Zambia, majoring in Mathematics and doing a minor in Computer Studies. So then what are my thoughts of my days at secondary school that culminated in my graduation from Kafue Secondary School with a motto: “Citizens of Two Kingdoms”?

Firstly, my entry into form 1 at Kafue Secondary School in 1981 was marked with some anxiety. For the first time, I would have to spend at least three months away from my parents and siblings. Would I cope? Mind you in those days, mockery at boarding schools was a given. Would I be mocked and bullied in such a way that I would fail to stay on at boarding school? Thankfully, a form 2 by the name of Musonda Kabemba liked me and became my protector! He was a cadet and so the other form 2’s could not mess around with me. Off course, I had to show appreciation, so when my dad brought me some supplies such as well prepared beef and chicken I shared with him :-). I quickly settled into the routines of boarding life. Cleaning hostels (inside and outside) including classrooms. Interestingly, most boys did not like to be assigned to clean the toilets. They used them but didn’t want to clean them. Mmm. 

Secondly, the positive influence of religion at Kafue Boys cannot be missed. Our school being a mission school run by the United Church of Zambia, we had to have bible readings and prayers daily except Saturday’s. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays these were held in  the School Chapel. On Tuesdays we had devotions in our respective classes. On Fridays we had them in our various houses.  In addition, Religious Education (RE) was compulsory in all classes. One of my close friends, Christian became a Christian after our Bible Knowledge teacher, Carol Eathorne, made an appeal to students to not only acquire head knowledge of the Bible but give their lives to Christ. I became a Christian after listening to a visiting preacher Joe Imakando preach on the necessity of Being Born Again from John 3. To God be the glory. Clubs such as Scripture Union (which I was actively involved in), School Choir, Preachers Club, Sunday School played a useful role in developing religious disciplines. 

Thirdly, a culture of hard work was embedded into our lives at school. I have mentioned earlier on how we had to clean our respective spaces in the hostels and classes. Students also were active at the school farm which had lots of vegetables and wheat! The culture of hard work also extended to academic work. For some time Kafue Secondary School was one of the top performing schools in Zambia. I recall in 1985 when we were about to sit for our School Certificate exams and being asked by one of our teachers if we would do very well. Our response was that doing very well was guaranteed. Beating Roma Girls in Lusaka was our goal. And that goal was achieved! Kafue Boys had among the best teachers in Zambia with a balanced combination of local and international teachers mostly from church missionary organisations. The teachers were committed to their jobs and us as pupils inside and outside the classroom. Whether they were performing the role of teacher, house parent, form teacher, preacher etc they put in their best. They ensured we were adequately prepared for our examinations and in a spiritual sense for the Final Examination! Some of the teachers I recall who had a positive influence on me were: Mr. David Grogan, Mr. Tom Marshall, Miss Junza Siafwa, Mrs. Carol Eathorne, Mr Stephen Winter, Mr. Derryck Orridge, Mrs. Siluyele to mention just a few.

30 years on! Kafue Secondary School, opened in 1966 as a Secondary School, is still standing and contributing to the Education Agenda in Zambia. I thank God for enabling me pass through the doors of that school. I thank God for the many lessons I learnt there. The friends I made: Christian, Johnson, Barnabas etc. For the knowledge I gained there. But most important of all for the salvation I found in Christ there. 

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