By Tsitsi Ndabambi
The absence of a strong foundation is a recipe for disaster, causing destruction that cannot be repaired with the solution being to start afresh. This applies with the human race; what you learn from a tender age determines your future and if partaken wrongly the end result is an unfruitful future.
Two time award winning business woman Veronica Gwatiringa, the lady who holds the reins of Zimbabwe Garden Seeds (ZGS), a seed company that is spread countrywide and slowly taking dominion beyond neighbouring borders, did not forget her roots. True evidence that she possesses a concrete foundation.
As the managing director of Zimbabwe garden Seeds, she took a weekend off from her daily routine behind her managerial throne and hit the road to Chirumhanzu with a team of ZGS employees in a corporate social responsibility programme that celebrated people and the concept of community.
The students and staff of St Joseph’s Mission and Hama Secondary School all stationed under the umbrella of St Joseph’s will cherish that Friday May 18 on the tablets of their hearts as it brought positive change to them.
The bearers of goodwill offloaded truckloads of gifts, which they in turn presented to both schools.
The ECD department were presented with equipment for their playground, with eight tables and ten benches being provided for the primary students balancing gifts that encouraged both work and play. After all, the saying all work and no play . . . set in motion.
A beaming Father Francis Mukozho, who is part of the soccer technical team, embraced the gift of two soccer kits for the junior and senior teams that he received and the coaches were not left out as they were also handed tracksuits, juice, branded cooler box and drinking water for the team to quench their thirst at their future matches.
Father Mukozho said this full kit will motivate the teams to play their way up to the nationals and strive to run for the final trophies.
The new curriculum has introduced agriculture as a compulsory subject so they donated their own speciality; different types of seeds for agriculture lessons.
Veronica, who told the school that her company has a heart for the girl child, presented them with sanitary pads, soap and buckets for the day-scholars in Grade Seven up to Form Two.
The mother of all the donations of that day was presented to ace student and orphan Patricia Mtandavari. ZGS paid for her school fees for the full year and provided her with a satchel, shoes and socks.
Their selection was based on credentials and good naturedness of the said student otherwise, according to Veronica, there were more children deserving such an award.
Patricia is an ace Form One whiz-kid taking 12 subjects whose widowed mother, Tsitsi Dharara, was struggling to keep up with her educational needs and those of Patricia’s other two siblings so this was a “miracle” for the tearful mother.
Ms Gwatiringa did all this in appreciation of the foundation that she acquired from Grade One to Seven at the primary school decades ago.
In honour of her motherland and it being a month of celebrating mothers, she carried on to her village the following day passing gifts to neighbouring elderly ladies whom she says played a big role in her upbringing as it is said that a child is raised by the whole village.
Sekuru Gwatiringa, her elder brother, identified six needy ladies. Their first stop and most tear-jerking was at Gogo Gino’s; a widow and divorcee who due to inability to conceive had been shunned by society.
The octogenarian welcomed them in her little damaged hut and embraced the gifts of groceries, cooking utensils, a brand new mattress and a blanket but the mother of all gifts that brought tears to her eyes was cleaning up her whole compound and cooking for her.
On arrival she was cooking a handful of dried maize which she was going to wash down with hot water and repeat the same routine the following day.
Such priceless love was shown to partially blind Mbuya Agnes, Mai Agatha, Vandogwara, Mai Chidhambi and Gogo Ponziani who is also blind.
All these ladies who either stay alone or with at least one grandchild are dependent on hand-outs from well-wishers and the food donations they get through the local councillor once in a while.
Veronica and her team made their final stop at the royal land of Chief Hama before heading back to the city to carry on with their normal lives with a master plan to return and lend a hand for the children and the golden girls of Hama in Chirimhanzu.