The Sunday Mail
Sunday Mail Reporter
VAINONA HIGH SCHOOL last week launched a drive to raise funds for the institution’s facelift ahead of its 50th anniversary celebrations later this year.
The event was attended by scores of former learners.
Speaking at the launch, the school headmaster, Dr Hapias Dhakwa, said the golden jubilee celebrations will be held on August 7.
They will run under the theme “50 Years of Community Empowerment through Education”.
“As the headmaster of Vainona High School, I am happy to roll out the 50-year golden jubilee of community empowerment through education,” he said.
“We are going to start a series of activities that will culminate in the main event. So, between now and August, a lot of projects and activities that include a fundraising dinner, commemoration of former staff members and students will be done to raise funds.”
The funds, he said, will be used to regenerate the school’s infrastructure.
Former learner Mrs Shupikai Chinembiri-Mukuyu expressed her excitement ahead of the event.
“It has been long since I finished school,” she said.
“Now that I am here, I have seen a lot of infrastructure that needs a lot of improvement, and this will surely go a long way in turning around the situation.”
A learner representative and Member of the Junior Parliament for Mount Pleasant constituency, Shana Ropafadzo Mucharwiyo, said she was looking forward to the celebrations.
Vainona High School, which was originally located on a farm, was established in 1974, with its initial buildings known as the Old Concourse, which consisted of double-storey blocks.
At its inception, the school enrolled only 150 learners, and the first headmaster’s office was a converted classroom.
The Ministry of Education played a crucial role in developing the school grounds by grading them into terraces.
However, it was the collective effort of the staff, parents and learners that transformed these terraces into functional spaces.
The name “Vainona” is derived from a Latin word that means “road” and is associated with a place and hill in England.
The school embraced values such as determination, courage in the face of challenges and active involvement in the community.
Its motto, “bene mere eamur de patribus”, means “let us deserve the well of our forefathers”.
Initially, the school lacked sports fields, and a basketball court was marked out in the car park.
Over time, two hockey fields, a laboratory block, tennis courts, a school hall and tuck shop were added to the facilities to cater to the growing needs of the learners.
In 1976, the school was officially opened by the then-Secretary of Education, Mr J.A.C. Houlton.
Two years later, in 1978, Mr P.J. Synder assumed the role of headmaster and the first head boy and head girl were appointed.
The 1980s witnessed the introduction of A-Level classes and the addition of a new classroom block adorned with vibrant murals painted by a former learner, creating a stimulating environment for study.
Following Mr Snyder’s departure in 1984, Mr Musa took over as headmaster and worked diligently to maintain the school’s high standards. However, his tenure concluded at the end of 1988, and Mr Wright served as the acting headmaster from 1989 until 1990 when Mr Nhembe assumed leadership.
Over the years, leadership at Vainona High School continued to evolve.
Mrs Sibanda briefly held the position in 2014, before Mr Mhene took over.
Presently, Dr Dhakwa serves as the headmaster after assuming office in 2018.
Vainona High School’s journey has been one of growth and commitment to excellence.
From its modest beginnings to its expansion of facilities and academic offerings, the iconic school has striven to provide a nurturing and enriching educational experience for its learners.