By Executive Director, CLUBHOUSE International (Zimbabwe)

The program started at around 12.30 (July 25th, 2014) soon after the arrival of the Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary schools Education Prof. Paul Mavima and Executive Director of CLUBHOUSE Zimbabwe, Mr Nyasha Matavire.
The national anthem started the proceedings and it was soon followed by an opening prayer by Pastor Ncube who presides over one of the local churches. A representative from the Rujeko School Development Committee (SDC) took to the podium where he welcomed all the guests available, remarking on the importance of such a day as it is not every day that a community like Dangamvura gets to host a member of Cabinet, “We are used to seeing them only on television, but today we are honoured to have a deputy minister in our presence.” He said. It was then time for the headmistress of Rujeko, Ms Guma, to give her welcome and opening remarks. She gave a brief narration of the partnership that existed between the two Dangamvura schools of Rujeko and Sheni and CLUBHOUSE International. She mentioned the presence of Mr. Godo in the relationship as the common factor and how his involvement has seen the relationship growing from strength to strength. “His passion for children (Mr. Godo) has seen him continue even after his retirement as head of Rujeko and it is because of him that we get to have a day like this.”

The Executive Director of CLUBHOUSE Zimbabwe then introduced the guest of honour, Prof. Mavima to the podium. Prof. Mavima spoke of how his visit to either Rujeko or Sheni primary schools was long overdue since his son did his primary education at Sheni Primary, “I should have come to see my son, Shingirirai Blessing Mavima take several awards, or do poetry. However, it was a debt that I was always going to pay.” He then went on to commend on the work that is being done by CLUBHOUSE in promoting community service among school children because as it is actually the duty of school children to take care of their communities, “Many people think that schools belong to the government, that is not true, schools belong to the community, and it is the duty of children who go to those schools to take care of the community.” He said.

After the minister’s speech, the Rujeko primary school traditional dance took to the stage where they danced to the famous mbakumba dance. This was followed by a speech from the Executive Director of CLUBHOUSE Zimbabwe who explained on the purpose of CLUBHOUSE Festival and the reasons behind the community service activities that take place in the build up to the event, “We want to wipe out the ‘victim’ mentality in impoverished communities by showing and teaching our children that they themselves are part of the solution to the problems that our communities are facing.” He also expressed his joy at the good work that the CLUBHOUSE ambassadors are doing, “We are very pleased with the performances of our kids, both at school and in the community. When we see them excelling in these, it justifies the work that we do.”

After the speeches, it was then time for what everyone had been waiting for, the game of soccer between Rujeko and Sheni Primary schools. It was a thrilling encounter that kept everyone including the Deputy Minister at the edges of their seats. The result of the match, 3 nil in favour of the Sheni Primary, does not do justice to how competitive the game was. Rujeko as the home team, played with more possession and created more chances but their strike force and the amazing hands of the Sheni goalkeeper left them wondering how it would have been. After the game both teams were presented with medals by the guest of honour Prof. Mavima with the losing team getting silver and then the winning team, Sheni primary School, getting the gold medals. The CLUBHOUSE Kids who had been taking part in various community service activities across Dangamvura in the build up to the festival got their awards in the form of certificates in recognition of their efforts. 

Waraidzo Taremedzwa, one of the CLUBHOUSE Ambassadors gave the vote of thanks and thanked everyone who had graced the festival and also to CLUBHOUSE International for the work that they are doing, “CLUBHOUSE has given us hope for a better future and our lives will never be the same.” She said.After that it was time for lunch and the Deputy Minister and everyone was treated to a meal that had many dishes prepared in the real African way by the Rujeko Primary School’s home economics department.

You can see all the pictures from the Festival here!

(Article originally published by the  on August 3, 2014)

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