Teachers Working Towards a Better Future – Hear From Two Teachers Changing Lives in Rural Zimbabwe

This World Teachers Day, we want to take a moment to acknowledge the incredible work all teachers do, but especially those working in rural and remote areas around the world, with less access to the tools and funding available to many, but with the same incredible desire to help to shape young minds, inspire big dreamers and share their knowledge with the world.

Through the sale of Kristina’s book so far, and the generosity of our #101milliondreamers community, kikki.K has been able to raise over USD $60,000 for Tererai Trent International as well as donate $250,000 worth of stationery to the students of Dr. Tererai Trent’s 12 schools in rural Zimbabwe.

Two of these schools are Musukwi primary school and Matau Primary School, and two of the incredible teachers that are helping to make Tereai’s dream of quality education for all children a reality at these schools are Divan Ronald Chingwaru and Isabel Mutemi. We were lucky enough to have them share a little of their stories of teaching in rural Zimbabwe below…


Davin Ronald Chigwaru – Matau Primary School

“I was born and raised in Zimbabwe. I am a teacher at Matau Primary School in the rural parts of Zimbabwe. I have practiced as a teacher since 2005, thus I have been teaching for the past fourteen years. At the moment I take the grade seven classes for their Mathematics, English and I.C.T.

To be honest it was not really my intention to be a grade school teacher but circumstances led me to this noble profession. Being an educator in Zimbabwe brings very minimal reward in terms of money, so it would be difficult to be efficient and provide meaningful service if one is not committed to the job. I could state with confidence that I am quite passionate about imparting knowledge, providing motivation and inculcating life skills in my students.

Teaching at a rural school comes with a lot of challenges and it can be a real stern test of character. The students come from backgrounds of limited resources in terms of access to information and exposure to modern educational tools. I work with students exhibiting varying degrees of need so I really appreciate every one of them. I have learnt to treat them on merit and to be sensitive to their respective needs.

I enjoy the interpersonal relationships I have with my students becauseyou never know who you are teaching’. It could be the next president or the world’s next greatest inventor!

However, I have to acknowledge that my experiences in the classroom are mostly pleasant because the students are generally hardworking and have a positive attitude towards their education. I have met some of the most gifted and talented people in my classroom and I am excited and confident that their rural upbringing will never be a determining factor in their outcome.

I have a keen interest in Mathematics and that effect sort of rubs on to most of the students I teach.  For some reason they just seem to excel in Mathematics than any other subject in the curriculum. That is probably a chain reaction that began with my favorite teacher Mr Frank Wagner who came to Zimbabwe on a teacher exchange programme from Hawaii.

I feel very humbled every time I think about the number of students who have come through my classes and went on to attain university or college education. It’s just gratifying when they come through and go all the way on the path of success and greatness.

The only thing that I would like to say to the next generation is that the future belongs to you. The world is waiting for your song, it is waiting for your invention and it will not settle for anything less than your best. Be the best of yourself.” – Divan Ronald Chingwaru

Isabel Mutemi – Musukwi Primary School

“I grew up in Zimbabwe and teach at Musukwi Primary School, which has 77 students. To me, a regular day at school looks just like any other day at home, where I will be practicing my motherhood since I work with young children who need much attention, patience, and love.

I have been a teacher for three years. My mother inspired me a lot since she was once a teacher. Actually, I was much inspired by the way she used to teach my kids at home at a very tender age so they could master whatever they were taught fast and easily. So I managed to adopt some of her teaching methods which I am also applying to the Early Child Development (ECD) children I am teaching now.

As a teacher in Zimbabwe, my dream is to pace to greater heights all the children I teach so that all will be able to read and write (be literate) and excel through in their lives in the future.

What I love about teaching is that you learn to tolerate, appreciate, accommodate, be patient and be able to evaluate yourself.

Teaching in rural areas can be a bit challenging. For example, some of the parents , especially the community I am working in, do not value education. As a result, many of them don’t want to pay the fees as they see it as a ‘waste,’ which can make the percentage of absenteeism in school very high.

The issue of uniformity in school children is another challenge since some children come to school in old, worn clothes which will make them feel out of place, which can result in low academic performance.

There are many other challenges we face teaching in these rural areas, including a lack of infrastructure, lack of textbooks and stationery, minimal quality accomodation for teachers, minimal water sources, little to no electricity and poor amenities at the schools, and many more challenges.

I am proud of the way I deliver lessons to young children and the way they concentrate and master concepts, especially the phonic way of reading the alphabet.

As for me, I would urge the younger generation to value school and brush away any mentality that may have been instilled in them of not valuing education. I always tell my students what my teacher used to say: “a schoolchild is always attentive and never forgets what he or she is taught by the teacher,” and I tell them to come to school early everyday.

My dream is to have an equal learning opportunity for both children in Urban and those in rural areas.” – Isabel Mutemi

Happy World Teachers Day to all the teachers out there, and if you’re inspired by these incredible teachers, find out more about Dr Tererai Trent’s schools and how you can help kikki.K to help build Tererai’s dream of providing access to quality education for children, regardless of their gender or socio-economic backgrounds, here>

And if you want to show your gratitude for your own teacher, or a teacher you know, check out these wonderful gifts we’ve selected that are perfect for doing just that. Shop our Teacher selection now.