Former Chegato High School students mourn Tererai Hove

Dr. Takavafira Zhou, former Chegato High School student

By Dr Takavafira Zhou

The geographical Mt has fallen, I would have said if I was still at Chegato High School in Mberengwa in 1985-1986. Yes Mr Tererai Hove, a former teacher at Msume High, Chegato High, Dadaya High, and Head of Mkoba 1 High until end of 2020, has died. He reportedly collapsed in Gweru because of High Blood Pressure. Our heartfelt condolences to the Hove family in particular and Ptuz teachers in general.

Mr Hove, affectionately known as Mavivi (because of his geographical prowess and shiny forehead) was an educationist parexcellence. He was passionate about his subject geograpgy, a tolerant, compassionate and kind educational cadre.

Those of us who know him at Chegato as a geography teacher, deputy head, and acting head in 1986 can testify how under his administration the school was in a celebratory mood every week with a successful soccer team bringing slaughter of more and more beasts every week. In class he was brilliant. Not surprisingly his transfer to Dadaya was viewed by students as some form of punishment by the Ministry of education and Lutheran church and led to a highly organised strike led by U6th and L6th students who felt they were robbed of a brilliant geography teacher and compassionate administrator.

Police officers from Sandawana failed to contain students who barricaded all roads leading into the school and occupied space outside the school. It was only the intervention of Inspector Mbata from Mberengwa administrative centre and of course assisted by rain that managed to contain the strike. Not to mention that I was among the casualties of the strike with more than 30 other students, but fellow students managed to make contributions and paid our fines and we managed to come back to Chegato on the next day and were given heroes’ welcome by fellow students. Such was the Mavivi power that even students who were not taught by him wept when they heard that he had been transferred to Dadaya.

By the time he left Chegato High in 1986, he had finished the ‘A’ level geography syllabus and his students refused to be allocated any other teacher. The results were testimony to his brilliance as majority of students scored As, Bs and two suffocating Cs. He repeatedly demonstrated his mastery of geography at Dadaya and where ever he went.

Even at his advanced age he remained relevant, dynamic and forward looking by aligning with Ptuz as opposed to conservative yellow unions. Although he had retired last year, Mavivi was still a marker and died whilst he was still on national duty. Indeed Mavivi is an educational hero who must be saluted and respected even in death. Go well our teacher, colleague in the educational struggle and our national hero. You fought a good battle guarding against the trenches of folly and ignorance. The knowledge that you imparted to some of us will never die but would be passed to the next generation and therefore live for posterity. The spirit you implanted in us will continue to water our struggle for a dignified education system in Zimbabwe, while your academic brilliance will continue to water our innovative, dynamic and industrious antics despite our limited resources and support from gvt. You were indeed a father to many, a colleague and cde in the academic field, a teacher and source of inspiration. It is unfortunate that by the time of your death your geographical Mavivi prowess had not been reduced to a textbook, but we will utilise whatever you transmitted to many of us for the benefit of many others nationally, regionally, continentally and globally. Go well, son of Mberengwa, our hero.

One of his students Dr Nephat Shumba, who is a university lecturer in UK described the late Hove as a brilliant teacher.

Shumba passed A Level Geography with a distinction, courtesy of the late Hove’s notes, without even attending a single Geography lesson.

“I just acquired Hove’s notes from his Geography students and that is all I needed to pass Geography at A level,” said Dr. Shumba.

Hundreds of Chegato students expressed their sorrow over the death of Mavivi . The sad news were dropped on Chegato High Products Facebook page by one of his students, Dr. Samuel Ravengai, a Wits Unversity Lecturer, igniting a plethora of emotional response by Hove’s mourning students.

Dr. Samuel Ravengai

Below are some of the responses of Chegato High School students to Tererai Hove’s death

–Dr Takavafira Zhou is President of PTUZ and former Chegato High School student

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