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Peterhouse Boys

Speech Day 2019

We held our Speech Day on Sunday 27th October. Well done to this year’s prize winners.

SUBJECT PRIZES:
D BLOCK
MATHS AND SCIENCES - Sebastian Peters
HUMANITIES AND LANGUAGES - Tendai Mutwira
PRACTICAL AND VOCATIONAL - James Nyanhongo
INDUSTRY - Dhaneel Goven
IMPROVEMENT - Kudzai Matimba

C BLOCK
MATHS AND SCIENCES - TJ Gwaziwa
HUMANITIES AND LANGUAGES - Joseph Hildebrand
PRACTICAL AND VOCATIONAL - Liam Kirkman
INDUSTRY - Tyler van Rooyan
IMPROVEMENT - Stephen Molife


B BLOCK
MATHS AND SCIENCES - Takudzwa Dzingai
HUMANITIES AND LANGUAGES - Takudzwa Dzingai
PRACTICAL AND VOCATIONAL - Dylan Grant
INDUSTRY - Takudzwa Dzingai
IMPROVEMENT - Ngonidzashe Musowe

A BLOCK
MATHS AND SCIENCES - Zvikomborero Charera
HUMANITIES AND LANGUAGES - Charles Moscrop
PRACTICAL AND VOCATIONAL - Abilo Bulha-Antunes
INDUSTRY - Charles Moscrop
IMPROVEMENT - Paolo Marucchi-Chierro


FIFTH FORM / SIXTH FORM
ACCOUNTING - Zvikomborero Vheriwa / Mariska Donga
ART - Kadin Eksteen / Bryony Dawson
BIOLOGY - Nyasha Mudambanuki / Chiedza Njike
BUSINESS - Tanatswa Njanji / Tanatswa Chivizhe
CHEMISTRY - Simbarashe Govore / Tinashe Timba
DESIGN TECHNOLOGY - Seamus Ratcliffe / Angus Fergusson
DIVINITY - (No Award) / Adeline Boka
ENGLISH LITERATURE - James Ross / Ian Fowlds
ENGLISH LANGUAGE - Abigail Davy / n/a
FRENCH LANGUAGE - Dale Molife / n/a
GEOGRAPHY - James Blake / Katrina Dumont du Chassart
GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES - (no award) / n/a
HISTORY - Dylan Mawire / Chipo Chidakwa
IT - Nigel Chiwara / Vasheel Solanky
LEARNER HUNTER/GUIDE - Daniel Woods / Shannen Wilson
MATHS - Nigel Chiwara / Tinashe Timba
PHYSICAL EDUCATION - Andie Kuipers / Oliver Philp
PHYSICS - Simbarashe Govore / Tinashe Timba
TRAVEL AND TOURISM - Emma Kuipers / Matinatsashe Hove

SPECIAL PRIZES

BEGINNERS MUSIC - Isheanesu Mberewere
SUGDEN MUSIC - Tapiwa Muranda
MAPANDA SCIENCE - Zvikomborero Charera
WATERSHED TRAVEL - Travis Arnold
BEAUMONT PROJECT PRIZE - Sashil Goven
SESSFORD MEMORIAL (IGCSE results) - Tapiwa Muranda
BEST AS LEVEL RESULTS - Tinashe Timba
CBZ SENIOR CHOIR CUP - Farai Musimwa
JUNIOR CHOIR CUP - Liam Kirkman
HATTY CONSERVATION TROPHY - Angus Fergusson
TIM LAVER MEMORIAL - Scott Price
ROBERTSON CUP - Mufaro Mungoni / Farai Musimwa
VEGO TROPHY - Nigel Chiwara
DUNCAN MEMORIAL - Rufaro Hoto
PATTISON MEMORIAL - Torrin Bissett

PETREAN SOCIETY - Zivai Sinemani




RECTOR’S SPEECH

Mr HOWARD BLACKETT

Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr Stuart Mattinson and Mrs Penny Mattinson, Chairman of EXCO Mr Simon Hammond and Mrs Nicky Hammond, governors, ladies and gentlemen; a very warm welcome to you all and a particular welcome, of course, to our Guest of Honour, Scott Marques and his wife Claire.
Scott is no stranger to Peterhouse – he was educated here from 1985 to 1989; he played first team tennis and hockey at all levels, going on to represent Zimbabwe schools, and in his last year he was Head of Founders. Thence off to UCT, South Africa’s top ranked university, where he read Economics and Information Systems, Scott has subsequently had a distinguished career balancing various business interests with church leadership. He has established a number of churches both here and in Mozambique, the most well-know of which is the River of Life in Harare. River of Life now meets at two sites, one in Greystone and one in Eastlea, with 5 services and well over 1,000 attendees each Sunday. Amongst his interests Scott lists birding (inspired by his B Block geography teacher, Peter Ginn,) and the stars (inspired by his Housemaster, Gerald Coates) – evidence to support my strongly held belief that, whether the boys like it or not, they will remember those who taught them for the rest of their lives.
Scott, we look forward to you presenting our prizes and to your brief speech later in the proceedings.
-
We are, as you know, in the middle of a quality assurance and marketing exercise led by Professor Jaap Kuiper. Japp has made a number of visits to each of our three schools over the past few weeks to talk to staff and pupils, the intention being for him to get under the skin of the place; he’s also in the process of finding out how parents, governors, Petreans, Heads of feeder schools, prospective parents and friends of Peterhouse feel about the Peterhouse Group; by the end of this term Jaap will have given EXCO his initial feedback and in January 2020 he will produce his written reports on each of our three schools – they will, no doubt make fascinating and, I hope, productive reading.

The last time Jaap conducted a similar exercise was in 2012 and, much to my good fortune, his reports, on that occasion, were sitting on my desk when I arrived here in January 2013 as the new Rector. Jaap’s research gave us the data – the objective evidence – we needed to celebrate our successes and to tackle our shortcomings. I should emphasise that the overarching sentiment back in 2012 was that Peterhouse was thriving. Jaap commented positively on the excellent reputation of the school, the balanced education provided, the facilities, the environment, pupils’ manners, the pupil:teacher ratio, the reporting of pupils’ progress, the school magazine, transport, the effectiveness of the administrative staff and the management of the school. But there was also, as you would expect, constructive criticism and that focused on the curriculum provided, the care of the boys, communication with parents, some of the teaching, the quality and quantity of food, and the relationship between senior and junior boys.
Jaap’s feedback – the data he provided – gave us the ammunition we needed to roll up our sleeves and address the areas of weakness. That’s the journey we’ve been on over the past seven years and I hope that January 2020 will mark the beginning of yet another new phase of development for Peterhouse; when there will be a fresh impetus about the place and a renewed sense of purpose; the aspiration to lift the school up to the next level and I wish Jon Trafford and co every success with that.

Some of the challenges facing us following Jaap’s 2012 work were functional – the food wasn’t good enough, so we delayed the refurbishment of Paget and instead gutted our unspeakably awful kitchen and installed modern equipment fit for purpose; then, spurred on by egg-gate (the photo, which went viral, of a lonely rubbery egg sitting in the middle of a boy’s plate which was supposed to be his breakfast), we changed our caterers and since then, with the odd blip, all has been well and bravo to Simon Sithole our Catering Manager and Introwise for that. Other issues raised by Jaap were also relatively easily fixed – a root and branch review of all things academic during 2013 led to wide ranging and much needed changes, by the start of January 2014, to our academic curriculum, the timetable (afternoon lessons were controversially introduced), the balance between sport, culture and work, the accountability of teaching staff, the provision of curriculum support, which by the way started with erasing remedial from our vocabulary, and the location of our various academic departments etc.. There is little doubt that seven years on the school has a much greater sense of academic drive about it, hugely helped, it has to be said, by the addition of the magnificent Megahey Centre, and the objective evidence – our public examination results and university entrance statistics – unequivocally supports that assertion.

We have also made significant progress on the more challenging and elusive issue of the relationship between senior and junior boys. Let me quote in greater detail from Jaap’s 2012 report; Jaap commented as follows: it has become clear that there is a widespread problem with how the boys relate to each other, how discipline is instilled and the apparent limited effectiveness with which the aspiration of Servant Leadership is used. Parents feel that the relationship between junior and seniors is not constructive, that bullying occurs, that there is preferential treatment in the selection of prefects, that squacking creates tension and that the first two years at Peterhouse for their sons are miserable. In all, Jaap concluded, the systems in place have created an atmosphere and practice in the school that is detrimental to the juniors’ and seniors’ relationships and well-being and indeed to the school’s reputation. These were, dare I say, somewhat disapproving words which required a robust response and that happened – the supervision of boys was tightened, prefects more carefully selected and powers of punishment reigned in – but, whereas moving Peterhouse on in all other respects over the past seven years has met with token resistance and indeed much support, when it’s come to the issue of the relationship between senior and junior boys and the culture of the school which stems from it, there has been an almost immovable inertia in place which has taken a monumental effort to shift. We have, as I said earlier, made much progress but as I prepare for my return to the UK, I am confronted by the realisation that, in the blink of an eye, we could return to a modus operandi where senior pupils lead not through a sense of service but entitlement; not with empathy but with tight fisted oppressive control; and that thought is extraordinarily disheartening as indeed is the thought that too many people here today still believe that that’s how things should be done. Let me say again we could, in the blink of an eye, return to that model of leadership and the unhealthy culture which diffuses from it. I suppose I shouldn’t be that surprised – senior pupils of all generations in schools like this, in every corner of the globe, err towards leadership based on rank and status and the model of leadership beyond the Peterhouse pyramids could scarcely be described as an exemplar – but I do hope that the progress that has been made, however fragile I sense it to be, will not be abandoned but will indeed be the springboard for greater things to come. That, of course, is not for me but for Jon Trafford and others.

So much for Jaap and his work, for rubbery eggs and the challenge of persuading boys that there is a better way of doing things; what of 2019, the year which has all but passed – how can we reflect upon these past 12 months? In one important way, of course, with a not inconsiderable sense of sadness – we have lost three members of staff: in the Lent term Sue Van Heerden, our Head of English; in the Trinity term Tongayi Songore, long-standing History teacher and Master i/c Basketball and just a few weeks ago, in this the Michaelmas term John Greenacre, life-long servant and icon of Peterhouse. All three, uniquely, made an important contribution here, albeit over very different timescales, and we rightly remembered them at the start of today’s proceedings. John’s death was, of course, in the order of things – he was elderly and had had a good innings – but both Sue and Tongayi left us all too prematurely and their loss was that much more poignant. John, Tongayi, Sue; we hold them all dear and I am pleased to report that each one of them was given a warm and generous send-off, which did them proud and had the unforeseen benefit of bringing the community closer together.

Otherwise this has been a year of encouraging and, frankly unanticipated, success. The context in which I say so is that the expectation of this year’s 6th form – and I hope they won’t be affronted – was modest, but for the most part they have put their shoulder to the wheel and have achieved far more than their critics would have believed possible, and for that I warmly congratulate them and, in particular, Zivai Sinemani who has been a conspicuously good Head of School. Your programme gives you the details of what has been achieved, but let me select a few of the highlights:
we began 2019 in celebration: our public exam results were once again promising particularly at A level where we achieved a 99.7% pass rate – just one exam was failed and that, I should add, by a 6th form girl;
our school musical Once on this island, starring Danai Mandebvu and Praise Jaravani, which involved dozens of pupils on and off stage, was a wonderful collage of costume and music, marred only by myriad wrong notes in the trombone section of the band for which I should apologise, thanks largely to Theresa Covini, Tinashe Jera, Milupi Imbula, Kudzaishe Rufasha, Saskia Whitcomb and our new Head of Drama Chipo Mtakwa;
by our own high standards we’ve had a modest year of sport but it’s good to note that:

39 boys have represented Zimbabwe in various sports at U/18 and junior level;
Keith Elliot secured the bronze medal in super sprint in the South African National Triathlon Championships and George Ascott the gold medal in the U15 super sprint in the African Triathlon Championships;
our U/17 soccer team won the Hammer and Tongues Tournament; and
our U15A cricket team played 7 and won 7 with Campbell MacMillan averaging 164.
What other things to savour?
the long awaited metamorphosis of the old library into a new gym;
some first class Petrean events – notably the 30th reunion held over the Falcon rugby weekend organised brilliantly, as ever, by our effervescent Development Officer, Corralee Greeff;
a very busy and successful Open Day, arranged earlier this term for prospective 2021 D Block pupils, by Cat Borman our meticulous Marketing Officer, which was hosted superbly by our 5th form pupils;
our music department, which has flourished under the leadership of Tinashe Jera, when all seemed lost towards the end of 2018;
Sean Uriri completing the 500km Blue Cross event on horseback and raising over $600 for the SPCA;
our debating team making the cut for the global debating competition which will be held in Oxford next year;
much success in the World Scholar’s Cup which means that, under the guidance of Patience Masaire, a team of 3 B Block boys will be competing in the final stages of the event at Yale university in a few weeks’ time;
the $26k raised for Kidzcan;

when the call came, all the work our Interact and Leo Club members did packing and delivering a lorry load of items to the Eastern Highlands in response to the Cyclone Idai appeal;
Michael Zartmann, David Rogers and Ian Fowlds completing their Duke of Edinburgh gold awards; and
from a personal perspective how much I have enjoyed working with Francois de Kock, our new Deputy Headmaster. We’ve disagreed often and one might have expected the chemistry between a liberal Englishman and a conservative South African of Dutch origin to have been somewhat precarious but I can tell you that that has been far from the case – indeed Francois and I have probably astonished each other with the manner in which we have worked closely together for which I thank him greatly. I know that next year his counsel and support will be much appreciated by Jon Trafford.
So it’s been another year of success and, as the discerning amongst you will have noticed, I’ve really just touched the surface; on a routine basis we have operated at a quick tempo – that’s applied by the way particularly to Sarah Shoesmith and Kevan Barbour – our boys have done us proud and they have remained, with the odd and inevitable indiscretion, as well-disciplined and engaging as ever. 2019 has been a year to remember and that has been an agreeable surprise.
  
A review of 2019 would not be complete, of course, without mention of the state of the economy and how it’s affected life here at Peterhouse. In parallel with all other corners of the country the talk at lunch time, over coffee, in the bar, on the touchline and elsewhere has been about making ends meet and trying to make sense of the situation. The truth is that it’s been a struggle for all concerned but for none more so than our Accounts Department led by the indefatigable Sue Heathcote; whilst most of us have been able to forget the turmoil for much of the time by submerging ourselves in the day-to-day business of teaching and coaching Sue and her team have been up against it hour after hour, day after day. They have been at the sharp dealing with anxious parents, the eccentricities of our currency, Peterhouse Units, yet another revised budget and the latest perfunctory government SI. Their task has been, at best, unenviable and, at worst, verging on the impossible, and yet they have soldiered on, no doubt with many an expletive behind closed doors, but in public, at least, with their usual polish and good humour. There is little doubt that, in this year of economic chaos, it is our Accounts Department staff who deserve to be praised above everyone else for what they have done – Sue, Chipo, Juliet, Stacey, Lillian, Bertha, Debbie and Tinashe I salute you as, I’m sure, does everyone else.

As is always the case, this is the occasion to mention the departure of some key staff. Already gone are Chris and Candy Davison who left at the end of last term and who are now in the USA with their children. Both served Peterhouse with distinction – Chris as Housemaster of Snell, Tinokura, Head of PE and sports’ coach and Candy as our bus supremo and school shop proprietor. Also already departed are Tony and Taniya Borlase who went just prior to the start of this term and are now, with their children, on the opposite side of the planet in Australia. Tony and Taniya gave us fine service, Tony as our estates manager – the quality of our grounds speak for themselves – and Taniya as our registrar, receptionist and Business Director’s secretary. At the end of this term we will also be losing Ryan Torrie our Chaplain together with Jackie and their children; Ryan will be taking up a position at St Andrew’s in Oxford, a highly-regarded church, which I know well. He’s done a fine job at Peterhouse and I believe he has found his niche in school chaplaincy, so it is much to my regret that I have not been able to persuade him to stay a little longer but I wish him every success. The fact is that the loss of the Davisons, the Borlases and the Torries to pastures new overseas speaks volumes about the current state of affairs, not here at Peterhouse, but in Zimbabwe. Fortunately as staff have gone I have been able to make good appointments in their place and I am confident that Jon Trafford will inherit a strong team of teachers and support staff but one can’t help but worry about this latest exodus from Zimbabwe.

We also say farewell to Bernice Candy, our Head of Curriculum Support and Sixth Form Housemistress at PHG. Bernice has been instrumental in raising the profile of curriculum support and she has managed with remarkable success and equanimity to straddle the gap between PHB and PHG. I wish her every success at Ruzawi where she will take charge of the indigo room. And finally we bid farewell to Barbie Van Heerden who departs after nearly twenty years’ service. Barbie joined Peterhouse in January 1999 and, save for a short break in early 2005, she has been here ever since. Barbie will be best remembered latterly as a committed and diligent geography teacher but in her pomp she was also Senior Mistress and, in the period leading up to Jenny Calderwood’s death, Barbie was part of the gang of four – the Senior Management team – which gave Jon Calderwood so much support running the school in difficult times. Barbie, I wish you every happiness in your retirement and thank and congratulate you on all that you have done for Peterhouse.

Where to next? The simple answer for me and Susie is back to Blighty; where to next for Peterhouse is, of course, for others to decide but I would like to think that looking after our teaching and support staff will remain the top priority at least until the economy returns to some sense of normality; whatever the answer, I am absolutely confident that with Jon Trafford at the helm as the new Rector, ably supported by Mark Whitaker our highly skilled Business Director, Claire Hough, Paul Martin two energetic new Heads and our first class governors and committee members the future looks secure even in the face of the challenges yet to come.
I shall, of course, follow progress from afar and as I do so I will reflect upon this place with much affection and returning to the UK will not be without its challenges. I will have to reacclimatise not just to the appalling weather and to the bedlam of BREXIT but to all sorts of other things too – just now will have already happened; now will mean now, and now now will only be uttered by someone with a stammer; mushy will be the peas one eats with fish and chips; lekker (lacquer) the varnish used to coat a piece of wood and an oak will be a tree; I will barbeque not braai and it will be Smith and Jones not Mombeyarara and Nyamupingidza. Alas, I will have to carry my own golf clubs, do my own gardening, iron my own shirts and wash my own car. But I will be able to take Ruby for a walk without fear of a python attack; there will be no more fuel queues, power cuts and zollars and, best of all, it’ll be sausage and mash not sudza and relish. There will be great stories to recount of my African adventure, but I can tell you now that I will miss the place and its people hugely.
  
And it’s not just to Peterhouse that I’ll be waving goodbye. I will be hanging up my boots as a Headmaster after 22 years in the job firstly at Dover College in Kent, then at the Royal Hospital School in Suffolk and lastly here at Peterhouse. As you would expect, as the end approaches, I have, of late, been reflecting on things and I have a reached a few conclusions. Firstly I wouldn’t have it any other way – it has been a great joy and privilege to have spent so much of my working life as a Headmaster; there has rarely been an occasion when I haven’t looked forward to the day ahead with optimism and cheerfulness and, even when things have taken a turn for the worse, there’s always been someone or something to lift the spirits. Secondly, interacting with pupils in places like Peterhouse is a great way to spend your life; true boys are habitually pretty horrible but they are also lively, entertaining, witty, gregarious and energetic and they don’t hold grudges; and girls are just lovely, when they’re not scratching each other’s eyes out or being hormonal. Yes, in spite of the ghastliness of adolescence it’s good to be in the company of young people, to see them flourish and to transition from the awkwardness of youth into confident young men and young women. Thirdly, working alongside school masters and school mistresses in this sort of environment is an inspiration; teachers can, of course, be delicate flowers and there’s always the challenge of dealing with the odd prima donna or two – usually in the Music Department – but if you take time to reflect, to consider what they do on a day to day basis it’s extraordinary how much time and emotion they invest in their pupils and how they give of themselves; theirs is not a job, it’s a calling. That’s why leading Common Rooms is challenging and frustrating but also immensely rewarding. And, perhaps most significant of all, I have learnt that, whilst there is occasion for autocratic leadership, when lines should be clearly drawn, boundaries set and ambiguity cast aside, life is not black and white, it’s shades of grey, and with a touch of consideration and diplomacy there’s normally a civilised and constructive way to move forward or to resolve a difficulty and that’s especially the case in a place like Peterhouse.

I must finish with some words of thanks: to my secretary Veronica Chirombe who has brightened up my day every day for the past seven years – she’s an absolute delight and she’s also unbelievably efficient; to members of Common Room for their commitment, enthusiasm and sense of purpose; to Trevor Mushiko and Edson Banda who have guided me through some tricky Zimbabwean moments; to Kevan Barbour, David Kirkman, Sarah Shoesmith and Andy Griggs for all they have done at the helm respectively of our housemasters, our sports, extra-curricular and academic programmes; to our splendid support staff led by Duff Rogers, Jason Driscoll, Mike Mtakwa, Bundu Waller, Andrew Bailey and Amida Borges; to Graham Peebles, Tracy Blignaut and Mark Whitaker, my TMT colleagues, who have helped lead the Peterhouse Group forward and who, together with Liz Peebles and Moira Whitaker, have become such great friends. Much has already been said elsewhere about Graham and Liz Peebles and Tracy Blignaut as they prepare to leave SVH and PHG respectively but I too would like to acknowledge their fine service – under their leadership SVH and PHG have thrived and I have greatly enjoyed working closely with them. And thanks too to the school’s governors and committee members so well steered by Stuart Mattinson, Simon Hammond, Sam Malaba and Graeme Webb, for their time so generously given. I must make particular and personal mention of Stuart Mattinson and Simon Hammond who have been my two bosses over the past seven years – their words of support and guidance have been an enormous source of encouragement and neither of them has ever crossed the invisible line which divides governance from the day to day leadership of the school and for that I am very grateful. I have been fortunate, indeed, to have worked for two people who have given so much to this great school over such a long period of time and who I and others hold in such high regard – Stuart, Simon thank you.

You may think that I am at the end, and I nearly am, but there is one other person I would like to make special mention of on this my 22nd and last Speech Day and that is, of course, my wife Susie. On all similar occasions in the past I have assiduously avoided making reference to Susie on the basis that this is a Headmaster’s report, not one of those hideously overindulgent Oscar acceptance speeches when, in gushing tones, the recipient’s parents and everyone else in their life is given a mention; but today I will break my rule. Over the years Susie and been a dutiful Headmaster’s wife; she has smiled sweetly, hosted impeccably, supported loyally and dressed beautifully and she has accepted the massive intrusion that being a headmaster’s wife brings into one’s personal life and home with remarkable grace and elegance, and it’s difficult to know how I could have done it all, and enjoyed it so much, without her at my side. So today, my darling, in Oscar winning fashion, I would like to recognise all that you have done on my behalf and indeed on behalf of the schools in which we have both lived and served – you have played your part and you have played it with charm and distinction and I will be forever grateful that you have been there. May I ask you all to join me in thanking and acknowledging Susie for all that she has done not just here at Peterhouse but elsewhere too?

Ladies and gentlemen, 2019, my last hoorah, has been a fine year for Peterhouse; the school is set fair and I have the utmost confidence that with Jon Trafford waiting in the wings you can rest assured that, in spite of the challenges, the pot holes around the corner, Peterhouse will continue to grow and thrive. I wish him and indeed all of you all every success and good fortune.

Conditur in Petra.


Graham Peebles – Honours’ Tie
At the end of this term Graham Peebles will step down from SVH after 34 years of service, the last 27 of which he has been Headmaster.
In recognition of his outstanding service it gives me great pleasure to award Graham with an Honours’ tie.


GUEST OF HONOURS SPEECH

Mr SCOTT MARQUES

Conditur in Petra

The Rector, Members of the Board of Governors, invited guests and parents, Members of Staff, young men and women of Peterhouse

30 years ago, almost to the day, I sat where the 6th Form are sitting today. And life has been more of an adventure and more of a challenge than I ever expected. I would like to take this opportunity to give you the very best advice I could possibly give you as you venture into a world that is in a more rapid state of change an uncertainty than when I launched out. The speed of change is truly phenomenal and is giving rise to options that were never available before – both for better and for worse. The forces of society, politics and economics play out within this rapidly mutating environment. There are many interesting days a head for us in Zimbabwe, SA, Africa, UK, USA, indeed across the globe from East to West, North to South.

In this context, you have attended one of the foremost High Schools on the continent – renowned for its diverse exposure not only academically but in many other aspects of life – the awards today are testimony to this. What a school; and if you have had the good fortune of being in Founders House then you have definitely known the peak experience of being at Peterhouse

I’d like to draw your attention to one aspect of the preparation for life that you have been exposed to at this outstanding institution. Each time you have walked into chapel, either through the front door or under the centerpiece of the aisle, you have walked under the school motto – Conditur in Petra.

Jesus used this phrase twice – both at apex moments of his ministry.

Firstly as he ended his sermon on the mount - the most pondered and most quoted speech in the history of mankind. He said at the end of this sermon ‘He who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like the man who builds his house on the rock.’ (Matt 7v24-27)

Then secondly, Jesus uses this phrase immediately prior to his transfiguration. Upon Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Son of the Living God, Jesus says to him ‘I tell you, you are Peter (petros) and on this Rock (petra) I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.’ (Matt 16 v 18)

These words that ride along the very heights of Jesus teaching will now compete for your attention as you leave Peterhouse and are exposed to a wider and wider world. Other words will contest for supremacy in your hearts, vying for your faith, for what you truly believe. And as we know, it is what we truly believe is what determines how we actually behave.

Just before I highlight the core elements of what Jesus profiles as being the very basis for building your life, I’d like us to consider some other competing messages out there. I’ve chosen to demonstrate these through some songs, ones that you will have either heard as a squack brushing someone else’s shoes, or that played yourself as a sixth former while your squacks were brushing your shoes. Let’s have a listen to some examples:

One Republic (2013/14) Counting Stars
I, feel something so right
Doing the wrong thing
I, feel something so wrong
Doing the right thing
I could lie, could lie, could lie
Everything that kills me makes me feel alive

DJs Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike & David Guetta with Kiiara – Complicated (2017)
We can keep it simple, baby
Let's not make it complicated
Labels are so overrated
Let's not make it complicated
Rules are meant for breaking, baby
Let's not make it complicated
Why don't we just go get naked?
Let's not make it complicated

Khalid – Young, Dumb and Broke (2017)
I can not give you everything, you know I wish I could
I'm so high at the moment
I'm so caught up in this
Yeah, we're just young, dumb and broke
But we still got love to give
While we're young dumb
Young, young dumb and broke

Little Mix – Shout Out to My Ex (2016)
Shout out to my ex, you're really quite the man
You made my heart break and that made me who I am
Here's to my ex, hey, look at me now
Well, I, I'm all the way up
I swear you'll never bring me down

Snoop dog & Wiz Khalifa – Young & Wild & Free – 2011/12
So what, we get drunk
So what, we smoke weed
We're just having fun
We don't care who sees
So what, we go out
That's how it's supposed to be
Living young and wild and free

I think it is good to play these songs in chapel, because the truth is that our whole lives are lived out in the shadow of the cross and in the light of Christ. And we need to evaluate the relative wisdom of all the messages that we hear.

As we look at the advice that Jesus gives us for building our lives on a firm foundation, he highlights the following three key points from these passages, and which I would give as the very best advice for you as you head out from Peterhouse:

Firstly – Build your life on a real relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus calls this the PETRA of our lives – the very basis and foundation of our life. ‘On this rock I will build’ – the rock of the realization of who Jesus truly is as the eternal, living God. As Isaiah puts it ‘Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders. He will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9v6).

Secondly – Build your life on a real relationship with his church. Be part of a church that preaches the truth about who Jesus is. In this way, you join what Jesus is building, which will last for all eternity. ‘On this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail.’ The truth is that there is coming a day where everything will pass away and nothing else will count except that which is built with God. As you participate in vibrant church life you will grow to love God and love others in an increasing measure, which will be the basis of lasting value and meaning for your life.

Lastly – Build your life by really following Jesus in all he leads you into. Jesus illustrates what it means to be Conditur in Petra by saying ‘he who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like one who builds his house on the rock.’ What is certain is that the wind and waves will buffet us, what is uncertain is the terrain on which ach of us will build. None of us will be immune from the challenges of life. Through all the joys of my family, church and business involvement I have also known the pain of loosing 51% of my business in forceful indigenization acquisition, facing innumerable hardships in business in Zimbabwe, Moçambique and other countries, and many other trials of life. What is certain is that the hardships will be there. What is not certain is whether will be build on the rock of following God’s leading or on the sand of the many other voices that will weaken us. Whether we follow Jesus or not will make all the difference in the end.

In conclusion then may I encourage the Sixth form, with all my heart, to be Founded On Rock. To build your life on nothing short of a real relationship with Jesus, real participation in his church, and to genuinely follow Him in all that He leads you into.

As C.S. Lewis put it so magnificently in his Narnia series at the end of The Last Battle

“All their life in this world and all their adventures had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
May I pray for you as you venture out into this new season, that your lives would count for great glory to God and great joy to your souls? I would also like to take this opportunity to pray for Howard and Susie Blackett, who have served and invested so wholeheartedly, selflessly and superbly into the life of this great school and into the lives of each person here today, as they themselves transition also into a brand new season in their lives.



HEAD OF SCHOOL’S SPEECH
ZIVAI SINEMANI

Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr Stuart Mattinson and Mrs Penny Mattinson, Guest of Honour Mr Scott Marques, The Rector and Mrs Susie Blackett, invited guests, parents and gentlemen of Peterhouse.
I would like to thank Mr Marques for presenting our prizes and for his powerful words of wisdom and encouragement. Thank you sir for taking the time to be with us today; you are most welcome.

I stand before you, humbled and privileged, as the 61st Head Boy of this great school, which has been my home for the past 6 years. I was asked recently to sum it all up in one word, and I said, “Growth.” In 2014, a group of about 90 boys from diverse backgrounds arrived in Tinokura; surrounded largely by strangers we had no idea what to expect. Our Head of House told us we were at the bottom of the food chain, and that to wear the crown and to call ourselves kings it had to be earned. That hurt my soft D block boy feelings but in time I realised that he was right – Tinokura means we will grow and looking back at it all now, as I reflect on the past 6 years, on behalf of all the 6th form leavers- Takura, which means we have grown.

As you have heard 2019 has been yet another year of success. In the field of culture our Model United Nation’s club excelled hosting its first ever conference and nationwide development seminar; we have received countless tributes for our performances in activities from the World Scholars Cup, to debate, choir, bridge, chess and many others; we served where we could via Leo, Kukura Neshungu and Interact making the community in which we live a better place and, in that context, I would like add that being this year’s Interact President has been a great honour for me. Our sports’ teams have performed well at levels with our 1st X1 football team in particular having an outstanding season; even our 1st XV Rugby team, proved all the critics wrong by winning over half of the fixtures thanks to the hard work of the players and the excellent coaching of Mr.Kirkman, Mr. Fereira and Mr.Greeff. I guess all those hennymulas actually came in handy but I won’t miss that phrase “Right, that’s five, corner.” I will, however, remember Mr.Kirkman’s famous words, “It’s the little things that count the most.”
Peterhouse is constantly changing, growing, reaching new heights but what remains constant is its core values and traditions, “the little things”. At the beginning of the year the School Prefects drew a new Code of Honour to remind every one of the values a Peterhouse pupil should have; our code included reference to loyalty, respect, humility and service. Whatever the future holds, I hope that these enduring values are unremitting; it is the strong sense of ethos that unites past, present and future generations of Petreans. And the value in particular that sticks out for me; well it’s loyalty – the friendships made here, which stem from that loyalty to each other will be for a life time and that means a great deal. Through everything that has happened here, good or bad, my brothers were by my side and me by theirs. Even as David Chifamba constantly asked for my tuck, I never left him, but his plans for defined abs and a supermodel body did leave him.

2019 marks the end of the Blackett era. A lot has been changed over the past 7 years, and may I say it, mostly for the better. Peterhouse has expanded its horizons, developed tremendously particularly on the academic front. I would like to thank Mr and Mrs Blackett for all that they have done for Peterhouse and to wish them well as they return to the UK.

To the boys staying behind, I urge you to use the numerous opportunities given to you here. In my six years I have been a dancer, a singer, a rapper, a debater, an academic, a rugby, soccer and basketball player, a club president, a tourist in France, a newspaper writer and a camper who has climbed some of Zimbabwe’s highest mountains; all made possible by this incredible school. Never be afraid to try something new; step out of your comfort zone and you’ll start to find out who you are. A Peterhouse education is much more than books and reading, it’s the growth of character and becoming part of a legacy that is bigger than just you. Wear the crown on your heart with pride and dignity. Time passes fast and you don’t want to have any regrets.

To the boys departing with me I say this “the world awaits us”. We have learnt a lot on the journey to date, lessons in life that will be of value, so to the likes of Marvelous Benza, Mukudzeishe Nyamarebvu, Tawanda Chauruka and Munashe Chivhanga who have adapted strong knowledge of these streets let me remind you that Peterhouse is only the beginning.
In closing a few words of thanks on behalf of the leavers. Firstly to the parents of the 2019 leavers; for being there for us when we complained about the seniors until we started complaining about the juniors; for your hard work and commitment that has kept us here we are eternally grateful. Secondly to members of Common Room for their guidance, support, teaching and coaching. And a few words of personal thanks; to Mr Blackett who has been my mentor this year – I feel very fortunate to have worked closely alongside him for the duration of the past 12 months; to Mr Barbour for being the grand-father figure that he was as I grew up in Grinham house – he taught me a lot of life lessons and above all the importance of self-discipline; “You can run but you can’t hide.” And finally to my Deputy Head of School Gareth Ncube, who has been by my side throughout this journey; it has been a privilege and an honour to work with a man of his calibre.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you.
Kurikuwa (she she)

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