“Uchandifunga, uchanditsvaga, uchandishaya” (you will remember me, seek me and fail to find me) is the unforgettable motivational phrase often delivered with captivating humor that cannot be ignored and a very deep Ndebele accent by our former math teacher at Highfield High School (now Highfield High 1), Highlanders versatile president Ndumiso Gumede, who died last Wednesday in Bulawayo.
He taught me Forms 1 and 2 in 1970-71 along with many other surviving and deceased sportsmen and business figures, who in meetings repeated the phrase originally used to encourage us to work hard and Pass math, a major requirement for many jobs even to this day.
Gumede was a great influencer, even to other learners whom he did not teach directly during his time at school between 1969 and 1975.
As a football coach and referee, the famous football administrator nurtured many old greats who later turned out to be the best teams in the Rhodesian National Football League, such as Oliver Kateya (Dynamos) Shakeman Shacky Tauro, Peter Augustino (Caps United) and doctor Rodrick. All late Muganhiri (Black Aces), whom I had the privilege of speaking about in the National Radio commentary as I teamed up with the late Jonathan Mutsinze, Jackson Sithole and later Lisbern Nasasara on Rhodesia Broadcasting’s African service Corporation (RBC) from 1974.
“He was such a good teacher, coach, actor and musician so full of energy even until the moment he passed away, as evidenced by the way he gave his opinion on the SRC / Zifa and Fifa standoff.” said Laban Kandi, another Highfield Secondary. School alumni and former Dynamos keeper.
In the corporate world, Gumede taught and influenced many renowned leaders who were at “PaSecondary”, as the school was affectionately known as it was then the only one to accommodate students with higher grades of over d. ‘a dozen elementary schools in the high-density suburb of Highfield. .
In our “Class of 1973” O-Level WhatsApp discussion group led informally by Michael Mataure, a former Chimanimani lawmaker, we have Chartered Accountant Freeman Kembo, owner of a huge flourishing garment factory in Harare, who has regularly donated some of the branded tracksuits and release jackets to our former teacher.
There’s also economist and former diplomat Mutsvene John Marangwanda, whose Longden Steel company erected the Mbuya Nehanda statues steelworks in Harare’s central business district, not to mention former banker and businessman Ignatius. Pamire, former president of Dynamos, and renewable energy engineer Charles Murove. .
Pretoria-based Dr Simbarashe Sibanda, a renowned agricultural scholar and international researcher and possibly one of Gumede’s top mathematics students at the time, said: “It’s a horrible year.
He is the best math teacher I have ever had.
Gumede believed in simplifying his subject matter through illustrations and everyday narratives to the point of using Shona, which he was still learning after he came to school in 1969 from Gwelo Teachers’ Training College, which is now Midlands State University.
“By teaching math, he made a boring and boring subject into a pleasant and exciting subject.
He joked every day before our math class. Sometimes he would teach us to sing popular Ndebele songs, ”recalls Jacob Chisese, who later became Managing Director of Zimpapers Harare Branch, Managing Director of Modus Publications, publishers of the Financial Gazette and COO of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, editors of the Daily News.
“He was witty, entertaining and most of all a competent teacher.”
Other former students like broadcaster Felix N’anjo, writer and social commentator and public relations manager Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana, the former St Giles Beauty Mushipe medico-social worker all remembered their multi-talented teacher. Gumede for his teaching skills and his humor.
Others who were our elders, but who benefited from many extracurricular activities, led by Gumede, included senior journalist Davison Maruziva and David Mwenga, former director of public relations for Air Zimbabwe.
“Not a lot of interaction during school days, but later when Jets Football Club was in the Premier Soccer League and during my time as a TV reporter, he was a gracious man with an infectious laughter in the open. boom.
He loved IsiNdebele, his mother tongue, but in conversations he alternated between English, Shona and Ndebele seamlessly, without leaving you behind if you didn’t speak his language, ”Mwenga said.
Maruziva said he remembers Gumede as a popular, fun and colorful sports master.
“He loved and lived his job thoroughly. He would put on his sports equipment at school and around the Machipisa shopping center, much to the amusement of the students and other spectators. He was always full of life and surprises.
He was very close to our comrade Sylvia Gumede from Mufakose, the daughter of his late brother and presenter Agritty Gumede.
To the residents of Highfield at this time, he was a ‘secondary’ teacher residing in the prestigious Highfield residential complex on the outskirts of the township, who also liked tight safari suits and rode in his size Solex motorcycle. toy, which he was taking to Bulawayo by train when transferred to Mzilikazi High School in 1976.
One day when our teacher from Shona, the late historian and author Aeneas Chigwedere, who later became director of Goromonzi and minister of primary and secondary education, mourned in his family, Gumede arrived in our classroom and as we we got out our math books, he shouted in his usual Ndebele accent: “No, no, no, I’ll take you for Shona since Mr. Chigwetere (sic) is away.” Tichaita ngano.
“Kare kare matombo achiri manyoro, chibhage (sic) chichiri kufamba, banhu vachiri kudla bamwe (sic), kwakanga kuripo tsuro na gudho (sic).”
We burst out laughing uncontrollably until a very serious-looking Gumede suddenly said, “Back to our topic on right triangles,” starting with a narration of the Pythagorean theorem as he stealthily moved around. from one wall to another.
He really enjoyed reciting theories and replacing the lyrics in English music with the words Shona and Ndebele, to our enjoyment as the learners.
Besides Chigwedere, Gumede taught with fellow historian Maurice Tagwireyi, who later became the first black permanent secretary in the Department of Local Government under former Minister Eddison Zvobgo, geographer Ian MacCausland, who later co-founded Girls College in Bulawayo .
He was also a mentor to our former math professor at Gwelo Teachers’ College, Dr Daniel Sithole, who later led Allied Timbers in Mutare.
But our former science teacher Kingston Rudenya, who once ran Mufakose No.
2 secondary school and is now completely blind and lives in the UK.
He also co-formed the Highfield Secondary football team with Gumede.
“I am so sorry to hear that my best friend Professor Ndumiso Gumede is no longer. We sat side by side in the staff room and shared a lot of stories. We were still in touch by phone,” he said. said Rudenya.
Author and editor Barbra Makhalisa Nkala could only say, “Oh no, he went to rest.
We acted as Ncube and Madawu parents of Thandi (Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana) in the Isaac Mabhikwa-directed film More Time, having provided part-time continuity by announcing tasks together at the former Radio Mthwakazi studios in Bulawayo in the 1970s.
My last communication with Gumede, who also appeared in radio series like Sayijeni Gatsheni and Sakhelene Zinini by Harry Nleya, was in mid-September.
“Masuku, I’m in Harare and I’m watching you on national TV right now. We are here to officially accept Highlander sponsorship from a well-known energy company.
Unfortunately, I was unable to meet “Yours Truly” in what would have been our last farewells due to our very tight schedules at the time, but I will always fondly remember “Mr. Gameed” as he was called. jokingly when he entered our classroom over five decades ago.
l John Masuku, a veteran radio and television journalist and media educator, is a former student of Ndumiso Gumede at Highfield Secondary School in Harare.
Email him on [email protected] Twitter @ john-masuku