Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Meet our former Teacher and Deputy Headmistress of Choma Secondary School

Ms. Ruth Hamunyanga
Mr. Raphael Kumwenda
Ms. Ruth Hamunyanga (1968 – 1979; 1981-1996)
Interview report compiled by Hachizibe Raphael Mudenda (former pupil of 1988 – 1992)


Ms Hamunyanga did her form 1 and 2 at Chipembi Girls Secondary School in 1958-1959. She later trained as a Primary School teacher and she taught at Jembo and Siachitema Wesleyan Mission Schools. Having been an intelligent and dependable lady, the Wesleyan Church sponsored her to do a Bachelors’ Degree in the USA in 1964 just before Zambia’s independence. She majored in Geography with a minor in Psychology. The church wanted her to teach at Choma Secondary School upon completing her training. She started teaching at Choma Secondary in 1968.
A number of times, government wanted to move her from Choma Secondary to Curriculum Development Centre in Lusaka but she rejected the offer because of her compassionate for young people. Helping young people through teaching and ensuring that they grow as responsible and well behaved citizens of Zambia was her desire. She felt she was needed most at Choma Secondary than at Curriculum Development Centre. She was also in the group of the first Zambians involved in the examinations marking.
In 1979 she went to do her Masters in Geography in the USA. She also studied administration while in the USA. She taught for one year in the USA but she says she never enjoyed teaching there because young people didn’t seem to appreciate the help offered to them of administering discipline for reformation and good behaviour. She came back to Choma Secondary in 1982.

She liked the unity that existed between the two churches running the school (Brethren in Christ Church & Pilgrim Wesleyan Church). She also liked the cooperation and the working together among teachers and the administrators. This cooperation among teachers resulted in good class performance and good behavior of pupils. Ms Hamunyanga thinks one of the reasons why, many government ministers, senior government officials, prominent business people in Choma and outside Choma including Asians and Whites brought their children to Choma Sec Sch was because of the excellent class results and well disciplined pupils due to good administration. During her time there was a mixture of teachers (Whites, Blacks and Asians). 
However, Ms Hamunyanga remembers some teachers who gave her a lot of problems whom I will not mention their names. She thinks some teachers didn’t have the skill to teach therefore they just spent time making jokes in class for time to pass. She also had pupils that gave her real hell such as Victor Mbindo and Raju Nayee (Choma Garage). Victor gave her a lot of problems in school, but she is happy that Victor is now a born again Christian and doing very well in life. Raju Nayee used to miss her geography class by hiding in the bush until when the geography class was over. Raju now is a prominent businessman in Choma and very responsible.
Ms Hamunyanga regrets that some parents never appreciated the disciplinary measures taken against their children because they thought their children were just being harshly treated, but could not understand the rational for disciplining their children, to help them reform and become better and responsible citizens. 

Ms Hamunyanga says she moved with a shambok to ensure young people were well disciplined and adhered to regulations of the school at all times wherever they were in school. When beating a pupil she didn’t mean to “kill” but to help reform or remind a pupil of the school rules. She thinks the shambok in a “kirk” envelop helped many.

Her best times at school were when she helped a young person reform or change for the better. She decided to remain at Choma Sec Sch to just help young people receive the best education and help they needed. 

She hated standing in the sun waiting for the former President (Dr. Kenneth “Wamuyaya” Kaunda) to come and visit the school. She feels this was a great torture on teachers and pupils.

She is so grateful to God for the love He has been showing her and for how much he has been blessing her life. She also appreciates the cooperation given to her by all teachers at Choma Sec Sch when she was a teacher as well as Deputy Head. She also appreciates the love and care shown to her by all her former pupils.

1.     Iron Lady – for being tough on offender pupils
2.     Sunday Girl – for being clean and smart (always looking beautiful)
3.     Margret Thatcher – former British female president (for being sharp)
*If you know any other nickname for M Hamunyanga, please feel free to share with us*

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