Success Stories

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Success Stories

Every child who has gained confidence and found independence is a success story.  However some of our students have gone further and are making their mark in the country.

Liyana Band

Liyana is an afro-fusion band formed at KGVI.  In 2006 they won an inter-regional music festival in Mozambique and as a prize toured Sweden, Netherlands and Belgium for 5 weeks.  They were a great success at the more than 30 live shows they gave.  The band compose their own music and write their own songs.  Their instruments are marimba, traditional drums, keyboard and piano.  Visit their website to find out more!

Past Student Successes:

Sindile Mhlanga

Sindile lost his hearing when he was 11 years old. When he first came to KGVI he was a very depressed child with no wish to communicate with anyone. With the care and learning he received at KGVI he soon began his mental recovery and his first feat was to learn lip reading and sign language. He did well at school and achieved excellent O level results. With the help of staff at KGVI he was able to attend a normal senior school where he wrote his A levels. He then tried to get into the University of Zimbabwe but they would not admit him because of his disability. In the meantime he was not idle and came back to KGVI to help out with some teaching of the hearing impaired classes.

Through KGVI contacts he was fortunate enough to find a bursary to Rochester Institute of Technology in America. He had a wonderful time at the University, learning American Sign Language and exploring all the wonders of science which are available to the hearing impaired in America. He finally finished his degree in Business Management and went on to do a teaching diploma. He plans to return to Zimbabwe one day and help children who face similar problems to the ones that he had to face.

This young man has now returned to Zimbabwe and is teaching the Business Management class at KGVI.  He is also mobilising the young hearing impaired school leavers into a social group and counselling the HI children at the Centre.

 

Courage Chipatiso

Courage has Muscular Dystrophy and is permanently in a wheelchair. She did well at KGVI despite the time she had to take off with ill health and other medical problems. She left school after completing her O levels and is now running the Bulawayo Branch of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. In 2000 she represented the Association at an international conference in America.

 Soneni Gwizi

Soneni has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bones) and has to use crutches to walk. She did well at school and took part in as many activities as she could. At the Centre she learnt to be as independent as her disability would allow and she also learnt to walk and to get around on her own. She wrote her O levels at KGVI and then did a secretarial course. She worked as a receptionist in a Bulawayo company for several years and then applied to do a media course in Cape Town. She was the only disabled pupil in the international participants and managed to impress them all. She passed the course and then returned to Bulawayo where she has become very involved in her church and is very active in supporting some of the children at KGVI.

 Precious Ncube

In the KGVI office another one of our ex-pupils has been employed.  Precious raised her own salary for a two year period by applying to an organisation in Finland.  She is one of our pioneers of Independent Living although with muscular dystrophy she was also one of our most disabled students.  We were unable to find a way for her to independently use the telephone but she has mastered the use of a computer by using a mouse with an on-screen keyboard.  When she first started she had never used a mouse before, now she proudly announces that she can type a 2 page document in half an hour.  She is also running the little shop we have set up so that the houses can buy some basic goods at wholesale prices.  Precious has proved herself to be invaluable at sourcing the goods that are always in short supply in Zimbabwe.  She has also made contacts all over the country and sources the very best prices and discounts for the Centre.  A wonderful spin-off from this project is that Precious is now renting rooms from us and living independently!

Mkhumi Valela

Mkhumi has Cerebral Palsy and is very disabled with continual uncoordinated movements and difficult speech.  He wrote his O levels at KGVI and then went on to do his A levels at a non-disabled school.  He bought a second hand computer from KGVI and used that for his homework and to write poetry which he loves.  He got good passes in his three A level subjects and is now studying Sociology through a distance education programme with the University of South Africa.

Edmore Masendeke

Edmore has Cerebral Palsy and although he can walk with no support his speech is very unclear.  He wrote his O levels at KGVI where he started a termly newspaper.  He wrote his A levels at a non-disabled school and then gained a place to do Business Management at the University of Zimbabwe.  He graduated last year and is now working in the economics department in the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.  During his spare time he has written and had published a book of poetry which he dedicated to the children of KGVI.

Nyasha Mharakurwa

Nyasha has  and is permanently in a wheelchair.  He wrote his O levels at KGVI and then moved on to a non-disabled school to write his A levels.  He has just completed a Business Management degree at the University of Zimbabwe.  He has been chosen to go down to South Africa to represent Zimbabwe in a wheelchair marathon and for disabled tennis.  He started the disabled tennis movement in Zimbabwe

Poetry Book

In 1999 we published our own poetry book called ‘Stars in a Plate’. The book was launched in a public ceremony at the Bulawayo Art Gallery and was well received by everyone there.
The book was written entirely by the students and tells more about the importance of our work than any other words could.

Part of the Introduction….

Anyone visiting KGVI cannot avoid being inspired by the resilience and courage of the children. Both Centre and School have a very special atmosphere and we who work here feel very privileged. However, it is not possible to forget that ‘our’ children have tremendous problems, far greater than those of your average teenager in the world today. Outwardly we see the courage and the cheerfulness, but every so often the pain slips through. These joys and pains and aspirations are expressed eloquently by the children themselves. This book is offered up by the children of King George VI as a testament to their ability, their independence, their spirit and their pain!

 

Some Samples of poems from the book…

PARDON ME GOD
Pardon me, God,
For being what I am.
I did not choose this
Disability.
Forgive me, Lord,
For feeling so afflicted.
I may curse on you, Lord
But it still hurts.
Pardon me, Mighty Holy,
Be patient with my blasphemy.
I am pained, Father,
By this haunting
Disability.
This haunting curse,
Shattering across my life.
Oh, Mighty Holy One,
Save me Lord.,
Forgive me God,
For being a nuisance
In this Holy world!
For being a stink,
Among the Blessed Sheep.
But Father, is it so, that
I may have sinned,
To deserve this?
If it be so, then, Amen.
Pardon me God,
For being what I am.
Wellington Zava

MY POEM
I was alone
During the deadly hours,
In total darkness,
A real oblivion.
A flash struck
My closed eyes;
A ghost,
I thought.
To my surprise,
It was a poem;
My poem,
Coming from the darkness
With the rising sun.
My poem spoke;
It really talked
With the real voice
The voice of hope.
It spoke of disability,
Its pains and hardships.
But warned me,
Giving up was not the solution.
Tungi

I LOVE MY MOTHER
I love my mother.
But she went away from me.
There is nothing more to say.
The poem ends as softly as it began,
I love my mother
Nyasha Nyu

WHAT TO DO
What to do;
Go inside your bedroom,
Close the door behind you,
Take your bed, shoes, clothes outside.
Come back into your room,
When you come, bring trees, bushes, soil, birds
In your bedroom,
Place them everywhere.
Kneel down and pray.
Paris W Ndou