My name is Thoko Mkwanazi and I currently reside in Thompsons Station, TN a small town that is approximately 29 miles from Nashville. I am originally from Zimbabwe and I first came to this country to attend college in 1978. I had a chance to go back to Zimbabwe after the country had gained independence. As a result I have experienced both pre and post-independence. It was during my 5 year stay post-independence that I become disillusioned with the political and economic climate of the country. Having lived in the States for nine years prior to that, it was very difficult for me to adjust to a declining economy which was caused by many factors which included corruption, lack of foresight, tribalism, lack of stewardship in those that had been granted the opportunity to lead the country. Watching the country decline as aggressively as it did, was disheartening to watch and I quickly resolved that the longer I stayed in the country the more I would not be able to help the people there. It was during this time, that I decided to come back to the States. I had become so disheartened that I decided I would never go back to Zimbabwe, yet at the back of my mind I wanted to be a part of the solution. I came back to the States with 2 suitcases in 1992 to start all over again. It took many years for me to get back on my feet and what had been my desire to help those that I had left behind seemed like an impossible task.
 
It was not until 2003 when my Dad passed away that I had to go back to Zimbabwe, and going to his funeral re-kindled something in me about the people that I had experienced years prior. It was right after his funeral, and as I was walking through the streets of the City of Bulawayo, that I felt such a desire to help the people there although I just did not know how. I have continued to visit Zimbabwe at least once a year in order to re-connect with the people there as well as to assist in whatever capacity.

Sometime in 2010, I was informed of the existence of the Thekwane Alumni Association (TAA) an association comprised of individuals that had attended our High School. I was intrigued to hear such an association did exist, however besides surfing the net and reading a little more about it, I did not pay any more attention to this association as I was so overwhelmed with the needs of the people of Bulawayo. After reconnecting with the Alumni, I decided to visit the school during my 2014 visit. Whilst on tour of the school with a few of the Alumni it occurred to me the last time I had stepped foot on this school was 38 years ago. Driving through the entrance was such an overwhelming experience as I was attempting to reconcile the images I had kept of the school in my mind and what I was seeing. As we were driving through the gate my eyes filled up with tears as reality was sinking in on just how the place had deteriorated over the years. The church was the next building we saw. I cannot express in words how overwhelmed I was by the site I saw. This was a school that we loved. We were proud of the school. We visited the classrooms, the dormitories, and I could not believe this was the school I had attended 38 years prior.

On my flight back to the States, I could not get the school off my mind and out of that the desire to do something to help restore this school back to its glory days was birthed. After further dialog with some of the Alumni, we decided to launch what we now call the Thekwane Facelift Campaign (TFLC). The pictures below will show you what we have been able to accomplish to date in collaboration with the Alumni and the School. As we continue to encourage the Alumni, I am also reaching out and request for your partnership. The first phase which we just completed was to facelift the entrance and the church. The second phase is intended to facelift the dormitories and then proceed to the classrooms and the Teachers’ quarters. We have received a quotation for the dormitories and the summary is provided below.

I am asking that you partner with us in fulfilling the challenge to restore the school back to its glory days, in the midst of the current economic challenges Zimbabwe faces, shortage of qualified teachers and limited texts books, water and other resources the school desperately needs. Like they say, Rome was not built in a day.
 
 
 

The Main Entrance
 
Before Facelift
 
After Facelift
 

The Church
 
Before Facelift 
 
 
After Facelift
 

One of the Classrooms
 
Before Facelift (me in the picture)
 
 
After Facelift
 

Additional Pictures Taken During Our Tour
 
The Lovers' Lane
This was the lane young lovers would walk holding hands thinking they were on top of the world. smiley
 
 
 

Beit Hall
 
(Where we had Saturday entertainment)
 
 

Some of the Classrooms, Labs and Lecture Hall
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dedicated Staff and Board
 
 
 

Current Chairman of the Board
(on the extreme left)
 
 

Pictures of Founder and Former Principals
 
 

The Library
 
 

The School Map
 
 

This brought memories of our devoted principal during my 4 years at the school.  May his soul rest in peace.
 
 

The girls dorms and Dining Hall
 
 
 

The Boys Dorms and Dining Hall
 
 
 
 
 
 

Location Map
 
 
 
Thank you in advance for your partnership!

Thoko Mkwanazi
 
TAA USA/Canada Branch
P.O. Box 1854
Springhill, TN 37174
626-475-2715
 

 

 
 
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