Mbulelo Mpofu, Chronicle Reporter
THEY say life begins at 40.
Well, for most of the people, but there is a distinct crop which achieves more than their peers do before they reach the age of 40 and Graceland Group of Educational Institutions co-director, Mrs Anele Chirume is one of them.
Nestled in Nyamandlovu is a pair of educational institutions; a secondary school, Graceland Global College and a primary school Graceland Preparatory School established by Mr Austin Chirume and Mrs Anele Chirume while responding to a plea from people in the area in 2020.
During the third term last year, there were 97 pupils at the secondary school and 10 at ECD Level.
The school offers Zimsec examinations.
The education institutions have come as a relief for pupils who used to walk long distances.
Daughter to a Post Office worker and a prayerful woman, Mrs Chirume was born in 1982 and bred in Pumula North, Bulawayo.
She went to Amaswazi Primary School, Sizane High School and Foundation Technical College.
Her upbringing to a religious family influenced her immensely hence she is a Pastor at Restoration Church of God.
Together with her husband, Mrs Chirume established International Fellowship of Families which is an interdenominational establishment whose mandate is to build strong families.
In 2020, the Chirumes were approached by community members in Nyamandlovu asking if they could assist them with a secondary school.
The community, with the approval of the chief and other village heads, then made available an unused farmhouse to begin the school project.
Recently, they have also been offered land suitable for a school and that is where major work lies to build a proper school.
“Since we have been financing the project from our own salaries, that has proved insufficient.
Also, bringing the children’s mindset back to school after the extended closure of school was an issue as staying at home had made them languid and lackadaisical,” Mrs Chirume said.
However, it has not been always doom and gloom for Mrs Chirume and her husband who are known as the “A-team” owing to their names which start with the letter A.
“There has been behaviour change from the students to such an extent that the community noted it and offered land to continue the work we are doing.
Several people who were known as delinquents in the community have turned over a new leaf.
The community has been supportive of our work and that has been working like a charm for us,” she said.
Mrs Chirume’s mantra is ‘‘success against all odds’’, which is now the school motto.
She also has a message to someone who has a dream: “Never give up. Never bury dreams because they seem to have tarried for so long.
Continue trusting God and in His time. He makes all things beautiful.
The word impossible is a myth.”
Her belief is in legacy-building and imparting the present for the benefit of future generations. — @eMKlass_49