Bongani Ndlovu, Chronicle Reporter
IT had been 54 years since Ms Rebecca Mugadzaweta (69) met some of her former pioneer classmates at Luveve Secondary School.
Ms Mugadzaweta was among those who attended Luveve Secondary School when it was opened in 1965 and recently the old timers had a reunion.
The pioneer pupils created bonds of friendship during their time at the school.
Some have died, others lost touch, while others have drifted apart.
In the case of Luveve Secondary School students, it has been 56 years since the opening of the school and many things have changed.
For some the years have rolled on and slowly they have lost their loved ones and past classmates.
By chance, some of them bumped into each other in foreign countries and with the advent of social media, especially messaging application WhatsApp, reuniting was made easier.
The former students have since formed Luveve High School Former Students Association (LUFOSA) and it met on January 2.
Before that the senior citizens formed a WhatsApp group to reconnect with each other.
So far, the group has former classmates who attended the school from inception up to 1980 when the country attained its independence.
Luveve Secondary School started as a technical college where woodwork, metalwork, building and technical drawing were taught.
Mr Harold Edwards was the first headmaster followed by Mr Griffiths Malaba whose deputy was Dr Isaiah Sibanda.
Back in the days when girls at the school were addressed as Dames and boys as Sirs, Ms Mugadzaweta was one of the first female pupils enrolled at the school in Form One.
Just last year, Ms Mugadzaweta spoke to Mr Lewis Makoni, a former classmate for the first time in over 50 years when they linked up through social media.
“We were the first girls at Luveve at Form One.
It was opened in 1965 and it was only boys’ school and then the following year that’s when we were the first batch of girls before I left in 1967.
From the class I reconnected with Lewis Makoni who was in the same class with me, after about 54 years.
We met about six months before I joined the WhatsApp group,” said Ms Mugadzaweta.
“What struck me is that from the group some of the people, we shared the same teachers.
After so many years we could relate to something.
Teachers like Miss Fisa, Mr Biller, Mr Kututwa, Mr Musarurwa.
Most of them I saw when I returned from the United Kingdom. I heard some of them passed on which was sad.”
Another former pupil, Mr Clemio Machingaifa (70) enrolled at the school in 1967 and said the popping up of names of former classmates rekindled old memories.
“I joined Luveve in 1967 and memories that far brought reminiscing points.
Social evenings on Saturdays, old mates now in their late 60s, early 70s showed up in the group.
Some are remembered for leadership skills, some for being naughty, some for being sports persons, for good performance in class and some as slow learners.
Some are doing well in business, at work and some are retired.
Pleasant memories indeed.
There are some with sharp memories and remember many people.
Some have taken a low profile but support the cause,” said Mr Machingaifa.
The association wants to help the school through various projects and the first is drilling a borehole.
LUFOSA has a committee that comprises chairperson – Mr Bangure, vice Chairperson – Godwin Munyoro, Secretary Mr Rowland Mavolwane, among others.
United Kingdom based Mr Bangure (62) said the association has 150 members and counting from all over the world.
“Former students of Luveve High School made history by coming together to form the Luveve High School Former Students Association (LUFOSA).
“Through social media platforms, it took two months for at least 150 former students to reconnect.
These include the earliest crop of students since the secondary school opened its gates in 1965.
“At an Extraordinary General Meeting, the group formed an executive committee with the aid of a draft constitution.
“The rest of the former students are those of up to 1980 only.
Our next task is to activate the subsequent groups in their 10-year blocks from 1980 onwards,” said Mr Bangure.
One of those who was instrumental in coming up with the group, Ms Arnoldice Rose Mukaro who did her Ordinary Level at the school in 1977, said she and Ms Wendy Chimenya got into contact and they started catching up on the good old days.
“Wendy Hedwick Chimenya and I were exchanging experiences about different types of groups we were involved in on social media.
“Wendy said she was in a Regina Mundi Secondary School group on WhatsApp.
From that conversation I said it would be good to form a Luveve Secondary School group,” she said.
Group members have pledged to drill a borehole at the school, with a local organising committee set up led by Mr Mathamsanqa Dube.