Veteran St Johns (Emerald Hill) High School teacher, Charles Maraire Chaongora (above), has retired after serving the school and its community for 41 years.
Affectionately known as “Bhudhi” by his students, Chaongora – a strict disciplinarian – joined the school in 1978 and served in various capacities in addition to his primary teaching duties. He was a Mathematics teacher, a Basketball coach, a Senior Teacher, a Projects Manager before becoming the school’s acting headmaster.
Chaongora attributed everything that he became professionally and spiritually to the Dominican Sisters, the body that run this independent Catholic school.
“They did a lot for me than I did for the school, I want to thank them for their grooming,” Chaongora said in his address at a Mass held at the school on June 28.
“When I joined the school in 1978, I was a young person… single and searching… but now I am a father and a grandfather of a God-loving family… it is because of the Dominicans. When I joined the school I was a raw material, now I leave the school as a finished product.”
Former St John’s students were full of praises for the veteran educationist.
“Amazing teacher and house master to me, Mr Chaongora. Words fail me… Much loved and appreciated then, now and forever. Blessings beyond measure to you, Sir!” said businessman Nigel Chanakira.
“I really respected and loved Mr Chaongora, he knew motivation, concentration, execution good aggressive strategy determination and winning!!! Seriously, he was all of that to my success in winning the best athlete at saints. Awesome man… best of health and enjoy your retirement God bless you” said Linda Zaloumis Cox, another former student of Chaongora.
Another former student Miriam Siachaula Mahlahla added: “Mr Chaongora was truly an amazing and dedicated teacher. He was my Drama, Mathematics and sports teacher. Enjoy your retirement Baba vaJosiah! Mwari vakuitirei zvakanaka. Thank you for everything!”
Other notable public figures that passed through Chaongora’s capable hands include the Munyeza brothers, Shingai and Vincent, the former who is the school’s alumni chairman.