It’s not a job for me, it’s a calling. I’ve been part of Bata life since 1972 – back then, when I was working in the tannery, I started burning the midnight oil to achieve my ambition of becoming a teacher. Now as the Headmaster of the Bata Primary School I follow each child from Grade 1 through to Grade 7 and celebrate in their successes.

Mr Manyima, Headmaster, Bata Primary School, Zimbabwe

AIMING HIGH FROM GRASS ROOTS

Right from the outset, Mr Manyima had a vision of where he wanted to go in life – to be a teacher. So while he was working in our factory, he was also studying hard and eventually he returned to school to complete his studies, going on to teacher training college in 1976. We were sad to lose him at that point, he was a real asset to Bata: so we were very glad when he returned a little later – for teaching practice in our Bata school.

“I must have made a good impression,” Mr Manyima explains. “As the headmaster asked me to return to the Bata School once I qualified.” Two years later he did just that. Picking up where he left off with the Grade 5 class and staying with them through Grades 6 and 7, until they left the school. “When the pupils left,” Mr Manyima continues, “each one had passed their national examinations – a rare achievement in Zimbabwe.”

HELPING STUDENTS ACHIEVE THEIR DREAMS

Since those early days of teaching, Mr Manyima has gone on to teach many children in Grades 6 and 7, and has seen many of them go on to further and higher education as a result. In 1987, Bata asked him to cover the headmaster role, following which we quickly gave him the title of Head of the Bata Primary School.

“Bata’s culture of success breeds success in our school. The Bata Shoe Company provides valuable resources to ensure we remain high achieving and is behind our success at every step of the way.”

We are proud of what Mr Manyima has achieved at our school – it is ranked top out of 900 schools located in the Midlands province and has achieved a 100% pass rate for all pupils sitting the national examination since 1989.

Mr Manyima’s story doesn’t end here either – many of his pupils continue to be part of Bata life too, creating their own stories, supporting the local community, initiating projects following Bata’s sustainability approach and as successful, well-educated members of the wider Bata family.

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