36 years in the classroom at one school!

Mr Nebaot Mwamlowe
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For Mr Nebaot Mwamlowe, teaching is not just a profession, but a passion which has since turned into a lifestyle.

He has been in the profession for the last 36 years and Lady Tait Primary School in Kadoma has been his home for all those years.

Mr Mwamlowe is the longest serving teacher at the school having joined straight from Morgan Zintec Teachers College in 1988.

For 36 years, he has touched the lives of thousands of children that have passed through the school.

Mr Mwamlowe has been at the school for 36 of its 100-year existence.

He joined teaching after a programme to train technicians at a mine in Kadoma which was discontinued after he had joined.

“We had been engaged straight from school for on the job training so that after completion we would get certificates,” said Mr Mwamlowe. “However, they later changed and said they were no longer giving us the certificates.”

That decision made him turn to his second option which was teaching as he needed a certificate of qualification.

When he went to Lady Tait as a relief teacher, the headmaster recommended him to stay at the school as a vacancy had arisen.

“As they say, the rest is history,” said Mr Mwamlowe. “I have seen the school change over the years as more native children enrolled.”

Lady Tait Primary School was for coloureds and Indians before the country gained independence in 1980.

But what has kept Mr Mwamlowe going?

“I love teaching as a profession and I also love to contribute to the development of children,” he said. “There is some satisfaction that I get from knowing that I am giving a foundation for many children to grow into useful adults.”

Mr Mwamlowe remembers how he used to conduct lessons at Kewada Hall which had been partitioned into four classes.

The main school, he said, did not have enough classes to accommodate all the learners.

“As more classes were built, we stopped using the hall, which had been given out by one of the most prominent Indian families in Kadoma, the Kewadas,” he said.

Mr Mwamlowe said he does not see himself moving to another school until he retires from his beloved teaching profession.

“I have been at the school for a long time that I cannot imagine myself at a different school,” quips Mr Mwamlowe.

Being at the school for long makes him a moving library of its history.

He said the school was set up to serve children from Rio Tinto, Eiffel Flats and Golden Valley mines in Kadoma.

It was sited along what used to be Chakari Road.

“To date, it’s still called Chakari Road by those who know the history of the city,” said Mr Mwamlowe.

He also recalled working with the first black headmaster at the school Mr Lazarus Hofisi who is now retired and turns 82 this year.

Mr Hofisi engaged Mr Mwamlowe as the headmaster at the time.

“I retired in 2002 and remember Mr Mwamlowe as a young man whom we wanted to work with,” said Mr Hofisi. “We worked together from 1988 to the time I retired.” – Herald