Saint Ignatius College (Zimbabwe)

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St. Ignatius Chishawasha
Chishawasha, Mashonaland, Zimbabwe
Coordinates 17°27′S 31°08′E / 17.45°S 31.13°E / -17.45; 31.13
Type Private, Boarding
Motto Ignem Mittite In Terram
(Latin for "To Set the World on Fire")
Established 1962
Headmaster Mr. L. Madyangove
Gender Boys only for 1st four years and co-ed for A Level
Age 12 to 18
Pupils 400(approx.)
Houses Kagwa

St Ignatius College, is a high school near Harare, Zimbabwe.

St Ignatius College is a Catholic Jesuit College outside Harare in Chishawasha, at 17°45'9.40"S and 31°13'20.02"E. The school is all male for forms one to four and is coeducational for A Level students. The school only accepts students of high academic merit along the same lines as a grammar school by English standards. The students perform well in the national exams with a pass range typically between 98% and 100%.It is a linked school with St Augustine, Edinburgh.

St. Ignatius College is a full-time boarding school, related to the St Ignatius' College in England via the Jesuits who founded the college in 1962.


Several Jesuit fathers have spent a long time at St Ignatius College and are part of the history of the College. Father Gregory Xavier Croft S.J. spent most of his working life developing science education at St Ignatius and in Zimbabwe as a whole. He developed some of the best school laboratories for physics, biology and chemistry found in Zimbabwe. He co-authored Science for Zimbabwe, one of the first science textbooks written after independence in 1980. He retired in 1991 and continued with his passion for Physics at St Alberts in Mt Darwin, then moving on to St Boniface in Magunje. He died peacefully in Garnet House Harare in 2000.

Father Anthony Watsham S.J. was a biologist, becoming a world authority in entomology. He spent much of his free time in the company of animals, dogs, birds and even a baboon namde 'Bibiana' at one time. A painter of great imagination, he decorated the Jesuit house at St Ignatius with abstract art. Some remember his extensive beard and soft spoken witty humor. One of his greatest academic achievements was to study and document the parasitic wasps that live inside figs. He was awarded an honorary life membership of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa.[1] There are several organisms now named after him (Watshami).

Fr Paul Edwards S.J. who served as Rector for close to a decade in the 1990s, taught Religious Education and coached both swimming and rugby, and additionally patron of The Chess team. Brother Fitz Fitzsimmons, who served as both the school's Senior Accountant, as well as Boarding Master of Junior House, since the college's founding.

In the mid to late 1990s, under the leadership of Headmasters Father Ber idge and Mr Ignatius Mabveni, St Ignatius surpassed all its academic records, achieving 100% pass rate at O Level for five consecutive years. In the same period, the quiz team won two Regional Quiz crowns, as well as two consecutive National Quiz Championships in 1996 as well as 1997, with record points scored in the history of the competition.

Academic Accolades[edit]

1998 - Best O Level results ZIMSEC (80.4%) 5 A's and better.(National record that has not yet been surpassed)

2002 - Best O Level results in 1 sitting - Tazvipedza Kwari 14 A's.

2011 - O Level Results - 4th Best.[2]

2011 - A Level Results - 4th Best

2012- A Level Pass rate 100% 2012- 9 students with 12 A's or better at O-Level

Sporting history[edit]

Under the leadership and patronage of Father Edwards the chess team was a dominant player on the national chess scene for many years. The following students were members of the chess team over the years: Chengetai Dunduru (Captain), Clemence Mupfiga, Hopewell Mauwa, Leonard Ndino, Langton Nyatsanza, Mufudzi Maviki (also a member of the all conquering Quiz team), Kudzanayi Chipoka, Bruce Mubayiwa, Cleyson Mupfiga and Paul Soko. The strength of the chess team was largely due to the investment in terms of time and resources made at the school combined with the passion and enthusiasm of the students for the game. Father Edwards invested significantly in chess sets and chess books. The chess team received a big boost with the investment in chess clocks. The chess team travelled extensively attending tournaments throughout the country. The success of the chess team saw it being a regular fixture in the national newspapers and on the agenda at the school assembly. Chess was played on a daily basis in Junior House, Middle House and Senior House. St Ignatius College was one of the top schools in the Barclays Schools Chess League alongside the Prince Edward High School team led by Robert Gwaze, (currently International Master. Other schools of note in chess were Churchill, Mabvuku Boys High, Morgan High, Victoria High and Gokomere. Robert Gwaze would go on to become African Junior Chess Champion and come very close to becoming a chess grandmaster in later years. Over a period of years beginning from the early 90s, St Ignatius achieved promotion from the Barclays Chess League in successive years until it reached the A league where it was very competitive winning the League on at least one occasion. Bruce Mubayiwa came 4th in the 1996 African Junior Chess Championships, held in Maputo, Mozambique. He was the National Scholars Chess Champion in 1997. Hopewell Mauwa won the Zimbabwe National Intermediates Chess Championship in 1994. The chess team scored notable successes at the following chess tournaments: St Johns Annual Chess Festival (Borrowdale), St Dominic's Chess Festival (Chishawasha), Scholars National Championships and Kushinga Chess Festival (Marondera). The Mary Ward chess team was also very strong. Players of note included Tariro Zulu, Adelaide Chiyangwa and Priscilla Nyahwo who had come from St Dominic's Secondary School, the sister school of St Ignatius.In 2012, Gubba Tafadzwa represented Zimbabwe in the under 20 tournament in Romania coming 13 .Masundire, Gubba and Marwizi make up the 2012 - 2013 chess team that haswon first league since 2010 .

Sport also thrived during these years. In rugby, under coach "Winnabe" Mudavanhu the rugby team (the Hounds) become a competitive force at the Annual Cottco Rugby Festival. There was national recognition for the likes of Maxton Chisepo, Edmore Musasiwa and, most notably, Tafadzwa Matimba, who went on to become an integral part of the all-conquering, undefeated Prince Edward School Tigers team of 2000, a notable achievement, since to this day it is widely regarded by many as the best Zimbabwean school side ever produced. Provincial recognition went to Tafadzwa Mashayamombe(2002) and Tafadzwa Mugomo (2004).The 2010 "Hounds" rugby team made the biggest win in the COTTCO schools rugby festival, beating CMZ A WOOPING 109-0 .

In Track and Field St Ignatius boasted the talents of Tinashe Chimanikire, Baiwai Mutsau(1992–1995) and later Tafadzwa Shumba, Tapiwa Ndhlela(Discus) and Wrighton Chigumba (High Jump) (1995–2000), who dominated the short sprints competing at National level. In the later years Faraimose Kutadzaushe and Tafadzwa Ganyo dominated track and field up to national level (2000–2002). Basketball and Swimming would also enjoy significant success with notable contributions at both Provincial and National levels from the likes of Tafadzwa Matimba, who represented Zimbabwe for three consecutive years, 1996, 1997 and 1998, Farai Zunguza, Stanley Mhizha, Bhero, Kuzi Mberi, Lovemore "LARRY" Chirombo, Paul Kadungure, who captained the team 1999 till 2000 and Farai Mose for basketball, while Sam Mboko, Walter Chisese, Iyanai Murimba, Tirivangani Chidyausiku (son of Chief Justice Chidyausiku, also a former student), Tafara Mbara, Tinashe Maringe, Tawanda Mudarikwa, Masimba Madondo, Takudzwa Samapundo and the Manyerenyere brothers (Brightwell, Trust & Wise), with the help of Tariro Badza and Tinashe "TinTin Fyte" Mangwiro kept St Ignatius in the "A" swimming league.During all these activities a group of young men usually in Form 4 would lead the school in song and dance encouraging the athletes. Most notable of these was the Form 4 group of 2002. Amongst these boys was Takura "Taso Mukute" Mukupe, Takura "Luda" Taaziva, Michael " Vitamin Toxicity" Munyaka and your boy Natsai "Remusoro" Musunga.As of 2012, Blessing "sula" Mlambo a form 3 student holds the Zimbabwe national record for Triple Jump under 16 . Farai Mugadza, Farai Kadare, Gathrie 'Anonzi Switch' Shava and Peace Madimutsa are the best relay team the college has ever seen, dominating the 4x400m relay from as low as zonal level to national level. Anesu Muswazi is also the national champion in the 110 hurdle race and shotput. As of 2013 Benson Gombe is the provincial 100m champion, Anesu Muswazi the national hurdle champion and starter of the 4x100m national relay team. Farai Mugadza the provincial 400m hurdle provincial champion and Gathrie 'Anonzi Switch' Shava the first Ignatian to receive colours in field hockey.

Life at St Ignatius[edit]

Students live together based on their form level: students in forms 1 and 2 live in Junior House; students in forms 3 and 4 live in Middle House; and in forms 5 and 6, male students live in Senior House, and female students live in Mary Ward House.

Student life at St. Ignatius is dominated by three houses, separate from living accommodations, named Mkasa, Kagwa, and Lwanga. These groups compete with each other within the school for athletic and extra-curricular accolades.

Sporting disciplines offered at the college include track and field, rugby, basketball, swimming, volleyball,handball,hockey, soccer and netball. A strong vulture culture (Chigora) was practiced with varying degrees of fervor among students in the 90's. The names of the truly legendary practitioners could be found in the graffiti under the sink in the dark room of the senior house TV room until they were renovated. The Middle house TV room was also a room that was called the Baywatch (an act of peaking and appreciating the scene of Mary Ward Girls Swimming) in the earlier years until new regulations restricted the activity.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Dr Nkosana Moyo - former Government minister and a partner of Actis Capital, a London based Emerging Markets Private Equity firm
  • Godfrey Chidyausiku - Chief Justice of Zimbabwe
  • Francis Nhema - Zimbabwean Member of Parliament and Government Minister
  • Antonia C. Guvava - Judge of the High Court of Zimbabwe
  • Dr. Petina Gappah - Lawyer (International Law) and award winning writer of "An Elegy for Easterly"[3]
  • Lt. Col Boniface Guwa Chidyausiku - Diplomat and Zimbabwe's Ambassador and Representative to the United Nations in New York
  • Mr Bernard Manyenyeni Mayor of City of Harare 2014


  1. ^ "Rostrum Number 57 August 2001 Honorary Life Members". Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  2. ^,+A-Level+schools+for+2011+named+.html
  3. ^ Gappah, Petina (2009), An elegy for Easterly : stories, Faber and Faber, ISBN 0-86547-906-2 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 17°45′S 31°13′E / 17.750°S 31.217°E / -17.750; 31.217