Saint Alberts High School

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Saint Alberts High School - Centenary, Zimbabwe
Centenary, Mashonaland Central
Coordinates 16°29′S 31°17′E / 16.483°S 31.283°E / -16.483; 31.283Coordinates: 16°29′S 31°17′E / 16.483°S 31.283°E / -16.483; 31.283
Denomination Roman Catholic
Founded 1970s
Authority Diocese of Chinhoyi
Head of school Fr. Vitalis Murombedzi
Gender Mixed
Age range 12 to 19 subject to how early or late a student will have started school
Average class size 36
Language Multi lingual
Houses Saint Martins,Saint Augustine,Miguel,Silveria
School colour(s) Maroon
Sports The school made notable achievements in volleyball between 1999 and 2001. The school made a notable contribution to the community between 2004-2006 through the Interact club and managed to buy a primary school amputee prosthetic legs.The school also made notable achievements in debate and public speaking competitions between 2006 and 2008

Saint Alberts High School is a coeducational Roman Catholic Church mission high school that also provides boarding for students. It is situated in the Mashonaland Central province of Zimbabwe, on the escarpment overlooking the Zambezi Valley in northern Zimbabwe near the Mozambique border. It is above this escarpment which is also popularly known as the Mavhuradonha Mountain range. The Valley below is also known as Dande. St. Alberts is located in a pristine area between Mt Darwin and Centenary, in a region of temperate weather.



The school was founded in the 1970s by the Jesuit society of the Roman Catholic Church. In July 1973, Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) cadres captured 292 pupils and staff from the school and force-marched them north towards Mozambique, where the ZANLA bases were. The march was intercepted by the Rhodesian Security Forces before it crossed the border and all but eight of the children and staff were recovered.[1] The school is presently[when?] managed by Father Superior Rongai Chasarira, under the Diocese of Chinhoyi. Other priests who have been at this school include Father Mcabe, Father Chitimbe, Father Banda, Father Nigel Johnson, Father Osker Wermter, Father Christian, Father Murombedzi and Father Chasarira.

The school was closed in the late 1970s at the height of the liberation struggle[vague]. It had become a haven for the recruitment of freedom fighters.


In 1981, the school was reopened with around 120 students in Form One. The first head-boy in this group was Tapela Juma. He was replaced by Oversee Nyamuchanja. Other headboys who came in were scientist Muchenje, C lever Kabote who did not last long as a headboy as he was removed because he protected some students who were accused of smoking ganja in the hostels. In his place came in Sibarashe Musonza. All these headboys were for the first stream. Headgirls for this stream included Grace, Alice Tumbare, Memory Jonga and deputy Elizabeth Jackson. For the 1982 stream the headboy was Felix Mapfiro and his deputy was Nick Andrews. The headgirl was Barbra Muradzi. Other headboys and headgirls included Lydia Kudziyamira, Agatha Jimu, Lawrence, Christopher Murenga.[citation needed] Its first headmaster after the war[vague] was Celestine Mtandadzi (died 28 July 2007). His deputy was Cannan Chabayanzara (died 2003). Initially, the school had a total of four teachers. The school grew with each passing year; by 1984, it had forms one to four. The school added buildings to accommodate the increased class size.

St Alberts had teachers whose appreciation of drama and theatre led the school to build theatres not only for the students, but for the surrounding communities. Among these teachers was George Mujajati, who went on to write novels and plays like "Victory" and "The Wretched One".[citation needed] St Alberts won several drama trophies under its teacher and chief drama master Gonzo Habbakuk Msengezi.[citation needed] He became the first writer in Zimbabwe to be pursued by the Secret Police after writing books like "Zvairwadza Vasara" and "The Honourable MP".

St Alberts opened its doors to A-level students in 1987. It started with only arts students, as the school was still in the process of building science laboratories.

The school was involved in agriculture projects, as it had a large student garden. It also kept cattle, pigs and goats. However, a new[when?] Roman Catholic Father Superior[who?] Father Von Walter who hated the agriculture projects caused the closure of the gardens as a result of conflicts with the headmaster Mtandadzi.[citation needed] Mtandadzi had to leave the school in 1990[why?], becoming an Education Officer. Some of the Headmasters who have been at this school include Chidavaenzi and Donato. The teachers who have passed through include Kavhendekete, Mushonga, C.P. Chabayanzara, Graham Matthews, Henry Chimbiri, George Mujajati, Gonzo Habbakuk Msengezi, Crazymear, Wilkes, Anne Lofthouse, Jude O'Mahony, Mudyanadzo, Mugari, Nyanzira, Guruwo,Mupotaringa, Paul Claes, Goodman Obriponko Asiedu, Weston Chatora (who was the Headmaster when the school launched its A-Levels, he later went on to head St Francis & St Claire school at Guruve where A-Levels were established during his tenure, he is buried near St Alberts at Maripfonde village), Chinyemba, Jonga, Badza Bernard, Maodza, Zhou, Nhengu, Dzapasi, Brinker, Sister Theresa, Edias Pongweni, Chitsungo, Kavhai, Mutsamvi Dennis, Mhandu, Chitsa Farai, Tsinakwadi, Choruma, Magaya, Zowa, Honde, Chihwai, Matondo, Chitsungo, Peter Thomas, Elizabeth Banks, sister Guvheya, Gretitius, G. Gopo.


St Alberts has four competing students' houses:

  • Silveira, which wears yellow;
  • Miguel, which wears red;
  • St Augustine, which wears green; and
  • St Martins, which wears white.

It has three academic classes which go under the names of Zimbabwe's most notable historical persons Nehanda, Kaguvi and Munhumutapa.

Athletic achievements[edit]

The school produced notable basketball players like the tall and gangly Mickey "CIO" Samakomva, Tosiyana "Tosy" Nyika, Charles Kandemiri and Ascenscion Mtandadzi among others. It also produced great swimmers like Daniel Chidavaenzi, Ascension Mtandadzi, Weston Chitate and others.

Notable soccer players include Shepherd Kadzatsa, Albert Chitopo, Billy Sengweni, Segula, Mainford Vambe, Martin Bherebhende, Austen Tendaupenyu, Isaac Sumbureru, John Zindonda, Gerald "Madhobha" Mutyambizi, Roy Bonga, Kudakwashe Masasi, Kudzai Samkange, Chioniso Kachiwala, Ashford Jaison and Munyaradzi Mushaninga.

St Alberts boasts former National team volleyball players including Ladislous Madziva, Wellington Hwata, the Chinyani twins, Marshal Chibaya, George Baudi and other good players like Calleb Mawele and Tinashe Mashaywmobe. They first qualified for the National Volleyball Finals in 1998 with players like Munyaradzi Mushaninga, Takudzwa Chinyani, Wellington Hwata, Ladislous Madziva, Marshal Chibaya etc. Their better run came in the 2000 Nyanga Volleyball Finals where they lost out in the quarter finals to eventual winners Mufakose High 2 after a thrilling 3 sets match which they lost 2-1. The team consisted of Wellington Hwata, Ladislous Madziva, Marshal Chibaya, Bright Magijani, 'Bobby', Alex Nyakambiro, The Chinyani Twins, Mashayamombe, Shadreck M Chisoko (the first Provincial Captain from the school, Benon Mutema, Trevor Baera

It had great netball players like Elizabeth Jackson, Greta Tarambiwa, Martha Mukurunyorova and Mary Mukurunyorova, Loina Chigwanda, Rosevicky Murombedzi. It had great sprinters like George Bhobho, Prosper Mtandadzi, Kudzai Kauswa and Tendai Mutsunge. The school has many recreational facilities, including a swimming pool, a football field, and Olympic standard volleyball and netball grounds.

Debate and Public Speaking[edit]

During the years 2006 to 2008 the school reigned supreme in various debate and public speaking competitions. Under the guidance of Mr. Freeman Mondo the Public Speaking team won the provincial public speaking competition at junior level in 2006. The same industrious coach led the debate team in the national senior debate competition. The team, consisting of Kudakwashe Chitanga, Tanyaradzwa Katiyo, Edwich Nsapato and Natasha Ntini, won the provincial level of the competition beating Mazowe Boys High. The team proceeded to the National Competition hosted by Prince Edward where they made it to the final against Marist Brothers Kutama College. The team lost out on a points decision after they had points deducted from them for fielding form 3 and 4 students in a competition meant exclusively for form 5 and 6 students.

The team bounced back in the 2007 edition of the Nugget Debate Competition where the team did a clean sweep of all the prizes in the junior category, winning the title in the competition hosted by Midlands Christian College. The team captain, Kudakwashe Chitanga, was voted the best overall speaker at the competition.

In 2008 the team again competed at the provincial level of the debate and public speaking competitions. In the final of the Public Speaking Competition, Kudakwashe Chitanga from St Alberts lost out to Negus Shonhiwa from Mazowe Boys High School who later on went to win the competition at national level. In the female category, Tanyaradzwa Katiyo won the female provincial competition and qualified to represent the province at the national level. However, due to economic variables, she was unable to attend the national competition. The debate team, this time composed of Natasha Ntini, Sheila Maroodza, Tanyaradzwa Katiyo and captained by Kudakwashe Chitanga defeated the Negus Shonhiwa led Mazowe Boys High at the provincial finals held at Bradley High School. The team was, however, unable to attend the national competition at Marist Brothers Nyanga due to funding problems.

Other Notable History[edit]

In 1994 most of the students at the school went on a demonstration and walked for 50 kilometres from the school to Mt Darwin demonstrating against what they considered to be deteriorating standards at the school.The leaders of this group included Alois Chimudzi, Richard Juma, Tafadzwa Samuriwo, Morgan Mugawu, Enzilem Makurumidze. Other major demonstrations worth noting were in 1997 and 2003.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Memory Chirere, award winning writer and lecturer
  • Lotus Dzeke Chartered Accountant South Africa
  • Tendai W Kufandirori, Automotive Engineer
  • Phillip Chidavaenzi, writer[2]
  • David Mashonga, sculptor[3]
  • Brighton Kukasira, eveai co-founder and engineer[4]
  • Julius Chirume, ZBC Producer
  • Willias Chanengeta, Engineer at NetOne cellular (pvt) ltd[5]
  • Shadreck M. Chisoko, Lawyer and Volleyball administrator, the youngest ever and most decorated chairman for Harare Volleyball Association
  • Charles Kandemiri, Senior Legal Manager City of Harare
  • Naison Machingauta, Lawyer
  • Charles Bherebhende, Lawyer
  • Advocate Kudakwashe Chitanga, Legal Practitioner (Advocate of the High Court, Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court for Zambia)[6]
  • Tanyaradzwa Katiyo, Legal Practitioner (Admitted to practice law in South Africa) [7]
  • Dr. Sabelo Saimano, Medical Practitioner
  • Tafadzwa Taziva
  • Bruce Marange, HR Practitioner
  • Eng Patrick Dongo
  • Isacc mukonowenzou, musician
  • Konschel Chihwendu, Finance Manager

The school has also produced a number of medical doctors, engineers, accountants rand lawyers like Joyce Siveregi, Provinah Robert, Osca Hute,Bridget Tsitsi Chimudzi, Simbarashe Nigel Matambo,Ozias Goredema,Tawanda Matsa,Tonderai Chiwawa,Jefrey Tsvuura,Talent Chaora and others.

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Father Gregory Xavier Croft S.J., co-author of O'Level Science in Zimbabwe

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.


External links[edit]