GUTU – The clergy, former students, parents, relatives and Catholics from all over the country converged at Serima High last Saturday to bid farewell to a man who was the institute's steward for the last 29 years.
It was an emotional send-off for former students who attribute their success in life to the mentorship of the man who has now retired from civil service.
The students brought glowing banners, portraits and other presents for the man they became so endeared to.
It was also a high profile farewell with two Bishops, Gweru Diocese Bishop Xavier Munyongani and Bishop Emeritus Martin Munyanyi attending the ceremony whose key features were a thanks giving mass and speeches.
All in all, Cyprian Dhewah spent 45 years in the service having joined teaching in 1972.
Other church administrators present were Father Kudakwashe Musvevereki (Priest-in-charge Serima Mission), Father Augustine Chirikadzi (Rector Chikwingwizha Minor Seminary), Gweru Education Secretary, Sister Patricia Rubaya, former Gokomere CPS head Bernard Baye and several school heads from Masvingo and Gweru Dioceses.
Outstanding former students present at the occasion were, Gerald Mazhawidza (IT Engineer at Zesa Holding), Itai Chigaba an IT Consultant , Denford Chavhundura (Managing Director Stationery Solutions), Remember Mubaiwa IT Manager at ICSAZ, Murari Hwingwiri HIV Programmes Coordinator at the National Aids Council, Brian Hwandi (HR Horizon Ivato Zimbabwe), Dr Norman Muzhingi Agronomist and Richard Ncube workshop Manager
Soft spoken and unassuming Dhewa joined Serima in 1988. He was born in Bikita District and went to Maboke Primary for Sub A to Standard 1 from 1957 to 1959. He did Standard 2 at Norumedzo Primary in 1960, Standard 3 at Mupamawonde Primary in 1961 then Standard 4 to 6 at Silveira CPS from 1962 to 1964.
He worked as a teacher at various Schools including St Bernard's High in Bulawayo where he taught from 1965 to 1968. He taught at Mashaba School, Loreto Primary School for the Deaf and Secondary School for Music and St Anthony's Secondary for only one term.
He lectured for four years at Bondolfi Teachers' College and two years at Morgenster Teachers' College.
"Gweru Diocese thanks you for your humility which is a very strong characteristic in you. From 1988 when you set foot at Serima up to 2016, you worked with different priests-in-charge, education secretaries and bishops but you were never found wanting in terms of respect and obedience to your church.
"In most cases your superiors were much younger than yourself but you cultivated very good relationships with all including fellow school heads.
"When you were appointed as head to Serima in 1988 , it was on an experimental basis because there was an outbreak of hysteria at the school. We can imagine how chaotic it was but you braced yourself for the challenge and worked until the school was cleansed of all evil spirits. We thank you for all that,'' said Sr Rubaya.
Dhewah also presided over phenomenal growth at the school that saw enrolment rising from 436 in 1988 to 800 in 1997 which he maintained up to date.
The school also went up from form four to form six and there was immense development in terms of infrastructure. Academically, Serima became one of the top 50 schools in the country dominating in 'O' and 'A' level results.
"Such results come from a man who has a passion for development and one who knows that education by which character is formed, by which strength of mind is increased, by which the intellect is expanded and by which one can stand on one's feet is an enabling process of character building,'' said Sr Rubaya.