Outrage over St John’s gay storm

Outrage over St John’s gay storm

Source: Outrage over St John's gay storm | Daily News

HARARE – Stakeholders in the country’s education sector have been left speechless, following St John’s College deputy headmaster’s revelation last week that he is gay.

Neal Hovelmeier, the second in charge at the private school located in the affluent Borrowdale suburb, openly announced his sexual orientation last week to cheering students in a packed school hall.

In his announcement, he said the learners had inspired him to come out of the shadows and openly declare his sexual orientation.

He further released a press statement confirming that he is indeed proudly gay.

The ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has described Hovelmeier’s revelations as “bizarre”, saying it is waiting for a formal communication from the school to determine the way forward.

“It’s a first of its kind. We have not received formal communication from the school as yet, we only have information coming from the social media,” said the permanent secretary in the ministry, Sylvia Utete-Masango.

The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) said this is a rare case, a subject that local unions in the education sector have never tackled.

“It’s interesting, it rarely happens; this is the first case of this type, though of course there may have been silent incidences. It’s a subject we have not deliberated on; I want to confess about that. What drives us is the national Constitution, the values contained in it and the societal values,” said Zimta president, Richard Gundani.

“We don’t know what has led the particular teacher to do what he has done. At this moment it is best to protect the individual and try to understand what is happening.

“We also need to assess the community in which he is serving, because as a teacher or head one needs to be a role model to the students, conducting oneself in the best manner that suits the environment.”

Gundani, however, said the community should not be quick to judge.

“People must not judge, we need to understand why this is happening, prior to coming up with an intervention that suits both the community and the individual,” he said.


  • comment-avatar
    Morty Smith 2 years ago

    Very prejudicial picture, probably copied off google images, certainly not taken at St Johns.

  • comment-avatar
    Patricia Broderick 2 years ago

    It is very surprising that The Daily News, which I normally trust, would publish such a story which in my view is character assassination of a very worthy and much liked teacher.

    What about straight male teachers teaching girls?
    What about straight female teachers teaching boys?
    What about lesbian teachers teaching girls?

    I’m sure you could dig up some stories about all of the above, but then, you might not have any teachers left. I think the paper should apologise and let it go. 

    • comment-avatar

      Well, if this man is asked to leave the school it will be a tragedy for Zimbabwe and will set a terrible precedent. Instead of moving forward and being progressive, we will take a huge step backwards. What happened to Mnangagwa’s words about love, peace and tolerance. The decision taken on this will be key. To destroy or to build, that is the question? The whole world is watching!

  • comment-avatar
    Andre 2 years ago

    The law is the law!

  • comment-avatar

    much ado about nothing

  • comment-avatar
    Monica 2 years ago

    Where are the voices of these people when thousands of children are being raped every year.