Imagine creating a school system in a newly independent country. “It was exciting, it was scary. If I made a mistake, I can doom the nation forever”. That was the task facing Dr Dzingai Mutumbuka - Zimbabwe’s first education minister. Before 1980 black children in Zimbabwe were only able to get a basic education because of segregation. But after independence, in one year, the education system doubled the number of children it served. Dr Dzingai Mutumbuka led the transformation to a free and equal education for all. As one of the young teachers recruited to the newly independent country’s new schools at that time, Sir Michael Barber discusses Dzingai’s motivation, the challenges that were faced and what the lessons are for other countries and leaders.