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My years of toil liberated me

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” these are the words of Africa´s most celebrated leader Nelson Mandela, engraved in my heart and soul.
In my 27 years journey on earth nothing hurt me so much like growing up in poverty, real poverty where having two meals a day was a rare occasion. Breakfast in our home was only served once a month when my uncle got his monthly salary.
Having a perfect school outfit was something I never knew, later on paying school fees was a real struggle.
Growing up in such an environment, as painful as it was, I learnt that education was my only liberator, the only remedy to live a better life.
I struggled through my education, even when I had no money to pay my grades in class showed how dedicated I was to my education and my teachers always found a way of sneaking me in class without paying.
I completed my senior grades and time for tertiary school dawned but where was the money?
I applied for tertiary and started working as a sales lady at one of the shops in Lusaka to raise money for school but my salary was minimal, it ended up just filling my stomach.
With my acceptance letter in my hands tears rolled on my cheeks, thinking that my dream to be liberated from my poverty had just ended like a real dream, my twelves years of toil in school was nothing!
God indeed does not slumber, when I lost hope of been in school with only a week to go before registration closed, my teacher informed me of an organization called FAWEZA, (Forum for African Women Educationalists in Zambia).
I looked for the place the whole day on foot, hungry, with lost hope I eventually found my ´promised land.´
I met a lady called Kate Dignan and I asked her if I could see the director.
She asked me what I wanted and I explained. Before I could finish Kate told me her brother had money to sponsor someone at school but told me to give her my written explanation why I needed help, right away I scribbled the letter and she told me to call her on Monday for the money.
I couldn't believe it, I spent sleepless nights that week thinking she would change her mind.
Monday came, there was Kate at campus, my fees paid and I stepped in class with disbelief.
From that day on, I dedicated my life to ensure other children have an education.
I joined FAWEZA and I´m a contributor to their sponsorship grant.
Though my contribution is minimal my vision is to have more resources to help more children.
Currently I´m working on a program with my friend Mutale Kapekele on how to empower youths with skills that can enable them make an income and provide for their needs like education.
These skills can include, hairdressing, knitting, baking, writing skills, flower planting, Curio making, tailoring, etc.
These are extra skills that I feel children need away from academic knowledge to enable them have a start in life without struggling.
Though the project is a profit making venture, about 15 % participants will be underprivileged children who won´t be paying anything.
Depending on how the project goes, some proceeds will go towards sponsoring some children in school.
My vision is too see each and every child educated, rich or poor, able or disabled.
With PulseWire Voices of Future program, my platform of interaction will widen, so will my knowledge.
I wish to share my vision with the world, share ideas and transform them to reality and see more and more children liberated from the chains of poverty.
Indeed, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It changed my World!


Stella Paul's picture

I loved it!

My sister

Its this kind of experience that enriches a person so much, she can go on creating a wonderful world for herself and for others. I can understand and relate to this story so much! And from the bottom of my heart, I will wish that you get selected for VOF!


Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

Chinemu's picture


Thanks Stella, you are very inspiring, I pray you make it too on VOF

sana arzak's picture

Hats off!!!

Dear sister,

I loved your vision of educating other needy children of the world, you are a true fighter you accomplished your dreams and set an example for many others. What you did and do is really inspiring for all of us.


Sana Arzak

Chinemu's picture

hats off too

Hats off you too my sister, I pray we all make it on VOF

Okeny-Lucia's picture

Amazing !!!

Chinemu,this is great.Determination and a meaningful purpose is what drives us to walk an extra mile.I feel you about the sponsorship.I was also a recipient of one of the best grants under the Aga Khan University -East Africa,it also came as a suprise after thinking that I will never see the doors of the University.Currently I support any activities proposed by the University and have remained useful to other Alumni though not in monetary.You are doing well to other children,keep on.

Lucia Buyanza
Reproductive Health

Chinemu's picture

Keep Up yo work

Its good U experienced a generous hand in your life too, kip working with the university your contribution goes a long long way

Chinemu's picture

Keep Up yo work

Its good U experienced a generous hand in your life too, kip working with the university your contribution goes a long long way

MaDube's picture

Chinemu, one of my best

Chinemu, one of my best professors is Zambian, Professor Hansungule. He is a wise wise man and he always spoke about the value of family in the African cultural context and he emphasised that family is not your mother and father and brothers and sisters only. It is in the people whom you surround yourself with who care. I am glad you found a family that cared at FAWEZA and I am happy that you are expanding that family to help others who could be in the same situation as yours many years back.


Chinemu's picture

You are my best

MaDude, you are my best, i like reading yo articles so touchy, Kip up the good work dear sis

Mutale kapekele's picture

We will die trying

Chinemu, I know that what you went through as a child was horrible, but I am glad it did not break your spirit or push you down. Alot of girls with little zeal would have easily given up.
Let us keep on trying our best to help the children in need. If it all fails, atleast we will die trying!!

sarahmol's picture

Wow, such an inspiring story.

Wow, such an inspiring story. I'm so happy that you found a way to overcome poverty and get the education that you deserve. It's crazy that education is commodified and only reserved for some. It's a right that we should all have access to as human beings. Your hopes for the future are great hopes. I hope through VOF you can realize your dreams!

Angela Kintu's picture

You are an inspiration


there are sadly too many stories which begin like yours, but you have risen and fought back against circumstances to create a happy ending for yourself. What's more, you are reaching out to offer that same happy ending to other children who find themselves where you were. Jehovah Jireh will surely bless your endeavours and multiply the little you offer into miracles for others.

Best of luck in the VOF and God bless you


AchiengNas's picture


I have fallen in love with you! Has anyone read this? NOW do you believe with me that a once hopeless girl educated can create BIG impacts????
I am urging EVERYONE to embrace only ONE grassroots girl, educate and mentor her. Here is 2012. I have ONLY 10 girls, hopeless who are no doubt change makers, grab one today for the next 6 -8 years.
Education to a grassroots girl is the song in my soul!
Thank you for enduring the pain until you reached where you are now. You have a bright future, keep up, Chinemu!

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

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