An additional outcome of the meeting was a request for Thulasy and I again to team up, but this time to do a market research study. We have been asked to look at the sorghum market in
However, just the other day, in the midst of doing some research for the market study, I met
Mrs Sylvia Banda
I met Mrs Banda at the Lusaka Agriculture Show pretty much by accident. She owns and runs a catering business that sources vegetables from small scale farmers. I learnt from her that she came top 6 in last year’s Africa Business Awards for Women in Business and has been crowned
Milimo is 12 years old. She grew up in a village in the South of Zambia with her mother, the second wife to her father. But when she was 9 her sister came to fetch her and bring her back to her father’s house in
I’ve already introduced many of you to Mary. I lived with her for my first 5 months in
Chileshe is 9 years old and Mary’s daughter. She’s a spunky kid that has a ton of personality and is a lot of fun. I’d promised to take her swimming, so one Saturday we ended up (with Milimo, Chileshe’s brother Chisanga and her cousin Mukuka) at the
Christine started off as my bemba teacher to begin with but we soon became good friends. She’s a year younger than me, married with a small boy. She and her husband live in a two room house with their son and her husband’s nephew. I go by her house a few times a week, sometimes she gets me to help with the cooking or teaches me a thing or two about being a mother or if we are really motivated we do some bemba lessons, mostly we just hang out and she feeds me. She has started working as a teacher and doing some small trade (purses, clothes, perfume) to help support her small family.
Beatrice is the mother of 9. She lives in a compound on the outskirts of
Isobel is the first born child of the family I live with. Her mother died when she was going to university in the
Mrs Finka is a grandmother in one of the villages where I’ve been working on the sorghum project. She is the best farmer in this particular village with the most impressive sorghum harvest out of them all. She lives with her 5 or 6 grandchildren and farms to support herself and her many dependants. She is typical in that many grandmothers end up looking after some of their grandkids, she stands out because she does so with confidence and ability.
Abigail is 18 and a neighbour when I lived with Mary. She just graduated from grade 12 in December. Because Grade 12 results only become available in April or May students have to wait a year before they can apply for post secondary education. She wants to become a writer and is thinking of pursuing a journalism degree next year, if not journalism she is considering development studies.
So those are a few of the women/girls in my life right now. I’ve been thinking about how amazing they are and recognizing how fortunate I am to know them. There are amazing people everywhere and it's worth taking the time to appreciate them.