A child staying and helping an old parent seems uncalled for and archaic to so many dot.com people. Most of the children feel it is better to help parents while away from them even if they are not working. However, other children feel if they fail school and have nothing to do in towns and cities, it is better to stay in the village and take care of their old parents. Henry Kamanga, 31 years, comes from Chizengo village in Traditional Authority Mzukuzuku, in Mzimba. He stays with his lone mother, Eunice Banda, 66 years of age who takes care of almost 14 nephews within her house. Most of these 14 children’s parents went astray in towns and cities and do not think of their children’s welfare in the village. Eunice is one of the 5 widowed wives to one, Mr. Kamanga, and all these wives are still staying at the Kamanga’s place. Each woman does her things with her children.
However, despite Eunice being taken care of by Henry, things were not all that okay because they still lacked small household things such as food and clothes. With hands folded, the light came and shined upon her face through the Pathways for Successful Transition (PAST) project, an initiative being implemented by Save the Children in consortium with Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM). The PAST project, through Vibangalala community theatre group, does message dissemination through theatre for development as well as door-to-door meetings. It is through these messages that transformed Eunice as well as her son Henry and started thinking of using the dimba that was left to them by the man, Mr. Kamanga.
In the process of starting up agribusiness, Eunice through Henry received a seed capita money amounting to K100,000. With some of the money at hand, Henry bought a sprayer, onion and tomato seeds, Irish potatoes and went ahead to open more spaces and created up to 2 acres of dimba land. Currently, there are a lot of vegetables that he has already started selling, and is making enough money for both himself and his family as well as his old mother. The other money was invested in 2 female pigs. “I had a challenge of a sprayer and manuals for my irrigation activities. However, with the coming of the PAST project, all these are past challenges,” says Henry.
Henry’s mother and himself are now living a better life because they can feed themselves, clothe themselves without relying on begging from well-wishers. Eunice is saving some money at Katuwatuwa village savings and loans group where she took K16,000 as a loan and used it to buy some fertilizer for the Irish potatoes at the dimba. “Currently I am planning of buying cows and a plough as well as an ox-cart so that I may be able to work on more spaces to maximize my growing activities,” says Henry. Henry’s vision is to make more money for her mother so that he can her smiling and forget her husband.