As it appeared in The Mast Newspaper of Friday January 11,2019
A 14-YEAR-OLD girl who hopes to be a neurosurgeon one day is on the brink of never ever making her dreams a reality as there is no-one to pay for her school fees at Njase Girls Secondary School.
Thando Ngwenya obtained 511 from her Grade 9 examinations.
In a her appeal for assistance, Thando whose father died when she was only a year-old said she is failing to sleep always thinking that she will never see the inside of a Grade 10 classroom.
“At school, I used to frequent the library and liked to research on science related jobs, because I love staff to do with science…this gave me courage that I should pursue this career path (neurosurgeon). I want to save lives because most people don’t survive such surgeries. I like challenging issues but it is sad to think that I may never be able to do this,” she said with a smile but visibly emotionally disturbed.
She began her primary education at Malima School up to grade 2 and then moved to Starlet Private School for her Grade 3 stint.
Thando the 3rd born out of a family of four, did her Grades 4 and 5 at Indeco Primary School but was fortunate to have been taken up by later father’s sister to continue with her studies in Lusaka.
“In Lusaka, I had to repeat Grade 5 at Ndabeni Academy where I completed my Grade 7 and qualified to Njase Secondary School in Choma where my auntie continued to pay for my school requisites,” she revealed.
Thando said she knows some of the ex-Njase Girls pupils were now prominent women in society and appealed to any of them or as a group to assist her.
“If people that have been at Njase such as Honourable Sylvia Masebo and others that I don’t know by name but are respected in society and may have the means to assist me with my school fees, I would be the most grateful girl on earth. I just want them to or even men and women who may have never been to Njase Girls to find Grace in God and assist me get back to Njase,” she said holding back tears.
“I promise never to fail them and I will work very hard to ensure that I grow up to save my country and also be able to help other girls in need, who may be in my situation. It is sad for me having lost my
father when I was only 1-years-old,” Thando lamented.
However, her mother Mampi Salome Simwanza, aged 45, who was looking more devastated, said her sister in-law has since indicated that she also wants to educate her children and would thus not be able to help the brilliant young Thando.
On Wednesday, Thando’s mother visited Response Network an NGO that assist vulnerable girls through the financial assistance of Sweden’s Academic Work, but was turned down on grounds that the organisation was only focusing on vulnerable girls eligible for Grade 1’s so as to have up to 50 girls up to grade 12 by 2025, but will continue to assist those it had enrolled earlier for further studies and not new entries such as Thando who has never been the organisation list of supported girls.
Simwanza said that she is appealing for assistance for her daughter because she currently is not in any gainful employment and takes care of her children through selling flitters once in a while.
“The cost of doing business is too high and sometimes I don’t make ends meet, it is by the Grace of God that I get on by daily life,” she said.
Simwanza of Namatama residential area said her eldest child is not in gainful employment, while her second born has just completed a teacher training course but was yet to get the results.
“My youngest child is in grade 2,” Simwanza said.
Since the publication of this story in Zambia’s independent newspaper (The Mast) Thando has recived assistance from well wishers and has since reported for school.