By Edwin Mbulo
GROWING up without knowing her father, losing a mother at the age of 6 and not having any siblings didn’t dissuade Livingstone’s Sarah Mainza to put education first ahead of persuasions that lure youths in Zambia.
In an interview an upbeat, Sarah aged 19 based in Livingstone, Zambia said she used the influence of her family life situation to draw the passion to work hard in her academic work so that she could better her life.
“I got a distinction in Mathematics and English, while i managed to get credits in History, Religious Education, Biology and Science. In Agricultural Science and Civic Education I managed to get credits. I got the zeal to work hard in my studies after taking an audit of my situation, i realised that being an orphan being kept by grandparents it was incumbent on me to work hard and better my future and the only way to do this was through studying hard,” Sarah said.
She added that she would have loved to do far much better that what she got in her final secondary school examination results.
Sarah who has been accepted by the University of Zambia (UNZA) to study a Degree Course in Adult Education also added that she has always been interested in a career that has to do with calculations hence her distinction in mathematics.
“I have never seen my father and my last name Mainza is my mothers, she was born Queen Mainza and died when i was 6 years-old, thereafter i was taken up by my grandparent, my grandmother is a retired nurse and currently my grandfather is a businessman at Maramba Market engaged in tyre mending,” she said.
Sarah who attended her junior education at Shungu Primary school and later did her senior education at St Marys in Livingstone further added that she initially wanted to study law but eventually lost interest.
She said her acceptance to the University of Zambia is just a stepping stone for her to pull off her dreams of being an accountant.
“I have always wanted to be an accountant from as early as Grade 7, so this is a stepping stone to my dreams,” Sarah said.
She further praised Response Network for having offered her financial and material assistance through Sweden’s Academic for her to complete her Primary and Secondary School education.
“Response Network assisted me from Grade 6 to pay for my education and i am very grateful to them and Academic Work,” Sarah said. “It is my dream that they can continue to assist me even as i go to UNZA,”
Asked what her advise would be to Zambia’s girls with regards education Sarah urged her peers especially those in wretchedness a to put God first in all they do and work hard in academic work.
“I would advise girls especially those in a situation as mine, to work very hard if they are to attain their dreams. Those in my shoes of uncertainty, misery and a solitude to turn to education in order to secure their future,” she said.
Asked what her hobbies were, Sarah said she love singing and read.
She added that at Response Network a non-governmental organisation which operates in Zimba, Kalomo and Kazungula on various human development projects targeting the girl child, people living with disabilities, children living with HIV and also encourages the construction of community schools on self-projects she was involved in a programme known as Kicking Out AIDS.
Zambia’s Minister for General Education, Dr Dennis Wanchinga who is also the chairperson of the National UNESCO Commission in his foreword to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO’s) 2016 Zambia annual report published in May 2017 said: “Education can only be deemed to have achieved its purpose if it equips learners with the necessary skills they will need for both personal and national development.”
According to the demographic and health survey (2013-2014) 29 per cent of girls aged 15 to 19 in Zambia are either mothers already or pregnant with their first child.
“Teenage pregnancy is much higher in rural areas (36%) than in urban areas (20%). Zambia’s North-Western Province has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy (41%), followed by Western Province (40.4%). Its lowest rates are in the more industrialized Copper Belt, where teen pregnancy stands at 16%,” the survey revealed.