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The Lechwe Trust Art Gallery in Lusaka is running an art exhibition which features great pieces of art from two Zambian Artists; Victor Makashi and Patrick Mumba. Most of their artworks bring to life the cultures of two prominent tribes here in Zambia; the Luvale people of North Western Province and the Lozi people of Western Province of Zambia. On the 25th of June some of the Kucetekela Foundation gap year students (including myself) together with the Executive Director took some time to visit the Art Gallery. It was an amazing experience as we got to gain more knowledge about our culture and also get to see the amazing artwork of our own artists. Among the most captivating paintings in the gallery were that of the Makishi Dancers of the Luvale People. In this article I am going to share some important information about the Luvale people and their culture.Luvale ( same as; Chiluvale, Lubale) is a buntu language that is widely spoken by a particular group of people from Angola and Zambia. The Luvale people are best known for their Makishi (“likishi is the singular”)  dancers who wear masks and knitted costumes which are made from traditional materials. It is generally stated that most of the Makishi are men, however, we can not really say that’s the truth because their identity is strictly hidden from the public. Legend has it that they wear their costumes from the graveyard where no one can see them. The only time we get to see them in action is when they are performing at special events such as the Likumbi Lya Mize, Mukanda and Wali. The Likumbi Lya Mize ( translates to “ceremony of the mize”) is a ceremony where the Makishi dancers are deployed together with Wali at the Chief’s Palace where they perform various dances. Apart from the dances, speeches are also given by the chief and other government officials. The whole event takes place for about one week and it is witnessed by the general public, who watch it either on the National Broadcasting Television Channel or from the actual site at the Chiefs Palace.The other famous Luvale Ceremony is the “Mukanda ceremony”. The Mukanda is a coming of age ceremony that includes male circumcision, the ceremony takes place in the bushes and lasts for about 6 month. The participants are Luvale males aged between 8 and 12, and they are called “Tundaji”. The teachers who take them  through this process are called Makishi. The Makishi guides the tundaji through their transition process from being boys to becoming men. It’s a tough process but that’s what makes a Luvale man to be a brave man.Finally, the Wail ceremony. It is a coming of age ceremony for a Luvale girl who reaches puberty (age of 13). The girl (Mwali) is moved from her parents home and taken to a new built house that is near a fig tree, the tree symbolises “Fertility”. Mwali is taught on how to be hygienic, how to do domestic chores and is given protective medicine by her teacher; “ Chilombola”. After this period, which takes place for about a week to one month, has finished,  Mwali  has to perform various dances to show the skills that she has gained from the ceremony. Mwali is then covered in a chitenge and is taken back to her home. In the past, her return home would be welcomed by an arranged marriage. However, due to changes in culture and the laws governing the country, early marriages are illegal in Zambia. Therefore, nowadays this ceremony is performed right before the woman gets married.In conclusion, I was thrilled to see how these two artists ( Victor and Patrick) were able to capture the most important part ( Makishi) of the Luvale culture through their amazing paintings. As a Kucetekela Foundation student, it’s important for me to understand my culture and that of other people as it will help me to become a great leader.

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Dear Sponsor,

I consider writing to you as one of the best things ever. It is always my pleasure to inform you on everything I have been doing. I’m also encouraged to strive for excellence in whatever I do because it is the least I can do to show appreciation for your support towards my education.

This letter intends to explain the activities I have developed over the previous term, my Covid-19 experience and my expectations in this new year that we have begun. I am still carrying on with my passion of being a surgeon especially after seeing that so many diseases are arising globally.

At school, there are a lot of clubs that I am engaged in. These Include JETS Club, Math Magician, Children World Movement, Entertainment World, Taekwondo Club, Drama Club, Girl up, and of course Poetry Club. My favorite among these clubs is the JETS Club. This is because it teaches me so much about Science. I am so active in this club that I was made the president.

My special highlights of 2020 were when I recited a poem about my country on independence day. playing badminton, and when I attended lessons for three good weeks. I enjoyed all these activities and they felt so unique.

The breakout of coronavirus affected so many things, one of them being my family’s income. To make matters worse, schools had to close indefinitely but in order to keep myself useful, during the Covid- 19 school closure, I volunteered at a nearby community clinic. Here I worked in the counseling departments and did general cleaning.

Fortunately, during the lockdown, I received a smartphone and monthly 12GB bundles from KF for online classes that my school introduced. I prepared for my end of term well by studying hard and doing research on various topics I had challenges with.

In 2021, I am looking forward to working extra hard and improving in all the ventures that I undertook last year. I want to bring out the best version of myself.

Sadly, school became a bit tough when I returned after the covid-19 holiday. This was as a result of teachers trying to catch up for the time we had lost. We had a lot of work and kept moving very quickly.

I am ending this letter by thanking you once again my lovely sponsor for everything you have done for me in my life, I really appreciate it. I wonder how life would have been without you. May God bless you together with your family because you deserve it. Thank you, I will forever appreciate you.

Yours faithfully,
Blessings Kasabo

Hi there! it is my honor to write about the KUCETEKELA FOUNDATION Alumni Association. My name is Gift Kasweka and I’m currently chairman of the KF ALUMNI ASSOCIATION. I hope you enjoyed your time being home with family and friends because of the unforeseen coronavirus pandemic.

While many of you were on holiday, the KF alumni and KF staff members spent some time at the KF office discussing the birth of the association. Different groups were formed that suit an individual’s certain skill set in order to work together to improve and discover new ways of sustaining KF and the alumni themselves. These are the available groups: EVENTS DEPARTMENT, TECHNOLOGY PROJECT, ACADEMIC COMMITTEE, PUBLICITY & MARKETING AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEPARTMENT. Each group has its leaders that plan and manage for the group. This is helping the groups succeed in what they do.

Later on, it was decided that all the groups should answer and be run by another leadership despite the group leaders. This leadership is made up of 6 alumni: GIFT KASWEKA as the chairman of the association, Sylvester Mumba as vice chairman, Simangele Magodi as secretary, Vincent Mwafulirwa and Rebecca Ndlovu as liaison. This is to ensure smooth operations and management.

So far so good there has been huge success in the association, The academic committee had hosted a boot camp with an aim to be an intense SAT and leadership training period filled with SAT learning from Martin and Rebecca and also motivation and career talks from various professionals in different fields, not only that but they proudly boast to have managed to win scholarships for the following alumni: Harriet Mwanza to Rwanda, Cecilia Banda to Rwanda and Susan Kamono to Morocco.

On the other hand the entrepreneurship department have managed to secure 5 hectares of Land with the help of the KF office at the sum of k12500. The signing of the papers was done on the 8th of September at the KF office. They now plan to plant Soya beans and other crops on the farm.

I have been managing the association with the little prefecture experience and other leadership positions I had during high school. Being a chairman is hard, easy but also offers a steep learning curve that requires quick adaptation. But overall it provides me with experiences that are useful now and in the future. I am learning to prepare meetings quick and be flexible throughout some days.

Next to our new initiatives, there are also many renowned and new events you do not want to miss out on! Becoming an active KF Alumni Association member offers you all. We want to help you in developing your skills next to your studies. In case you are interested, feel free to plan a coffee date so I can tell you more about it! You can contact me at giftkasweka127@gmail.com

On behalf of the KF Alumni Association, I wish you the best of luck with your studies and we hope to see you. Besides that, you are always welcome at Kucetekela Foundation office to talk about any plans you might have.

 

Kucetekela Foundation has established a forum which has allowed our KF alumni from 2011-2019 to be able to reconnect and get to know each other. The aim is to be able to form the Kucetekela Foundation Alumni Association and as the alumni continue to interact. The following committees have been formed:

Entrepreneurship: Exploration of entrepreneurial ventures for the association and its members.

Publicity and Marketing: Showcase the work of KF and the association through blogs, social media articles on experiences and impact of KF on young people.

Fundraising and Sustainability: Explore and pursue fundraising initiatives to complement donor resources as well as facilitate member contributions.

Exchange Program: Utilize international networks to encourage individuals to volunteer for KF.

Academic Mentorship: Prepare Gap Year students for various examinations, university admission interviews, review university applications and essays, etc. This will include provision of support to KF students, for instance tutoring.

Events Coordination: Plan for and coordinate KF and association events including annual commemorations and anniversaries.

Tech Projects: Explore projects that focus on impact and value. These will include development of tech products such as an alumni website for sharing of opportunities, improving KF web design, apps, as well as e-learning platforms.

Emergency project: This is is group where are our alumni will come up with projects according to the situation or competition they will be involved in.
Under our emergency project group we have our COVID-19 Youth Impact Group. This group is made up of our alumni; it is being led by Mailess Phiri who is currently at the University of California, Berkeley.
 
The KF alumni led by Mailess aim to go into communities to educate them about the coronavirus, which is a global pandemic. Since the president of the Republic of Zambia, Dr. Edgar Chungu Lungu announced that examination classes will be opening in Zambia the COVID-19 Youth Impact Group started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to make masks to donate to the schools and communities.
The alumni went to the Pakachele Trust School to give out their masks and educate the children at the school on the virus.
The alumni also went to Seko Orphanage which is located in Ngombe in Lusaka,  Zambia to give out masks and educate the children at the orphanage. 
#togetherwecanbeatcovid-19
The aim of the formation of the Kucetekela Foundation Alumni Association is to support a network of our former graduates who will in turn help raise the profile of the organisation.