On Two Wheels Around Town by Martin Thulani Milanzi, Jr.

The transition from being a dependent person to one who has to entirely meet his own needs is tricky. This is so because as an adult or high school graduate, there are some needs that probably nobody else can provide for you apart from yourself. One such need is transportation to enable you to carry out your duties.

I am personally one of the luckiest persons to have been offered a job directly after high school, but the credit is not mine to take home. This is so because KF helped me get an internship with BookWorld Zambia. I was later given a contract as a full time employee. Since signing a contract, a lot has changed in my life in terms of different things, from how I spend or handle finances to communication skills on a personal level.

Martin drafts tertiary application essays at the KF office.

As an employee and Gap Year student, I have had to find a balance between work, university applications, and studies. That seemed difficult at first because work was tiring and extremely demanding, but I had to get my game back on. The travel to and from work was not just stressing but costly. At some point, I began to think I was working for transport.

To curb the problem of transport costs, I thought of buying a bike, as I knew I would spend so much on a bike, but once and for all. I didn’t just curb costs of travel, I also created a way for me to exercise and travel around town without delay.

I have used my bike to run around the city within time, as I time my pace and start off times. For example, when my mentor wanted to meet me, I used my bike to get to Kabulonga and still managed to attend my soccer practice at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC), on the opposite side of town.

Riding around Lusaka is somewhat a funny thing but worth trying. You have no traffic on a bike and no daily costs of forty kwacha for a one-direction trip. I have used my bike to even get to Pestalozzi, my former secondary school, twice for a tournament the school invited me for. The only sad thing is that I didn’t take part in it, because I was known by one of the officials of the tournament, as he faced me at one point.

If you want to do something big in life one day, start simple. Having a bike has enabled me to use that extra money for transport on some of my own long-term projects. At times, you may just come across some guy and you start cycling each other, which makes me even ten to twenty minutes earlier for work or my destination. I am careful, though, when I ride. I always wear a helmet to protect myself from head injuries.

The only problem I had at first was how people view owning a bicycle, but I am a kind of person who works to get to my goals, so I ignore people’s thoughts. The night rides are fun too; they make me happy.

Internship with Bookworld Zambia by Christian Chavula

Bookworld is a store that specializes in selling books and stationary to the general public. It is one of Zambia’s prestigious stores. Last year right after my final school exams, I applied for internship at Bookworld through Kucetekela Foundation.

A week after submitting the application, a few friends and I were called for interviews. This was my first interview ever. I practically had no idea how to interview well. I never knew I had to research about the company itself. It was more of a challenge based on the fact that I could not answer a few of the questions because I thought it would be that easy. To my surprise, a day later I was called to start work on Monday. I was really excited and at the same time had mixed feelings.

I was first taught how to relate to customers in a way that makes them feel comfortable. Second, I was taught more about the products being sold. It is important to have product knowledge. As an intern, my tasks were mainly to issue out books from the store room, conduct customer service, verifying received stock and filing of documents. For the first month I had someone help me out with everything in case I had questions or experienced difficulties. The start was rough based on the fact that I had to ask almost about everything. I kept on improving day by day.

The Bookworld experience has taught me how to turn suspects into prospective buyers. Usually we don’t know how to convince other people why a certain commodities suits them. This does not only apply in business but also in our day to day lives. We reach points when we have to convince other people on what we believe. This is the key factor to success that I have learnt.

Lastly, Bookworld has helped me understand how important it is to be hard working. My full potential was put to test. I had to work hard in order to finance my personal expense such as transport and lunch expenses. This helped me budget efficiently in order to meet these expenses. I believe Bookworld has inserted an identity of entrepreneurship in me.

Becoming a Gap Year Student by Nathan Mayembe

When I sit down and reminisce from the time I started my junior secondary school all the way to my senior secondary school, a lot has changed about me. One most surprising thing that I have noticed about myself is that my academic performance has improved greatly. In my junior secondary school, my performance was not up to standard. All my friends used to get all the credit. However, with hard work, my senior secondary school was a different story. I was surprised only to find out that I was counted as one of the students who will be part of getting six points at the end of my final exams.

Nathan Mayembe and his family at Pestalozzi Graduation

My social life has also changed. Through community service, work experience and my friends, I have come to realize that I am now more caring about other people because way back, I was very anti-social.

Being part of Kucetekela Foundation (KF) is one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me. It has been a life changing opportunity. The organization has given me so many opportunities that I would not have even known about if I had not been part of it.

When I was still in school, I wanted to be done with it. Now that I am done with school, I suddenly have unexpected feelings come up. I have a mixture of feelings. At one point it feels good and at another it feels bad. Becoming a gap year student is amazing. However, I do not know what to expect from it. At times, I even wonder what being a gap year student really means.

My main goal next year is to prepare adequately for my SAT exams, so that I can get a good score. Because with that, it will be much easier to apply to any university abroad, especially the United States.

My brotherly advice to my colleagues who are still in secondary school is that you should just be the way that you are. Do not try to be someone you are not. Discover yourself. Do what you do best and of course study hard. To the Grade 8s, always feel at home. You are welcome to this wonderful family and know that we expect a lot from you.

Thank you.

Welcome to the Kucetekela Foundation Scholar Blog!

Hello readers, and welcome to the new and improved Kucetekela Foundation (KF) student blog!

KF Students and staff at the August 2016 Reunion

A brief background on KF:

Founded in 2006, Kucetekela Foundation was created in order to develop and mould the next generation of leaders in Zambia. Currently, KF sponsors 39 students in secondary school, seven Gap Year students and continues to support 38 alumni. In addition to excelling in school, the scholars participate in community service, work experience, leadership training and other kinds of capacity building activities.

The purpose of this blog:

The scholars and graduates of Kucetekela Foundation wanted to revitalize the student stories blog to connect you all to the work that they’re already doing to make themselves, their communities, and Zambia at large, better. Through it, we hope that you can get a better sense of the lives and works of each of our writers.

KF’s 2017 Graduates at the graduation for Pestalozzi Education Centre

What you’ll find here:

The scholars and graduates will be telling stories about the academic, personal and professional work that they’re doing. We’ll also attach photos and videos that we hope you enjoy. We can post statistics and successes to no end, but what we’re excited to showcase are the narratives and reflections of KF scholars in their own words.  We’ll also share with you student spotlights, so you can get to know each of the students a little better.

If you have content suggestions or questions, we’d also love to hear them! We hope that this blog becomes collaborative and inspires people around the world, so let us know what you’re thinking about in the comment section below, and don’t forget to like and share our posts!