DESPITE undergoing a difficult upbringing, Livingstone’s Ndano Lubasi successfully managed to obtain six points in last year’s Grade 12 school examinations.
The 20 year-old talks confidently but fights back tears as she delves into her past.
“My grades one to four were all fine as my father, a self-employed plumber, was able to pay for my school fees. But thereafter, he got an intestinal obstruction, which required several operations in 2008 and 2009. Despite my good grades, I was frequently sent away from Namatama Basic School due to non-payment of school fees,” she says.
“My father, being the only surviving member in his family, failed to sustain us and additional dependents from his late siblings. It was out of this that a teacher at Namatama introduced me to Response Network and from 2010, my fees were paid by this non-governmental organization until I completed Grade 12 at David Livingstone High School.”
Lubasi says due to her father’s continued ill health, her mother, who was helping to sustain the family living in a rented house in Maramba’s Namatama Extension area, was forced to stop trading so that she could nurse him.
“I obtained ones in Mathematics, English, Science, Civic Education, Religious Education and, Food and Nutrition. I got a distinction in Biology and a merit in Commerce,” Lubasi says.
She adds that Response Network paid for all her school bills as well as schoolbooks, bag and uniforms.
Lubasi was forced to look for a job after writing her Grade 12 examinations so that she could take care of her family.
“We are staying in a one bedroom rented house and this has forced me to be sleeping by my neighbour’s place because we are nine of us,” she says.
“I have been accepted at the Copperbelt University in the School of Natural Sciences and I will major in medicine. After my studies, I would like to take up the responsibilities of taking care of my siblings, my father and mother.”
Lubasi says her family rarely has three meals in a day.
She says she has been offered a 75 per cent bursary by the government but is seeking assistance for the remaining fees and also financial assistance to sustain her family.
She says while waiting for her results, she worked at Health and Glow Pharmacy.
“I only have K500 on me as at now and we were expected to report at CBU on Monday September 25,” she says.
Lubasi says certain situations presented themselves to people to help strengthen one’s life.
“There is always a helping hand, so please even when faced with even a far worse situation than I am going through, do not turn to vices,” advises Lubasi.