About the Author:
Humphrey,who was one of the first users of the early library that was set up at the Fountain of Hope street kid's shelter, is now helping a new generation of street children.


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Humphrey's Story

"TOUGH times do not last, tough men do.My name is Humphrey mulenga. I was born in  1981. although being born the fourth and last in the family of two girls and two boys i never saw my biological parents(both) my mother and my father, except only on pictures. i was told by my grand parents to my father,s  side when I was about 5 yrs old and came to sense that my both parents died when I was a baby,my mother just after my birth and father after some few months.

Despite not having tested my mother,s breast milk!that aside,my grandparents had to do all that they could to serve my soul.my grandfather was indeed a strong Zambian farmer with a heart to love and care.i must admit this because had it not been for him I would have ended up in a bin still an infant.I survived from this infernal due to the grace of God.20 th April is another day I will never forget in my life. This is the day I though life had no meaning.i meet the reality, every thing on earth seemed to  be useless, we also lost my grandfather. On my way back from school,just a small distance to reach home I saw people outside mourning. When I reached I was told  by one of the mourners that my grandfather has just died who was for a time suffering from B.P and strock,as he just collapsed while in the farm and went to his final rest. On this day  and the next 3 solid days I don’t, remember closing my ayes and eating food, only water.I was totally comfused and with full of thoughts because this old man was at that time the father and mother I had.i felt isolated and heart brocken-I predicted and  knew that now  suffering and avock was on the way.The day to put my grandfather to rest finally came.the way things happened that day it was very sad  and I still shed tears when I flash back my memories. People where not willing to wash my grandfathers body and this troubled my grandma,s mind so much.she did it with my elder brother  and clothed the body into a white cloth and put his body in a tomb which he himself dug b4 he died.any way,may his soul rest in peace.and the grand mother died also just some few months after.After the funeral was over that is when we could feel the impact of life.Relatives now became so exited as if it was the day of feasting, they grabbed all the properties my grandparents left,which they said b4 that they where for us and also some properties that my biological father left for us in the guidance and name of my grand father and selfishly shared among themselves. We remained very lonely and there was no one who could understand the problems we face as our grandparents used to.And at that time we only eate food one time in  a day, through some small piece works within the neighbourhood and some times sleep without food,as we temporalily remained in the house my grandeparents left, before the elderly relatives could decide who to own that same house. And the house was finally given to the cousin of my father,now this man he only took the responsibility of keeping my sisters and with me and my brother he said we have to find our way out reason being that boys are notorious and difficult to deal with and handle than girls.and all the relative supported his stupid and stingy ideas and thoughts-so me and my brother we were chased out of that house.

We sleept during night in the mango tree for about a week and this was during rain season,and some times rain came and finished on us.and only having food to eat when our sisters stole some left over foods from this ancle house and secretly gave us to eat,as they where also fearing  to be beaten  and chased like us once found.Due to the pressure and hardships we could not withstand the situation, so we opted to completely get out of this area and we started up for a town called serenje and then kapiri mposhi. A good Samaritan picked us in an empty heavy duty goods truck after standing at the road side for two days and this was only possible because we lied to him.We reached there and started life as so called street children(but me I call them the;LOST CHILDREN).the friends we found there as already street boys accepted us as their colleagues,and we called each other as  one family.To say the truth life is the street /as a street boy is very hard-and kids who are still in the streets are suffering and have a lot of needs. thanks be to God for making it possible that we moved safely and people accepted us in a non violent manner..We used to sleet along corridors and ditches and got food from the bins around town, especially fast foods eating  places and take aways. AND sleeing also is/was  with no blankets. No bathing,may be after 8-10 days if possible.Begging,Wending people,s  laggages and stealing was a way of finding money.And to stand the coldness , the pressure and harshness of the street we sniffed chemicals,like Glue (bostik) Genkem and sticker in order  to beat the cold weather and it worked as a morale booster to remove shyness in order to do the activities well,as they are not normal and safe.

Life in the street is that “only the strong  and the rude can  survive.” If you are weak then all you have or worked for will be grabbed my stronger boys and big ones. And no one to talk for you in this situations, only fighting will talk. I only spent weeks in serenje and kapiri,but most of the time as a street boy I  spent in Lusaka-my brother I left him in kapiri and have not seen him up to date.Through all this,it kept coming and ringing in my mind that, I my brother and sisters had even an opportunity and chance to own the properties our parents left, we would be in a good position than streets . But because of some stingy and self centred people I was that way .and  when I started memorising all these events,it even made me very cruel and always negative in thinking,and I reached to the exitent of perseving that  all people are bad and I was next thinking to stub my self with a knife becouse life seemed to be nothing at that time.ANOTHER TRAGEDY:

One day a friend of mine who I used to sleep with, stole a car radio and money (at a fast foods eating place within town) belonging to a certain man who assaigned him to wash and look after his care as he went inside to have his lunch; and he (friend) immediately escaped from lusaka to livingstone.
I was just near by this place picking some food from a bin,but I could not recognise and see what happened /happening.so when the owner of a car came out of the place after he had his lunch, he could not see my firnd and only found that his car radio and some money has been stolen.Then he approached me a few distance to reach were I was  and asked me where my friend ,his car radio and money was? Because I did not know any thing in line with his question,I told him that I do know ! so he accused me to co operate with my friend in stealing his properties, so he  strongly punched and kicked me and then took me to  police and threatened that I was going to be jailed if I do not tell him where my friend was and the things he took.i sleept in the police cell for four days ,then I was relised after some queries.

I had body severe pains,and after being relised I was just sleeping under the trees in town.and one day as I was asleep a certain AMERICAN Man  who I did not remember as of now came near by to  me and waked me up then he asked me why I was to much sleeping during day time.i explained to him all the car radio and money scandle and pains I had, then he booked a tax and took me to the clinic where I stayed for two days and then I was discharged and he bought me all the medicines prescribed.and he left-from that time I never saw him again.

During this time I suffered very much, especially to look for food and money because I was so weak and also to adapt to the situation and suit.After all this,one day I was walking around town confused in my mind and almost lost all hope and confidence in my self.  I heard some one saying hello,I looked and there was a man standing in front of me.he asked me my name and I told him and he then  asked what I was doing. i told him every thing that happened to me.and  then the man identified himself as an Out-reach  officer from FOUNTAIN of  HOPE drop-in centre in Lusaka,s kamwalaT/ship.-fountain of hope is an organisation which looks after street children and orphans,he then latter asked me if I was willing to go with him.I agreed and then we started off to the same place and we reached there. I saw and observed the happenings of the centre and I told them I was willing to stay. I was first enrolled in the counselling class, and I graduated successfully. and in 2000 I started a basic course in Psycho- social counselling and finished then I was given a responsibility of counselling my fello new comer friends to the centre and also to do out-reach programmes with friends who where still in town and I  did it excellently. And in 2001early I went for skills training in CARPENTRY (G-7 class) at Thorn Park Construction Training Centre in Lusaka.i finished and I was awarded a certificate of competence.

Other course/knowledge have/done:
*motor Vihacle driving(e.c clss)
*Basic qualifications in child care programmes and Out-reach (street kids work)
* internet serching skills course
I completed my repatriation and rehabilitation  program with the centre and I am now out of the centre,living in a nearby erea to Lusaka town  .And i am involved in an Organisation called Children,s Transformation Trust (CTT)- a newly formed and .sruggling org, with the aim to look and  help up  the friends who are still in the streets with a view of Re-intergration.I am surely rehabilitated and fully baked in terms of behaviour change and I am now a changed person,old negative and cruel behaviour is gone. From my life experience have come  to understand that the only way to overcame a bad habit is to replace it with a good one,that I did.

 And also that pain is part of a human nature and condition,as wellas joy.

And that problems are part of life and help us to grow mentally and discover our life potential and the only answer to solve  problems  is by self-discipline,and God is able.1. Muhammad ALI said;

“Champions are not made in the gyms. champions are made from something they have deep inside of them-a desire , a dream a vision.They have last minute stamina,they have to be a little faster,they need to have the skill , and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.

                                 AND2 Marcus Aureliu  added :“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”                            AND

3.  Dr. Samuel Johnson added; (1709-1748)“Self confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.”

                              AND4- “When the power of love overcome the love of power ,the world will know peace.”I believe and have confidence that despite my poor life  backgroung, God is able and will always be able to improve my life-as he Has been shelding and protecting  me from all dangers have gone through.HUMPHREY  C. MULENGA BRIEF LIFE BIOGRAPHY PHASE TWO-

" whatever has a name exisit."After spending some few year and months of independent deep meditations about life and living in the society, in this year of 2005 through my work as  street children Outreach Educator and in Carpentry, i started serving some  money as (transport) so that i can go and visit my brother and sisters in my village of origin (kanyembo) in Nchelenge district of Luapula province here in zambia; as i was  some time  back told by my long time friend who comes from village to sell fish in lusaka;that my sisters and brother are in the village.

So in the second to third week of November 2005,i managed to arrange the required transport money and on 15/11/005 early in the morning i started off for the village in Nchelenge and reached the same day about 16;00 HRS.I first reached at  my father`s village of origin becouse it is the nearest from the two villages of my mother and father`s origin. At the village of my fathers origin  there has remained as (Elders),the two  younger  sisters to my father and  one elder sister to my father,and also their children,grandsons and doughters.When i reached many people failed to recognise me facially,only about 3-4 managed to memolise and remenber my face,becouse the last time i went there about 7-8 years ago i was quite small but now i am atleast big.they were very much exited to see me again, they thought have already died becouse of many years that have passed without seeing me. I visited all other homes of relatives and friends at this village. and were all very much happy,and to my suprise they all were exited to a good exitent,as if they did not at one time mindly negatively and abusively rejected to take care of me-any way God bless,becouse  with love He  controls all things and makes a way and is more than ABLE  for all.

After spending two days at this place i proceded to the village of my mother`s origin and reached safely,this is the same place were my biological sister and brother lives, and many other relatives to my mother`s side-My brother and sister and all relatives were very much happy to see me again, they also thought that have died. I even found that my second born sister in my family is maried and she has two children (all boys),i stayed in her house together with my elder brother.they are all  with the mercy of God in good health.,Although they are struggling a beat to meet their basic needs in their living.They earn a living /invilved in cultivating cassava and sell part of it, and also through selling some few grocery items to the neighbourhood there in order to meet some necessities like clothing and other fwe things.The most good thing i was pleased with is that they were able to see me again and same to me,and also we had some time to discuss with them.and also that they now know where i am and they have my contacts and addresses,and i also have theirs.so will atleast be keeping in touch,than the way it was in the past seven years.i was also happy just to see and know how  things are /and have been going in the past years.DEATH;

i with sadness found that some family members have died in within the past seven to 8 years have been out,these are;

*the first born sister in my family-she died last year (2004) in December after a shot illness of malara.* the two elder brothers to my father-they all died in the middle months of this year(2005)*the younger sister to my mother (last born)-she died thius year 2005 after a suspeted short illnedd of headeche, and left 3 small  helpless children (all boys)*the first born  boy child to my cousin-he died last year 2004It  is still paining me very much that my elder sister died without seeing me for 7 yrs, as i was told that she very much longed to see me,and even talked about it just few minutes before she died.this is a tragedy i will still be remembering for the rest of my life.i am also afraid  that the 3 small  boys the young sister to my mother left after death may turn into street kids just as i was. becouse they economy has become difficult to deal with . my prayer to God the most HIGH is that; He may open   ; many ways for me and bless me with additional financial resouses so that i can help in looking after and educating these three  lads who are currently being cared for by my sister and brother in the village.

Above all God is love and more than able for all. LOVE never fails! He knows the future.1.There  are  two things  to aim  at  in  life;the first,to  get what  you  want;and,  after that, to enjoy it. Only the  wisest of  mankind achieve the second.-LOGAN  PEASALL  SMITH2.To  talk  to hungry  people  about self  respect ,love  of  people, and democracy is  futile until  their  stomachs  are  full- HELEN  GUN  WESTLAKE.3.The  grand  essentials  to happiness  in  this  life are something  to do,something to love and  something  to hope  for?-  ADDISON  JOSEPH4.Personality  development  progresses  along a  road  paved with evidence of  either personal  superiority  or  inferiority.-ALFRRD  ADLER (1870- 1937)5.It  takes  a  long  time  to  bring  excellence to maturity.-PUBLILIUS  SYRYS6.Not all  persons  who  are  hotesexoul ,sociable and  independent  represent  a high level of  maturity  in  our  complex  civilization.-  Fred  McKinney7.”We  make  our  fortunes  and  we  call  them  fate.”- DISRAELI8.Humor  is  emotional  chaos  remembered  in  tranquillity.- JAMES  THUNDER9.”Some  people  perceive  their power  or  influence  being  many times  as  great  as  it actually  is. When this happens, reality  could come as a shock. On  the  other hand, with a good  sense of humor, one  can  recognise one,s  own  folly ,and accept gracefully those normal  human  powers that provide  functional  adequecy.”-HELEN    G . WESTLAKE10.Admiration  is  the  foundation  of  all  philosophy ,investigation  the  process, and ignorance the end”.- MONTAIGNE11.”It  is  a  great  advantage  for  a  system  of  philosophy  to  be   substantially  true.”-SANTAYANA12.The  years  teach  much  than  the  days  never  know.- EMERSON"

"Humphrey's Story" is posted on the Lubuto website with permission of the author.