"TOUGH times don't 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 years 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. 20th April is another day I will never forget in my life. This is the day I thought 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 before 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 before 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.
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 Outreach officer from FOUNTAIN of HOPE drop-in centre in Lusaka's kamwala T/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 2001 early 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
- 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 well as 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.
- 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.
- Marcus Aureliu added: “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”
- Dr. Samuel Johnson added; (1709-1748) “Self confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.”
- “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 background, 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.
BRIEF LIFE BIOGRAPHY PHASE TWO
"Whatever has a name exists." 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 15/11/2005 early in the morning I started off for the village in Nchelenge and reached the same day about 16:00 hours. 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 father's 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 excited 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 few 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.
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 2004. It is still paining me very much that my elder sister died without seeing me for 7 years, 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.
- "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 PEARSALL SMITH
- "To talk to hungry people about self respect, love of people, and democracy is futile until their stomachs are full." -HELEN GUN WESTLAKE
- "The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for?" -ADDISON JOSEPH
- "Personality development progresses along a road paved with evidence of either personal superiority or inferiority." -ALFRED ADLER
- "It takes a long time to bring excellence to maturity." -PUBLILIUS SYRUS
- "Not all persons who are hotesexoul, sociable and independent represent a high level of maturity in our complex civilization." -FRED MCKINNEY
- "We make our fortunes and we call them fate." -DISRAELI
- "Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquillity." -JAMES THUNDER
- "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 adequacy." -HELEN G. WESTLAKE
- "Admiration is the foundation of all philosophy, investigation the process, and ignorance the end." - MONTAIGNE
- "It is a great advantage for a system of philosophy to be substantially true." -SANTAYANA
- "The years teach much which than the days never know." -EMERSON"