Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Wezi Kayira
Have you ever thought that someone out there is looking at you right now, envying your life, wishing and praying they were you? I’ve had my list of secret role models and am thankful for their existence. Some I have managed to thank for helping me become what I am. The others, well, I will continue to say a little prayer for you. Dwelling on this thought I decided that every chance I get, I’ll use it to influence others to influence myself. Everybody wins.
My community is full of ambitious girls, hardworking girls, girls who go to school, but fail to dream because all they know is the invisible wall that surrounds them. It saddens me to see their hopes and dreams die, and instead resort to farming because it’s their comfort zone. Of course there is nothing wrong with farming, but I think it is wrong if it lacks vision and acts as an escape plan. Thank God for my squeaky voice, which I continually use to advise girls in my community to dream big.
I will say again and again that the person who said a girl or woman is defined by her sexual function must have bumped his/her head real hard. Two girls from my community, Mary and Fastani proved my point when they out-passed all the boys in our community by finishing their secondary school exams with amazing points. I was smitten by their hard work and ambition that I just had to ask them to be my friends. I literary called them and proposed friendship.
Our discussions were mostly about them; what they aspire to be, some of the challenges they face, and how they managed to still finish secondary school with good grades despite all of those challenges. I remember Fastani telling me she was motivated to work extra hard when she saw her friend’s parents who came to visit them during visitor’s day. Imagine, those parents might never know Fastani, they probably never talked to her, but their accomplishments helped her write a chapter of her success story. On the other hand, Mary said her sister made it to college and she really wanted to do the same.
Soon after meeting these girls, I invited them for a career guidance talk with me since they were about to send out their college application forms. Mary responded to the invite and we assessed her secondary school exam points versus potential programs she could easily be admitted into. We also considered the competition these days, what she is naturally good at, and potential job markets.
Since our guidance talk, I am happy to say that Mary has been selected to Chancellor College, one of the universities in Malawi, to study Arts Humanities. My excitement for her is beyond measures. Hearing her say “I have been selected to study one of the programs you advised me to apply for” just melted my heart. I mean don’t they say “educate a girl child and you’ve educated a nation.” She is the only person to be selected in my community. Hopefully the numbers will increase next year, and I pray Fastani remains positive and re-applies next year. But for now, I am really glad I asked Mary to be my friend and invited her to come to my place for a little chat when I did.