FELIX MAANGWE: Giving Heart and Soul to rural Zambia

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Kayumweyumwe Community School in Mumbwa

WITHOUT this reporter, this story will be not be there. A little thanks. Without an editor, this story will not be this clean. A lot of thanks. And without a teacher, there will be no reporter and editor. Standing ovation for teachers.

This story is about a teacher. Felix Maangwe, 51, is a teacher at Kayumweyumwe Community School, about 31 kilomtres away from Mumbwa town.

A teacher. Felix Maangwe at Kayumweyumwe Community School in Mumbwa

The school runs from Grades one to seven.

It has 265 pupils and it has four teachers – two government teachers and two community ones.

Maangwe is on the government payroll. He is actually the school’s acting deputy head teacher.

For a professional like him, he needs everything decent – like other teachers in cities and towns.

But Maangwe has no house worthy his vocation.

Yet, because of absolute commitment, he still vows that: “teaching is a good profession.” 

“I started teaching in 1996 in Serenje district. I was [teaching] at Lubembe Primary School and then I moved on to Mabonde Primary School and then to Kashinka Primary School,” Maangwe told The Mast in Kayumweyumwe area, Mumbwa.

“All these schools are in Serenje. For me to leave Kashinka, I was elevated to come here as acting deputy head teacher in 2018.”

He explains that he trained as a teacher at Solwezi Teachers’ College in the early 1990s and later went for a secondary teacher’s diploma at National In-Service Teachers’ College (NISTCOL) – now Chalimbana University in Chongwe district.

“I’m happy being in this area. Only that there is no accommodation. But I’m satisfied being here,” he shares.

On arrangements to build him a house, Maangwe calmly responds: “there are promises.”

“Actually, there are kilns which have been put [by community members]. All what is required is cement. The challenge is that the community cannot manage to buy pockets of cement but skilled manpower is there,” Maangwe says.

“It’s only cement and iron sheets which are needed. [Having a decent house] is long overdue. This should have been done some time back. In fact, I was attracted to this area because of the promise that I was given – that a house will be built for me. I have been waiting but up to now nothing.”

He indicates that when he retires, he is interested to venture into serious farming.

Maangwe also has advice for nascent teachers.

“My advice to young teachers, those that I have just started as teachers I urge them to fight to upgrade themselves,” Maangwe notes.

“Teaching is a good profession! But they shouldn’t be all that static, like what happened with me. Even when I went to upgrade at NISTCOL in 2008, it was just forcing matters.”

Actually, Maangwe is a secondary school teacher, specialised in English and Religious Education (RE).

He now teaches upper grades (Grades five to seven) at Kayumweyumwe.

“I’m not tired of teaching but once I reach 55 years, I’ll just have to go (retire). I can’t just go on as a teacher, when there are other things that can improve my livelihoods,” concludes Maangwe.

Kayumweyumwe is a three by two community school.

Two relatively new blocks were built by Lions Aid Zambia while the derelict block, whose classrooms have no furniture, was built from the Mumbwa 2014 Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Credit: Mast

Kalemba November 30, 2020

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