OUT of his eight siblings and immediate close family relations, non has has ever graduated from college or university but Vincent Musole, a resident of Nalusanga village in the rural district of Mumbwa is working hard to alter history.
Vincent is a first year student at Lusaka’s Evelyn Hone college, silently paving his own way on the list of Zambia’s trained secondary teacher’s in the Science department.
But his journey has not been an easy one.
The 29-year old reveals that he completed his secondary education in 2017 scoring an impressive 14 points but could not go into college due to lack of funds and his attempts to get a government bursary or scholarship had always ended in disappointing failure.
With a 62-year old single mother who can hardly feed the family, Vincent knew his only chance at education was through bursary and his continued attempts at it finally paid off in 2022 seeing him enrol at Evelyn Hone College.
“Being a third born in my family, I knew I had to make a difference. I knew I had to break the family chain and become the first one to ever complete grade 12, and go to college. We are only two males in my family, my younger brother is married and my sisters are also married in the village. My mother being a single parent is even struggling to feed my other siblings. But that is not the life I want,” Vincent explains.
At the beginning of the year, Vincent made the long journey to Lusaka to start training as a teacher he had always longed to be.
But Vincent may have under-estimated the challenges that lay in his academic route.
Despite being on 100 percent bursary, Vincent does not have a place to stay or source of food because the bursary only covers tuition and examination fees.
For accommodation, Vincent has to rely on good samaritans while he scrounges around for food.
“I just need some work that can enable me to pay for a cheap room and buy myself some food. I am strong and can do any kind of work that kind hearted people can give me. During the last holiday, I did some work,” Vincent revealed as he extended his hand to show the blisters he obtained from the manual labour.
Being a student teacher, Vincent said he was ready to teach children who were struggling with Physics and Chemistry at a fee.
“Last year, I taught 17 pupils as an untrained teacher and 10 passed very well. I love sciences and understand them easily so it’s easy for me to provide some out-of-class coaching for struggling pupils,” he said.
At some point, Vincent also found himself a night job as a guard at a one of the security companies with a salary of K1,000 which he used to pay for his rentals and food, as he juggled to balance the night shift, and day light classes.
But in April, he was forced to quit his job as his supervisor changed his schedule to afternoon.
There was no way he could manage to balance up with school. And since then, his survival at college had changed.
He had no where to sleep, no one to employ him, and above all, no means of feeding, until a friend offered him a room in a house that’s under construction in Chibolya Compound, leaving his burden to only food.
But despite all these challenges, Vincent is a A+ student who is always coming out second best in his course.
With a little help to secure accommodation and food, Vincent is surely headed straight to the top. Otherwise, the problems also risk forcing him out of school.
By Buumba Mwitumwa
Kalemba November 29, 2023