Tembele Musukuma, 11, heads to Mbala after father’s death

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THE 11-year-old Tembele Musukuma, who diligently cared for his ailing father, Rueben Musukuma, at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), is now embarking on a journey to Mbala in the Northern Province.

This decision follows the tragic demise of his father on Monday, with the burial taking place just yesterday.

Tembele’s father, Musukuma, succumbed to his illness in the early hours of Monday, leaving the young boy to bid farewell to the man he had been caring for at UTH. 

The emotional separation unfolded as Reuben Musukuma was laid to rest around 11:00 hours yesterday.

Despite the challenges faced by Tembele and his father during the prolonged illness, a glimmer of support emerged when relatives, including Musukuma’s elder brother, resurfaced at UTH after the story of their plight was covered by the Daily Mail earlier this month.

UTH’s acting public relations officer, Brilliant Mukuma, confirmed the details, to Zambia Daily Mail, “Some relatives, among them Mr. Musukuma’s elder brother, resurfaced last week and the deceased was able to identify them.”

Following reconciliation, the relatives took charge of organizing the funeral, bringing the boy to Lusaka for the burial.

In an interview with Kalemba today, John Ngoma, a family member and cousin, shared insights into the arrangements, explaining that the Seventh Day Adventist Church and some distant family members coordinated the burial.

Additionally, the Roman Catholic Church facilitated the transportation of Tembele to Mbala, where he will now reside with his father’s immediate elder sister.

“He headed to Mbala today around 03:00hours in the morning and shall go to stay with my mother, his father’s immediate elder sister there,” said Ngoma

The Daily Mail previously reported the heart-wrenching story of Tembele caring for his father for six months, battling tuberculosis relapse and suspected lung cancer. 

It was reported that relatives had initially distanced themselves from the duo, but reappeared after the story went viral, offering to care for Tembele who has become a double orphan having first lost his mother at a young age. 

By Buumba Mwitumwa

 Kalemba on January 18, 2024.

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