Young lady’s Chikanda’s skills leaves her at college doorsteps

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THE aroma of sizzling Chikanda hangs heavy in the air, but for 20-year-old Taonga Tizyole, it’s more than just a delicious snack. It’s the fuel powering her journey from Lusaka’s bustling Soweto market to the hallowed halls of Evelyn Hone College.

Life dealt Tizyole a tough hand early on. Witnessing her mother’s struggle as a single parent after a painful divorce, she picked up a tray at the tender age of 11, joining her in selling Chikanda, a local delicacy also known as African polony.

It wasn’t just about extra income; it was about survival, about shouldering the burden alongside her mother.

Little did Tizyole know that the same Chikanda would one day be her only way to attain her Diploma in purchasing and Supply.

Her early motivation to join her mother’s hustle who started selling Chikanda in 2009 came in after she consistently witnessed her mother being physically abused by her father leading to their divorce in 2014.

“My father was abusive and not supportive, so my mother began selling Chikanda for her to manage our home, he would get paid and use all his money on alcohol and come home with nothing, then rentals had to be paid, and everything was on mom. So I decided to carry her burden by helping her in selling Chikanda,” Tizyole told Kalemba.

She said her daily activities were scheduled as a routine. immediately after knocking off from school, her job was to go in the field with a tray on her head, to sell Chikanda.

Tizyole spent her junior and senior secondary education at Chunga primary and High School.and completing her education came as a shock and testimony as she never thought she would complete her G12 due to the financial challenges.

Nevertheless, she never let money disturb her school performance as she managed to pass with flying colours.

Going to College also came with other financial constraints but Taonga saw her Chikanda business as her ladder to opportunity. With unwavering determination, she poured her heart and soul into it, every sale a step closer to her goal.

“After completing school, I stayed home for a while. But then I thought it was best that I went to college too. So I asked my mother if I could begging selling Chikanda on my own so I could raise college money and she helped me with a capital of k300 to begin with.”

“And just like that, I started my business, each time I would sell, I would save up some money, and some, I would help mom at home,” added Tizyole.

Tizyole’s efforts have seen her paying her registrations and half of her first tuition fees of K3,800 at Evelyn Hone College were she currently stands as a first year student in Purchasing and Supply, but she could not be allowed to continue due to her outstanding balance of K2,200.

She and her mother could only manage to raise a k1,600 to pay for tuition fees after her successful application.

“But when I took my receipt to school, I was told that as a first year student, I need to pay my school fees in full. I know that in selling Chikanda am not making a lot of money, but at least I am getting something and it is what I know,” she added.

To support Tizyole in achieving her dreams, buy her traditional chikanda from as low as K10 as she equally delivers to your door place at a fee.

But rather, you can also book her for Chilanga Mulilo, birthday parties or anytime that you feel you need to satisfy your taste buds with a sumptuous taste of Chikanda.

By Buumba Mwitumwa

Kalemba February 21, 2024

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