Lobiner Kanthenga – story of a University Student
I am Lobiner Kanthenga, twenty years of age and second born in the family of four children. My home village is Chiwoko Traditional Authority (T/A) Mtema in Lilongwe district. I started my primary school at Mtemambalame in 2000. I repeated two classes, standard one and seven. In standard one, I just followed my friends because I did not know what I was doing and standard seven I didn’t do well especially in English, so, with advice from the teachers, I wanted to make a good foundation in preparation for standard eight examination which is final at a primary school level.
I enjoyed life with my parents. Unfortunately, they divorced in 2004 when I was in standard four. It is something that pains me just because it brought disruption among us the children. Dad took me and my brother Seleman. Whilst my mother took my other two sisters, Lizinet and Patience. My father remarried and I stayed with my step-mother with difficulties and we were exposed to harsh conditions which I didn’t feel its effect then since I was young.
I moved from Mtemambalame to Chiwoko primary school when I was in standard seven 2009. This happened because my dad divorced again and married another woman. We moved from where we were staying and this forced me to change school as well. I wrote my Primary School Leaving Certificate and entrance examinations at Atsikana Pa Ulendo in 2010. Lucky enough I passed both exams and the government selected me to go to Likuni Girls Secondary School – a Catholic boarding school in the city of Lilongwe.
Due to divorce, school fees were a challenge because my brother was also selected to Namitete Secondary School. When parents are together, they know how best they can take care of their children. Dad stopped us from visiting our relatives and this created a gap and poor relationship between us and relatives. If this relationship was maintained, they could somehow work hand in hand to provide for us with almost every essential needs but they failed.
Fortunately, Landirani Trust came in with financial aid for me to attend secondary education in 2011. The ‘Trust’ gave me so much care in different aspects e.g. fees, stationery, toiletries, academic-mentorship, physical and spiritual support throughout secondary level which I am very grateful.
I wrote Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) in 2014. Although Landirani was beside me, I was still in need of pocket money for other personal requirements which was the responsibility of my parents who were not able to provide so many times. Despite these challenges, I managed to come up with fourteen points that made me very happy. This was just a manifestation that Landirani Trust did not spend its money in vain. I then applied for University of Malawi (UNIMA) in 2015. I was selected to pursue my studies at Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN), thus Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Midwifery.
It's something great being at Kamuzu College of Nursing, first year and in second semester now and still in the hands of Landirani Trust. Challenges are still there especially in the area of living expenses and this is very serious indeed. Although things are like that, I have to bear in mind that challenges will still be on my way but I promise myself never to regress. I know I have potential to do something great and be able to support other people, especially my siblings. Being the first child in my family to be at the university, I would want to be a good role model to my siblings and even to the other girls in my community for I am aware of the responsibility I will have once I finish my studies.
Therefore, it’s my wish that my studies should not end here but I should progress to some levels that I can become a woman of influence in my society. With the help from Landirani Trust I am able to believe in myself that I can achieve such greater things. I develop my motto which says, ‘Be the best, choose the best and work for the best!’ This is my inspiration whenever I meet the challenges.
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