LIFE IN THE GHETTO (CHIBOLYA). This is my story.

While, to most of you who will read this and actually know me, this story might surprise and even shock you but this is my story and part of the history that has made me who I am today.

In Lusaka city centre, there is a shanty compound known as Chibolya. You can call it the Ghetto or the Slams if you wish. This place is no ordinary shanty compound, this place is a place where all the bad things happens. it is a very small compound but extremely dangerous, actually it is so dangerous in that the police get intimidated. In this compound, there is a street called GAZA street and on this street, you will find all sorts of drugs, alcohol, guns, stolen items etc. The drug dealers sell drugs there as if they are selling tomatoes, there is no fear of the police or the law, the guys there live like they are above the law. This is the street where you will find all sorts of people, when you are passing through in the late afternoons, you will spot expensive cars, you will spot some white folks, Indians, rich people etc. Yes, you will find all sorts of people there and they are all there to buy cannabis, marijuana etc. How do I know all this? The answer is simple, its because I once lived in this compound for two years!

One of the streets in Chibolya
When I completed my high school (2003) at Kasama Girls, I came back to Lusaka to live with my grandmother and my two aunties who had put their house on rent in Kabwata (one of the nice neighbourhoods in Lusaka). And they decided to live in Chibolya, (my great grandmother had a block of rooms there) who was kind enough to give out a room to my grandmother and my aunties, just to stay there for a couple of months while they figure out what to do next..., for my grandfather had just passed away at that time and he was the only soul provider. My grandmother and my aunties thought at a time that moving to Chibolya and put the house in Kabwata on rent was the best idea, for they were going to save up some money from the house to start a business and only then, will they be able to move back to Kabwata. It was supposed to be only to live in Chibolya for a few months but they ended up living there for a few years.

The door where i am standing is where we lived
After high school like I have mentioned earlier, I moved back to Lusaka and i moved in with my grandmother and my aunties. At that time my grandmother was not so well, her health was really bad and the living conditions where so bad too, the finances were down the drain as well. The situation was so bad that we ended up brewing and selling the local beer called "kachasu" (believe it or not, i know how to make that beer ;-) ).
Where we used to brew the beer
A few months after i had moved in with them, my grandmother died and my school results were out. Thank God my results were good, I applied for a course at NIPA (National Institute of Public Administration), this is one of the best collages in Lusaka I must say. I was accepted and I studied Information Systems and Programming from there. Life was hard but i had an imagination of that of a child back then, I believed that anything was possible and I could see my future through the windows of my imaginations. I knew then that I was going to get out of that Ghetto and I was going to make it in life and make a name for myself. Two years later, I moved out of Chibolya and I started living with an uncle in a different neighbourhood called Kanyama, which is the next compound to Chibolya. (it is better than Chibolya though).
This was once my street in Chibolya
I continued my studies and my uncle helped me get a job and I started doing some business while going for work and at the same time, I started modeling and I could see my future becoming more bright and more exciting. While, I was busy with my life, I started saving up some money and when it was enough, I took myself to school to sturdy Social Work which i managed to get a diploma. For me, life was good but I knew I still had lots to do before I can have a life that i wanted. I got a few projects working with the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, teaching literacy class in Chainda (one of Lusaka's townships) and I also had a few women groups in Chelstone and Kaunda Square stage one (townships of Lusaka) where I used to teach them some personal development skills, leadership skills etc. 

Afterwards, i had my own flat, I had an opportunity to go to the United Kingdom and experience life there. Then I later moved to Malawi and became one of the Directors and Shareholders of SHADES Ltd (this is another story ;-) ). I have never looked back since. By the way, while, I was living in Chibolya, I had a friend by the name of Zuberi. He was a very smart guy and we used to dream and encourage each other a lot, like the saying "iron sharpens iron", he is also doing great and running a very big company in South Africa.

Last week the cops seized Chibolya because of all the bad things that has been going on for years there. Even some murders have been committed in that compound. I decided to go and see what was going on and just to see how the place was for it was years since I lasted visited the place. I managed to take a few pictures (the ones I have just shared with you), I couldn't take more because I was warned by one of the kids on the street saying that if am caught, it will be a disaster for the gangs might think I was a reporter. I went there a day after the police had been. As I was there, I could see a few camping sites for the cops. I read in the paper that the police will camp there for two months. I think its a good idea and I hope things change for the better in that compound because a lot of lives have been destroyed.

(if you have a story that you would like to share with me, a story that you would like me to publish, feel free to contact me)

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