< Ngangile - survivor of major health issues – Mamie Martin Fund

Ngangile – survivor of major health issues

Ngangile Zgambo has been supported by the Mamie Martin Fund since she started her secondary school education in Malawi. She studied at Ekwendeni Girls’ Secondary School and then moved to Embangweni Secondary School for Deaf Children where her needs could be more fully met. In 2019, she presented the visiting MMF Trustees with her story, carefully written and illustrated. She gave full permission for it to be used here.

My name is Ngangile Zgambo, I am 17 years old. I come from Mpherembe Village Joseph. My mother’s name is Anna Qoma; my father’s name is Peter Zgambo. My mother and my father work on a farm. A day that I remember is when I was in Standard Four at Myobe Primary School. I was there three years and then I started being very sick. My mother took me to the Ekwendeni Hospital in Malawi. Then the doctor gave me medicine and my mother took me home. Back home my mother gave me more medicine but my neck was not changed and I continued to be sick. My mother saw me complaining a lot and refusing to eat food. In the morning my mother took me to the Mzuzu Central Hospital in Malawi.

This is Ngangile’s story as written by her for MMF. She called it “A Day to Remember“.

There the doctor wanted to operate on me. He checked all my body and said to my mother that Ngangile was in very great danger, the problem of Ngangile is inside the neck and is very hard because we must catch the stone in the neck. Then my mother started to cry and said ‘Good bless my daughter, Ngangile’. After one month in the hospital I was very well and sent back home so my mother was very happy. She gave me many clothes and shoes and I went to school again. Then I was in Standard Seven but problems faced me at school. I was not understanding the questions the teacher put to me but me, I complained in my heart and thought ‘what is the problem?’

Then I was in Standard 8 and doing exams. I passed the exams very well and the Government chose me to attend Euthin Secondary but I was not to go to that Secondary School, I was to go to Luvwere CDSS because my father did not have money for my fees. My mother was very angry because my father refused to pay my fees. My father had divorced my mother because my brother died, I don’t know how he died. My mother didn’t know how to end the problems so she left the family with two girls.

After two months my neck was operated on to remove the stone; this time I was back in Standard 8 and had the problem of fees and of where was my mother. Then I was 12 years old. In my final class of Primary School, I passed my examination. But when I wished to take up my place at Secondary School, my father refused to pay school fees again because the school fees where the government had selected me were very high and he could not find the money. When I went to the school, the Head Teacher sent me home because I had not paid fees.

I stayed at home for many weeks without going to school or seeing my mother. I had been for one year with my step mother. While I was staying with my step mother the problems were hash and cruel. She always hated me and treated me badly in different ways. Sometimes she gave me a lot of work at home without sending me to school.

My father, after the divorce from my mother because of the death of their children, opened a shop and then he told me that I should not be allowed to disturb his family. My step mother took me to the trading centre which is very far from our home. There she used me to carry big luggage and there was no many (bags) that I could not carry them myself alone because that time I was a child. When I realised about my biological mother I left everything there on the road side and ran away.

I did not know what I was going to do or where I came from. Luckily there was a bag in my hand when I searched things inside there I found money (900MKW, about £1.00). I used this money to buy my lunch food because I was hungry and had not eaten since morning. I continued my journey and reached Mzuzu City where the police caught me and took me to the CCAP Synod office. There I stayed for three days. The Synod asked me why I am just walking, I told them everything about our family issues and they felt sorry. They had some desire to help me before I go to school. It was hard to go to Mpherembe [my village] but the police and the Synod took me and met my father and advised him.

At home the police and the Synod asked many questions of my father. He would not answer many questions. When asked about my mother, my father told about the divorce and the police asked why. Then the police and the Synod discussed all the problems. After that they went away and left me with my father. Then after two weeks, my father reported fast to my mother. When my mother was back home again, I was very happy because I could see my mother and she started to take care of me. My two parents then sent me to Ekwendeni Girls’ Secondary School and I was very happy. Now I am at Embangweni Secondary School for the Deaf. I am very happy and am in Form 6.

Thank you very much for paying my school fees. God bless you and everything you do Dear Mamie. So I am very happy that you give me many things that are important to school. Thank you very much.