Each day, like all other days, the pain of going to bed on an empty stomach isn’t something unusual and certainly not something to complain too much about. My mom, as she always does, keeps reminding me of her favorite theme, as she speaks in her soft but rather promising tone of voice, “Son, never let go of the faith that has kept as alive until now.”

She says this as she comes closer towards me and puts her hand on my shoulder, she adds, “We may not eat today, but God will make a way for us tomorrow.”

Her reassuring words mean so much to me. Her tone of voice and the confidence she portrays when she speaks, says it all. She knows what she is talking about and she believes it. But since the passing on of my father everything seemed to have fallen into pieces, and everything seemed to have figured out its own way of going from bad to worse. The worst part is seeing my poor single mother struggling just to put food on the table for me and my two siblings.
“Life isn’t fair,” a thought from nowhere hits me from the back of my head as I try to get off the thoughts of the many troubles and misery that surround my life as a young 14-year-old. The reality is, those thoughts really never go away; we live with them and walk with them, all day, every day.

If you hve ever lived in Zambia, specifically, John Chinena, this saddening truth shouldn’t even surprise you. The very history of its origin speaks volumes about the kind of lifestyle exhibited by the inhabitants of this strange place. Generational poverty, drug abuse, verbal violence, teenage pregnancies, to name a few. You would be shocked to hear that the last part of its name “John Chinena” is actually not a cool name, it implies a female private part. Well! You’re wandering how on Earth a place can have such a disrespectful name? The story unfolds…

20 years ago in this very place, lived a prominent white national his name, John with such massive wealth to his name and a strange appetite for black beautiful women. “Poverty is bad” as the old saying goes, but John had used this very old saying to his own advantage. Using his money in exchange for sex seducing desperate, poor, black, beautiful women of this area. Hence,”Chinena” the name of a female private part was added to his name, John.

You wouldn’t want to live in such a strange place with such awful memories attached to it. Neither did we. But the hope of changing things around, keeps us going. This is evident in many families like my own, who pray tirelessly each day for God’s blessings to shine on the land and we hustle hard, hoping to see a better tomorrow.


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