TAMANGA LIFE: SURVIVING ON HANDCRAFTS SINCE 1992 (PICTURES)

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BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes

“USE your initiative to survive because there is lack of job creation in Zambia. Most people have gone to school and are looking for jobs, so if you do not use your initiative, you  will die of hunger.”

These are words of Zenard Mutobokwa, a handcraft trader of Lusaka. Zenard makes brooms, birdcages and chairs among other products.

The Sun newspaper caught up with Zenard and had an interview from his place of work.

THE SUN: When did you start this business?

ZEBARD: Ninayamba mu 1992

 (I started it in 1992)

THE SUN: How did you start this business, did you go for a training?

ZEBARD: Nina punzila through banzanga. Banzanga benzo pikula vama uzu so ninapunzilako paka nayamba ku panga. Iyi business niyanga chabe.

(I was taught by my friend. I also started weaving and it is my business now)

THE SUN: Where do you conduct your business from apart from here?

ZENARD: Ninayambila ku Kamwala , nachokako niyayenda pa Northmead market then ndiyepamene ninabwela kuno. Pa Northmead market banamangapo shopping mall so ndiyepe ninabwela kuno.

(I started conducting this business from Kamwala then I moved to Northmead. After a mall was built at  Northmead, I move here.)

THE SUN:So how is your business going?

ZENARD: Business yanga nipeza chabe slow slow kaili so chabe muntu apita wagulisakoso so chabe . Nimagulisa on a daily basis, napa ma weekends yonse.

(The business is slow but I still sale something on a daily basis, including weekends)

THE SUN: Is this the only business you do from 1992?

ZENARD: Nenzo ku tunga ,ma washing baskets ya ma bamboo, nama chairs ya grass. Nenzo pa Northmead police post. Ivi vama mapulanga ninaviyambe papita five years. Ndiye pamene ninayambila.

(I started with making laundry baskets made of bamboo sticks. The timber products I started making later, fives now.)

THE SUN: Where do you live?

ZENARD: Ninkala kwa Misisi. Nima yenda lyonse kubwela naku yenda.

(I live in Misisi compound. I commute daily)

THE SUN: Who keeps the merchandise when you go home?

ZENARD: Imankhala pamene pano. (The goods remain just here).

THE SUN: Don’t people steal?

ZENARD: Awe! Nimaisiya so chabe . Mulungu chabe alina mphanvu. Mulungu ndiye amasunga vonse. Muli iyi business ni renting nanyumba.

God is the overseer and looks after every thing.
THE SUN: Are you married?

ZENARD: Ehe nili na bakazi nabana bali six. (I am married with six children).

THE SUN: Are you able to take the children to school through this business?

ZENARD: Nimakwanisako so chabe pang’ono pang’ono. ( I manage to send children to school just fro, this business. Bit by bit.)

THE SUN: Where do you get the materials from?

ZENARD: Nichosa ku Busekao market. Mitengo nimayenda chabe muma nyumba penangu banigulisako.

(I get them from Buseko market in Matero. I supply homes sometimes)

THE SUN: What challenges do you face in your business?

ZENARD: Sometimes upeza material kulibe ku Buseko market. Masanga mulibe manje mu Lusaka kwamene tenzo kutengako tumitengo. (Sometimes the supply for raw materials runs dry and we struggle)

THE SUN: Your word of advice to the public.

ZENARD: Baja bamene balinkenzi chabe ati boma iyangenepo bazivuta chabe. Osafaka nzelu mu boma. Muno muziko yatu muli lack of job creation so bamene bapunzila nibambili and bafuna ma nchinto.

Manje ngati walibiliko ati Government engenense nchito uzagona chabe na njala so niku using’s initiative. Kuti Wayamba olo carpentry wayamba nakupezako ka ndalama.

(Use your initiative to survive. Do not wait on Government to provide a job for you. There is lack of job creation in Zambia)

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