BY WALLEN SIMWAKA
EXACTLY seven days after My Home Town Zambia (MHT), domiciled in Choma was forced to shut down its operations on account of State hostilities against the organization, the altruistic organization saw light and resurrection in the West African country of Ghana, in the city of Kumasi.
It was after two and half decades of the MHT operations in Zambia, serving humanity, the poor of the poorest and the vulnerable in as many communities that James Ndambo, the founder was forced to pull out of Zambia, his country of birth.
It was the worst that could ever happen to as many Zambians whose lives and souls were touched and value-added by the MHT but not the last for the organisation’s existence as it found life in Ghana, where its renaissance was received with ecclesiastical jubilations.
Mr James Ndambo, Zambia’s South African business tycoon and philanthropist founded MHT in Zambia’s Choma town in the southern part of the country 25 years ago, and over the past two and half decades, the organization had helped, aided, improved and inspired the lives of many Zambians.
He has over the years, complemented government’s efforts in improving the lives of citizens by reaching out to the poor of the poorest, helping them in education, health, infrastructure including inspiring individuals to discover their silhouetted abilities and gifts.
In June last year, Mr Ndambo, the multinational business mogul hosted the Miss My Home Town, the first ever and most prestigious event which saw Choma glow in psychedelic colours with its economy suddenly blossoming with tourism activities.
The young and the old were given chance to innovate and model their way to different prizes including luxurious cars and cash money, to which most have seen their lives change for the better.
Although the government had approved and sanctioned the event by ensuring that government Ministers and State agencies were involved in the successful hosting of the Miss My Home Town, the powers that be were excruciatingly unsettled with the pomp and splendor that exuberated Choma and the entire Southern Province.
It was the beginning of a shadowy vendetta by the State against Mr Ndambo as a person and MHT as an institution.
No sooner had the Miss My Home Town beauty pageant closed its curtains than the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) was unleashed on the organization, seizing seven motor vehicles, including the prizes for the winners under the guise that the confiscated properties were proceeds of crime.
The writing was on the wall…the days of My Home Town project in Zambia were numbered and in December, Mr Ndambo had to announce the cessation of operations for organization he had founded, citing hostile environment for continued operations.
“With a heavy heart 25 years after the idea was founded in Choma -Zambia, I inform you all that MHT has suspended all of its operations in Zambia with immediate effect except for those projects that are already work in progress. Sadly, what happened after the Choma events has made the operations of MHT very difficult; socially, morally, emotionally and financially,” Mr Ndambo announced.
But the death of My Home Town Zambia was not to be eternal as seven days after, it was launched in Ghana’s Kumasi city in the country side town of Bechem, among the Ahafo people.
Mr Ndambo arrived in Bechem to a euphoric welcome befitting a man whose benevolence and business acumen was the inspiration to the government of Ghana and countless nations across many lands.
The My Home Town torch, which was blown off in Zambia was kaleidoscopically lit in Ghana with Mr Ndambo making a pledge that while the idea had been rejected in Zambia, the organization still have full life and would be allowed to go as far as it could to serve humanity.
“From the womb of a woman we come. It is my dedication that we must empower women. The Miss My Home Town Zambia was such a means of empowering our women. We must therefore work hard. Africa has lagged behind in economic development because of some traditional and cultural beliefs. We must as a people transcend beyond some of the beliefs and norms that are retrogressive. Let the people have the desire to achieve.”
“Everyone has a gift but 98 percent of those do not know how to identify their gifts while those who come to realise their potential do not have the capacity to unlock their gifts. We have to inspire each other and we are going to make this world a better place for all,” Mr Ndambo told the new members of the My Home Town in Ghana.
Under the theme: “My Home Town Project-Giving back to where we belong, the role of a citizen in community building,” the My Home Town Ghana was launched.
Paramount Chief of the Bechem Traditional Area in Kumasi, Nana Fosu Gyebour Akato told Mr Ndambo at the launch that the coming of My Home Town to Ghana was signal of light from God, confirming a prophesy of a city whose desire for prosperity was coming to fruition.
Paramount Chief Gyebour Akato told Mr Ndambo that his coming to Ghana and in Bechem in particular was but God’s key to open and light up Bechem for business development.
“God has brought you here to bless us, the people of Ghana with our heavenly ordained portion of the Zambian Kwacha and the industrial and infrastructural holdings of the Africa Union Holdings Group. Bechem in the immediate future is going to be seen as a Gold mining town.”
“The town has land for industrial and infrastructural development, labour, and raw materials like Cocoa, oil palm trees, maize and Cassava. We therefore warmly request you, Mr Ndambo that you consider Bechem for sitting some of the Africa Union Holdings here as an agency headquarters of the Africa Union Holdings, Paramount Chief Gyebour said.
The launch of the My Home Town was witnessed by Kingsley Owusu-Achau, the Group Executive chairman of Kings Innovations Group, a consortium of companies, George Yan Boakye Yiadom, the Minister of the Ahafo Region, Ambassador Orioka Bennet, leader of the Africa Diaspora Forum and Prince Hari Crystal, the Group Director Operations for the Crystal TV, Ghana’s first Private television station.
The launch was also witnessed by Ike Chika Nancy, the Nigerian Nollywood celebrity, including the My Home Town Zambia beauty pageants winners.