Mable Shaw: Her story, her legacy

JACK MWEWA, Mwansabombwe
RECOUNTING a visit to Mbereshi in Mwansabombwe of Luapula Province can never be complete without mention of one of the pioneers of  boarding schools for girls in Zambia; Mable Shaw.
Located on Kawambwa road, Mable Shaw stood out as a prestigious school every girl in the pre-independence Zambia longed to attend; first Zambian First Lady Mama Betty Kaunda was one such person.
Established by a British woman missionary whose name clothes the school, it got started as a significant academic and home craft learning centre in the then Northern Rhodesia, as Zambia was known in 1915.
It would be a British-born in 1889, Ms Shaw, who trained at Women’s Missionary College in Edinburgh, who later dedicated her services to rural Zambia.
Upon her arrival on the African soil in Mbereshi, sent by London Missionary Society of Central Africa, Ms Shaw’s mission was both educational and evangelical.
She immediately got involved in infrastructure development of the school, church, hospital and tertiary centres around the massive hectares of missionary land between Mwansabombwe and Kawambwa.
Not only was the unique training set-up at the centre attracting girls from across the country and, in some cases, beyond the borders, but other people adored Ms Shaw’s warm heart.
Mable Shaw’s reputation and legacy can best be summed up as her quest to equip African women with academic and home craft excellence with deep Christian values.
To this day, local people believe Ms Shaw was more famous as an individual than even what the school was, no wonder when she died in her home country in 1973, aged 84, local people petitioned to have her remains brought and be buried at the mission grounds.
It took the local people to organise for one of the headmen to travel to the United Kingdom with one mission of bringing Ms Shaw’s remains to Mbereshi.
The epitaph at her burial ground reads: “This monument was erected to the glory of Christian friends and former students of Mable Shaw in loving memory and CLICK TO READ MORE

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