SPIDER'S WEB with CHEELA CHILALA
IN RECENT months there has been heightened activity on the part of former students of Lusaka’s Kamwala Secondary School to get together and help the school financially, materially and in any other possible way.
As a former student of the school, I am quite excited about the efforts, especially because past efforts failed. This time, though, it appears the efforts are bearing fruit.
The Whatsapp group created for the purpose is alive and active, as is the Facebook page, and meetings are taking place.
One of the organisers of the various activities, however, said something that stuck in my mind: “Let us do something for the school that contributed to our destiny.” How true!
Many of us do not realise that whatever has happened in our lives, particularly the major turning-points, has contributed to, or contributes to, our destiny.
This includes where and to whom we are born, where and when we grow up, and of course which school we go to, if any.
If you have been to school, that affects your destiny as much as if you have not been to school.
Going to school makes it possible for you to pursue a professional career such as accounting, nursing, teaching, medicine, law, banking, among others.
You cannot, to be sure, stay away from school and then hope that some day you will end up with a professional career of this nature.
Clearly school, or the lack of it, shapes your destiny, in a major way.
School gives us the opportunity to not only learn what we might never had the chance to learn, but it also affords us the opportunity to meet teachers who not only shared a part of themselves with us, but also mentored us.
Not all teachers will leave a lasting impression on us, but some will, and some of them become special to us in a variety of ways; some even play the role of parents when we are in school, advising and chastising us when we go wrong.
Kamwala Secondary School enabled me to meet some teachers who became special to me; teachers who mentored me. One of them, Mr Carl Samarajiwa, a Sri Lankan expatriate, helped nurture my love for literature and writing.
Before him Mrs Simbayi, my teacher of English, helped me discover my writing talent and made me believe I could become a writer.
My mathematics teacher, Mrs Fernandez, an Indian expatriate, usually said to us in class – and I have never forgotten: “Aim for the sky because if you fail to reach your goal at least you will end up at the top of the trees. But if you aim for the top of the trees, if you will you will end up on the ground. Always aim high.”
She taught me the importance of always seeking to do the best.
Look back at your school days. Look back at the school you attended. Would you be what you are without your school and what it imparted into your life?
Would you have achieved what you have achieved without the input from your school? Has it ever occurred to you that your interactions with the teachers you met at primary, high school, and perhaps tertiary level played a role in the shaping of your destiny?
Which is why, if you are a parent, you must be choosey about the school where you send your child. Give your children the best education you can afford; their destiny depends on it.