Children’s Corner with PANIC CHILUFYA
AS I was growing up, I hated it when my mum would send away my friends who would come to visit if she felt they were inappropriately dressed. They would only be welcome after she approved of what they were wearing. Now that I am older, I have come to appreciate that my mum was only trying to give counsel and guidance to my friends to prevent them from messing their lives. I learnt a lot from why mum used to chase my friends away because being a child of God is good and it should show through oneâ€™s conduct.
Talking to 15-year-old Miriam Mulenga was such a wonderful experience, especially that so many young people would rather be out socialising or indulging in risky behaviour without regard of the negative consequences their actions would have on their lives.
Miriam, the third daughter of Kabwe district commissioner Dominic Mulenga and Doreen Banda Mulenga, believes that the devil uses most youth to indulge in anti-social vices and that is why they are easily blinded by worldly things. Quoting from the Bible, she said God wants people to worship Him in spirit and truth; when a person becomes a friend of the world, such a person becomes an enemy of God.
Miriam, a Grade 11 pupil from Kalonga Secondary School and has five other siblings, would like to study medicine and theology once she completes her high school.
She explained that some of her peers, especially girls, usually laugh at her because of her natural look; but that does not bother her at all because she loves herself the way she is and that she was made in the image of God. â€œTo afford the good life and beautiful things of life such as hair, clothes, make-up, you need maintenance. I believe that everything has its time and I will wait for a time that I will be able to provide these things for myself without having to corrupt my moralsâ€, she says.
â€œSome girls are so desperate to have these things, that they are prepared to indulge in different kinds of bad behaviour and a number of them that I know have ended up falling pregnant. The boys and men just cheat them and destroy their livesâ€.
She says she can never be moved by worldly things. Miriam would rather spend her time growing her spiritual life, praying, planting a seed at church or returning tithe.
On Monday, as Zambia celebrated the 52nd independence anniversary, many of her friends were merry-making as is the case whenever there is a public holiday, contrary to this yearâ€™s theme: Working for greater unity, hard work and patriotism. Miriam preferred to build on her spiritual life by reading the Bible.
During the time I spent with her, she consistently pointed out that young people should realise that every bad action has a reaction; it might not show immediately but eventually, no matter how long it takes, the consequence will show and it usually impacts negatively. â€œI know that during the celebrations, some lives of young people were destroyed. I cannot go along with them because what most of them were doing was wrong,â€ she said.
Miriam congregates at the House of Wonders for All People Church, while her parents attend the Ebenezer Tabernacle Pentecost Church in Kabwe. When she is at school, she spends most of her time with her friend, Jeremiah, because they both belong to the Scripture Union; he is not only a positive influence on her spiritual life but he also encourages her to concentrate on her studies. She noted that some students are not committed to their studies and are prepared to engage in exam malpractices; leakages do not help such students. She recalled that most of those who took part in malpractices as she was writing her Grade 9 exams failed and ended up having to repeat because the â€˜leakagesâ€™ they were given were fake. Instead of making time to study properly, they messed up their lives in the process of trying to cheat.
On whether her fatherâ€™s appointment has changed her perception of life, Miriam said that it was his achievement. She believes that she also needs to work hard at school in order to make it in life and achieve her ambitions of qualifying as a doctor and establishing a theological school. Miriam believes that she cannot ride on her fatherâ€™s success because he worked hard to be where he is today.
Miriam credits her spiritual life to her mother whom she calls a prayer warrior who taught her that God always answers prayer no matter how difficult a situation might be. She encourages young people to concentrate on school because, according to the Bible, the fear of God is the beginning of all wisdom.
It was heart-warming and comforting to see a young girl with such unwavering faith as she prayed for my mother and another little girl with whom she was sharing a hospital room in Kabwe recently.
Mr and Mrs Mulenga should be commended for bringing up such an amazing girl for her devotion to her religious beliefs and determination to excel in her studies. Miriam concluded by saying: â€œI am passionate about everything I do; be it my religion or schoolworkâ€.
Remember, children are our future, until next week, take care.
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Children’s Corner with PANIC CHILUFYA