Torn by divorce

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 10:09:48 +0000


Determined young girl relives her trauma


“SOMETIMES I feel like an orphan because I was born in a broken home,” says 14-year-old Grade 8 pupil at Ngwelele Basic School in Lusaka, Martha Kafwanka.

The only child of her parents, Martha has grown up in a broken home after her parents divorced when she was 11 and they went their separate ways.

She says she did not know which one to go to because she loved both her parents.

Finding it hard to decide who to live with between her parents, she decided to stay with her mother as she became bonded to her than the father.

Life was not easy as she was feeling some rejection because she had no idea what caused the divorce between her parents.

Her mother got married to another man but he could not support her at school because he was jobless.

On the other hand, her father also married but did not render any form of support to her as she chose to be on her mother’s side.

“Sometimes I just feel like an orphan because of my parents’ divorce,” Martha narrates.

It was hard for her to cope with the new style of life where she had a step-father and a step-mother who could not support her like her own parents could.

She says her step-mother dislikes her because she thinks Martha brings confusion between the couple.

“She dislikes me because she has had no child with my father from the time they got married and thinks I might bring hatred between them because my father knows I am his child and not hers,’’ she said.

She also said that her step-father also has children of his own and not with her mother which all makes her feel she lives a life of confusion.

“Both my mother and step-father are jobless, none of them is able to provide food and school support for me as a child,” she says.

Martha decided to stay with her aunt, the mother’s elder sister who happens to be doing better despite her being a widow and because she is a lecturer at one of the universities in Lusaka.

“Food and some support is rendered by my aunt though not fully in terms of school as she has her children to take care of,” she said.

She says living at her aunt’s house has not been easy because she is expected to do chores at night when she is supposed to be studying.

“I don’t have time to study at night because by the time I’m done with all the chores, I will be tired and just go to sleep,” she said.

Despite the challenges she has found something that could make her forget her sorrows – Ngwelele Lubuto library.

The library had been set up for street children to find time to do activities like drama, art, story-telling, and sport like acrobatics. Martha took interest in acrobatics in Grade 5 and has been doing it since.

She was also given a scholarship by Lubuto library to study up to Grade 12 which has lessened her worries about school support and concentrate on studies to achieve her goals.

“I am grateful to Lubuto library for their support and mentorship, they have really helped me a lot,’’ she said.

She added that Lubuto library has also helped her discover her talents such as acrobatics and drama.

Very young and determined, Martha hopes to complete her studies with flying colours and become a medical doctor.


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