Having witnessed the struggles faced by the youth in her community, single mother Mary Chirambo from Factreton wants to lead by example.
She says the community is plagued by unemployment. Due to financial constraints, parents are struggling to meet the needs of their children.
After leaving her job at a local factory for health reasons, Chirambo decided to open a business that rents out office decor. In January, she turned her veranda into a storeroom and began to offer comfortable couches and a pool table for hire. The business is slowly starting to thrive.
Chirambo says she is no longer young, nor physically fit. She says she won’t be able to be hands-on for long but she wants to create a legacy. Once her business makes a profit, she hopes to create jobs for youth in the community.
She is also hosting a fundraising event to raise money for her son and her neighbour’s son to attend their matric ball.
As a mother of four children, aged 12 to 23, Chirambo says she cannot afford to pay all the costs of the matric ball but she does not want to deprive her son of the memorable experience.
Her eldest daughter, who matriculated last year, could not afford to study further and is unemployed. All household costs fall on Chirambo’s shoulders.
She came up with the idea to ask the community for assistance by holding the event. Her neighbour asked her to help her son too.
“I know what it is like to want the best for your child but not to be able to provide. I could not say no,” she says.
The fundraiser, a music show with live performances by local artists, will take place on Saturday 7 September at Bikes Club in Kensington.
Her outreach work does not stop there. She also prepares a pot of soup once a month which she serves to the needy outside her home on Albacore Street.
“I do what I can to help others,” she says.
Chirambo says she wants young people to know it is okay to ask for help when you need it and to take the first step towards fulfilling their dreams. She hopes her hard work to make things happen, not just for her family but also for others, will inspire the youth, including her son, to do more.