People Tell the Story: Zambia

Posted by on Jul 22, 2013 in People Tell the Story, Zambia | 1 comment

The people of Zambia seemed to be a mix of confident and shy. Lively and reserved. But all extremely welcoming. When they saw us, some would run and wave from a distance while others sat back, curious as to who we were and what we were doing there. And once they felt comfortable, they were eager to talk, but in a way unlike I’ve experienced along our trip. Although they wanted to ask questions about America like every other African we’ve met, they mainly wanted to just be around us and hang out.  They didn’t ask to come back with us to the states, but rather just wanted be good friends for the time we were there (and in the future).

Name: Kapelwa (Gabby)
Age: 29
Occupation: Worker at Leopard Orchid camp (but also a certified teacher)
Hometown: Sheseke 


We had the opportunity to see or work with Gabby almost everyday while in Mwandi. His friendly, happy personality made him impossible not to like. Whether he was hanging with us at a worksite or preparing mud (the least popular job) for groups of young volunteers, Gabby always had a smile on his face and a contagious laugh to go along with it. Patient, yet extremely hard-working, Gabby was a pleasure to be around. 

What three words best describe the people of Zambia?

  1. Friendly
  2. Hard-working – the country is struck by starvation. It’s not rich and people have to work hard to find their food. Most Zambians work hard by fishing and farming. 
  3. Poor – we have so many donors from all over the world. 


What three words best describe Zambia?

  1. Religion – it breeds a focus on cooperating with others. Mwandi (and most of Zambia) is rather peaceful and has minimal crime. 
  2. Political
  3. Corruption – the government is trying to fight it. For example, I went to college to be a teacher, but other people with a lot of money will pay off the schools so they can get the jobs. I’ve been trying to get a job as a teacher for years, but I can’t break into the system. 


What is the top priority for the people of Zambia?

Family – if given money, the best thing is to give it to family. Every family is very close and they all just want to be happy with each other, no matter how much money they have. 


How do people typically make a living?

Farming and fishing. Maize is the biggest crop and there are other vegetables to sell. Fishing is big because we’re right on the Zambezi River. You’ll see plenty of fishermen go out here every morning and then the women selling their fish on the road during the day. There is also usually odd jobs and small pieces of work. Constructors will need help on a project and hire workers for a short period of time. 


What’s your favorite place to visit?
Any developed town – Livingstone, Kitwe, Monze. Aside from Vic falls, they’re all relatively the same. I grew up in the small village of Shesheke so I like any place that’s more developed.

One Comment

  1. How sad he can’t get a teaching job due to corruption. He would be a wonderful reacher and role model.

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