Tiyamike Mtungira, 17, is a scholarship student at Kafukule Secondary school. Born from a second wife, Tiyamike had to cope with other children born from the first wife of her late father. “I wouldn’t encourage people to marry two wives. There are lots of challenges that range from inadequate resources in the household to hatred between households/wives that also descend to children. Sometimes, because resources are inadequate, children are forced to do piece work just to help feed the family,” explains Tiyamike.
When she was selected to attend secondary school, Tiyamike was forced to drop out due to lack of school fees. Furthermore, both of her father’s households could not afford to provide more than one meal a day. “When I got selected to Kafukule secondary school, my dad openly told me there is no money for my school fees and uniform. I felt bad and went into my room crying. I knew my future was doomed,” narrates Tiya as she is called by her friends. After staying at home for the whole school term, Tiyamike was discovered by Join My Village through the secondary school head teacher.
“I can’t change the past but it has shaped me to be strong and made me strive to become the person I want to be,” adds Tiyamike looking thoughtful and stress-free. Today, Tiyamike is determined to fight for the rights of children who suffer in silence.
“I want to be a human rights activist so that I help the underprivileged. I know, if it wasn’t for the head teacher and Join My Village program, I wouldn’t have been talking of hope for my future. Imagine, I was openly told there are no fees and then without expectation one calls to tell you that you can go back to school and here I am today finishing my form four without issues. This shows someone did a great job for me and I need to repay by fighting for the rights of others,” Tiyamike says, gesturing emphatically. Tiyamike is one of the students who graduated in July after being supported by Join My Village with a four year secondary school scholarship.
“I am happy that Join My Village has given me a future. School and education are my only future survival,” she says. Tiyamike’s parents divorced before the death of her father. Her mother is now married to another man and Tiyamike is now living with her step mother. “I believe I have a role of changing the future of my family and my community through my education. When I finish my examination, I plan to seek for well-wishers who can help me with funds to do some computer packages to familiarizes myself with a computer,” she reveals.