Just like many strong women with a big heart, Natasha Chalema is passionate about her fellow young women.
She wants them to do better in life.
Born on October 28 1996, she was raised by a single mother—a secondary school teacher—and she never knew her father.
Natasha is a gospel singer, song writer, fashion designer and founder of Loto Langa Organisation, a movement that empowers underprivileged girls.
At 24 years old, she built the organisation to inspire dreams in young people and create an environment where they can achieve their dreams despite everyday challenges.
Natasha said the movement was inspired by her own real life experience and thought it wise to take the challenge of supporting others who are going through similar situations
This, she hopes to achieve with knowledge powered by her diary, become what they want and be creative in finding solutions to their problems.
She said: “I believe that if young people are empowered, they can become agents of change in their societies and the world at large. On the other hand, we provide reusable pads for underprivileged women in rural areas.
“During our first project, we visited girls in Lumbadzi and our focus was on those who were failing to attend classes during their periods because they could not afford a packet of sanitary pads. However, it was a great experience to see my fellow women smiling after receiving the pads that our team brought.”
She said they also went to Dowa and held meetings with unemployed women.
The agenda was to enhance the women’s skills to start own businesses.
When asked why she chose to help young girls, she said growing up, she has always wanted to help people in need and believes everyone has the ability to dream and become what they want.
“I want to provide free pads to as many school going girls in Malawi as possible. I make and sell reusable pads and use the proceeds to help the girls. Sometimes I get money and resources from well-wishers through advertising the project on social media,” she says.
Natasha studied accounting at Lilongwe Technical College, but she never got to finish because of lack of school fees.
But she discovered along the way that her passion was fashion designing and she has taught herself how to make clothes and the pads.
“I have always wanted to work in this field because I want to build something from nothing, to make my own ideas into reality. Since I was young, I always wanted to become a fashion designer.
“So, growing up, I always felt the need to look different; changing my outfits, watching fashion television for inspiration because someday, I dream of owning a clothing line. I am also happy that through my skill, I am able to make a difference, especially when I make sanitary pads and donate to underprivileged girls through my movement,” Natasha adds.
She said her target is schools in rural areas because many young girls don’t have role models to do better.
She organises meetings with them and has talks about life as well as encouraging them to aim higher.
Natasha said just like any other person who wants growth, she has people who inspire her life both spiritually and physically.
Some of these role models are her mother, Isaac Maulidi who is a Founder of Canopy, Pemphero Kapila a blogger, Chrispine Juwa founder of Art Scope, Powered by My Diary and Francis Maseko.
Natasha said apart from the role models, one of the biggest factors that have helped her to be successful is her passion and abilities to believe in herself.
She notes that these help her to aim high and her voice be heard.
She added that her hobbies include, giving, continuous acquisition of knowledge, prayer and being creative in areas she is good at.
“Some of the mistakes I have made in life are feeling less when I didn’t meet the needs of my targeted audience or when something went wrong, but I believe now that there is beauty in every small accomplishment.
“We just need to embrace changes and make the most out of it. To add on that, the hardest decision that I have made as a young woman is to face my fears of being in front of many people and let my voice be heard. Growing up, I had a low self-esteem which I have overcome and through my movement, I teach young girls to know their worth,” she says.
Her advice to people is that everyone has what it takes to be the person they want to be.
“Change your mind set to empower growth, let go of limitations yourself and embrace change. To my fellow young women, I encourage them to be strong and do better to make a difference. All things are possible and everything you want in life you can have it,” she adds.
In her free time, Natasha likes listening to music, dancing reading books and writing on her blog site on word press.
She also likes spending time with her group of girls online. They discuss issues affecting girls and how they can conquer their challenges.