She is a student with many talents—a public speaker, a preacher, an advocate, an up and coming script writer and photographer. Rose Sakala is an entrepreneur with a strong passion in youth development evidenced by her founding of Luanar Students Entrepreneurship Lead Initiative (Luseli). She talked to Rachel Kachali about her studies and her talents which are impacting on the lives of her fellow students.
Your name is already known. What else should people know about you?
I am 21 years old and going into my third-year studies in Agri-business at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources—Bunda College Campus. I am the first born of two daughters of Michael Sakala and Emily Manda. In the larger part of my life I was raised by my mother who died when I needed her most. That was in 2012, when I was in my second year at Natural Resources College (NRC). Her death meant my returning to my home village to live with my uncle, Winston Manda—a widower—with my 10 sibling orphans. I was later adopted by the Manguluti family, whom I now stay with in Lilongwe.
What sort of upbringing did you have?
I was raised up in very remote areas of Mzimba District. I was born at Mzalangwe when my parents were staying at M’mbelwa Farm Institute. We later moved to Elunyeni, Mzimba-Mpherembe before settling in Luwerezi in Mzimba South. My mother was a primary school teacher whereas my father was an agriculture field assistant.
Your education/professional backgrounds
I did my Form One at Viphya Private Secondary School in Mzuzu; my Form Two at Palm Private Secondary School in Chitipa and finished Form Three and Four at Chitipa Secondary School in 2009. In February 2010, I was selected to Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) Mzuzu Campus for a diploma in journalism. I had also sat for Natural Resources College (NRC) entrance exams and was selected to study for diploma in agriculture and natural resources management. I graduated at NRC on May 2 2014 with good grades. In October of the same year, I was selected to Bunda College to study for a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness Management, which I hope to complete in July 2017. Since 2011, my fees is being paid by the Foundation for Community Support Service (Focus).
You sound a stronger character
Yes, I am. I gave my life to the Lord Jesus Christ when I was in first year at NRC when Bishop Joe and Mrs Manguluti came to minister to the students in 2011. Currently, I worship at Christ Embassy Lilongwe. I am the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Luanar Students Entrepreneurship Lead Initiative (Luseli).
What are you passionate about?
First, it is about winning souls for Christ Jesus. Secondly, I have a strong passion for the life, progress and future of adolescent girls, teen mothers and the youth in general. It is my earnest desire to see boys and girls moving forward and taking over in every sector. I believe that the youth would help to drive the economy of the country if given chance to implement their ideas, visions, dreams and initiatives.
What have been some of your memorable moments?
The first was when I started winning souls to God of people that others could hardly reach out to because of their high statuses. Secondly, it was when I prayed and healed people at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH). Some of them were afflicted with cancer, meningitis, heart problems, asthma while others were physically challenged. My third unforgettable moment was when I went to represent girls in the world in Milan, Italy at a conference organised by Save the Children Italy.
What is Luseli about?
This initiative aims at identifying youths that have hidden, potential business ideas that can help in attaining food security, economic growth and reducing malnutrition. Luseli strives to finance such business ideas. I believe that the youth would help to drive the economy of the country if given chance to implement their ideas, visions, dreams and initiatives.
What is your vision?
To become a professor by the time I am 30 and to make sure that almost three-quarters of the youth benefit from Luseli and see them contributing significantly to the gross domestic product (GDP) and take Malawi from the group of poorest countries in the world.
You are a student yourself, how do you manage to mentor and even support fellow students with school fees?
It is true. I pay fees for a fellow college student at NRC and I also support several other students with meals and accommodation. One thing I learnt from my parents and Pastor Chris Oyakhilome was to live a life of sacrifice, a life of impact, a life of influence and a life of inspiration. You do not need so much to impact your world or someone life. You do not need so much to change, bring hope and shape some one’s destiny. No one is unable to help the other. It all begins when you take a bold step that ‘I will do it’. So, I work during holidays and save some money to help fellow students and young people in my sphere of contact. I mentor and give pieces of advice to many young girls and boys in learning institutions in the country.
Tell us more about your attachment to the girl child
I was recently privileged to interact with Teen Mothers in Zomba and Chiradzulu districts under Save the Children. Then, I discovered that many girls get pregnant when they are between 13 and 16 years. These girls are either rejected by the men responsible or their families, and sometimes by both. They suffer complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
Anything special about these girls
Most of these girls are from poor families where they cannot not afford a balanced diet. Some of them are anaemic so much so that as they give birth the child becomes malnourished. I was advocating for these girls to be incorporated in agriculture, food and nutrition security. So they would learn to prepare nutritious dishes using the local available resources; help or improve their savings by engaging in Village Savings & Loans (VSL), agribusiness and value chain and in production of various crops using the integrated farming approach system. So, we are looking at improving the nutrition status of the mother and the child using the locally available resources.
What roles have your family/relatives played in your life?
Both my biological and foster families and relatives have been loving. They have always made sure that I am raised in the right manner. They have also supported me in my education and spiritual and social lives.
How do you spend your free time?
I go to church. I win souls and help the work of the ministry grow. Some weekends we go out with my family to golf club for swimming, have lunch or dinner together. On some weekends we just take tours and return home. I like spending more time at home with my siblings and watch TV.
Your message to girls and women out there?
They should work to realise their goals and potential in life. Let nothing stop them. They should stand firm and be determined in everything they do. There is hope and life in everything they do. Let them trust that there is nothing impossible with God.
Women should rise up and start something small for themselves. They should join women that are doing VSL or banki m’khonde to grow their businesses. They do not need so much to start a business. They must be firm and stay focused in what they desire to achieve. n