Money does not excite me – former Finance Minister Magande

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Former Finance Minister Ng’andu Magande says he does not get excited with money like many do.

And Magande has narrated how he carried his clothes without a bag or suitcase the first day he went to School.

Reflecting on his life Monday morning (today), Magande perhaps the best Finance Minister says his background has made him not to get excited with money.

The news of my good school marks elated all my family members and my teachers. However, the problem of financing the fee of eighteen British pounds per year had to be resolved. At a family meeting held under the chairmanship of Grandfather Matongo, it was decided that the two parties, namely the paternal and maternal groups should share equally the responsibility of paying my school fees.
One of my aunts questioned the benefit to be derived by other relatives from my education. She argued that the money to be spent by Matongo on my education will be foregone inheritance by other relatives. She proposed that Matongo should instead share his assets amongst the relatives, so that those who wished to waste their inheritance on ‘unpredictable and unproductive education’ of their children could do so. 
At that time, there was no relative or clan member who had completed schooling and was working. It was therefore inconceivable that at the age of eleven years I could rise out of Namaila and become a torchbearer for the clan. 
The suggestion by bina-Hachiloli could not sway old Matongo, who reminded the gathering that there is always a beginning to everything. To him, my education was to be the beginning of creating a secure future for the clan. He, therefore, offered to support any of the other relatives who wanted to advance their education. 
When Grandfather Matongo asked me to make a statement, I made an undertaking that once I finished schooling and got employment, I would pay the school fees for any sibling and younger relatives. I further made a covenant that I would not inherit anything from any of my grandparents and parents beyond the school fees they would pay for me. Neither would I expect anything in return from my siblings, whom I will support. 
A few weeks after our family meeting, Teacher Molly Kazwida came to our village to inform us that Chikankata School was opening in early August 1958 and that I was expected to travel to the school. He was very happy when he was told that the issue of school fees had been resolved. He gave us the sad news that the relatives of Sandoki, my classmate, had failed to raise the money for his school fees. 
When the trip was due, I could not travel as there was no relative available to escort me. My uncles Aaron and Pita had gone to seek employment at Siavonga as the construction of the Kariba dam was in progress. 
On Saturday, 16 August 1958, Teacher Kazwida visited our village again. This time round, he offered to take me to Chikankata Mission even without any relative, as it was his pride that I had qualified to attend the elite Chikankata Primary School. I was delighted when my parents accepted his proposal.
I left my homestead alone on Sunday morning on 17 August 1958 for Namaila School. Since I had no suitcase or bag, I put the school fees and a few pence for my subsistence in the pocket of my shorts. In my hands were, a folded spare pair of shorts and a shirt. This was the first time I handled money in my life. Surprisingly, I was not excited about the event as I’d lived comfortably for eleven years in a prosperous but moneyless supportive community. I presume this is why money does not raise a high level of excitement in me as it came late in my life. ‘Mali taandizwishi moyo.’
When I arrived at the school, I found the teacher was ready for the trip to Chikankata Mission. I handed over the money to him to carry.. We left Namaila about noon for a destination I did not know. The walk to Chikankata Mission over the Mabwetuba Mountain range took many hours. Luckily, part of the route was the same one we’d used when going to the Malala School examination centre. We lodged with a friend of Kazwida at a village near to the mission.

 

 

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4 Responses to Money does not excite me – former Finance Minister Magande

  1. This story resonates with many of those in that age group. It’s a motivator to the young generation, though.

    M.M.
    March 5, 2018 at 1:34 pm
    Reply

  2. People who do not regret the poverty they come from always prosper! Magande is great inspiration. When I form my political party, I will hand it over to Magande so that he becomes president and I become his vice. The alternative is is for Magande and Kalaba to form one political party. Let Magande be president and Kalaba be his running mate. 90% of Zambians would vote for them

    Gawani MWanza
    March 5, 2018 at 4:40 pm
    Reply

  3. Closely following the developing life story about Magande! Like many other inspirational stories about daughters and sons of Zambia such are the books that could be part of recommended English Literature in our Zambian schools. How I wish other notables can join the bandwagon on inspiring life stories…… by the way the nice thing about Magande, he is not blemished with some “Koswe Mumpoto” allegiance!

    FuManchu
    March 6, 2018 at 2:35 am
    Reply

  4. I shed tears after reading Magande’s story. I reflect on how many young people waste opportunities to better their lives and this country, Zambia. Look at the humble beginning. Some of us our schools are just a stone throw away and yet we would rather walk a distance to a hideout bar to drink our brains out. What kind of generation are we? if this story does not inspire you then you are not from this world.

    SM
    March 6, 2018 at 7:42 am
    Reply

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