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Remember where you came from... Always


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People always ask me if a lot of Zambians leave their country and decide to live somewhere else like in the United Kingdom or United States of America. The answer they get usually surprises them, I simply state that ‘Zambians love their country to leave it for a long time – they easily get homesick.’


Of course this is not exclusive to all Zambians, but very few would leave Zambia for more than a year and not want to go back. Zambia is one of those countries that has individuals who love it to the core – for them Zambia is a place where they know nothing can be beyond repair. I might not be in Zambia but one thing I do know is that I will die in Zambia – guaranteed!


I am a Kasisi son and will always be one. The lessons I learnt from Kasisi are something I would simply label as PRICELESS. Leaving home was not a problem because I was trained from the 4th grade to be away from home. Ever since the 4th grade I was in boarding school and the one thing I had to learn from this experience was to make sure I don’t miss home compared to someone who would go to a ‘day-school’ and always go home after school. This doesn’t mean I didn’t miss home, it means that compared to many other individuals missing home only comes when I think it is necessary (maybe every 6 months or so).

The one thing that I do know as someone from Kasisi and Zambia in general is that I carry with me the lessons I have learnt from home. No matter what I do and how I carry it out what usually happens is that I end up being in a position where I have to do most things the Zambian way. One of the best examples is always trying to show respect by calling people with a ‘Mister’ or ‘Madame’. Respect is one of the things that never goes away regardless of whether people insist I should never show it explicitly. The objective in my head is always to make sure I leave an impression that everyone come to appreciate and when one of my brothers or sisters from Kasisi comes over here they are respected in turn. I have come to see myself as an ambassador for all my brothers and sisters in Kasisi because I believe we are raised with the highest standards and will always be respected wherever they go.

I am obviously one of the lucky few to travel this far and one of the things I have on my agenda is to see what I can do to make my stay as well as that of the people I believe I represent worthwhile. I recently had the opportunity to go to New Orleans here in the US where Hurricane Katrina left some serious damage. It is common knowledge that most countries in Africa including Zambia usually require aid for them to have a balanced economic budget. The other thing that we Zambians do very well is help one another and make sure that people don’t feel the full effects of suffering. I took the opportunity to go to New Orleans to show that no matter how poor we might be compared to the US helping people who have gone through a tough situation is not exclusive to people who come from rich countries alone. Helping one another is something everyone anywhere in the world should be willing to do regardless of whether you are rich or not.

Kasisi is a big family of people who come from different backgrounds and different experiences. However, the first thing you get to know while you stay there is that you have to look out for one another. Kasisi like most charity entities depends on the kindness of many people but the other main ingredient it has that sustains it no matter how difficult things might turn out to be is that the people living there know how to support one another. It’s the support the individuals living there give each other that defines whether it stands or not. Starting from the Sisters to the mommies and finally to the children – without looking out for one another I don’t believe I would be either where or the person I am today.

Sometimes people here wonder how I manage to do the things I do without seeming to stress myself. Some wonder how I always seem so joyful all the time and how I can seem to fit into the American culture quite perfectly without condemning anything that may be un-African. The answer is pretty simple actually – I was raised in a family with over 250 children, being inpatient would never help, the love I received was the same for everyone, we hard to work for one another to get things done but I am what I am today because I NEVER FORGET WHERE I CAME FROM and if I did that would be a violation of my principle and also a failure to show that I came from a place where being all you could be was the standard.


I definitely miss and love everyone in Kasisi and Zambia!


Nenani Nathaniel Sichone

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