I Wish Our Parents Were Here To See How Far We’ve Come 😥

Girl who was gifted a pumpkin by her brother on her graduation day tells her story.

The symbolic meaning behind ichipushi (pumpkin).
Growing up we had a tough upbringing, life was very hard such that pumpkins were a luxury we could barely afford to eat even though we grew up farming them.

Both our parents, may their souls Rest In Peace, grew pumpkins and coffee on our small piece of land and after we harvested them, we had to sell them as a means of making money. The little money we would make from them was barely enough to sustain us but we survived regardless. My brother has been with me from the day I started school as he would put me on his shoulders and take me to school and pick me up, at times when seasons allowed I would carry pumpkins to school and when my brother picked me up I would always share with him my leftover pumpkin joyfully as we made our way home.

My journey to graduation has not been an easy one as struggles were there yet here I am today having graduated from the highest learning institution in Zambia. My brother gifted me this pumpkin to remind me of where we came from, how life was difficult such that pumpkins were a luxury and now after having graduated it’s something I can choose to eat anytime.

I want to encourage anyone out there facing difficulties that you can also do it, I was a little girl coming from Serenje, Zambia compound envying eating pumpkins and yet clueless that one day I would be an UNZA graduate.

There is nothing I did not do to support myself, I washed plates and clothes for my fellow students at October hostels to have some money for food, I once sold fritters and office pants and from there I was able to raise money in addition to my meal allowance, to buy second hand fridges to rent to my fellow students plus I was also my sibling’s in paying 25% of my school fees as I was on 75% government sponsorship.

It hurts that our parents are not here with us to see how far we have come. But here begins a new chapter and that pumpkin is here to remind me that I can do it.

Congratulations 👩🏽‍🎓



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