Milner is the holder of Bachelors degree in Educational Administration and Management.
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. Success only comes by persevering despite failure.
My name is Milner Kazembe and this is my story
I am the first born in a family of four. I was born in Chingola on the Copperbelt in 1994. My parents divorced when I was very young. My sister and I had to go and stay with my father in Siavonga.
We lived in a two-roomed house such that my sister and I shared everything. Dads room was separated from ours only by a curtain. There in Siavonga, I dropped out of school because dad was having trouble finding a stable job. His financial challenges made me stay home for about six months until one of dads friends found me a school place at Siavonga Primary School.
In grade eight and nine I was doing piece works in an effort to raise money for food and school. That was the highlight of my story till Grade 12. Oh, how I missed my mother.
One day, I asked my father how he planned on sponsoring my university tuition. His words were, work hard my son, let your results speak for you, do not worry about what you have not yet crossed. We will cross that bridge when we get there . I pretended to have understood what he said but I wondered what crossing bridges had to do with tuition fees.
After I wrote my Grade 12 exams, I moved to Lusaka and started staying with one of my classmates from Siavonga. When the results were published, I found that I had done fairly well. Actually, I did very well but I have been told it sounds like boasting when you say that. Now that the university bridge my father talked about was calling, I started applying for jobs to raise some money.
As you know, a Grade 12 Certificate can only get you so many jobs. I was called for an interview at Arm Secure Security Company where I was temporarily employed as a Security Guard.
Towards year end, I had saved up K5,200.00 for school. I had applied at Lusaka Vocational Centre where I wanted to study Power Electrical.
When I talked to my father, he told me to apply at the University of Zambia (UNZA) before going to visit him. I knew he could not afford the fees at UNZA but he spoke of that bridge again so I applied at UNZA. In that same month, I quit my job as a Security Guard.
Around August, 2016, I was accepted at UNZA to study Educational Administration and Management in the School of Education. This Admission Letter came with mixed feelings: I was so excited that I was accepted to study at one of the highest learning Institutions in the country, but how was I going to pay for my tuition fees? Crossing the bridge too soon? I wondered.
My father told me of the Bursaries Committee which sponsored students and took me there to apply. We went to the Social Welfare Department to be interviewed. After that, we went to the Bursaries Committee in Longacres where we found a whole mass of applicants in a queue. It was then that I found out, that it was not Bursaries Committee but Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Board. Well, that is what someone said until I saw the Application Form which read in the Logo, HIGHER EDUCATION LOANS AND SCHOLARHIPS BOARD (HELSB)
A footnote from HELSB, maybe their motto, caught my attention. It was three italicised words which left a question and somewhat answered the question. The words were: It is possible. < br> I wondered what was possible but then again, my dreams were possible. Crossing my fathers bridge was possible. I did not realise how much hope those three words revitalised in me. However, when the names for successful applicants were published, my revitalized hope came crushing down. I was told my name was not there. So much for possibilities. I was bitter. I went back to HELSB, raging and role playing how it would all turn out. I was ready for a dramatic display because this was my closest chance of going to UNZA. When I got there, the place was still filled with students and I wondered if it was ever empty there. I queued up and when it was my turn, all my prepared dramatic speeches vanished. I was once again, the quiet little boy from Siavonga. The lady in Room 23 smiled at me and asked if I was there to appeal because nearly everyone had the same story. Before I responded, she gave me a Daily Mail Newspaper and told me to return after I confirmed that my name was not there.
To my embarrassment, my name was there, printed in black and white.
Kazembe Milner NRC PROGRAMME 75%.
I took back the Newspaper and apologised while thanking the lady. She smiled and said: It is possible. That marked the beginning of my journey with HELSB or as I got to learn at school, Ba BC. I reported at UNZA and I guess I did not realise I was now crossing my fathers bridge. Once a Security Guard, now a student among the creme-de-la creme (best students) of the land.
Along the way, I contested in the University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU) elections and I was elected as the Minister of Information.
My father has been my greatest strength in this journey. UNZA has so far been my greatest achievement and HELSB has been my greatest opportunity. Never cross a bridge before you reach and if you have dreams, firmly believe in your heart that if you can dream it, you can have it. Hardships are inevitable and they will not always be financial. So long as you are still breathing, believe something.