Wednesday, May 09, 2007


"Uncle Joe, please marry. I just want to see how your child will look like before I die" Those were the words of 16-year old Lucy Prisca Mtembezeka Phiri, just two months ago. I laughed it off as one of her doom and gloom statements she sometimes made. But in the early hours of Monday 7 May 2007, my friend and protege Lucy passed away. The girl had been down with diabetese at a local private hospital, (Chitawira Private Hospital) from 24th to 27th April. In the following week after being discharged Lucy seemed to be making a good recovery and was set to resume studies at Manja Community Day Secondary School where she was in Form 2. Actually she danced to one of her favourite songs.

But on the night of 5th May her condition took a down-turn. I found Lucy at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital on Sunday the 6th wearing an oxygen mask and in comatose state.
The following morning her aunt, Hellen Faith called to say the girl had died.
What a shock and how sad. My charge Lucy was laid to rest yesterday at her home Monkey Bay.

Lucy was an orphan and the weight seemed to be too much for her to bear many times. I was mentoring and teaching her that she could emerge a winner and be a leader in the future. That included encouraging, rebuking, checking school reports and meeting various needs. She was like a daughter, a close friend and some one who confided her experiences as a parentless child to me.

I feel the loss and I have been thinking about her. What she could have been, the potential in her, how well she performed in class, and remembering the funny things she said and did...her letters and phone calls. I will miss Lucy for a long time. She loved life and lived it to the maximum. Though only 16, Lucy was motherly and loving, so like many other female orphans.
But in all I say God be praised for affording me a chance to input something in the life of a girl-child who seemed lost many times.
On Thursday last week Lucy reminded me to focus on heavenly and Godly things.
Rest In Peace Lucy.


At 12 May 2007 at 20:52:00 CEST, Blogger sambi said...


Thats really a touching account of Lucy.

Am sure there are many would be Lucys out there in this life we are living.

I dont know how i trampled on you but am happy i have..maybe we hav to play some catch up now...lets on


At 14 May 2007 at 22:10:00 CEST, Blogger Cryton Chikoko said...

Joe, it is sad that Lucy passed away. I know how Lucy struggled with bereavement, TB and upkeep issues. She gave me an insight of the orphan population in our country. I used to talk and ask her about her primary school classmates. I learned through her that most of her classmates were orphans as well. It is sad that very young people in our country are struggling with intense psychological issues due to bereavement. We have the responsibility to be there for these kids. I am happy to learn that you played a role in Lucy's life.

At 15 May 2007 at 21:30:00 CEST, Blogger Kondwani Moyo said...

Hi Joe

When I read the first paragraph of your post, I posed and laughed. I thought you would see your wedding announcement int he ensuring paragraph, only to read the sad demise of Lucy. I briefly met Lucy in 2006 in Chitawira and it is sad that she is gone too soon. Mat she rest in Peace.

At 18 May 2007 at 10:07:00 CEST, Blogger Joe Mlenga said...

Thanks guys. The little girl had a wonderful personality and I miss her.


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