The country’s much loved performing artist, Dr. Patience Namadingo used his influence and privilege as FDH Bank’s ambassador to complete construction of a school block at Ngabu in Chikwawa, which was officially handed over on Saturday.
The early childhood development centre, which is managed by Pashello Charitable Trust, caters for underprivileged kids, especially orphans around the Ngabu community.
Namadingo was escorted to the handover by an entourage of officials from FDH Bank and some of the donors to the project and to add colour and pomp to the ceremony, the Bank launched its agency — Banki Pakhomo — which is being housed in a shop managed by Pashello Charitable Trust.
Pashello Trust’s director, Felia Malola told the gathering — that included Senior Chief Ngabu, Ward Councillor Masanza and other chiefs — that she approached the philanthropist Namadingo last year asking if he could assist in the completion of the school block.
She said she had been hesitant if Namadingo would respond, thinking that since he is such a celebrated artist, he might have some pompous airs and not respond.
“But I was pleasantly surprised when he accepted and offered to come and assess what was being needed and just a few days later he was here.
“After assessing our needs from which we opted for completion of the school block, he went back and six days later, on 26 September, he reappeared accompanied by an entourage from FDH Bank.
“And they did not come empty handed, they brought with them gifts such as soap, milk, sugar — some of which we are still using as we also manage a feeding programme for these learners.
“I am a very proud and happy person and I stand in front of to express my deep thanks to Namadingo. God bless you, my son and don’t take this for granted because there are many influential people we approached before you but never came back to us.
“But you, FDH Bank and all other donors who assisted you embraced the project and even registered us as a Banki Pakhomo agency.”
Namadingo said it was such an honour that the ceremony was graced with the presence of Senior Ngabu, saying he was overwhelmed to be bestowed that privilege.
He said he felt obliged to assist, saying: “Education is a right, not a privilege and when this right is under threat, we all need to intervene.
“When I came here I found that the school block — which was in a state of ruins — was being used for classes and I was deeply hit with concern in realizing the consequences of when it rains.
“So I went back to Blantyre and approached FDH Bank on how they can assist and also other wellwishers that assist me in such charitable projects.
“Together with Mayi Malola, we budgeted at K3m from which FDH Bank pledged K2m for roof, labour and materials while others donated K650,000 for finishing touches.”
He then introduced one of the donors who graced the occasion, Mansoor Karim, who is founder and chief executive officer of K. Motors situated at Ginnery Corner in Blantyre that he assisted with finishing touches such as painting the building to make it colourful.
During the visit with the entourage from FDH Bank, the idea to licence a Pashello Trust as Banki Pakhomo agent was mooted after realizing that people from the sorrounding areas have to travel close to 50kms to and from Nchalo to access banking services.
The Pashello Trust shop — that rents out bridal wear and love chairs which also operates as a beauty salon — was then painted in FDH colours and at one corner sits a Banki Pakhomo officer.
Senior Chief Ngabu applauded Namandingo’s intervention, saying the Banki Pakhomo will go a long way in economically empowering his subjects.
“The last agency that we had here was some 30 years back and it is costly to keep travelling to Nchalo to access banking services,” he said.
“People here do various big businesses and farming such as cattle ranch, cotton ginnery and these are not times that people should keep money in their houses.”
He urged his subjects to utilize the agency through saving their earnings so that they can meaningfully uplift their lives.
“The school and the bank are very important structures in as far as development is concerned. The school imparts knowledge to our children who in turn shall grow up to make their own development projects.
“I congratulate you, Namadingo for accepting to assist our community in this way and I must assure you that through what you do, you are imparting confidence of kids across the country.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :