Malawian cyclists Stewart Kambewa and Kwame Kayira, who came to prominence when they cycled 1,755kms from Nsanje to Chitipa and back to Blantyre for charity to raise funds to drill one borehole in nine villages in nine districts, have honoured their pledge to pay secondary school fees for two needy students after collecting the money raised during and charity adventure charity event when they cycled uphill for 10km whist standing on September 9.
Dubbed Chawe Challenge, their target was to raise money to be used to pay for schools fees for two needy Form 4 students — boy and a girl — who are in government secondary schools and they challenged the public that if they thought cycling uphill for 10km non-stop from Zomba Metro shop to Ku Chawe Inn whilst standing was impossible, then they should place a bet of any amount to be used for the school fees.
And they have done it and the beneficiaries are Steven Austin of Chiradzulu Secondary School and Faith Chisale Mulanje Secondary School.
“The young girl was identified by the school committee after I approached them and explained my story,” Kambewa said. “Faith is15 years old and comes from Mulanje District. She told me that her ambition is to become a medical doctor.
“Looking at her last Form 3 results, Faith got 18 points. I have hope and I believe that her dreams shall come to pass. I paid her fees MK45,750 and gave her MK24,000 as pocket money. She will get part of the money to get a calculator and a few notebooks.
“From now on, I can proudly say I have a child in the name of Faith Chisale and I would like to thank the Headteacher Mr. Nyapwala and the Boarding Master Mr. Kathumba for being in forefront identifying the young girl. And special thanks to all who have made this possible by contributing towards the cause. Together we have done it!”
On Tuesday the two were at Chiradzulu to link up with Austin, who had been identified by his boarding master Jackson Pangani.
Austin told this reporter that he was supposed to back home at Namadzi to see if her mother was able raise the fees and out of the blue, Mr. Pangani approached him saying his prayers were answered and some good Samalitans were on their way to deliver the fees of MK37,750 and MK24,000 as pocket money.
He is also another bright student whose progress report for end of Form 3 had four distinctions and foir credits.
The whole cycling adventure had the involvement of Ulaya Classic, a body building outfit managed by renowned body builder, Charles Ulaya — one of the founders and pioneers of Weightlifting & Bodybuilding Association, who contributed K50,000.
Kambewa chose Chawe uphill route because it is tough and that the issue of students dropping out of school because of lack of fees is in the same context as taking up this challenge.
“They have an uphill to climb, getting the fees is not easy for them. So, let us stand up and fight for them.
What prompted him to venture into this was last year in September, whilst he had gone for an interview at MBCtv, he met a woman who had gone at the station to ask for help as she was failing to raise school fees for her son.
“This saddened me but I couldn’t help then. Since that time I have seen and heard a lot os stories of students dropping out of school both in secondary as well as colleges.”
For the 1,755kms adventure done last year, they set off on October 1 from Marka, Nsanje arriving Chitipa through Lakeshore Road on the 8th before travelling back to Mzuzu to Blantyre through Lilongwe arrived in Blantyre on October 15.
From the start, the group attracted partnership with Non Governmental Organisation Water Aid, which mobilised other NGOs in the country to support the initiative and a special welcome reception was organised for the cyclists as they passed through Lilongwe .Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :