In a gesture of remembering his roots, Khato Civils owner, Simbi Phiri has constructed and furnished a primary school in his home village of Chembe, T/A Mazengera in Lilongwe Rural East.
Simbi was born and grew up in Chembe before he left for Botswana as a young boy with his father.
The new facility which will be a junior primary school (Classes 1 to 5) will serve other villages within a radius of 15 kilometres.
Chembe village is located 20 kilometres from Nkhoma mission and 76 kilometres from capital city Lilongwe.
The South African based billionaire business man felt duty bound to assist children in his village have access to quality education by constructing them a modern, state of art multi-million kwacha primary school, according to his spokesperson Taonga Botolo.
On his part, Village Headman Chembe was lost for words over Simbi’s kind gesture.
“Currently, students are travelling very long distances as far as 10 kilometres to reach a nearby primary school in Mchema,” Chembe explained.
He added: “I am very thankful to the almighty God for giving us Simbi whom he has blessed in tremendous ways. He was born here, he did his school here. He knows our challenges because he is one of us. With this primary school, Mr. Simbi is investing in the future of our children. Out of this school, we shall have many Simbis in near future.”
Meanwhile, Simbi plans to officially hand over the school to the Malawi government so that pupils can start using the modern classrooms.
Apart from the school blocks, there is also a semi detached house for teachers and plans are at an advanced stage to add more classes and teachers’ houses.
Meanwhile, Chiefs from surrounding villages and their subjects have also commended Simbi for the school saying it will go a long a way in facilitating provision of quality education in the area.
One parent answering to the name Matilda Mateyu from Chimbalanga village echoed with village head Chembe and
told Nyasa Times that dropout rate among school children in her village is currently higher due to tiring long distances for the kids to and from school.
“This school is the future of our children. Currently, my 4 kids travel for nearly 2 hours to reach a nearby school. I am extremely happy for this good gesture from Mr. Simbi Phiri,” said a visibly excited Mateyu.
This is not the first time for Simbi and his Khato Civils to construct public infrastructure for Malawians. Over the past two years he has constructed a police unit, schools, road and a Health Centre in Mchinji district.
Simbi Phiri, a previously unknown billionaire businessman, rose to limelight in Malawi after his two companies Khato Civils and South Zambezi Engineering won a joint venture contract to tap water from Lake Malawi all the way to capital Lilongwe worth $385 million.
Despite various legal bottlenecks it has faced, the project is scheduled to take off soon after a Portuguese firm Nemus-Gestao e Requalificao Ambiental completes an Environmental Impact Assessment, a process which commenced in November and is expected to be finished in March.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :