If you are girl and are struggling to make ends meet or enjoy smooth schooling, don’t give up. That was the message whsih South African award-winning musician Zonke Dikana left to Malawian primary school girls she hosted under Standard Bank’s #KeepingtheGirlChildinSchool” initiative.
Addressing girls from schools in Dedza during a breakfast at Peermonth President Hotel last Saturday ahead of her Blue Mingoli performance, Zonke, said being born to a poor family in Kwazakhele slum of South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province did not deter her from becoming a top musician.
She used her personal family story to illustrate how resilience, patience, hard work, and an education have blended with music talent to help become a top-selling musician.
“In life, everything is possible,” she said, pointing to the hardships she endured while growing up when she had to walk long distances to find school.
“I was born in a family of five children and it was not easy to get all the support and attention. Initially I disliked going to school because I had only a pair of shoes, while my friends had nice things–from shoes, school bags to watching television at home, while we did not have,” she narrated.
Zonke also used her Blue Mingoli performance Saturday night at BICC to remind the audience that she knew poverty as someone who was born from a poor family. She saluted her father Vuyisile “Viva”, a drummer and former South African President, Nelson Mandela. “My father defied all odds and went on to work as a drummer with Simply Red,” she said, of her father’s determination.
One of the girls, Elise Khobwe from Nthulu Primary School said her interaction with Zonke and other Standard Bank ladies has helped her gain confidence in her resolve to become a journalist.
“I am now more determined than I ever thought I would be. I did not expect to eat breakfast in a hotel and to be surrounded by Zonke and all these bright women from the bank,” she said.
Standard Bank invited Zonke to give a career talk to the girls as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility project “Keeping the Girl Child in School” which is being run in partnership with UNICEF in Dedza, Mangochi and Salima.