Before, During and After Northrise
Every time I hear of Northrise University, my heart skips because that’s where my life changed course. Here is my story life before during and after Northrise…
Born in a family of 5 children, being the third child, life was never easy after my father’s death as is generally the case with most families here in Zambia. I was in grade 10 when my father passed on. However, my mum was a fighter, but ends just didn’t seem to meet. After graduating from high school, the search for a place in university began. At the time, there were only two universities in the country, meaning that only a few people could be enrolled. I was fortunate to be accepted at the University of Zambia to study Law. However, I did not have money to pay for my tuition. So that opportunity passed me by.
Later, I got a job as a data entry clerk at a small firm but my salary wasn’t enough for me to save. While there, I saw an advert in the press for Northrise University inviting applications. I gave it a try even though I was hearing about the school for the first time. I was accepted. Thrilled by this, my spirit was dampened when it came to fees. I applied for bursary and was granted 50% tuition. I had to take it. I trusted God to take care of the rest for me. I just wanted to do this thing and see how far I could go.
On the first day of our orientation, the staff and students were so graceful and so entwined like a family. They were peaceful and within me I believed I was in the right place. The environment was neat and welcoming.
I aimed high as I had my family in mind, especially my mum; it was a chance of a lifetime. I worked as hard as I could. There was no reason not to! We had all we needed to research; free Internet access, the best books in the library and readily available lecturers, my goodness, there was nothing stopping me. In addition, we had daily devotions at the beginning of every class session. What kind of school is this, often I thought to myself. It was like God himself built the school. The devotions, kept me in check.
Later, I was given 75% bursary!! I was so grateful. It was quite astonishing to know that individuals and families were actually funding my education. I wondered…why? They don’t know me; they have never really heard of me and yet they want to help, why? Yes, it didn’t make sense to me either. Later I realized that if one looks at things through the eyes of the world, Christianity would never make sense. I may never fully understand, but am glad and grateful they all did.
Along the way my very happy and proud mum, fell ill, I wanted to stop school so I could take care of her. I wrote to the business manager at Northrise of my decision, but he encouraged me not to, instead I was strengthened to work harder so I could better my family’s life some day. Sadly, mum died of cardiomegaly (enlarged heart disease). My world crumbled, I found no reason to go on, I had no one to impress and no one I wanted to see beam with joy at the end of my studies. It all became meaningless but I struggled on. The school faculty was very supportive, they prayed with me, they counseled me and they laughed with me. Things were never the same of course but they helped me through it all.
My performance went from excellent to average; I had to re-sit for 3 courses before my graduation day so I could graduate with a diploma. These were courses I had passed but not good enough to award me a diploma. I later cleared the three courses with straight As. Wow! I graduated!!!
Two weeks after graduation, I was employed by the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation. It’s the largest electricity supply company in Zambia. This was a three month contract as there were no vacancies for longer periods. Even though I wasn’t getting much, I accepted the job because I needed the experience. After that, I lectured in IT Basics at a small college for a month. Then I got a job with an Internet Service Provider, Africonnect Zambia limited (www.iconnect.zm). I have been with them since September 2007. At the end of my probation, I was assigned a task to go and introduce Internet usage in a rural area called Namwala in Southern Province where the company had opened a branch (www.namwala.com).
Being in Namwala, I learnt that some people had never heard of a computer before. This made the task even more challenging but, because of my skills, I was successful. After the Namwala assignment, on July 1st, 2008, I was elevated to Training Leader, in charge of training Customer Support Technicians that come into the company. Cool right? Right!
I have been empowered and I am an example of Northrise University’s vision come true. “One student at a time”. This is just the beginning.