Child Profiles > Siyanga Mzoka

Siyanga Mzoka

© 2003 James Howlett

Siyanga was born in Mongu, Western Province, in 1991. He wants to be a pilot.

© 2003 James Howlett

When my parents were alive, we lived in Mulobezi. My father was a fisherman. My mother went fishing with him as well. My father taught all his children how to fish. Even I went fishing with him when I was very small.

One day in 1996, my parents went fishing. None of us children went. When they got to the middle of the river, the boat capsized. My father drowned but some people rescued my mother.

After my father died, we went to live with my grandmother, my mother’s mother. She was also a fisherwoman and we continued to catch fish.

That’s when my mother became sick. She didn’t like to eat much. One day she was so ill that she didn’t eat any food at all. My grandmother told us not to sleep in the house that night. My mother died alone, in the night.

After she died, they took her body away before I could see her. I would have liked to see her body before they took her to the mortuary. It makes me very sad that I didn’t see her. They did not let me go to the funeral. They said to us, ‘you are children and you are not supposed to attend a funeral’. I was very angry because even when my father died we did not go to the funeral. I don’t even know where they buried my father and my mother. I often think, ‘if this can happen to my mother and father, what will happen to me when I die?’.

After my parents died, I lived with my grandmother. Then I became sick. My stepsister came from Lusaka and took me to hospital. When I was better, she brought me to Lusaka to live with my cousin, but he didn’t want me to stay with him. He said he didn’t want to look after me. That is how I came to live with my stepsister. I miss my parents.

© 2003 James Howlett

Siyanga’s father, Mboma Mzoka, died in 1996.
His mother, Mabel Mzoka, died in 1997.

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