Friday, September 30, 2011

My sister Precious Kamanga dies - 17th January, 1982 - 10th July, 2011

Precious Kamanga
Precious Kamanga, born black but beautiful was a joy to know. To me who had the pleasure and privilege of meeting her, being friends with her, interacting with her as family, she was a blessing to know, indeed she had a kind of warmth that’s so wonderful and rare, a happy and joyful smile that was such a joy to share, she carried her own joy and sunshine with her wherever she went and it made the happiest moments for all. Indeed some people are praised in their death just for the sake of it, but for my sister Precious, she was a wonderful person, she was a shoulder to depend on when you were in want, in need, in lack, in pain, etc, she lent an ear even when you were saying things seemingly meaningless to other listeners. She was an arm you could trust to pull you along when you were giving up, a friend and sister you could trust to keep that embarrassing secret. 

Precious with Tamara in Chingola
She opened her life to everyone, her home was a haven for many a soul, her money and belongings, she gave and shared cheerfully. She had a ready laugh, joked with many, always willing to offer support and consolation to many, she never chose basing on sex, creed, caste or colour, she mingled with the rich and poor, dirty and clean, black and whites alike and she had no trouble fitting in as she was a flexible yet reserved person. Yes, Precious was impartial. Yes she was human and had her limits when her patience was tried. But she didn’t stay angry for too long and was willing to talk, make amends, as well as compromise for the sake of peace. She would scold in the most loving of ways.

From right to left: Mum, Precious and her two friends
Precious Kamanga, really loved her God and was a committed Christian, brought up and groomed in a Christian family of Baptists, she was given to learning more on her God and encouraging others in the faith. Many a time when things were going wrong, she would encourage you to lean and wait on God, yes, she believed her God was able and never doubted Him and her God was faithful to her to the end.

From left to right: Precious, mum and chimwemwe in Chingola
Precious Kamanga was a lady with a bright future ahead of her, she was intelligent and was open to learning, and she was very hard working and a risk taker. She learnt to fend for herself from a tender age. She was not too good enough for any odd job as long as it would guarantee her financial independence; from till teller in Shoprite, to sales lady at Maina Soko Pub, to Administrator at Lufwanyama District Council, she ran in between different tasks with much eloquence and was well versed in whatever her expected task was “when duty called!” 

Left to right: Ruth, Precious and Phoebe
 Well learned and equipped with a Degree in Business Administration obtained from NIEC School of Business, she still aimed high, indeed for her, the sky was the limit and that is why after a few months of serving as Administrator with Lufwanyama District Council, she was sponsored to go for her Diploma Program at Chalimbana Local Government College to study Local Government Administration. 

Precious (center) with her 4 cousins at a family wedding in Kitwe
Despite being the angel she was to many of us, she had her shortcomings, in her final year, she fell pregnant for another student and would have given birth to her bouncy baby in August but it seems God had different plans. She had repented of her wrong doing, she was planning to have that child and had a suitcase full of clothes and blankets bought in readiness for the new born baby but her plans and our plans were not Gods plans. She past well with a Merit in her school at Chalimbana and was a diploma holder waiting to officially graduate later in September 2011 when God called her home. 
This was the last family photo taken a month before she died
On this material day, 9th July, 2011, it was a day like any other and she complained of some pain in the stomach but brushed it off for the normal pain which pregnant women occasionally go through and thus left it on till twas too late. Her Blood Pressure shot. At about 21:00 hours she began to convulse and lost consciousness. She was rushed to the clinic by Phoebe our youngest sister and a good neighbor and at the clinic, they were informed that her condition needed immediate medical attention which could be obtained from a big medical institution in this case, Kitwe Central Hospital which lies many Kilometers away from Lufwanyama. 
Racheal, Ruth and me paying our last respect to Precious
Yes, she needed immediate medical attention as convulsions in pregnancy are common but dangerous; unfortunately all that the staff at the clinic could afford her was clinical attention. She had to be held up on the side to avoid her lying flat while looking up which could cause choking as she was unconscious. To make matters worse, the ambulance at the clinic had no gas and they were asked to wait till morning and time was running out, in desperation, Phoebe had to make phone calls to mom and dad. That is not a phone call that a parent wants to receive close to midnight, mom and dad couldn’t wait till the morning and thus a few minutes past midnight, they were on the road, first to Kitwe to refuel the family bus then they drove in the night to Lufwanyama, the road is extremely bad and almost impassable, but to a parent, it did not matter, they had to get there. Before 5 o’clock on Sunday 10th July, they were in Lufwanyama at the clinic looking at the sapped out and unconscious dear daughter, by Gods grace, the ambulance was readied and mom drove with her in the back of the ambulance and the bad, deep-potholed road did not help the situation at all. 

Phoebe in black pays her last respect to Precious
The bumpy road was surely not good for my sister and the baby, by 08:00hrs, they were at Kitwe Central Hospital and she was still unconscious, blowing her mouth and salivating and shivering, oh what a sorry sight to see my once brave and strong sister unconscious, nothing prepared us for the events of that day, according to the nurse when asked, her condition was normal was getting better and stable by the minute, and by 13hrs, she was indeed looking a lot better.
Dad so-rounded by Pastors O. Sichula, E. Sakala & K. Kabwe pays his last respect to Precious
They should have separated mother and baby on time seeing that she was already 8 months along, but they didn’t, was it negligence, I wonder, maybe it was just the will of God. Her feet were getting cold, I brushed it off thinking she was feeling cold, well, she was indeed looking very stable as she slept, but at 15hrs, she turned again, and a few minutes later, our dear loving sister gave up the ghost, she answered the Lords call. Both mother and baby died, oh what a loss it was.
Mum in (center) pays her last respect to Precious
Precious seemed to know her time was up and that is why, her last status update on Facebook was an extract from her favourite hymn, “All the way my Saviour leads me” and all she wrote was, “All the way my Saviour leads me, what have I to ask beside…” it was painful, it is painful and will be painful for long, but she was ready and when the Master called, she answered and slept peacefully. Her lifeless body lay so peacefully on that Hospital Bed in Kalungwishi Ward at Kitwe Central Hospital. It was hard to believe, still hard to believe, yes fate dealt us a bad hand. She will always be dear to us, she will always hold a special place in our hearts, she will always be remembered for her kind deeds and selfless love she showed to all, yes, the void she has left can never be filled. 

Dad and mum lay the wreaths
Her death came as a blow, a huge blow to the family, a mighty blow to all her friends and workmates and indeed a very great loss to the man she loved and father of her unborn child. She will be remembered as the hardworking lady who had so much passion and a big heart to accommodate and tolerate most of us.  She was a friend and sister INDEED! She endeavored at all times to live up to her name; she was precious and a rare gem to all of us. But she is in a better place. She was laid to rest at Leopards Hill Cemetery in Lusaka on the 13th of July, 2011.

Precious' grave on 13th July 2011
Cleaning Precious grave in readiness of the tomb stone (10th August 2012)

Me, Ruth and Phoebe cleaning our sister's grave (10th August 2012)

Me - supervising the fitting of the tomb stone (11th August 2012)

Precious' grave after putting the tomb Stone (17th August 2012)

Rest in peace sister Precious Kamanga, till we meet again on the other side


Racheal Kumwenda said...

Very touching story, she is sadly missed by many of us... MHSRIP

chisha.sayela said...

am just hearing this for the first time....the story is so touching...I dnt ve anyother words to say....MHSRIP

Obvious Kamanga said...

Sadly missed by the entire family, whenever we sing your favorite Hymn at church 'All the way my Saviour leads me...', it brings fresh memories of you and how that you really loved this Hymn. Till we meet again on the other side.

Anonymous said...

So touching and wat a sad story it is.RIP dear friend.I still have a memory of you during our primary sch days and its so fresh!Continue resting in peace precious.

Martin Musonda said...

What can we say except 'till we meet on that beautiful shore'.