Monday, April 14, 2014

Ray Munsaka's life at Choma Secondary School - 1984 to 1988

Ray Munsaka
It was afternoon. The day, a Monday. The date was 5 March, 1984 - 30 years ago! That was when I arrived at Choma Secondary School with my suitcase to begin my secondary school course. As the photo shows, I was a then a cool young dude. Wasn't I cute then? Twaali bantu asweyo. Don't be deceived by what time has done to me.

I had never been away from home before and even if Choma Secondary was very familiar territory for me, there was a sense of deep anxiety within. Among other pupils who arrived on this day was Luundu Mwaanga, who by this time I had known for over five years. This gave me some moral boost and we started chatting right away. A few days later I met Austin Bhebe. Luundu and Austin became my close friends in the last three years of my stay here. 

I paid ZMK105 (unrebased kwacha) which covered school fees, boarding fees, 2 pairs of uniform, a hymnbook and a bit of toiletry. Later on one of the prefects, Saboi Lufwendo (now a prominent lawyer) took me to his hostel and later on to supper (nsima with boiled kapenta!). This was in the Zambezi dining hall. The following day, supper was much more pleasant - nsima with kasune (beef). After supper that Monday, he took me to my assigned bed space - 3rd Hostel Junior Wing, Luangwa House. This was to be my "home" for two years before I moved to ZALUKA (ChomSecians know what this is) at senior level.

There are many ways in which Choma Secondary is special to me. At least three of my sisters and a brother went to this school long before I did. My father preached there from time to time before 1984. The Pilgrim Wesleyan Church would hold its national conferences here and I remember attending one or two and hearing various singing. We would come for CYC (Christian Youth Crusaders) every Sunday where I learnt a lot of spiritual truth in song and teaching. We would also come to see my sister, but more interestingly the motorcycle race by Brooks farm (Mambushi Motor Cross). 

My memories of this great school as a student are still fresh and warm. It was a place I learnt to look after myself. I knew how to do a lot of things for myself but now I HAD to. I even learnt some trade - selling sugar at 1n/teaspoon!. I was introduces to menus, some of which I had never imagined before. Cigolo (sugar-water solution), mixing that with roast peanuts, kago (crust at the bottom of the pot after cooking nsima), adding a bit of sugar to beans to make taste like baked beans,... Needless to say, I cannot stand these dishes anymore. I quit some of them even before I left the school (by grade 12, I could only take cigolo if made with hot water). 

I enjoyed the lessons from A to Z. Deciding, at the end of grade 8, on whether to take up commercial subjects or industrial arts was a tough choice but settled for the the latter. I loved TD! Then at senior level doing the pure sciences! Sometimes I think I learnt all the physics I know at Choma Secondary School. University was just repetition with depth and application. Of course other subjects as well but I mention physics because my career is built on it.

Of all that I got from this great school, none is as glorious as the the experience of the night of Friday the 13th in 1987. It was at this school on this day that I was converted. And you thought Friday the 13th was bad! If this experience of God's salvation is all I had got from this school, it would still have been worth an infinite amount of all the money that was spent on me there. 

Not only was I brought into the kingdom of God's Son at this institution, but also learnt to be active in the church here. I was part of the student church leadership of the PWC and also in SU leadership. I preached my first sermon at Choma Secondary School. A number of Christian disciplines were inculcated in me at this school.

I will always cherish my time at Choma Secondary School.

By Ray Munsaka


Obvious Kamanga said...

Mr Ray Munsaka will be put to rest today 15th April 2014 in Chingola. Indded he will be greatly missed. May God comfort aunt Martha and the boys

Lance Fortuin said...

Very saddened by the loss of Ray, my condolences to his loved ones.