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In the normal setting, parents are expected to lay the foundation for their children to build their own future. In simple terms, parents contribute immensely to the success of their children in the future… but this is not always the case! Some parents willfully ignore this important role in the lives of their kids, others too fail to perform this function due to poverty and other misfortunes like ill-health or death.

Undoubtedly, loosing one’s parent at a very young can be very disturbing, especially in a social setting where poverty rules. Many vibrant youths have resulted to all kinds of social vices due to this fact.

In this popular saying, much is expected from the one who’s been given enough but Maria has disproved this saying by giving out more when she had a little at adolescent age.

While many chose the wrong means to survive due to certain unfortunate circumstances they face in life, Maria, through all the troubles she encountered at a very young age opted for the right channel to a successful life. As good as she is, she’s decided to share her story to motivate others too.

This is how she tells her story;

My name is Maria Chipepo Aksel, I am 38. I was born and bred in Chaisa compound in Lusaka
My Parents were both poor domestic workers.

When I was 16 years old my only brother Chola Chipepo and his friends were gunned down by police after they attempted to stage a Robbery in Lusaka’s Makeni Area.

I stopped school in grade 9 after my Brother who was the bread winner was killed. There was no one to pay school fees for me.

As a family we were isolated by our relatives because of being poor. Non of our relatives wanted to have anything to do with us. According to our relatives we were a Burden.

When I was 18 years old I started working as a maid in Emmasdale residential area.

After I started work , one of my Cousins went to see my boss behind my back and told her bad things about me. She told her that most criminals in Lusaka use me as a spy to stage robberies. She also told her stories about my brother who was killed by the police.

My Boss told me everything that my cousin told her about me though she did not believe her.
Three months Iater ,my boss and I went to Soweto market to buy vegetables around 9 in the morning. whilst we were at Soweto market Thieves broke in the house and stole everything.

I was the main suspect . My boss accused me of having a hand in the whole thing because of what she was told by my cousin months earlier.
She reported me to the Police and that is how I was arrested and detained for 3 weeks.

I met Anette
Bjarne ,a Norwegian National in Police Cells. She was in jail for assaulting her Boyfriend.
We became good friends.
and when she was released she gave me her contact details.
Annette left Zambia soon after she was released.

After investigations I was also released from jail. A day later I went to see an old friend in Kabwata called Mwiinga. He sells roasted goat meat and pork behind Kabwata Market.
I used his phone to call Annette.

Annette started sending money every after two weeks. Using the same money I bought a phone because I had challenges of asking for a phone from people whenever I wanted to talk to her.
Six month later, she invited me to Norway. I Left Zambia 19 year ago and this is the first time I am visiting Zambia in 19 years.

I managed to complete my education in Norway and as I speak now I am a Mathematics Teacher.
I am married to a Norwegian and I have three kids.
I owe my life to Annette. Unfortunately she passed away in 2015.

Life is so funny, all my relatives who used to treat me badly now look up to me for survival.

I am in Zambia to put Tombstones on the graves of my parents and my Brother. I came to Zambia with my youngest daughter Sally.

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