Everyday Sheros: Cathrine Banda

Cathrine Banda has embarked on a solo philanthropic mission of improving her community one step at a time. With a great vision and a big heart, she has become the go-to person in her community whenever there is a need. Keep reading to learn more about Cathrine’s background and what drives her.

“l was born and raised in Zimbabwe, but my parents are from the North of Malawi. We are Tonga. l have worked in Zimbabwe and South Africa, and because of the desire to improve my community, l currently reside in Malawi – in the third largest city, Mzuzu.

l am a writer, poet, motivational speaker, activist, and I’ve done online radio presenting. I am very passionate about Africa, which holds great potential as long as we are willing to work towards the Africa we want to see.

The sole reason for embarking on this journey was the pain of seeing the state of my community and knowing l needed to make the change.

As l worked towards my vision, l realized that sometimes due to differences in goals and opinions, l could not accomplish much with a group or team. So l have done the best l can with the small steps l have taken.

One of the major projects is the construction of a nursery school block, which is in its final stages at the moment.

Tuition for several children has been paid, and there are also renovations taking place and the purchase of chairs for the Traditional Authority Centre. Families have received food parcels and those with babies have received clothes and the like for their little ones.

As a motivational speaker, l have helped in the empowerment of young girls and given them the tools they need to rise above the common narrative that they belong in the kitchen. This narrative has caused young girls to be married off.

Despite the delay in addressing some requests for resources, I have a support system of friends who believe in my vision. This journey has taught me that nothing is too small.

In the future, l would love to see accessibility of basic amenities such as water. Right now, women and girls walk long distances for the resource. Even with boreholes, long winding queues are the norm, which leaves them exhausted at the end of the day. The value and importance of education cannot be emphasized enough for the girl child to end early child marriage.

Healthcare facilities must also be brought closer to the people to curb the mortality rate.

The Traditional Authority and l have held discussions concerning these issues and hope that someday through a collaborative effort things will change.

My word of encouragement is that the best way to do anything is just to start. Even though it is easier said than done, just take a step.

My first step was approaching the Traditional Authority, who is the authority in my community, and l have had his support from day one. Social media has also helped me acquire some of the funding to undertake these projects, so as long as you push and implement your idea and it is tangible, well-wishers will definitely come on board and more progress can be made quicker.

Do not be afraid to have doors shut in your face, and do not mind naysayers because they will always be there to discourage you. But as long as you know your vision and goals, that is all that matters.

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