We are bidding farewell to Mtima Mtenge who died much to early on 11.02.2017 at the age of 16 years.
Mtima, my beautiful little friend
I met you in 2008 and you were just 8 years old, I remember the day. You were a little boy with beautiful eyes. I had heard stories of a boy with a disability tied to a tree because his mum wanted to protect him from the dangers of life in the village. I never blamed her, you had so many scars and burns to prove. I can imagine she saw little other options. Despite your difficult circumstances and wearing not much more than a great big smile at the time, you never stopped smiling.
Then you came to Kunyumba, our very first child. What an amazing life change for you. We had a big garden for you to run around in and many toys to play with. Our loving Kingless took care of you with such dedication. She bathed you and cooked for you. You were so limited, Mtima, but you grew so much in all those years. You so loved being in Kunyumba and sitting at the table with the other kids enjoying your food. You really did take your time to savour every mouthful and you were so precise when you were eating, I was always very impressed. You were very strong and in the rare event that you were sick, malaria is never far away at the lake, you recovered so quickly, so much quicker than any one else.Kunyumba was where you felt good. You enjoyed being here, much to the struggle of your brothers who had to carry you home in the evening. Your brothers will miss you too Mtima.
Even after your start in Kunyumba, you had some testing times. It made me very sad, but you were so resistant and kept bouncing back, still with that big smile and your funny sounds and songs, which made us all smile.
Your voice was quite memorable, I think of that one morning when very very early I woke up to the sounds of your voice, singing your usual funny song next to my bedroom window. You were so enthusiastic to be in Kunyumba that you decided that day to come as soon as you woke up, even if that meant 5 o’clock in the morning and hardly dressed, all through the village by yourself whilst everyone else was still sleeping.
Your absolute favourite always were the bottle tops, sticks and stones. We never saw you empty handed. Tons of bottle tops sticks and stones from Senga Bay’s sandy paths must have gone through your hands. We had a great future career for you in mind, my little friend, in our big garden.
Your name Mtima, it means ‘heart’ in chichewa. Mtima it was the right name for you. You touched the heart of so many people who met you. We will forever keep you in our hearts.
My sweet child, I will always think back of you with a smile,
Thank you to all the Kunyumba staff members and children for accepting Mtima and filling his last years with joy.