Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

The girl with a lion’s heart

By Langton Nyakwenda

She stayed in hospital for 96 days, from where she wrote her Grade Seven exams after a near-fatal accident that literally cost her an arm and a leg.

Vella Misodzi (in school uniform) got an artificial limb from Potraz
Vella Misodzi (in school uniform) got an artificial limb from Potraz

Vella Misodzi missed studies for five years because she could not walk to the nearest school.

However, through sheer determination and a helping hand from the corporate world, she has finally enrolled for her Form One studies aged 19.

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Misodzi’s story is a sad one.

She almost died on September 22, 2016 after she was electrocuted on her way home from Gosha Primary School in Chikwakwa, near Juru Growth Point.

But, amazingly, her misfortune seems to have failed to crash her spirit.

“I was born with all my body parts but something terrible happened on September 22, 2016. I was doing Grade Seven when I was involved in this near-fatal accident.

“I was coming from school and there was an electricity pylon with a livewire that had fallen down. I wasn’t aware, so I stepped onto the wire and I was electrocuted,” she told The Sunday Mail Society at Gosha Secondary School in Chikwakwa, where she has enrolled as a Form One learner.

Her plight caught the attention of the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz), who bought an artificial limb and paid one-year tuition.

The official handover of the artificial limb was held at Gosha Secondary School last week.

The disadvantaged institution, with only two classroom blocks, also got 10 laptops, a desktop computer and a printer from Potraz.

“Those who were present when I was electrocuted say I turned black all over, and some thought I was dead.

“I was then taken to hospital, first to Musami Mission before I was transferred to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, where I regained consciousness around midnight.

“I stayed for 96 days in hospital before I was discharged in December 2016. Both my left arm and leg had been amputated.

“I wrote my Grade Seven examinations in hospital but I had difficulties using my hand. However, I was determined to use the pen again.

“Doctors and family members even concluded that I would not use that hand to write, but I was so determined,” narrated Misodzi, whose mother and sole breadwinner, Ms Monica Kaunga, also suffers from heart problems.

She has, however, remained positive.

“I am very happy. The name Vella Misodzi has gone places. It is a name that has uplifted hundreds of learners here at Gosha Secondary because we are all now benefitting from these donations from Potraz.

“To other girls and those living with disability, my message is: ‘do not look down on yourselves’. I was once like that, soon after electrocution, but through watching television, I got exposed to a variety of programmes that touched on disability.

“I learnt that there are a lot of people who can prosper in life despite disability. When I went to Jairos Jiri, I found out there are more serious cases of disability there – some who would write using their toes because they no longer have arms. I told myself that handisi chirema.

“So I would like to urge the disabled not to give up. Early marriage is also not an escape. I am 19, but I am starting my Form One studies.”

Potraz director-general Dr Gift Machengete said her organisation had adopted Misodzi.

“Vella’s story was a sad one, a story of shattered dreams, a story of lost hope. We wish to turn that around now and make it a story about kindness and hope.

“Hope for a brighter future; hope for a certain and secure tomorrow,” said Dr Machengete.

“When we heard of her story, there was no debate that she would become one of our beneficiaries under the Authority’s corporate social responsibility programme.

“We engaged specialists to assess her needs so that she may return to school, and arrangements were made for an artificial limb to be made for her.”

Potraz joined the rest of the world in celebrating International Girls in ICT Day on April 22, and in that vein, the organisation pledged to support remote schools like Gosha Secondary to acquire ICT gadgets.

“We believe ICT studies and careers would prop up the girl-child to be at par with her male counterpart in terms of emancipation and, ultimately, in terms of her contribution to economic development.

“Today I would like to encourage not only Vella and her fellow female learners to take up studies in ICTs, but everyone at this school. All boys and girls should consider careers in ICTs,” he said.

ICTs, he added, will provide jobs of the future.

Potraz pledged to support Gosha Secondary School with ICT gadgets as well as with internet connectivity for the next eight months.

“As Mashonaland East Province, we are very happy to be considered by Potraz. One of our girls is getting educational support and, more importantly, an artificial limb which will enable her to walk.

“We are also grateful again that Gosha Secondary School has also received laptops, which will be very important in promoting ICT development, especially for schools in rural areas and remote parts of the country,” said Mashonaland East Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Aplonia Munzverengi. The Sunday Mail