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Friday, April 9, 2021

Profile: Chingola Municipal Council Director of Housing and Social Services Ms. Tilyenji Mwanza

Feature Lifestyle Profile: Chingola Municipal Council Director of Housing and Social Services Ms. Tilyenji...

By Believe Chisanga

As we celebrate Women’s Day on 8th March, it is imperative that we honor the women who have broken records and dominances in this mostly male-dominated world. The female gender is usually expected to be in the kitchen and rear children, looking after the home but all this is now a thing of the past. Women have risen to show the world that they too can be as good as the menfolk, even better. And one of these strong women is our Director of Housing and Social Services Ms. Tilyenji Mwanza.

She was born and bred on the Copperbelt, the firstborn and only girl in a family of three. Ms. Mwanza says since African culture always dictates that a girl child should take care of the household and her being the eldest, responsibility has always been on her shoulders ensuring that she takes up a lead to nurture her two young brothers as her father used to give her a quote to say “Always keep a lead on top.’’

Tilyenji did her primary school at Trust School in Luanshya and part of her secondary school at Sacred Heart Convent School right here in Chingola and later moved to Lusaka where she completed her grade twelve (12).

Most people may think Tilyenji went direct into media or journalism as her first call but that wasn’t the case as her childhood dream was to be a medical doctor. She had brilliant results at grade twelve and made it to the University of Zambia in the school of Natural Sciences.

“I usually like to use this point of my life to give people especially young girls a life lesson.”

“When you come in from secondary school to university, most of us tend to be excited, with no mum or dad to control you, no curfew, etc and I got a little excitement along the way. Thus, I didn’t manage to make the points I needed to get into medicine and I was quoted for an agriculture program instead which I had no passion for. Unfortunately, I ended up falling pregnant too.”

At this point she flunked out of school and life became difficult with a little baby to care for. But eventually she picked herself up and dusted herself off, reapplied at UNZA and was fortunate enough to be given a bursary.
“I applied into Mass Communication which was not my calling but just with a view to get a basic education and have my degree.

Life was tough. She couldn’t afford boarding fees, she had to rent a room in Kabwata, from where she sometimes used to walk to UNZA. “I couldn’t even afford formula nor a maid for my baby, I just used to leave her with neighbors who were very helpful.”

It is also at this point that I would like to recognize IBA Director Mrs. Judith Mapoma who was Head of Department at that time as she really came through for me.

Inspite of all these challenges Ms. Mwanza got very good results and was employed by the Post Newspaper while in her Second year of study.

“I managed to get a lead story in the paper in my first week and Mr. Fred Mmembe who was the Director for the Post News Paper then was highly impressed that he immediately offered me a job with a full salary.”
After graduation, she stayed on at the Post and was tenacious enough to work ‘political beat’ which most people would shy away from.

“I’ve seen why most women don’t want to engage themselves in politics as it is considered a dirty game because even when I was trying to get those stories, many are the times men would just look at you as this pretty young girl, tying to sleep with you or mock you, not believing in your capabilities.”

After the Post suddenly terminated her contract, she says she reached a low point in her life as she underwent severe cyber bullying being accused of having a close affiliation with government and State House.

“Negative things were written about me and I was called horrible names. It tore me down”.

But tenacious as always, she pulled herself up, furthered her education acquiring another degree as well as a Master’s while doing her own gigs in Media Consultancy.

“I applied for a job with so many companies but never had call backs not until in 2017, I saw a job advert where Local Government was employing. I didn’t hesitate to apply and within a short period of time I was called for interviews. Thereafter, I was hired as a Public Relations Manager for Ndola City Council.” She said.

Chingola Council Director of Housing and Social Services Ms. Tilyenji Mwanza
Chingola Council Director of Housing and Social Services Ms. Tilyenji Mwanza

She broke the record because then for about 20 years, Ndola City Council had never had a female Public Relations Manager so she broke the male domination.

Ms. Mwanza says she’s had a very good experience with Ndola City Council as she was challenged to use her PR skills well and Local Government at large as it has helped her understand government from the citizen’s point of view.
“In local government, you just don’t get to make decisions, you get to deal with people from the grassroots and it’s the people themselves who dictate to us what they want”.

While at Ndola Municipal Council, she won several awards from Zambia Public Relations Association (ZAPRA) which she says was an amazing feeling because these usually went to big institutions like ZRA, ZESCO, NAPSA etc so it felt good to have Councils getting such award too.

In 2020, she was promoted to the position of Director Housing and Social Services here at Chingola Municipal Council.
“I feel so appreciative with the team I have here because I had only dealt with Housing from a PR perspective. Everyone has thrown in their best and I am grateful.”

“Life’s lesson for me has been, ‘work hard for what you have and you will appreciate it more’.”

“Endeavor to attain a certain level of education because wherever you will go, education will always be needed in one way or the other. You can have a talent but without education you can not go very far.” She reiterates.

Tilyenji is a young lady who spends most of her free time swimming with her kids and she enjoys reading as well as writing fiction stories, articles and poetry.

23 COMMENTS

  1. As we commemorate Women’s Day, chowamba aulandile moni mkazi wa Damazio Phiri, moni mkazi wa Francis Ndovi, moni mkazi wa Dickson Jere, moni mkazi wa Noel Nkhoma, moni mkazi wa Zindaba Soko, moni mkazi wa Vincent Mwale, moni mkazi wa Kaizer Zulu, moni, mkazi wa Charles Banda, moni mkazi wa Muhabi Lungu, moni mkazi wa Fisho Mwale, moni potential 1st lady mkazi wa President Mulyokela, moni mkazi wa John Phiri, moni mkazi wa Mpezeni, moni mkazi wa President for all Zambians HE RB. Women must address to cardinal issues that hinders their quick empowerment. 1. Please stop being jealous of each other, you’re your own enemies. 2. Please stop to wait for men to empower you. Most of you wait for a man to be your financial breakthrough. Men are also busy empowering themselves. 57% of the voters’…

  2. 57% of the voters’ roll comprises women. So you’ll only have yourselves to blame if you don’t support yourselves

  3. It is quite unfortunate that nowadays on all media platforms, the talk is about women empowerment. A close look at our society will actually tell you that we are neglecting the boy child at great peril to the future of our nation. A close look at modern Zambian society will actually show you that boys are slowly lagging behind girls. Women bring too many emotions to the gender debate. They want to progress at the expense of the men folk. Bane let us talk gender equality not radical feminism. Countries like China have no gender debates, A man knows he is a man and a woman knows she is a woman, period! Don’t confuse us.

  4. Clearly this is just another beautiful woman looking for attention. There are so many average looking women who have done more exploits than her and they are quietly raising their families with their loving husbands. Women learn to respect yourselves and your spouses and men will respect you back. Do not walk or pose half naked and expect us to respect you. That is not feminism, it is madness.

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  5. I do not see anything spectacular about this achievement. A bad example if the intention was to give a role model to women

  6. Just another PF cadre.Soon she will be involved in some illegal land or housing scandal.
    They are all the same.

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  7. How much was this moron Believe Chisanga paid to write this piece? Dont in sult honest hardworking Zambian women…Do you not know who Tilyenji Mwanza is….she is a PF ca dre here are photos to prove that…just Google her name and you get photos of her dressed in white and green!!

  8. How much was this mo ron Believe Chisanga paid to write this piece? Dont in sult honest hardworking Zambian women…Do you not know who Tilyenji Mwanza is….she is a PF ca dre here are photos to prove that…just Google her name and you get photos of her dressed in white and green!!

  9. Tilyenji you have been an inspiration to many women and girls. I know we had our moments years ago but life teaches us lessons. We did have fun but sometimes there is more to life and we have to move on. Although I am not in love with you, I still have love for you. Best wishes, kaizar

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  10. The most classic adage regarding trolling is, “Don’t feed the trolls.” Trolls seek out emotional responses and find provocation amusing, so replying to them or attempting to debate them will only make them troll more. By ignoring a troll completely, they will likely become frustrated and go somewhere else on the internet.

    You should try your best not to take anything trolls say seriously. No matter how poorly they behave, remember these people spend countless unproductive hours trying to make people mad. They’re not worth your time of day.

  11. We need to be careful with this gender issue. Our boys are being neglected in Zambia, this means that in a few years from now, we will have more female police officers, more female commandos, more and more females in tactical and sensitive positions than men and believe me, it will weaken this country.

    The negative effect will be that we will end up having more and more men doing nothing. As such, we will end having lawlessness in this country.

    The more the men are neglected, the more we are breeding lawlessness.

  12. We need to be careful with this gender issue. Our boys are being neglected in Zambia, this means that in a few years from now, we will have more female police officers, more female commandos, more and more females in tactical and sensitive positions than men and believe me, it will weaken this country.

    The negative effect will be that we will end up having more and more men doing nothing. As such, we will end having lawlessness in this country.

    The more the men are neglected, the more we are breeding lawlessness

  13. I thought she was white, until I saw her shapeless legs and arms. What about if she undress, how will her butt look like?

  14. Sometimes its wise to keep quiet, How can you remind us how you got your job in Ndola sure? Everyone knows that you were gifted that job. Having slept with Amos Chanda culminating into a child, what achievements are you talking about? Yes, perhaps having slept with every Jim and Jack and vuvuzelaling can take you places. This is a very poor PR stunt.

  15. TYPICAL OF THAT COUNCIL AND PFF
    WOMENS DAY SHOULD HAVE BEEN DEDICATED TO ALL NURSES ON THE FRONT LINE
    WHO RISK THIER LIVES HELPING COVID PATIENTS AND THE AILING
    A CARING GOVERNMENT ?? VUVAZELING A FAILING COUNCIL IN DEBT

  16. She will go down like Mutale Mwanza, something wrong with that name Mwanza. Does Mwanza mean pnssy?

  17. Nostra…. – You when you see a picture of a Zambian women you are quick to comment pass lewd remarks…I mean where exactly are you in the the States? Are you in prison? Last time I read you were a lecturer …I fear for those students!

  18. Nothing good about this girl who loves swimming with her kids? Turn the tables and have a guy having to go through her life’s steps? I hope each one of you has no daughter…God bless a woman!

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