My name is Eletina Chiyabwa, I’m from the city of Blantyre in Malawi. I’m the fourth oldest in my family and there are six of us, three girls, three boys and when I grow up, I’d like to be an oncologist. I’d be working on first brain tumours, and then nervous tumours.
In my community, some students don’t like school, but I just love everything about school. I feel good whenever I’m at school because if I study at home I feel like these people are going to disturb me.
I do feel nervous about exams sometimes. Sometimes I actually get exam fevers. I have these headaches as if I’ve studied so much, but it feels also sometimes as if I haven’t studied enough.
I love reading. I like reading science books and romantic novels. Reading has pushed me so much. When I was in primary school, I didn’t like reading much. But in grade two I started liking it, and it pushed me. It pushed me from where I was because I never liked speaking English, but then I started reading; reading stories and English books and I started loving English.
Reading opens me up – it makes me see everything. I see what I want to be when I grow up. I see how people fight with life. I see how people fight with anything, just because they want to be someone important in future.
Reading has made me somebody. It’s helped me so much – if I never had access to books, things would be different. I wouldn’t have known how to speak English or anything about science or history.
We have many books that give us stories about important people, some who have left us and some who are still existing and whenever we read the information from them, we found out how they came to be like they were. This means we can follow in those footsteps.
We go to the library whenever we have free periods. Whenever I’m not learning, I go and visit the library. When I want to borrow something I visit the librarian and tell her ‘I want to borrow this book’, then she loans it to me, I will use it and she then will give me a due date to return the book.
I read STEM [Science, Tech, Engineering and Maths] books, and I really love them. I like all the information there is in them. We have science books, chemistry books, biology books and mathematics books. These STEM books have pushed me. I used to fail mathematics, but the coming of the STEM books has helped me so much.
If there were no books in the library I would be very sad – I would cry! Right now, I love mathematics and it’s because of the STEM books. They simplified information which means for students like us, it’s very easy to understand.
New books provide new information. When it comes to education, things change. If something is old and we’re still reading that same old information each and every day, we’re not getting new information, which means it going to pull us down. We need new books. If we were only to have old, second-hand books, well that would affect most of the students, including myself.
I think we need more science and mathematics books because right now, we don’t have enough when it comes to mathematics so everybody wants to take out the mathematics books. Science and Maths are loved by most of the students. So if we’re not getting enough books then we have a problem.
Book Aid International is very important to us. They provide us with books which give us information and knowledge which sharpens our minds. We’re going to be important people in the future because of these books.
Image: (c) Thoko Chikondi/Book Aid International