When one is incarcerated to prison, especially in a maximum prison, everything comes to complete halt – the wheels of life stand still. Living has come to an end for the individual. In the trappings of the cold, dark and intimidating prison cell, one ceases to dream success or promises for the future. Life in the prison is so difficult that one does not find time to do anything to widen their horizon, due to the hardships experienced there in. Prison is a place of seclusion and penitence.
In depth of Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison, Kabwe, the place reserved for the condemned and hardcore miscreants, was one Phives Ndalama. After being condemned to prison, Phives would not allow the hardships of the prison hinder him from attaining his life-dream; to become a teacher.
He tried for many years to enroll with other Colleges in Zambia to pursue his dream, without success. When he heard of ZAMCOL, he applied with the help of the prison authorities in 2007, and was successfully enrolled.
Ndalama, with strong will and determination and with the financial help from a European sponsor, embarked on his studies, even if it was not free of problems.
The first major challenge? Ndalama could not be allowed to attend any residential school. During the entire three years of his course, he never interacted with other course mates, nor with his course lecturers. He only relied on the modules and course material sent to him. He received assignments and sent them back to the college for marking.
Second major challenge? He had no place to do his teaching practice, a compulsory requirement for the course to be fulfilled. With the help of the college staff, Ndalama did his teaching practice, within the prison compound. He did his final examinations in the prison.
On 12th August 2011, clad in an immaculate black and green graduation gown, a jubilant Phives Ndalama, having been released from prison earlier, stepped onto the podium to receive his diploma in Secondary School Teacher Education from Copperbelt University Vice Chancellor during ZAMCOL’s 6th graduation at Floriana Lodge in Solwezi. Today Ndalama is a teacher, proudly serving the nation in the way he knows best – Teaching.