By ALICE NACHILEMBE
Rashida Mulenga is pretty. But she’s, not, just a pretty face, Ms Mulenga is a politician, the mayor of Kalulushi, she is a wife and mother of seven, more importantly she is academically equipped to handle career challenges.
Severally we see pretty faces that remain unmarried, we have come across pretty faces that are academically handicapped or pretty faces that are unable to have kids. May be careerless pretty faces.
The challenge with pretty face is that the majority possessing it have failed to handle its hurdles.
But Ms Mulenga is fully aware of the challenges associated with beauty.
She realizes the deceit come in the face of splendor and she has told herself to remain clean in the game of politics where others call it dirty.
“I have chosen to rise above triviality and taken up the political career, principally dominated by men. I’m in politics but I will not agree to play dirty game.
“I believe in being truthful no matter the pain and I also believe in team work, because there’s no person that can archive anything alone without working with others,” she said.
Married to Godfrey Kangwa popularly known as Bashi Mumbi, Ms Mulenga and her husband are blessed with seven children.
With the blessing of a family, Ms Mulenga is not ready to yield to dirt politics, saying politics is not a dirt game but it entirely depends on the character of a person, who chooses to play it clean or to play it dirty.
She joined politics in 2011 after being inspired by the late President Michael Sata.
Sata’s inspiration in Ms Mulenga’s political life was catapult by the current President Edgar Lungu who encouraged youths to apply for adoption in 2016.
Lungu’s aim was to blend the tired brains with youthful mind to increase the speed of the Government ship.
Her shot in politics came in 2016 when she applied on PF ticket to be adopted as Mayor of Kalulushi. Five applied: two women and three men but Ms Mulenga prevailed.
With vision of wooing credible and stable industry to Kalulushi, Ms Mulenga also wants to unite the district so that it entices meaningful investment thereby transforming Kalulushi and creating employment.
“I’m determined to leave Kalulushi better than I found it because am equal to the task and ready to face hurdles head on especially on land management. To achieve this, I have recognized the role ordinary citizens play in development.
“I feel residents have a sense of ownership of projects if they are involved and in turn they safeguarding the project. This means that we must include efforts from Government, Local Authority and the community at large,” she said.
Ms Mulenga who holds a degree in Business Administration from Management College of South Africa (Mancosa) started her primary school at Rhodes Park school in Lusaka.
She did her Grade 8 at Kabulonga Girls in Lusaka before migrating to the Copperbelt where she did her Grade 9-12 at Helen Kaunda Secondary school in Kitwe.
Politics being male dominated career, Ms Mulenga believes woman can thrive if they remain firm, strongminded and undistracted by their attractive face because the expedition is not for the weak or faint hearted.
Her aim now that she is in politics is to be a torch bearer for the women so that they are encouraged to join politics and still come out clean.
“Women must believe in their own abilities to be change makers, not emulate others who aren’t them. I’m pummeling myself to remain humble to my family especially my understanding husband ‘Bashi Mumbi’ who has been very supportive.
“It’s not easy for men to allow their wives to go into politics which many perceive to be a dirty game. This time I’m also Kalulushi PF Constituency Chairperson for women wing. This mean extra responsibility,” she said.
Ms Mulenga who also has a certificate in Graphics Designing from University of Zambia says her Christianity has made her to incorporate the church during in her agenda.
She believes the church is a partner in development especially in relation to spiritual growth and preservation of morality in communities.
“It’s not just about the pretty face, it’s about delivering to the people we represent so that we do not disappoint our leader Mr Lungu who believed in us the youths to run the affairs of the nation.
“President Lungu stance in recognizing the youths and women in vital positions is a precise move. The ball is our coat to show him that we are better players that deserve to be selected in the team,” she assured.
Interestingly, Ms Mulenga has no future political ambition apart from her passion of transform Kalulushi and making it a better municipality. She can only vie for the same position, again and again.