- Dream chaser
In the early 2000 Melody Banda was a broken soul.
Working for a Bulawayo Law Firm as a Legal Secretary, the mother of two silently prayed for a fresh start in a new environment. In her own words, her life situation in Zimbabwe’s south west city was bad and called for a drastic change.
Her wish would be granted in 2003 when she relocated to Botswana to start a new job.
Since then, Banda has found herself once again through the support of her husband Pastor Rabson Banda able to pursue her passion of writing and has recently published a book.
A singer, blogger, author, public speaker, mother and pastor, Banda is definitely on a roll.
In this candid interview with Voice reporter Kabelo Dipholo, the 47-year-old mother of two opens up about her up brining in Bulawayo and her dreams for the future.
Good afternoon. As a talented individual, you’re known to wear many hats. How would you introduce yourself to our readers?
Thank you. I’d say I’m a Pastor, publisher, author, a blogger, singer and a counsellor.
I do counselling together with my husband and we also mentor young women in different facets of life.
I’m also a public speaker, but most people know me as a professional singer.
Above all I’m a born again child of God and a mother of two, a boy and a girl.
You were born and raised in Bulawayo. Take us back to your days as a young girl growing up in Bulawayo.
I grew up and attended primary school in a neighbourhood known as Tshabala and I did my secondary school in a neighbourhood known as Sizinda.
I later enrolled for Secretarial Studies at Bulawayo Polytechnic.
I grew up in a polygamous home, which came with difficult complexities as we were many.
It was tough in terms of supplies, and I guess the one good thing for me was that I had a beautiful step mother who loved me like her own child.
You seem to be a jack of all trades. When did you discover your many talents?
At Primary school in Tshabalala, I used to have a teacher who loved my English compositions.
He would read them loudly to my classmates or pass my book around in class.
Unfortunately he never told me I was a good writer. Now looking back, I know that he had thought I had a gift in writing, but it was never pronounced.
Why is it necessary to pronounce it?
When you see someone with a gift tell them.
Who knows when I’d have started and how far I’d have gone? The same teacher taught me music every Thursday and would beat me when I didn’t sing well, but he never told me I was a good singer.
It’s important to tell a child and let them know they could have a career based on their talents.
Let’s normalise telling people about their gifts once we spot them, it could change their lives for the better.
Besides pastoring and mentoring young women, what else do you do?
I’m currently studying Writing and Publishing. My hands are full as I also do public speaking.
Speaking about publishing, you recently published a book titled ‘Watch Out for Laban’. Kindly take us through that book.
I’ve always wanted to publish.
I have about 10 books in my laptop I’m about to complete.
I could have published stuff on my blog or Facebook page, but last year I just had this urge to publish a book and my husband supported me.
I wanted to write a book based on some of the characters in the Bible that I felt hampered people’s progress and successes.
It is a book that teaches about different life situations and how to deal with them based on biblical teachings.
I don’t think there’s anyone in life who has not met a Laban. That’s how the book was birthed and I sent it to my publisher in South Africa.
How’s the book doing and why should people buy it?
Within two months I had already sold 200 copies, and this was something I could have never fathomed.
The book has arrived in Canada, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
It is available at Botswana Book Centre in Gaborone and in Francistown it is with me.
People should buy this book because it brings real freedom. There’s a lot to learn from it.
I want students to read it and learn these lessons early in life.
They can also visit my Facebook Pagepage, Unique Writings Publisher for more insights.
You relocated to Botswana, a 193 km away from home in 2003. Why did you leave Bulawayo?
Like I’ve already told you. I come from a very tough background.
After careful prayers I came to the realisation that the only way to break out from certain strongholds was to go somewhere else.
I worked for a Law Firm as a Legal Secretary when I saw an advert in the paper about a job in Botswana.
I was so broken at the time that even though I had the desire, and needed a fresh start and new environment, I didn’t apply.
That was until my friend persuaded me to apply. I got the job and relocated.
You’re also a Pastor?
Yes I am. Currently I fellowship at The Rock Christian Church.
I don’t do any pastoring there as the church has resident pastors.
How are you able to balance your life. You seem to have too much in your plate?
I’ve a lovely husband. He’s always with me and works with me.
He’s my rock, and I lean on him. He applies himself and helps when he knows I’ve to focus on other things.
Like when I’ve to be in class he ensures that whatever was supposed to be done is done. We share chores.
He’s my biggest support structure.
How does a Christian wife have fun?
My husband and I are like twins.
We’re inseparable. When we go for a walk, a romantic walk together, I have fun because I’m with him.
We also go out for dinner and I can also meet friends for coffee and stuff like that.
We also have time for movies. We also use music to unwind.
We sometimes step outside the house, he’ll strum his guitar and I’ll sing and we’re refreshed.
Thank God Its Friday. What do you have planned for this weekend?
I mostly spend my weekends with family. I’ve two teenagers who need a lot of attention.
Apart from church, or any other engagements, I spend time with my family.