Winner of K2.4 billion lotto says 10% to God, narrates her poor past

Winner of K2.4 billion lotto says 10% to God, narrates her poor past

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Elizabeth and parents receiving cheque while Sata’s daughter (fat) looks on

ELIZABETH Mubanga, 20, the lucky winner of the staggering K2.4 million Zambian Lotto, says she will give 10 percent [K240,000] of her riches to God.
“First of all, I will give 10 percent of it as tithe to the Lord,” she said. “I’m also going to go back to God’s Care community school and do something there.”
Like so many with a story of struggle, Elizabeth had wished her family’s troubles would just go away.
Her father, Mwape Mubanga, hustled to support his family on the streets of Katondo Edinburgh in Kitwe.
Life just seemed to take one bad turn after another for the Mubangas. Nothing changed and if anything dramatic happened, it was often negative. For a long while, the family seemed doomed to perpetual misery.
Elizabeth’s mother, Joyce Mubanga, tried to supplement her husband’s efforts in making ends meet for their nine children, but her “kantemba” business could never quite take off.
And so for years, the Mubangas continued to wish that something, anything, could happen in their favour and put an end to their struggles.
That something came when Elizabeth bought a Zambian Lotto ticket a week ago and scratched her way to becoming the richest winner in Zambian Lotto history.
Her winnings totalled a staggering K2, 473,000. The Mubangas had prayed relentlessly for rain and suddenly meteorically, it poured!
“I still can’t believe it!” Elizabeth said while shaking her head during an interview.
You may call it a visit from lady luck, but the Mubangas feel it is much more. For this family, God has finally answered their prayers by turning their fortunes around.
While Elizabeth scratched the ticket with the winning combination, she is not the only member of the Mubanga family that had tried to win some money this way. Her father had been scratching lottery tickets for at least three years prior to Elizabeth’s win.
Elizabeth now credits her father for introducing the whole family to the lotto. “He would buy lotto tickets and hand them to different members of the family for everyone to try and make some money,” she shared.
Seeing her father stand from dusk till dawn on the street of Katondo Edinburgh is an image that still manages to evoke tears in Elizabeth’s eyes. That image was enough for her to whisper prayers to God to come to her family’s rescue in any way whatsoever.
As the sixth-born from a family of nine children, Elizabeth began her education at God’s Care Community School in Kitwe’s Bulangililo Township.
Elizabeth’s parents could not afford to buy her a school uniform or stationery at the time she was to enrol in grade one at a government school in the year 2000.
She was therefore taken to God’s Care Community School, where school fees were only K10.
“Out of pity for my family’s situation, the headmaster at God’s Care Community School even enrolled me for free,” Elizabeth explained.
Elizabeth was at God’s Care Community School for the first six years of primary school before moving to Bulangilio Basic School in 2006, from where she wrote her grade seven exams.
In 2011, she completed her secondary education at Mindolo High School. By this time, her family was still hard on its luck.
Elizabeth’s older brother, Steve, a trader at Kitwe’s Chisokone market, had bought lottery tickets on a number of occasions but never won anything significant.
Another of her brothers, Philip, is a civil engineer and graduate of the Copperbelt University in Kitwe.
Before winning the lotto, Philip was the Mubanga family’s sole example of success in spite of struggle. Elizabeth says, however, the fact that he made it through university with all of the family’s previous financial hardships is a miracle on its own.
“I don’t even know how he made it through university,” Elizabeth said in retrospect. “It was the grace of God because it was hard just organising food for his upkeep.”
Following his graduation, Philip managed to find a job and helped get Elizabeth into university this year. She is presently a first-year Public Relations student at Copperstone University in Kitwe.
A particular event Elizabeth recollects, and which she says she could never forget due to its upsetting nature, is one that occurred in 1999.
At the time, Elizabeth was around six or seven years old.  She started a fire by accident and then it raged and raged till some neighbours and the fire brigade came to the rescue.
Living in a two-room rented house without electricity, Elizabeth had carried a candle with her into the bedroom while most of her family was out, including her parents.
Her younger sister, Ruth, accompanied her into the bedroom. It was a simple mission handed to the two young girls. All they were supposed to do was pick up a kettle from the bedroom.
While in there, the girls got attracted to a freely hanging cord. In the process of getting close, Elizabeth lit the cord using the flame of the candle she was carrying.
The incident still invokes emotions in Elizabeth, who broke down while narrating her ordeal.
“I can’t even remember how we were rescued because we both fainted and had to be carried out of the house,” she said in between sobs.
Her family lost everything and had to begin from scratch. Two of her older sisters who were away in Mufulira at the time their house was engulfed in flames lost all of their clothes in the inferno.
The only item to survive the inferno was a wardrobe which was grabbed by the landlord of the house as a way of recovering what had been lost from the fire.
Elizabeth has carried the weight of this experience with her since it happened. She was too young to be blamed for it but she has suffered some guilt because of it.
Almost all is forgotten now that the Mubanga family has turned a new page, thanks to Elizabeth’s win.
When the winning numbers were first announced on national television, Elizabeth and her family had no idea about it because their home had no electricity after a Zesco power cut.
All they knew was that the winner was in Kitwe. They did not even know how much was won.
It was her father who first made the discovery about her win after comparing her numbers to those that were given to him by a friend.
He initially kept the news to himself but the following day, Elizabeth left for the Zambian Lotto office in Kitwe’s city centre in the company of her parents and sister, Aggie.
She was told about her win then and almost collapsed from sheer disbelief. It was clear that God had finally answered the Mubanga family’s prayers through Elizabeth’s win.
“I was very happy. I thanked God because His word is true and whatever He has said upon our lives shall come to pass,” Elizabeth narrated.
She has some immediate plans for the money and then the rest she says would be up to God’s direction.
An additional plan is to help her family complete the construction of a family house in Bulangililo Township which her father has been trying to extend into a three- bedroom house. Presently, it is a three-room house.
It has taken great strength for the Mubanga family to persevere against all the odds that life has thrown at them. But overnight, theirs has become a story for the record books and for once, all of their struggles seem to have been worth it.

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