Zindie Nyirenda – Team Heartland
Interviewed by Jennifer Douglass – Team Pacific Northwest – June 2013
Princess Zindaba Nyirenda known as Zindie by her friends, is originally from Zambia, Africa. She was educated in Africa and attended catholic convent boarding schools there; travelling 200 miles away from home to attain a formal high school education. She qualified and proceeded, being one of a few selected 100 girls and 900 boys from the whole country, to pursue undergraduate studies as freshmen entering the University of Zambia, the only university in her country at that time (1980).
When she first came to America in 1985, she was overwhelmed by the big gap and the disparity in educational standards between the African Society and the United States. Africa it seemed to her, was so far, far behind America, that it broke her heart. She lives in Palatine, Illinois; a northwest suburb of Chicago. She was amazed at how many universities, community colleges, high schools, etc the city of Chicago alone has in comparison to her entire homeland.
She remembers clearly, when twenty years ago, her daughter Charlotte’s 1st grade class in Elk Grove Village, Illinois were the first students to be introduced to desktop computers. All suburban schools that I know about have computers in their classrooms. To this day, in my African village, school children have never seen a computer; they lack the basics of even a simple colored crayon!
Princess Zindaba realized that the African Societies may never catch up to American standards. However, she still saw that she could create a new beginning and do something to make a difference. She established the non-profit organization Light On the Hill for Africa (www.loth4africa.org) to do so.
Zindie did the Landmark Forum in 2005. From that weekend led by Jerry Baden, she wrote her manuscript for “Ta Lakata…The Tears of Africa”. Her first book was soon published in 2009, after completing the Introduction Leadership Program led by Angie Mattingly and Cookie Breaudeaux.
She then returned to do her graduate studies at Roosevelt University, while doing the Self Expression Leadership Program led by Joe Pugiano. During that course, she developed the ” Sister- Schools Link Up Project”, which she designed further for her Master’s thesis. Her inquiry was how to eradicate illiteracy in Africa and end poverty through education. She created linking up schools in the United States with schools in Africa; utilizing the e-learning technology that can educate the world virtually – she thought was a thrilling possibility!
In June of 2012, she joined the Team, Management, and Leadership Program, and brought up the Sister Schools Link Up Project – “Operation Container Shipment” as her Game In The World. She wanted to attain skills, tools and techniques in creating teams and teamwork to support her non- profit organization connect schools between the continents and send computers and school supplies to Zambia, Africa.
The possibility of the game she created is Compassion, Excellence and Contribution. She wanted to attain the skills of masterful listening, recreating teams and embracing a deep love of people. She was enrolled in the possibility of creating the transformation of Africa and life itself where “all” people got a chance of “Life before Death”; living a life that they love and loving the life they lived.
The Intended Outcome was to improve the quality of life through education, where everyone is empowered through education to rise out of poverty with Freedom, Choice and Joy!
CONCLUSION: The Distinction-“Causing multiple Outcomes from a Single Conversation”
The outcome of the game has been met and beyond her wildest imagination: “To experience the distinction of Causing Multiple Outcomes from a Single Conversation has blown my mind away”, she says.
The University of Zambia is now linked to The William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, Illinois. The students in Africa participating in the program are widows, the forgotten majority of 99% of high school graduates who never had a chance before to enter and study at the University of Zambia and never attained business skills, but with Harper College partnerships, will do so NOW!
There is an Agreement of Joint-Instructional Systems for classroom curriculum planning and design. Distance learning online classrooms will run synchronously, asynchronously, and in real-time utilizing blackboard, Skype and web-conferencing joint discussions and chat sessions starting this fall 2013.
What is so cool is that as an icebreaker, students, “all” get acquainted and read an authentic African write’rs perspective from Zindie’s book, “Ta Lakata… The Tears Of Africa!”
Furthermore, desk-top computers, crates of textbooks and school supplies from 3 different school districts in Schaumburg and Arlington Heights, Illinois will be sent to the poorest and most neglected African Village Schools participating in the program ie: Chief Mphamba Basic Elementary School, Mapiri Primary School and Lundazi Township Primary School in Lundazi and Sishemo Educational Trust in Libala, Lusaka. Children helping children, beyond the continental divides, acting local, going global in attaining a global mindset, making a difference globally! Team rocks!
Zindie has been the cause for multiple outcomes, by her actions and not only has she transformed the country of Zambia but she has transformed her own life, as well! Africa is no longer defined by poverty, Africa is now defined by the possibility Zindie has created by the actions taken from participating in the TMLP; creating teams and teamwork in any situation and causing her word to create her world.