Excelling in Education And Music!

Malawian Girl Excelling in Education and Music. Estiner Katengeza is a Malawian girl who has get successs in her education and music both. Read article about success of Estiner Katengeza at mywage.org

By Sam Banda Jnr


Malawi is one of many countries which continue to battle to educate girl children and offer 50-50 representation in top positions.

But there are some young girls who have done well and are on their way to the top. They have worked hard and offer hope to other young girls that they, too, can succeed.

One of them is Estiner Katengeza, who is excelling in both education and music.

Despite being new to the music industry, Katengeza has already shown her magic characterised by her sweet voice in her yet to be launched debut album, Zili Bwino (It’s Fine).

She has won the hearts of many. Most of her songs have based on her observations of nature and dwell on God’s creation in the book of Genesis.

“I composed the song Zili Bwino (It’s Fine) after a visit to a relative. I had thoughts about my family and then thought of the creation and the things God has done. Sometimes our hearts get broken by the situations we fall into, but it ends up being a blessing,” she says.

Katengeza, who is a graduate, goes on to thank the Lord in the song for giving her a family and friends.

Born on 22nd September 1985 in Blantyre, the artist’s father hails from Maliwa village, Traditional Authority Chiwere in Dowa in the central region, whereas her mother comes from Mlowe, Traditional Authority Mwamlowe in Rumphi in the northern region.

She is the third born on her mother’s side and was ninth of 10 children on her father’s side, who married another wife.

It has been a life of challenges throughout for Katengeza, who saw her parents divorce due to misunderstandings.

“I don’t blame them because this is a situation God wanted us to go through. There have been times when I have admired my friends who are living with all their parents. Now I take time to stay with my father at some point, and also my mother,” she says.

Currently staying in the commercial city of Blantyre with her brother, the artist originally harboured ambitions of becoming a doctor, but this fell away after she failed to attain the required grades during her Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE).

“Despite not achieving my goal to pursue a career in medicine I made sure I did related science courses, hence pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Technology degree majoring in Environmental Physics,” she says.

Katengeza did her primary at several schools before finishing her standard eight at Chilomoni LEA from where she was selected to Zingwangwa secondary school.

In 2005 she was selected to the University of Malawi’s Polytechnic where she did a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Technology, majoring in Environmental Physics and graduating last year.

Not employed at the moment but preparing to do her Masters degree, Katengeza is a role model to young girls in the way she has used her talent and access to education.

Her musical journey started at a tender age in Sunday school. She has since sung in different choirs.

“At Polytechnic I sang in a CCAP choir, contributing voices in soprano and alto," says Katengeza.

She  does not come from a family of musicians but rather her family loves music.

“When I was young I used to imitate Dolly Parton. I would sing her songs and then developed a love for gospel music,” she says.

Katengeza loves music by such artists Amy Grant and Twyla Paris on the international scene, and on the local scene she enjoys several artists.

But does she see music as a serious career?

“Where there is an opportunity I will continue composing and recording albums. My music even continues at the church where I sing in a Praise Team. But music to me is also part of ministry.”

Katengeza says that people should not hide the talents God gave them.

“Never kill your talent because you never know, it might be your way to the top. Be faithful and use what you have and develop it,” she says.

Katengeza further goes on to encourage young girls to make proper decisions not to underrate themselves “for they can achieve anything in life.”

“Never say 'I can’t' because the moment you do that, you limit yourself. You just need to have a determined heart. Whatever God has given you, you have to work with it and He will add value.”

She says many young girls have ended up not excelling in their studies because of peer pressure.

“The first thing young girls have to do is to focus on education. You may be out of it, maybe because you were made pregnant, but you can rise up and go back to school.”

“When you have a talent, the most important thing is to build trust in your parents and relatives. In college, when it was time for studies I would concentrate and manage my time well. I am happy that I have received support from my parents."

To her fellow gospel artists, Katengeza says they have a duty to spread God’s word and to utilise their talents faithfully.

“We need to let God be ahead of everything. We are human beings and may make mistakes, but we need to realise that everything begins with God and we should tremble before Him,” she observes.

Is far as her music career and studies are concerned, she says it is all God’s work.

“Sometimes we fail to thank God but I have excelled in my studies because of Him. It’s my prayer that I see more girls work hard in their studies and assume all those top positions.”