Mary Daka ‘S father was supposed to be king of a rural village in Ndola but he ran away without any belongings because he didn’t want to go through the rituals. When the king dies they bury four to five people alive then lay the dead king on top of them. His younger brother became king and the family wanted him to run away too. If Mary’s father ever came back he would have been killed. Her father’s parents became born again Christians after he ran away.
Mary got married when she was 16 years old and completed school through grade twelve. She is now a 50 year old widow with two adult daughters and a 13 year old granddaughter living with her in a two room house. She had six pregnancies including twins (a boy and girl) who died suddenly at 3 years old. Her 35 year old son lives in Kitwe with his wife. Her 35 year old daughter owns a restaurant in City Market. A 33 year old son is a married missionary in Angola. Her youngest daughter is 25 years old and working on a four year teaching degree.
In 2000 when she was traveling by bus at night, the bus was hit by a truck and rolled over. Some people died; her leg was crushed and had to be amputated. She attends the Assembly of God Church twice a week where she has had mission and marriage counseling training. She has a Bible and reads to her granddaughter every day. Her pastor uses her as an example. “Look at her. She has lost her leg, but you have your body parts and are not working.” Mary says “I have educated my four children. Look at me. I have come up. You can stop begging.”
She learned about RecycloCraftz from Catherine Mwape who then introduced it to Elizabeth Chanda. Before RecycloCraftz Mary worked as secretary for a travel agent. Before her husband died she built a very big four bedroom house without his knowledge of it. She sold it after his 2001 death so she could send her children to school. To pay her rent she used to make jerseys but stopped getting orders when she had no capital to buy yarn. Her goal is to make jerseys again. She wants to make more quilts and is currently using her friend’s industrial sewing machine. She would like to teach other vulnerable women how to make crafts. RecycloCraftz has helped her buy things for her house, buy food, get crutches and learn new skills. She would like to buy a plot of land in Lusaka.