The Village Chief's Vital Role

A Conversation with Mercy Nkhoma

Praises PadamboAuthor: Praises Padambo

The Village Chief's Vital Role

Can You Introduce Yourself?

“My name is Mercy Nkhoma, the village head for Kasese village. I was born and raised here in Kasese in Dowa and I am 53 years old. I have served as a chief since 2006.”

How Did You Become a Chief?

“The village people chose me to succeed the previous chief, who resigned after his wife’s passing. It was such a great honor for me to be chosen by my community for such a position in a village of hundreds of people, and I have strived to serve them with dedication and integrity.”

Talking to Idah Mphonde, one of the villagers in Kasese village, we asked her opinion on why she thinks Mercy was chosen to be the village chief. In her response she says, “we chose her because of her character. She relates well with others and she hates corruption. For us, those are some of the characteristics of a good leader.”

What Are Some Of Your Roles As a Village Chief?

“As a chief, I wear many hats. I oversee overall activities that take place in my village. I also come up with rules that guide my community to ensure harmony and order, and I make sure that people are complying to the set rules.”

“Adding to that, I also serve as a judge whenever issues and misunderstandings arise in my community. I also help in executing and initiating development activities that come in my village. My goal is to create a prosperous and peaceful community.”

What Are Some of the Challenges That You Meet in Your Role as a Chief?

“The greatest challenge that I face is people not wanting to comply with the set laws. Sometimes individuals resist change and have differing opinions, but I strive to find solutions that benefit everyone.”

What is your involvement with Orant?

“As a chief, I take pride in leading my community in participating in Orant’s programs and other development initiatives. We have collaborated on various projects, including Healthcare, Education, Microloans, Water and Sanitation, and Agriculture. We even help with tasks like cleaning the hospital premises. We believe Orant’s work benefits our village, so we take an active role in supporting their efforts.”

Anything Else You Would Like to Share?

“I am proud to lead this community and work towards its development.”

“My community is very  grateful for Orant’s comprehensive programs, which impact our livelihood in various ways. Their support has improved our healthcare, education, and economic opportunities. We appreciate their commitment to our community’s growth and well-being. I encourage other villages to embrace similar partnerships for the betterment of their communities.”

By sharing her experiences and perspectives, Mercy Nkhoma highlights the vital role village chiefs play in community development and the importance of collaboration with organizations like Orant. Her dedication to her community is inspiring, and her story serves as a model for effective leadership and community engagement.

The Orant Journal