Around the world we’re dealing with COVID-19. That has an impact on all our daily lives, workplaces and communities. And also brings uncertainty around projects and programmes in the weeks and months to come. Like us, organisations are facing big challenges and this asks for revised plans and expectations including necessary health measures and social distancing. However, we’re also mobilising everyone involved within Hockey Dreams and keep the positive spirit alive. We asked 3 of our coaches to write about what’s on their mind. Here is the story of (Miss) Mundayi Makayi.

Also read the stories of Ugandan Coach William or Malawian Coach Benjamin.

My name is Mundayi Makayi and I am a Hockey Dreams Coach. I am a 44 years old Zambian citizen and I have two daughters. I have a level one certificate in Coaching and Umpiring, I have a certificate in Psychological Counselling and I am qualified to conduct the Rapid Test for HIV and aids. Besides that, I am working on my twelfth grade which I have had to repeat because I did not do well in sciences and mathematics.   

I would like tell you about the virus and how it is impacting our country Zambia. Secondly, I would like to you to hear about my once-so-normal daily life which is affected a great deal. In addition I would like to tell you about my current life during the corona outbreak.  

Coronavirus – a deadly disease, and the measures taken by our government 

The coronavirus has brought fear in our lives; all programmes and businesses are on hold and the freedom of movement is contained. We cannot access education, banks and shopping malls in fear of contracting the virus.

The president of Zambia and the Ministry of Health have implemented prevention- and control measures to prevent people from contracting the virus: facemasks are mandatory, washing hands with soap regularly is a must, no movement from region to region, and gatherings, such as weddings, graduations and funerals are prohibited. People are kept from going to school or visit the sick in hospitals.  

“We cannot access education, banks and shopping malls in fear of contracting the virus.”

As to date, the country recorded ten deaths and those founded positive of the virus are recovering, although I do not know how. To those who are recovering is being said that there is no cure so I keep asking myself, ‘’How are they recovering when there is no cure?’’ Perhaps we do not have coronavirus in Zambia; maybe it could be normal malaria and fever? 

At the village where I come from they are not aware of the virus and yet no health worker has visited to sensitise and inform; the information on the virus is only being handed out in the urban area. I feel pity for everything living in the rural area.

My daily life up until the crisis began

A normal week for me is a week where you are free to do what your heart pleases, without restrictions. I wake up around 4:30 a.m. to speak to the heavenly Father through prayer and to unite my family and my country in prayer. I start my house chores and my family and I are having breakfast. For breakfast we eat different food depending on what is available at hand. For example, groundnuts, porridge, pumpkin porridge, maize with sawa milk, ilya, chibwantu and tea with bread. 

“A normal week for me is a week where you are free to do what your heart pleases, without restrictions.”

For lunch we have nshima with different relish, pumpkin leaves, sweet potato leaves, kapenta, caterpillars, fish and chicken. And For diner we normally only drink ilya, chibwantu or a cup of tea. We do not consider this normal but we have to because of the shortage of food. If we would have the option to we would eat nshima at diners which is our staple food. We are acquiring our food from the the market within my community where most farmers bring their field products in bulk.

In the morning I practise my road running and on Thursdays and Fridays I exercise with four hockey kids who live near my place. We do this by the roadside in the layby and sometimes we also practice in our own premises. When I return home I do my house chores with the help of my daughters. After finishing our chores I am taking a bath and start making face masks using my machine. With the masks I am heading to the compound, clinic and bus stops to sell them. When I have traded my masks I am off to the market where I buy food for my family. 

My daily life during the crisis. The times we are in living in now 

I will tell you about how the virus has impacted my life. You can clearly tell the the differences to how my life once was. 

A lot has changed in my day-to-day life: nowadays we have restrictions of movement, for example, the schools are closed, practice are suspended and we are not allowed to visit church. Because of these changes I have used most of my time learning how to sew using a sewing machine. I agreed with its owner that she teaches me how to sew using the machine and in exchange I will teach her how to use the knitting machine. 

I have also learned to brew Thobwa – a sweet sort of beer – which I would like to go into further business with. I have already made plans to start a small restaurant in October. 

We are still permitted to sell face masks, and we still do, but most people are making masks themselves. For us – the ones who are still selling – there is no profit. When we were in business we used to sell masks for 5 to 10 Zambian kwacha depending on its location but in my community the masks are now sold for 1 Zambian kwacha. I do not understand this development because the selling price is too cheap and the materials are too expensive. It is like we are handing them out for free now. The government is providing its partners and agencies (the National Service, the army, the police, the air force, marketers and refugee camps) with materials to make face masks to donate to the people. These people cannot afford to buy one or make one on their own. I think this is wonderful. 

Fortunately we are still welcome to visit the market to buy food at any times, provided that you wear a mask, wash your hands, sanitise and avoid having physical contact. To my own observation people are following the rules, the only challenge I stumble upon is the social distancing at the market. It is not exercised and we need to work on that. In churches schools, shopping mails and at weddings the social distancing is being exercised better. People who are likely to have contracted the virus are prohibited from moving freely at the markets which is a good thing. 

Hockey, the kids and Hockey Dreams Foundation 

I am happy to say that I still practice hockey with the four kids and even another three have joined our group. Two are hockey players, of which one from Martha Nankala’s project, and the third one is a footballer, making us now seven: five girls and two boys. We were used to training on Thursdays and Fridays but now we train on Fridays and Saturdays around 20:00 p.m., right after supper.  

‘’I am happy to say that I still practice hockey with the four kids and even another three have joined our group.’’

Bigger gatherings are still not allowed to take place due to the virus, but as coaches – not only hockey coaching, other sport coaches too – we encourage our players to exercise and train (with two or three) in their own free time. If we do not encourage ourselves to keep practising we may be falling behind over time. Sometimes when we make our round in the community to check onto our kids we find one or two playing hockey using a ball made of plastic bags. For the most part they use normal sticks for playing but some even use cooking sticks. The kids keep repeating the same question: ‘’When are we going to open, when can we start playing hockey again?’’ 

One of the Hockey Dream-kids Miss Makayi is meeting during her rounds is named Jeremiah Mwansa, who has surely found a most creative way to continue his practising.  

‘’I miss hockey. Whenever mum sends me to the market, I am always carrying my hockey stick with me, even though it is not a complete one’’.