Memory Lane: Mpelembe School Bus To Auntie Becky’s

Mpelembe School Bus Route - kitweonline

One of my earliest memories of Kitwe is as a five year old on the morning journey to nursery school. After my morning routine of having a bath and eating breakfast I would walk to Twenty Fifth Avenue and eagerly wait with the gathering students for the School Bus to arrive and pick us up from Nkana East.

The school bus would come from Mpelembe and take all the students to Auntie Becky's Nursery School in Riverside, a journey that would become quite routine over time but there was a part of this journey that became a fond memory of mine. It was a part of the bus ride that every single student on that bus would look forward to the most each morning.

As the bus approached the station on the Central Street and Twenty Fifth Street junction, students would begin to form a queue with excitement. We always sat in the same seats with teachers sat at the front and back of the bus to make sure that we were all behaving ourselves during the trip. I always seem to recall my memory from the exact same place, just as the bus would slowly turn off Chiwala Avenue and begin to head down Jambo drive towards Parklands.

Jambo Drive was one of the bridges that crossed Kitwe stream, only this one had a steep decline before a hard bump in the middle of the road just as it began to ascend as the bridge stretched onto the other side of the stream. This is the moment we had all been waiting for, students would stare  at each other smiling and sit up in their seats as the speed of the bus went from a near halt as it turned the corner to accelerating down the steep road at what felt like full speed. A build up of anticipation as we shouted: "Aye…eeeee!" as the bus got faster and faster, and when it hit the bump every person was thrown into the air and at that moment we would all let out a joyous cheer of "Eya!!!!", slowly settling back into our seats as the bus climbed the hill making it's way towards Parklands.

It was an adrenaline rush that was full of fun and excitement and in a funny way bonded all of us together. I find it fascinating how a moment so simple and trivial can be so delightful and ever-lasting to stay with me for so long. It is a moment that reminds me of the freedom and happiness of my childhood and the friends and teachers I shared those happy memories with.

Richard, London

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