MEET LYNDA WANGONGO / WHISTANCE
My name is Lynda Wangongo/Whistance. I first came to Kitwe in 1975 as an expatriate with my children and husband who was to work for ZCCM. It took me 6 months to settle in but from then onwards I loved Kitwe as a second home. I got involved through my Anglican Church, St. Michaels with Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation, where a shop was run to sell second hands clothes, also stocking and selling products at cost to the patients and Kitwe Central Hospital and weekly trips to Twapia with the Kitwe Nutrition Group selling chickens and eggs at the local clinic.
I was registered at the hospital for blood donating and as I have a rare group was asked to donate when there was an emergency. One day whilst I working at the Little Theatre an ambulance arrived and I gave a pint of blood for a very ill lady, one arm attached to the blood bottle and the other answering the phone. When the transfusion finished I was given the choice of either a bottle of milk or orange tango.
I joined Kitwe Little Theatre in 1978 and got involved with most of the productions, at first doing the prompt, the props for the mainly expatriate members at that time. For many years I worked as the Club Manager there. Years later, I was awarded honorary membership for my services.
I was asked to make costumes for the production of Ipi Tombi, which was a sell out show. Until I had to return to the UK (1987), I spent most of my time at the theatre and enjoyed all the shows I was involved in. When we put up ‘Cabaret 95’ I mimed to a Pavarotti number with a black wig and beard! The show was filmed by ZNBC and one of the crew in the editing department remarked to a colleague ‘that man has a great voice’, to be told’ he is a she and she is miming’!!
Family matters kept me in the UK but I came back in 1995 and with the late Geoff Pinch opened up Blue Gates Guest House, but after three years I was forced once more to return to the UK after the demise of Geoff.
I regularly spend months in Kitwe and fill myself up with the warmth of the weather and friends made over the years. I also get involved in the shows, especially at Christmas. Performances that I greatly enjoyed recently was when I was involved to get several members to sing the famous ‘We are the World” and danced MJ’s ‘Thriller’. October this year I am hoping to be heading back over the Sahara Desert for a wedding and indaba.