Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cleo To Focus On Maternal Health

Cleo with Kim at Livingstone's Chrismar Hotel.
Former Big Brother Africa housemate Cleo Mulenga says she wants to focus on maternal health issues because she does not like hearing of women giving birth on the streets or dumping babies.

Meanwhile, 2011 BBA housemate Kimberly Musonda is contemplating leaving Livingstone.

In an interview during her brief visit to Livingstone recently, Cleo says she is considering relocating to the tourist capital due to its cleanliness and beauty.
Cleo adds that being a mother, she feels compelled to draw attention to the plight of women's health.

"My main focus is health, especially maternal heath, women, child care and HIV/AIDS, that is my main focus. But at the end of the day whatever angle that I feel that I can reach or that I can contribute to, I will do my part because I'm a mother so I understand what it is like so I would not want to see another mother giving birth in the streets or dumping the baby in the street," she says.

She says drawing from her own experience, she empathises with mothers who face physical and financial challenges when it comes to giving birth.

"I had a very good birth ….there was hardly any pain though there was pain…so it hurts me to hear of other people's stories of giving birth in the streets or in the car or just outside the hospital, things like that or even hearing women dumping children so I want to focus so much on that. It is not that people don't have things to do but it's just that they don't have the available resources. Livingstone has inspired me," she says.

Cleo says she is overwhelmed by the reception Livingstone residents gave her on her arrival in the town on Friday September 6, the day Zambia lost to Ghana in a decisive World Cup qualifier.

"It was awesome. I was received by Airtel and Zamtel and Eastpoint at the airport and I appreciate everybody who received me the whole city was buzzing. Unfortunately, the Chipolopolo boys lost but we have to keep our sprits alive," she says.

She says she appreciates the attention given to her when she visited the Fall Park Mall. She later took a bungee jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge.

"I went bungee jumping as the rest of my team did the swing because they were chickens! After that we went to the falls though there was not enough water because it is not the right season. I do want to be back. It is very beautiful. I have seen a lot of scenery that I want to work with, it's a lot that I'm actually considering moving here but I obviously need to think about it," she says.

"I know I will go to a lot of places where I will say 'oh I really want to be here,' but Livingstone is one of those that has captured my heart, beautiful people beautiful, beautiful place makes me fall in love with our country each and every day," Cleo says.

She says Livingstone is very well maintained and has inspired her greatly.

"It seems to be a whole different section of our country, it's like I have never been to a town like Livingstone. Maybe it's just because it's small but I believe if we can do it here, we can do it everywhere else," Cleo says.

And Kim, after meeting with Cleo at Chrismar Hotel, says she is willing to work with the latter on her charity.

Kim established 'Save a Soul', a charitable organisation that caters for the elderly and vulnerable in Livingstone.

She says she is willing to work with anybody who is ready to help the aged and children.

"It is not about me, it's about a greater feature, I would save a soul with anybody, even with the Vice-President and the President himself. If (Cleo) is on board we have to get together. We will sit and talk logistically," she says.

Told that Cleo is planning to relocate to Livingstone, Kim laughed and says she too is contemplating relocating.

"It's actually good that she is anticipating relocating here because I'm anticipating relocating somewhere. But as long as I'm here we will work together and with anybody willing to work with me. She especially that she has gone through the same experience that I have gone through so it's even easier for us," says Kim.

Meanwhile, Cherise Makubale who won the inaugural Big Brother Africa in 2003 was yesterday scheduled to donate pillows to the children's ward at Livingstone General Hospital.

By Edwin Mbulo / The Post Online, Zambia

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