“I Love To See Things Grow”

“I love to see things grow” I remember going to a day training for farmers many years ago. At the beginning of the training, everyone was asked to introduce themselves. People talked about who they were and how they had been farming for an impressive number of years, how big their farms were, how many hectares of maize and or soya beans they were going to plant that year. I was inspired by these big-time farmers! But I was humbled by one introduction in particular. An elderly man, humble and soft-spoken stood up, said his name, and added… “and I love to see things grow”… then he sat down. That was his passion that was his drive, that was his motivation. And that’s what kept him going through the wild bush fires and through the drought. A few years ago I planted four or five mango seeds and a few avocados. It’s was a long, difficult, and demanding process, however, after all that, my germinated and begun to grow.

This process made me realise, that I too LOVE TO SEE THINGS GROW. But not only avocados and mangoes… I also have a passion to see people grow. I love to see young people grow and develop and reach their full potential. I love to see adults push themselves outside of their comfort zones and overcome the challenges of everyday life. So next time you see me climbing a mountain, or canoeing down a river, pushing and challenging people and you think to yourself, why on earth does he do that? My answer is simple…

“I love to see things grow”

What is it that you do? What drives you? What is your passion? Let me know in the comments below.


Mountains Of The Mind

I have climbed many mountains in my life. Some physical, some mental, some spiritual.

Some were easier to climb than others. And others were very challenging. With some, I made up the mountain on the first attempt, and others I had to keep on trying.

Some mountains were relatively safe to climb. And others, I almost died climbing. Some mountains were optional, other mountains I had no choice but to climb them as there was no way around them, you see mountains are inevitable on the journey of life.

Some successful climbs I have shared with you all, and other successes I have kept private. Some failures I have tried to keep to myself, and others have been made public. I have celebrated and been celebrated, but I have also been ashamed, embarrassed, and disappointed (and disappointed others)

In all things, I give thanks, for every mountain, every success, and every failure. I have come to learn that sometimes we face challenges not only for our own growth and development, but in order to to help us inspire, guide, and mentor others.

My prayer is that God will strengthen me and enable me to usher, guide, and protect others up their own mountains. Especially if they are similar or the same ones that I have climbed in the past and have come to learn the route.

You may be preparing to climb your own mountain today, you may be halfway up or you may have recently failed. Remember this:

1. Failure is not permanent,
2. Life is a journey, not a destination, and most importantly;
3. Remember “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Yours faithfully,

Mwaba Mutanekelwa Mwila

HIKING, HEALING AND MENTAL HEALTH: (a broken heart & broken bones)

This photo was taken of me exactly 20 years ago on 28/03/2001. A few days after my 12th Birthday. It was also my mum and dad’s wedding anniversary. up until this point, the month of March was one I looked forward to. I remember as a kid, beginning the countdown to my birthday immediately after new year celebrations. March is my birthday month, was a happy month for me… until March 2001. 

On the 23rd of March 2001, my mum passed away. We put her to rest on the 28th of March. In the photo (above) I was actually getting ready for her funeral service. This was a very painful experience for a 12-year-old boy as you can imagine. On the very next day, my young nephew and I were hit and run over by a mini-bus. After being rushed to the hospital I remember laying on a bed for hours waiting to be attended to because the doctor was in a meeting. I laid there just waiting, hoping that my mum would walk through the door and give me a warm big hug. The one person who would know what to do at that moment to comfort me, and make me feel better was no longer there. In the end, It was discovered that I had a broken right leg and deep cuts on my left leg foot that required stitches.  

Within the space of a week I had experienced the most painful experiences of my life, I had experienced both physical and emotional trauma in such a short space of time. In the following years I experienced, low self-esteem, being bullied, the death of a sibling, deteriorating mental health and so much more. My faith at the time was almost non-existent and so I received no healing there. From the tender age of 13, I began experimenting with alcohol and drugs, socially at first. but then I realized that these substances I used to intoxicate myself with provided more than I good time, they numbed the emotional and phycological pain I was feeling, well at least temporarily. And that’s all I needed, to numb myself from the realities of life. In trying to block out my pain rather than confronting it I created sets of deadly, & unhealthy patterns, habits, and life choices. By the time I7 I was heavily dependent on these substances and on the very dangerous downward spiral to self-destruction.

Over the years I have learned that life is a journey and not a destination and the road to recovery is a very long, painful, and sometimes lonely road. But it’s not an impossible one. I had, and still have many mountains in my mind, some that appear naturally, others that I create for myself. After many years of hiking and climbing “physical mountains”, I would like to share a few lessons that I have learned that helped me conquer some of the mountains in my mind. Everything written here is a personal account. These recommendations are based on what worked for me, (but may not work for everyone). Please note that I am not a professional. Seek professional help asap if you need to.

  1. Ask for help- Wherever you are on your journey, always remember that there are people who have been on that road, they may not know exactly how you feel or where you have been, but they might be able to help point you into the right direction. You don’t have to journey alone. Reach out and seek help.
  2. Different day same mountain- Sometimes you might keep finding yourself back at the same mountain over and over again. You may have tried and failed 1000 times. Try something else, ask yourself what is it that I’m missing, try a different route, and if you have tried all known routes up the mountain, you might have to create a new one and try something that has never been done before. No matter what never give up!
  3. Find a hiking buddy (or buddies)– “If you want to walk fast walk alone if you want to walk far, walk together”- African Proverb. Shared journeys are shortened journeys. Do not go through it alone. Confide in friends and family no matter how difficult it is sometimes you need a shoulder to lean on and the support of loved ones.
  4. Always pack the right equipment- Before going on an expedition I always make sure I equip myself with the right equipment. Sometimes this takes some research and financial investment. Research on what tools are available to you, and what you need to “equip” yourself with as you embark on your journey to recovery. 
  5. Never Never Never Give up- No matter how scary, how steep, how dark, how cold, how hot, how, hungry, how thirsty, how tired you get. Never, Never, Never Give Up! The harder the challenge the greater the reward & sense of achievement and prouder (is that a word?) you will be of yourself.  

And what about me? How does my story end? Did I heal? Have I recovered form all that I went through? To be honest I am not sure. I am just thankful to God that I may not be where I want to be, but I am not where I used to be. Everyday I have I have constant reminders of the emotional and physical scars. When I put on my socks in the morning I see the scars on my feet and remember the pain. I thank God that I remember, it but don’t feel it. Healing, like life is a process and a journey not a destination.

I wish you all the best on your journey.

Leopards Tale- AISL Duke of Edinburgh Silver Practice

In January 2020, Mwaba Mwila Adventures Assessed a Silver Duke of Edinburgh Exploration for the American International School of Lusaka (AISL). The Adventurous Journey, which took place close close to Lusaka was a real example of how beautiful our country is. The rugged terrain made for a challenging exploration for all the students who did extremely well! Read the full article here.

#Tourism Tuesdays| Interview with Outdoor Instructor Mwaba Mwila

Back in August 2013 I was interviewed by the online blog C1rca 1964. This must have been my first ever feature! Reading this post in 2021 has been a nostalgic & refreshing testament of how far I have come in my career. Thank you Mazuba and the team! I will forever be grateful. You can read the article here.