“Translating- a skill, a gift, a discipline and a way of life” — Praise Chibansa
Being bilingual is a blessing in disguise as narrated by Praise Chibansa who loves to use her knowledge of the languages Russian and English to translate every chance she gets.
In her 3rd year as a medical student pursuing a degree in pharmacy at the Peoples friendship university of Russia. Praise has been translating at church (Christ Embassy), organizations and for people around her.
We had a chance to chat with her and here is her story.
Translating is not something people would think of doing now even if we know it is so important, what made you start this journey, tell us about your experience?
I’ve been a literature-based student most of my life. Despite English being the official language in my country, I often had trouble coping with it. And when I came to Russia knowing that Russian language is one of the most difficult languages in the world, I decided to work hard so I could have a better understanding of it. I studied the language and graduated from the first language year with good results.
Although I had a basic understanding of Russian language, I had to take an extra step in learning. And I saw that there was need for extra help and I was willing to offer my hand and learn the necessary skills to bring out the best results. Which I did in a few ways.
Having learned to play volleyball in Russia, all team players communicated in the Russian language and I had to get a grasp of the language. In my first and second years I often helped my teacher translate to the students that studied in English or those that just started learning Russian. Most of the time the teacher would explain in Russian and English when giving very new instructions. My teachers English was good but with someone translating it always helped communicate effectively and work on time.
I’ve also translated at business meetings as well as for women committees. The one I work with now is ‘the unveiled woman’. This has helped me not just learn more skill but also broaden my area of work.
In my cell group thus church. I often translated when we had Russians in cell. After speaking at one celebration we had in Russian. Our pastor heard me speak in Russian and encouraged me to translate and practice more. From that time, I often translated in bible study. By the time the year was ending I had the privilege to translate even in church during Sunday service. So far, the longest translations I’ve done has been during a crossover service which was 6 hours of translating. I’ve translated not only in our church but also other churches too.
How about your personal life, when were you born, family, which part of Zambia are you from, favorite place in Zambia?
I was born on the 22 of March and am a first born in my family. My home town is Lusaka. Am not an expert in adventure yet but I do love my home and my community. Ksquare-1. I have a soft spot for it so I would say that is my favorite place in Zambia
How do you think you influence people around you, how you plan to continue with that? Which 3 Zambian people influence you the most?
I think I influence people in a way because Most of the work I do includes relating with people one way or another. I’ve been privileged to have conversations with people, to hear from people, serve people.
I like sharing what I know. Hopefully by teaching and training some people in this. I often talk to people about the importance of language and education and how it affects their lives. I try to use examples from my life and those around me to tell people an idea they can work with to build and work on their lives. With time I hope to create a platform where I can help people build their language skills, their lives and promote education beyond the classroom. My parents and Dr Nkandu luo are the people who have influenced me the most.
Can you tell us what you would like to change about Zambia?
Basically I would love to change a few things in our educational system.
What is a typical day for Praise? What thing you cannot do without? Apart from translating what else do you love doing and let’s say we went back 10 years ago what advice would you have given yourself?
A typical day for me I should have achieved — reading, having breakfast, listening to a song, exercising, studying and the one special thing am rarely able to guess. If there is one thing I can’t go a day without it is READING. I can’t go a week without TRANSLATING. I can’t just go a month without SMILING.
The advice I’d give to my younger self 10 years ago is to spend more time with my family.
Other than translating am interested in autobiographies. I love learning from people’s lives. I love writing and narrating real life events. I like sharing ideas. Am interested in community service
When am not a translator am a medical student, an usher in church, am an assistant to the dean in our church foundation school, am part of church staff, a secretary to our cell group, am a volleyball player, a writer, a dancer, a volunteer in community service, am a president for Zambian students in my university, am a member of the student committee for medical students. I am a singer, assistant coordinator of GYLF Moscow (Global Youth Leader Forum).
I read autobiographies, bible, business books, novels, relationship books, books about consultancy as a course, magazines, religious books, articles, etc.
What are your favorite publications/books, what have you read and lastly would you give the fellow youths?
My favorite books include; The secret by Rhonda Byrne, who do you think you are by Keith Leon, The Holy Bible, Translation studies by Susan Bassnett, That same spirit by Samson Ajikobi, The five love languages by Gary Chapman, The richest man in Babylon by George S Clason, My sister’s keeper by Jodi Picoult and Animal farm by George Orwell.
I would say whatever work you do be it a hobby or job or anything, don’t overlook it as what matters at the end of the day is who you become.
To my fellow youths out there my advice is to live a life that is purposeful and fulfilling. To make the biggest discovery which is that of self. To invest time working on themselves and studying their lives. Be grateful for everyone and everything they have, dream big and work harder on themselves and also on their work/job. To be hardworking dreamers and the best learners of life. My goal settling so far is in this circle.
PRAISE — Prayer Respect Ambitious Inspire Service Excellence……. Proverbs 3; 5–6
#SPIRITUAL GOALS — belief system, we all believe in something or someone.
#PHYSICAL GOALS- health and appearance
#INTELLECTUAL GOALS — Knowledge
#ECONOMICAL GOALS — financial wisdom and knowledge
#EDUCATIONAL GOALS — ambitions and skills and talents
#PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS — character and way of life
#GLOBAL GOALS — travel, vacation, educational
#PRAISE GOALS — everything that defines and describes me.
Edited: Dalitso Kasonde
AKZAM — A known Zambian
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