Former Zambian National Farmers Union President Evelyn Nguleka (47) has been described as an extremely hard worker and a woman of valour, as she was laid to rest at Lusaka’s Memorial Park. Nguleka, who also served as president of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO), was described by vice president Inonge Wina as a trendsetter. Wina led tributes to Nguleka.
“The nation, family and friends have lost a woman who worked so hard to achieve recognition at both national and global levels,” the vice president said in a speech read on her behalf by minister in her office, Sylvia Chalikosa.
Government ministers, parliamentarians, diplomats, captains of industries, farmers, school alumni and ordinary people were among the hundreds of mourners who attended her burial.
In his tribute, Nguleka’s husband, Micky Ndlovu, called her his “Proverbs 31 wife and best friend”. One of Nguleka’s former teachers, Judith Mulenga, described her “as a small pack of energy just oozing vibrancy”.
“I can still see her in class with her hand eagerly raised to respond to something.”
In his tribute, Nguleka’s husband, Micky Ndlovu, called her his ‘Proverbs 31 wife and best friend’
Farmer Chris Muzundu also described her as a hard worker with a passion for agriculture. He was joined by scores of other farmers who eulogised Nguleka for her role in using agriculture to help eradicate poverty, especially among women. “She inspired us as women. It is a great loss to us,” said Sylvia Sievu of Nguleka’s influence on women farmers.
Nguleka died on Saturday at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) after suffering from kidney failure. She is survived by a husband Micky and two children. She was born in Ndola and attended Fatima Girls Convent School from 1985 to 1989, then went on to the University of Zambia (UNZA) where she graduated as veterinarian in 1998.
Nguleka was the 108 year old ZNFU’s first female president. Before that she was also the first female president of the Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ).
As ZNFU president she had the vision of Zambia as a true African bread basket. This outlook vision was underpinned by striving for responsive agro policies, mechanisation and value addition. Nguleka also set up and managed her own poultry consulting service. In September she resigned from the ZNFU and WFO amid allegations of the embezzling of donor funds. The allegations have however yet to be tried in court.