AFTER successfully writing 289 pages for his PHD thesis, Remmy Mukonka danced the night of April 28 away with his wife, children and friends.

Dr Mukonka is an education expert with over 25 years’ experience in delivering education and programming around education including development work.

He began his higher education journey by obtaining a teaching Certificate from Charles Lwanga College of Education and thereafter, a diploma in education from Evelyn Hone College.

He moved on to attain a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education from the University of Zambia and later on a master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Lusaka.

Dr Mukonka now holds a PhD in education focusing on sexuality education from the University of Lusaka, realising his long-time dream.

One of his friends, who also happens to be Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo, graced his graduation party on KK Day and spoke highly of him.

“He is a man of the people, and the way your wife described you, that’s what we all know about you. Very humble and you interact with every human being, you feel free to interact with him. He is one of those that creates a good atmosphere for everybody, a real brother, a real friend, a partner you can depend on in any situation. So to be here celebrating this great day is something that is pleasing to me. I just want to thank you for the work that you do for humanity in your country because you have been participating in so many activities, whether it is church, whether it is family, whether it is business or social development, you have played a role. And you can see even how he relates with PF, he relates with UPND, he relates with everyone,” she said.

Masebo said he proved that a human being could achieve anything if they put their minds to it.

“For me as Minister of health, I know that this country is challenged in many sectors whereas we need a lot of professionals in different spheres of the economy to move this country forward so when you find such people making it and coming up with all these specialised levels of education, it will help Zambia. You have encouraged me by your perseverance and you have proved to me that when a human being sets his mind on something, he will achieve it. So I feel very encouraged by this. We hope that your education can impact on especially the young, and I see that you are dealing with issues of adolescents, this is a country that has a huge population of adolescents, we are told 70 to 75 per cent of the population are young people so when you target issues of young people, just know that you are helping more than 50 per cent of the Zambian population,” said Masebo.

And Dr Mukonka said he was privileged to be hearing words which many times were spoken once someone was dead.

“I am profoundly and exceedingly humbled for this opportunity to have people speak what you have spoken, and I think that is what catches my heart more. Most times when people say such things, there is a casket here but I am so privileged that I have heard these things and you have spoken life into me and this will motivate and inspire me. Sometimes we do what we do without knowing we are impacting other people’s lives,” said Dr Mukonka.

Currently, Dr Mukonka works with the United Nations (UNESCO Agency) in Zambia as a National programme Officer and functions as well as a Monitoring & Evaluation Officer for the Education for Health and Well-being programme.

Previously, he held a position of National HIV/AIDS and Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Coordinator at the Ministry of Education and provided advice on education and health programmes for learners and staff of the Ministry.

Dr Mukonka also founded and headed the Anti-AIDS Teachers Association of Zambia (AATAZ), a teacher non-governmental organisation supporting the HIV response in the education sector in Zambia.