It is an expected trend that when one hears the word “breadwinner,” they often think of an adult who is already working and are above their twenties.
But how often has one heard of a breadwinner who is only aged 10?
Such is the life of John Phiri, a 10-year-old rapper from Ng’ombe township, who, at a very tender age, has had to overcome many hurdles just to cater for his family, thereby earning the appellation of breadwinner.
Born to a blind mother and growing up as the second born and only male child in a family of four, little John has always felt it is up to him to take care of his family.
My mother always tells me that I am the bread winner of the family and that I should always work hard until I become successful and able to take good care of my siblings.he explained.
Waiting for parents or older siblings to provide food for the family is what one may consider to be a conventional way of living for a young boy. But for John, that is simply laziness.
It is because of such an attitude towards life that little John discovered his talent of rapping and used it to make ends meet.
Sharing his story, the 10-year-old narrated that he started rapping for people who would in turn give him money whenever they were impressed with his skill.
He then started spending most of his time within the premises of the University of Zambia (UNZA) Great East Road Campus, making beats with his close friend Clive and drawing a sizable crowd of students who donate food and money, which he later uses to feed his family.
Little John explained that he uses the profit he makes from rapping to invest in other small businesses such as selling fried groundnuts and cassava that his mother helps him prepare.
He said his main goal is to raise enough money to go to school so that he would be able to take care of his family, and hopes a well-wisher may step in to help him achieve this.
To keep himself grounded, the young rapper stated that he has a mantra comprising his mother’s words of encouragement to him that he reiterates to himself to stop him from doing anything wrong.
My son, you shall be blessed in your going and in your coming. Always be faithful in your dealings and do not wrong anyone so that you are sent to prison as I will not have anyone to take care of me.John, quoting his mother’s words, said.
He explained that the words of encouragement always strengthen him because his mother sees him as a blessing and someone who would look after his siblings in the future.
John’s sister, Bupe, the oldest in the family, came on board agreeing that the 10-year-old is indeed the family’s breadwinner because he always makes sure there is food on the table.
“John is the superhero of this family. He saved up money for me and I started a vegetable business at home,”she said.
Looking at the young boy’s attempts to succeed in a world like this one is what one may call determination, focus and bravery.
John, as a little boy like no other, is an epitome of what it means to be a phenomenal and inspiring young man.