Thank You, Lakshmiben

Shared by Kirit Patel on March 7, 2020
It is hard to imagine anyone more talented in Kabwe than Lakshmiben. Whether it was through Brownies, Girl Guides, organising dance and music programs, or simply being a teacher, she touched and enriched our lives in ways not many adults did. Her creativity and energy knew no bounds. She was a teacher, a singer, a songwriter, a lyricist, a poet, a choreographer, a costume designer, an event planner and much more. Somehow she managed to do all this elegantly and effortlessly.

In the the conservative Gujarati society of Kabwe, she led the way for women to to go out and work, learn to drive and opened their doors to participate in Bhajan Mandli - an activity that most enjoyed immensely and awaited eagerly. She regularly harnessed her talents and resourcefulness to bring the entire community together. Some very vivid memories are the annual Diwali programs, Independence Day celebrations, and visiting other towns with dances and dramas.

Thank you Lakshmiben, for caring and sharing your talents so generously with us, and for enriching our lives. You brought the much needed stimulation and excitement to our otherwise simple lives in Kabwe. We are forever grateful for those wonderful memories we made together. Rest in Peace, Lakshmiben.


Tribute/ Story from late Ashok Naik

Shared by Bhaskar Pant on March 3, 2020
From late Ashok Naik after the Kabwe Reunion in Tampa in 2011:
“ You all know one of our Kabwe’s most prominent couple…..the late Vithalkaka and Lakshmeeben. There would hardly have been anyone in Kabwe who did not come in close contact with Lakshmeeben, was it as a Brownie  or Girl Guide, as a Gujarati Student or Mahila Mandal member  or involved in any cultural or religious events and functions Kabwe took on.  I fortunately was a  student of hers at the Gujarati School and took part in various plays and dramas directed and produced by her. I always remember my lead role in  the  Guju play called ‘Jootha naa Sardar’ which remained a talk of the town for months. The best memorable memory I have is going with the boys on Navu Varsh Day to her home and virtually demanding her specially made ‘Copraa  Paak’ I have never tasted such delicious copraa  paak again in my life. When they decided to retire and sell off the business, I became the very proud owner of their well-established business and held it successfully till we emigrated to the UK. Through Bhaskar and Hema she has seen all the  pictures and heard all about the Kabwe Reunion in Tampa, and as her heart is still with her own people the Kabweites , she has responded with a very emotional poem and as per her wishes I am sharing it in full as an attachment with this email along with Bhaskar’s good wishes..
Lakshmeeben, we remain grateful to you and on behalf of all those who attended the Reunion and indeed all the Kabweites around the world , we say a very big thank you for being in our lives and we will always remain desirous of your blessings and Ashish…..and we all wish you a long life.”

Laxmi Masi

Shared by Bhupendra Kuntawalas on March 3, 2020
Laxmimasi was very kind lady with a drive, passion  and dream to support upcoming children of the town. Very dedicated person to the community she lived in. 
She formed Girl Guides. She chose upcoming girls and set them to be leaders of our town. My two sisters Vasantiben and Bhagwatiben often say thanks and remember Masi for her kind support to them.  They participated in lot of community activities including Zambian  independence celebrations at independent stadium. As principal of Gujarati school she had us act, dance and perform plays. The news about activities by Kabwe Gujarati school spread through cities of Zambia. We were invited to perform in towns like Lusaka and Ndola.  She organized our transportation too and fro. Whilst there wewere looked after like her own children. Gujarati School discipline became part of our lives and we can’t say enough Thank you to Lacmimasi, Shantamasi, Manjulamasi Desai, Nirumasi Desai and Prabha Masi. 
Loss of Masi is loss of our mother of Kabwe.

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