Our flourishing gardens are one of the first things that strike you when you arrive at Ntchisi Forest Lodge. From the vegetable gardens, where we grow fresh herbs such as rosemary, basil, mint or coriander, to the well-maintained grass lawn at the back of the lodge where you have a big variety of plants, trees and flowers. This is the beautiful office space of Kenneth Phiri (40), our dedicated gardener.
Kenneth was born in Chaseta village where he still lives with his wife Anna and their three children; Richard (11) and two girls, Loveness (8) and Merry (6). His love for gardening is inborn, he says. “I just know what is needed to grow plants and to grow them well.” After primary school he completed one year of secondary school in Chintembwe. He could not complete his education because of a lack of financial means and started farming. Maize, groundnuts, soybeans, irish potatoes. Partly to feed his family, but also for sale. He teaches his three children already to work on the land and to care for all the crops, and they like it.
Kenneth started working in the lodge in 2014, although his very first working experience in the lodge dates back to 2000 when he started out as a night guard for a short period of time. He likes his gardening job very much. “It’s very varied”, he says, “and it’s nice to be outside and to work in such a nice team.” He starts smiling when asked for a personal message to the guests: ‘they are most welcome in my garden! I’m happy to show them the plants, flowers and herbs.”