About Tudi Hamu
Tudi Hamu – which means “we’re together” – comes from a phrase in Chilunda, a Bantu language spoken in northwestern province of Zambia. This phrase is used not just in Zambia, but also in other Bantu languages, as a way to end a conversation or interaction in a way that doesn’t actually symbolize finality. Sometimes people will use it if they intend to pick up the conversation later or sometimes as a way to let a person know you are still with them even though you’ve left.
I’ve specifically chosen this phrase to embody the work I do as a professional because it signifies the importance of the relationships I’ve built with people all over the world. My philosophy is that we learn together, from each other and take those interactions with us wherever we go. This phrase guides much of the work I do, not just as an academic and professional, but also as a mother and aspiring social entrepreneur by valuing the importance of building and maintaining relationships and utilizing interactions and cultural understanding to create community-driven solutions. As such, tudi hamu, to me, means even from afar or after a project is finished, we – as humans – continue to shape each other long after we’ve physically separated and it is that interaction I value the most.
I recently completed my master’s of social science degree at the University of Colorado Denver, focusing specifically on the impact of backpacker tourism on community development in rural Malawi. Upon graduating in May 2018, I decided to embark on starting my own social venture (in the form of an eco-lodge), potentially set along the northern shores of Lake Malawi! My past work as a professional and scholar focused primarily on international development, with a large emphasis on nutrition, community health and water and sanitation (WASH), through my Peace Corps service in Zambia (07-09) and master’s course work completed at the University of Denver. Additionally, over the last decade I’ve had the opportunity to work for several non-profit organizations in the Denver metro area, creating a niche for myself within the volunteer management arena.
On a more personal note, I take pride in my identity as the mother of an amazingly talented young five-year-old son, Oliver who is constantly surprising me with his ingenuity and flexibility. Second to building relationships, balance is my other key life philosophy which really shines through in my commitment to staying true to who I am as a person, while juggling the responsibility of raising a globally conscious child. And thus far, I am thoroughly enjoying the journey!