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to purchase necessities such as soap, toilet paper, bread, butter and sugar.
Nowadays, Maureen Figov drives over the spine-cracking potholes every day to the Da Gama School for the Crippled and the Rotary International School for the Disadvantaged, which she and Dennis support with funds, food and school materials.
Even his fellow board members on the Ndola Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee seek Figov's advice on matters of historical precedence.
Men, women and children crippled by various tropical diseases that flourish in the region's humidity crawl into Figov's store, asking for crutches, financial advice and food.
Locals blame much of the town's decline on the Indian company that bought the mine in 1997.
However, the Figovs' prominence in Luanshya — a place that time and technology seem to have forgotten — is cemented by another fact of paramount importance to Zambia's devout Christians: Maureen and Dennis Figov are the last Jews left in Zambia's Copperbelt, a region that in the 1960s boasted some 300 Jewish families.
As the economy declined, Zambians who could not afford to flee or bribe officials suffered through food shortages and starvation.
Figov's wife Maureen, 64, recalls lining up at 2 a.m.
Jews who had emigrated from Latvia to Cape Town (becoming incorporated into the British Commonwealth) first migrated in the 1920s.
Most were pioneers who left South Africa to chase adventure and riches on the frontier.
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In operation continuously since Figov's father opened for business in 1936, the store contains beautifully maintained Singer sewing machines, ancient watches, and new and old furniture.