It takes a village! 4 Lessons from my journey

How I got to where I am is simple, I had help and I couldn't have done it on my own.

June 15, 2020
Personal Experiences

Some have been wondering how I got here, and the answer is simple, I had help and couldn’t have done it on my own. Here is what I mean when I say it takes a village.  

  • Having lost my parents, my extended family supported me through primary, high school and university.
  • After 1.5 years at university, the Zimbabwean economy collapsed and the uncle that had been supporting me at university lost his business and could not afford to help me anymore.
  • I kept on attending classes and sitting for exams without ever seeing my results...until it wasn’t possible anymore. It was either I paid up or I dropped out.
  • In an unlikely situation, I met someone that believed in me and offered to help me get through university.  
  • He helped me secure a scholarship through his parents and so I completed my BA in Zimbabwe and moved to Switzerland for my MA.  
  • We got married four years after we met and continue building our life together.
  • Job hunting after graduation was a nightmare, the university councillor told me that my chances were slim because when people saw that I was African, they would be less inclined to hire me. It was painful to hear but it was true, I experienced it.
  • I began networking and meeting people in the field of my interest. This improved my chances greatly.  
  • I volunteered for NGOs, offering my expertise and completely loved it. It also helped me strengthen my credentials.
  • I got a mentor, she was working in the area that I wanted to work in, and she shared her knowledge with me. After a year of mentorship, she became my sponsor, my dreams were never too big in her eyes.
  • I found a coach that taught me the value of negotiating my worth. She taught me to be less afraid of people saying “No” and to keep going towards my dreams.
  • With my husband, family, friends, mentor, coach and my network, I have surrounded myself with people that believe in the dreams of that small girl that my mother left behind. They are my support system.  

Here are a few take-aways from my journey:

  1. We all need a support system for our dreams/careers  
  1. It is important to believe in people despite their backgrounds. Children left behind grow up and their dreams are valid.
  1. Good still exists in a world where people are sometimes more concerned about how it benefits them to help others
  1. Coaching and mentorship is underrated. It will compress time and almost ensure growth and success.  

I will always continue to help others in the small ways that I can because I know that it takes a village! Another African proverb says “if you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together. May you always find opportunities to uplift others.  

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