I saw myself in matric, ready to take my exam. I was ready to pass with flying colours, but I had never seen my future. I could not even imagine passing. Every time my teachers, family and people in my community were keen to know what I wanted to study my answer was different. They always added to the confusion. Having to think of my future was scary and blurry.
One day I had to decide. My sister brought home application forms from her university on my mother’s orders. There was no running away now. Reality was at my door and it was knocking hard. I had written my matric. I passed, but I didn’t have excellent marks. Now I have to move forward. At least my results were good enough to get me into college. For some reason this is the moment that helped me most in my life, I learned to stand up for myself and to be protective of my choices.
I was accepted to study Marketing at one of the colleges in my country. It was horrible. My nights were terrible. I would sit and cry myself to sleep. The hardest part about this suffering was that I could not blame anyone but myself. My mother hadn’t forced me to apply for any course. All she wanted was for me to start school at a tertiary level.
Sometimes we don’t have to live our lives so that we impress other people. First we have to be satisfied with our decisions. On this journey, I was not only unfair to myself; I was unfair to the person who had spent her life making sure I had a bright future. My mother was the only parent I had ever had. In my family she was the only breadwinner, she worked hard to earn money and took my sister and I to school. My father had died a long time ago, so my dear mom was both a father and a mother to us.
As I sat in yet another Marketing class this all ran through my head. I had been studying Marketing for two weeks and all I could think was, “What am I doing?” Only then did I realize that I was being a fool. I realised that I was misusing my mother’s finances. I was given a chance to sit in this class, yet I didn’t even like it. I knew that there is somebody else who would love a chance to study this more than me. I then took the first step away from this mistake. This was the first step towards my future.
A month after studying I still hadn’t learned anything. I was miserable, furious and sad. When a lecturer stood in front of me lecturing, my thoughts drifted away. I could never bring life to the ideas that were being taught. I couldn’t paint a picture of the examples she used. All I did was write a story about my fellow students. I could pick up all the details and paint a picture for everyone who was not there. All month I wrote about the other students as if I was studying them.
After another month I stopped going to school. My journal was full of stories about regret because every day was a day regretted. But that’s when my passion developed. The first lecture I attended was three hours and I couldn’t focus from the very beginning. I started having conversations with myself. I was trying to find who I was. I was trying to find out what I could do. I was beginning to talk to myself. I seemed to understand myself better through pen and paper. I wrote and wrote and wrote. It was nice. My tears dried up now, I was getting somewhere with my life. However, I did not realize how big of a step I needed to take. I decided to take a gap year. I told my mother and sister my decision. God! They were very supportive, which touched me. I went back to my pen and paper and wrote. I could feel myself growing as a writer.
Three months down the line a family friend brought me application forms to matriculate. She had never understood why I wanted a gap year. The application sat on my desk for weeks. One day I was looking at it, as I often did, and realised that of all my mates I was the only one not in tertiary. I quickly changed my mind. I filled out the application form and went to hand it in at the university myself. Luckily they had people there to assist you with the application. Phew! It was a relief. I would have chosen just anything, but I now knew I wanted to become an event planner. I thought it was interesting; I convinced myself that this is what I wanted.
An assistant sat me down and asked me a few things about event planning, but I didn’t know anything. He asked me what I do most in my everyday life. I remembered my journal and told him about it. He made me realize that I have a passion. I have a talent. He told me that there is nothing in the world that is better than getting paid for something you love. He saw the passion that was burning inside of me. He encouraged me to study Journalism.
I took up the course and in August the same year, I was admitted to university to study Journalism and Media. I enjoyed myself. I loved it. I was blossoming and happy. My mother was proud of me. Every time when I went home for holidays, the whole family including my grandma and cousins would listen to me go on about everything that I learned.
This was the beginning of my life. I excelled at all of my assignments especially when I had to write stories. In my final year I had a course that prepared me for the industry. My lecturer gave me an assignment to write a fictional story. It was a challenge. My laptop was broken, which meant I couldn’t do this assignment in the comfort of my room. All my assignments had to be typed. Maybe I could just write and type later, but I was clueless. I did not know where to start.
Well you know the saying “time flies”, it really flew and when I was left with only a day before deadline I began to write. It was late in the afternoon as I sat in the computer lab at school. The ideas came running into my brains. I started writing. When I was done I read through my story. I had one word: horrible!
I did not want to share this story with anyone. It was a story of a boy who got lost in the river. I had no other choice but to submit it since the deadline was the following morning. Submission came and I handed it in just the way it was. Two weeks later I received feedback, I had scored an A+. Who would have thought? I could not believe it. I was the only one in a class of 18 students who scored such a high mark. My lecturer told me I was talented and it felt good.
The last semester of my last year was an internship semester, after this semester it was graduation time. I got my internship at LESOTHO NATIONAL BROADCASTING SERVICES. This place opened me to a new passion. I never saw myself in television before. The first day I was given a brief of what I had to do. I knew I was in the wrong place. I did not love television. I wanted to be in an internship writing articles for a magazine. I was here now and I had to adapt. I remembered the path that led me to realize my passion and now I was afraid that I would lose it. Later I realised there is no reason to be afraid. Working in television also grew my passion for writing because this time I was adding life to my stories.
Each and every part of my journey started off in a different manner, but I am proud to say all of the things that I experienced made this person that I am today.
Tell us what you think: What has your journey been to getting to where you are?