You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.Steve Jobs
Like many millennial Zimbabweans, the road hasn’t been smooth. Born into an environment full of uncertainty and economic hardship, we are the generation that survived on “dog” biscuits, porridge and barley, maybe that explains our resilience (who eats dog biscuits and remains the same – pit bull generation smh). Looking beyond our limitations though, I am amazed at how many of us have managed to be strong and do amazing things in the world.
Warning I am not good at this writing thing but weirdly enough I have a book in my name, anyway enough mumble jumble, let me give you the context around this potentially motivating story. This is all about how one call, one that I could have easily missed, changed everything for me.
As a backdrop to this, it’s imperative to note, that I had completed my second year in college top of my class but I had to wait at least 3 months to get an interview, it’s so easy to see how discouraged I was at that point. Getting an Internship at a five-star hotel was certainly a big deal for me and I cherished it with my all but I knew my future was not in hospitality. There was nothing I could do at that point than embrace the cards the universe had dealt me 😆, as I am typing this I am reminded of a Shona proverb that goes like so:
Shumba ikayasha nyama inofura soraTateguru
Maybe an English equivalent would be
If a lion fails to find meat, it will graze.Ancestors
Si un lion ne trouve pas de viande, il paîtra.Ancêtre
On an ordinary day in a hotel carrying bags and soliciting tips, I received a call from an unknown number, on the other end of the line was a man who introduced himself as an HR officer and his message was:
Hello Tinashe, I am formally inviting you for an interview in Harare tomorrow at 10 AM.Respected HR Officer
Mind you I was close to 900 Kilometres away and there was absolutely no way I could get to Harare in the given time frame, with pain in my fragile heart, I declined citing my ever complicated situation. In response, he offered to change the time from 10 AM to 2 PM, but this still, it wasn’t going to work, I had to be a porter the next day and honestly
“pa fair chaipo” I didn’t have money to travel. After some back and forth, Mr HR then suggested the possibility of a phone interview. I was so elated because at that point I knew that I have been given an opportunity and I was going to grab it with my all.
OK, the hard part was done, now the challenge was how to discretely do this interview without anyone noticing, I couldn’t have it in the office because my direct supervisor would smell a rat, the server room seemed like a good option, but :ah: there is CCTV everywhere there. Lucky enough for me I had a brilliant colleague, let’s call him Japhet, the dude came up with a brilliant idea. In his words
Jahman, so this what we are going to do, you will sneak out during the morning checkout roti, I will cover for you. Go to the top most floor, there no one will find you.Japhet my good friend
I did exactly that and the rest was history, I got my internship at Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, where I met really amazing people to whom I owe so much gratitude. I have been to more than 15 countries on 5 continents post this call, certainly, I can’t be more grateful.
Thank you to everyone who has been part of my journey. The lessons I learned from this were
- Companies – Take your time to listen to your interviewees and give them a chance even when it seems like they are inept.
- Colleagues – Be friends with workmates, you never know who will save your day.
- You – Believe In yourself, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.