Like many stories that go unwritten, Veronika Frela’s life story may not be a thick profile that fits ‘from humble beginnings’ ticket, but it has all marks of a fairy tale, as she tasked herself with the sole purpose of carving her life to an inspirational piece.
To eventually become a registered nurse, the 27-year-old Frela rode on a long, winding, and challenging terrain that required a generous dosage of patience and conviction.
Growing up at Epoko in the Omusati region and born to an unemployed mother, she rose from working as a bar lady, nanny, and security guard to a registered nurse.
She narrates her journey to success.
“I am the fifth born of my mother and a sister to six siblings.
At the age of eight, my mom’s health deteriorated, and she passed on in 2005 when I was 12 years old. Her passing on left me with a dream of becoming a nurse,” she fondly recalls.
“After my mom’s passing, I went to stay with my dad in a nearby village. I finished my grade 10 and qualified for secondary school. In secondary school, I had good grades throughout except in grade 12 final year exams. I only managed to get 21 points.
It was then I started thinking of what I should do next.”
Frela did not stop dreaming because she knew life wasn’t going to end at failing grade 12.
She recollects how it suddenly dawned on her that she needed to be serious at school to attain better marks so she could get where eagles fly.
She came to Windhoek to improve her grades with the Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) where it took her four years to obtain enough points to qualify for university.
“But you know life in the city you have to look for your bread because nobody will feed you every day. Before Windhoek, I had to work as a bar lady to make some money for my subjects at Namcol. After that, I had to be a nanny, the pay was as little as N$300 sometimes, or if more then it will be N$500 monthly. I didn’t give up because of that little salary. I kept saving little by little because I knew, I had to save so I go to university one day,” Frela said.
At some point during 2013, she got tired of being a nanny, and she quit her job because the money was so little. In 2015, she became a security guard while still improving with Namcol and managed to save N$3 500.
In January 2016, she applied for a nursing qualification at the International University of Management (IUM).
She got admitted and luckily, she was granted a government loan to pay for her studies.
She encountered challenges at university, saying she had her days of studying and sleeping on an empty stomach.
“I had days where I lost hope but I never stopped doing what was supposed to get me to the top. I had days that I felt lost, empty, and neglected but instead of feeling pity for myself, I kept going. It was four good years of training and by the grace of God we stuck to four years of training and obtained our Bachelor Honours Degree in Nursing on 25 September 2020,” she described her journey with joy.
She said her top secret was her strong belief in the power of prayer.
She believed ‘God is able’.
She packs a message for young people that focus on what they want would yield them results
by setting goals and work towards achieving them.
“When life throws lemons to you, don’t throw the lemons back, use them and make lemon juice out of them, but most importantly, don’t forget to look for help. Out of your cycle of 10 people please trust two with your problem, they may listen to you and hold your hand so you work together.
But remember this, people will walk with you on your journey, but they will not walk it for you. Be your own best friend. Never burn out in silence, people will only help you if you speak up. They say a problem shared is a problem half solved. So, talk, don’t die in silence.”
Frela currently works at the Katutura Intermediate Hospital as a registered nurse.
Looking at the future, she has patience in women’s healthcare and maternal care, but whatever life gives her in the line of health and wellness, she will grab it with both hands.