Windhoek-The youth must stop looking up at naysayers and not talk themselves out of what they want to achieve.
This advice comes from a fellow youth, 25-year-old Tjisukoo Kamberipa, now making a living in Abu Dhabi, one of the capital cities of the United Arab Emirates, as a licensed fitness instructor. Life is all about chance and opportunity. So much also for Tjisukoo, who was jostled out of her comfy slumber following the death of her father when she was 14 years old.
It seemed like a dark cloud had descended. But soon it dawned on her that she was on her own. And this was the turning point for this vivacious, vibrant and self-confessed free-spirited young woman.
Her free spiritedness is not imaginary as her outgoing personality very much reveals. There’s no breaking the ice with her before she can pour out her heart, taking you on what seemed like an adventurous journey into the unknown Arabic world. Indeed, it is due to her free-spirited nature that she had to drop out of school. School was not the place for the “wild” by nature lass as she describes herself.
“I was a little bit too fast as a young girl with a lot in me. Where I was did not fit the person I am, always hungry to spread my wings,” she reflects on her school days.
And indeed Tjisukoo has been and is spreading her wings. And no other place could allow her to do this better than where she has eventually landed, Abu Dhabi.
As much as it took the sad departure of her dad for her to find space and ventilation for her spiritedness, the feelings are mixed. Loosening herself from her comfortable zone was at the same time a blessing in disguise as she has now been able to fly. With her dad gone, and the realisation that there was no bringing her back, she now had to venture and test unchartered waters and territories rather than walloping in mourning. Her free nature simply could not allow this.
Her mindset fixed, if not fixated, on extricating herself from grief, and driven by the realisation that she was now on her own, Tjisukoo had been truly awakened.
“I realised that I had to give myself a rebirth. Renew my spirit as there was now nobody to look up to other than the man above, and myself. There was nobody out for me,” her mind engaged itself then.
Eavesdropping on the Katutura rumour mill about someone helping people leave the country to try their luck abroad, Tjisukoo was soon on a serious hunt for the Hano Youth Foundation’s Nockey Kaapehi, one of the organisation’s founders. Find him she did in 2013.
“I’ll give you an opportunity but the rest is up to you,” Kaapehi cautioned. But Tjisukoo was not the only one, considering the high unemployment rate among the local youth, clamouring for an opportunity, wherever, outside Namibia’s borders. More than a thousand fellows thronged the Safari Hotel for such an opportunity. The trades were many and varied. Bartenders, waitresses, you name them. But Tjisukoo would not take a risk opting for a trade that everybody would gun for. Instead she chose the less glamourous, and probably the one few would go for, being a lifeguard. This was as much as she could not swim, swimming being a qualifying requirement.
With the meagre funds her dad had bequeathed her, as well as her savings from being a cashier at Woermann Brock in Swakopmund, she went for swimming lessons and did the necessary errands to complete the process. A video showing her swimming was required. And can you imagine the kind of swimming video she sent? Soon she was bound for Abu Dhabi.
Lifeguarding, for a lass so far away from home in the unfriendly weather of Abu Dhabi, reputedly the hottest of the hottest, could not have been a Sunday picnic. But Tjisukoo did endure, against many odds, one being depression. She used the opportunity to branch away from lifeguarding, going in her free time for fitness lessons after only three months of her two-year lifeguarding contract. Today she is now in health and fitness coaching, having equipped herself with a qualification in such through the UK-based Active IQ. Ultimately even the sky cannot be the limit now for her.
Eventually she is to return to her beloved Namibia to help fellow youths. “Today gifts are wrapped in sand and paper. Through my pain I found light,” she says. Inspired by motivational speaker, Les Brown, her last message for her fellow youths, quoting him, is “shoot for the moon, don’t let go of your dreams.”
New Era Reporter
2017-12-20 09:58:49 | 2 years ago