The Prize Beyond The Horizon

This particular story is an excerpt from a whole life story. It is not a rugs to riches story, neither is it a story of privileges to prosperity. This story is told because it is unique in its own way. The story is also told because any story, when told, has the potential to inspire at least one person out there who might come across the story just at the right moment for them to be spurred into their own pursuit of their own dreams and aspirations towards their destiny.

After starting my job at Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) in October 1993 soon after graduation, I saved half of my salary during the whole of 1994 so that by January 1995 I should have saved enough to fly from Malawi to USA where the process for securing a postgraduate admission at West Virginia University waiting for one last thing; my Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score. Sourcing GRE study material, preparing for the exam and writing the exam while all the way in Malawi was going to be cumbersome. So against all advice against the move, I left my job at RBM for West Virginia, USA.

My first ten months in West Virginia were both challenging and empowering. After using my savings to buy an air ticket from Malawi to USA and for my upkeep since arriving in the USA and paying the first installment of my fees, I still had to make ends meet. I needed to save for the remainder of my fees, buying study material, paying rent, buying food and sending something back home.

As students, we were only allowed to work 20 hours per week and it had to be only on campus. So what was a young man who a few months earlier was an IT Systems Analysts and Programmer at a Central Bank going to do in a strange land? A few months earlier I was sure living like a king but now I had to do what had to be done. I got a job in one of the student residence halls on campus (Arnold Hall). We proudly served the resident students, manning the conveyor belt to scrape the leftovers from their trays, putting their plates through a dishwasher (Damn! That station was hot) then arrange the [very hot] plates for storage, and sweeping and mopping the floor in the kitchen. And we had fun while doing it – always with eyes on the future. What happened after that is a whole storybook that is still being written.

The sky is not the limit, attitude is.

Tell your story as well for yours is also unique in its own way.

I Will Keep On (Adapted from Zahara’s Destiny)

Some people live their dreams.
Some their destiny passes them by.
Nothing ever stays the same.
Only God knows how long it will take for me to reach my destiny.
Some tell me my dreams and aspirations are outrageous and  unattainable.
I will submit my dreams and aspirations to God and the Universe.
I will keep on trying.
I won’t give up.
I know in each and every end of the tunnel there will be a little light in the end.
I have thought of taking the route everybody else has been taking.
But I know I have to learn from others, chart my own and find my own destiny.
Everything may seem rushing on me and everything may seem too slow.
But I will keep on keeping on.




About Hastings Fukula Nyekanyeka Betha

Born in Malawian and advocate of community mobilization, citizens' active participation in sustainable community development, and youth empowerment. Primarily focusing on "Organizing Against Poverty" by encouraging a new generation of players to participate in and influence the development of our communities
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