In the Beginning
When I was 19 I packed my entire life into one small suitcase and moved across the country for my first job. It was nothing glamourous, a hotel receptionist earning MWK 35,000 a month, living in a 6 thousand Kwacha house.
There I was, all alone in Sengabay. Far away from everything and everyone I knew. While my peers were in university, I was already out in the world trying to provide for myself. In an environment where I was constantly fending off advances from bosses and guests alike – fear and tears were a constant occurrence.
But it wasn’t all bad, I gained some work experience and I had finally extracted myself from a home where I was treated like a burden and I had gotten my first taste of exhilarating – intoxicating independence. There was no going back, I would not have it any other way.
Why I quit
Fast forward to 2023 – a few jobs later and one spell of unemployment – I was outside of my office in the bitter cold sobbing and desperately trying to reach my friends for help. Because after months of bullying and relentless targeting from my superiors I had completely come undone.
I now realize that my troubles started from my refusal to be exploited. At every turn, I called out racial discrimination and bias, wage theft and politely refused an additional role for a criminally low pay raise. A couple of gentlemen decide that it would not do and started a campaign of terror to break me. And I must say, they succeeded. I became a nervous, panicked and depressed shell of myself. This dear reader, is when I learnt that there is a cost to being a disrupter and a dissenter.
I tried to find a new job but there was none and this had become a situation in which I was contemplating ending my life to get out of. I know people who in situations like this have quit and moved back home. But I had neither a home nor anyone to go back to, I would literally end up homeless if I stopped earning money.
I felt 19 all over again, all alone in this world fighting for my survival. One night, I cried for my mother and wished I had died when she died, because ever since she passed away, I have endured unnecessary abuse and mistreatment and every time I’ve had to be my own champion. For once I needed someone to cocoon me and take all of my troubles away.
The very next day, at 5pm I said good bye to the ladies in my office and I never went back.
What I am grateful for
Working this job improved my life DRASTICALLY. It enabled me to go back to university, to go on my first international vacation and to live as softly and independently as I could. I learnt so much and gained vast knowledge that I consider myself a titan and a specialist in the travel industry.
In hindsight, I realize that without the bullying I would have never left and started my own company. If they had never made me so uncomfortable, I would have gladly worked for them until I completed my degree and the thought that I could run my own show would have NEVER occurred to me. So I am begrudgingly grateful for the adversity that forced me to grow beyond my wildest dreams and pushed me further into my beloved independence.
I continue to grow and build my baby, my labor of love. This post is long enough as it is. So I will talk about my entrepreneurship(which I still cant spell btw) journey in my next post.
Thank you for reading and please if you are in an impossible situation, hang in there – the light will find you soon enough.
All my love,