Written by: Christina Vestey
My motivational push has always been me, myself and I. I’ve been through the worst. I’ve seen it all. I’ve had to persevere. I’ve had to take risks, so giving up is just not an option because where I am right now, I’m a hundred steps ahead from where I started. If I managed to get to where I am now from all that I’ve endured, going forward is an option.
I love business. I’m very business-minded. All the time, when I think, it’s always business, business, business but obviously it requires capital. The sad thing is we’re just not given enough knowledge about money from our high schools’ teaching. We’re not taught about finances. The first thing that a person experiences when they start working, is debts, debts and debts, and obviously you’re going to achieve most things with a loan, but it’s debts at the end. You know? You’re still going to pay that with interest and everything.
I guess it was just finance knowledge that I needed. I think now I understand it better but the knowledge came in a very hard, hard, hard way, because it’s easy for you to take loans but at the end of the day, month to month, you’ve got to pay all that back. As soon as it starts to charge from your income, that’s when you see that, actually, I haven’t saved.
I’m the kind of person who loves the finer things. I love good things and I’m someone who plans ahead. I plan on paper, most of the time, to look into how to execute my ideas. I would know this is what I want and it’s going to cost this. Then I check, okay, this is how much I’m going to have at this point. I’ll take this and this, join it together so that I’ll be able to get that. I use that routine most of the time. Just waiting for the right time. It has always been my biggest dream to renovate my parents’ home; to make it more homely. The opportunity to be signed as a permanent employee allowed me to apply for loans and funding assistance. I combined that with six months of savings that I made from my salary. I got my parents’ home extended and renovated. Then I definitely needed a car, given I live very far away and I was now a permanent employee. I needed something to thank myself for the hard work, to thank myself for persevering, just a way of appreciating myself. Then I got myself a car, which is the biggest achievement that I’ve ever had.
So, I’ve always had this idea. It’s one that’s stressing me so much even today. I want to venture into the farming industry. I’m mostly interested in the poultry side of it. So, I got another loan to start up a small poultry business, which for now hasn’t returned to my expectations. I think it was because of COVID. The start of it was during the COVID phase where everything just went boom and I thought I had everything calculated. I started up with one day old hens. Out of the hundred that I bought, I was only left with sixteen and all of them died. I followed the right procedures in terms of the vaccines, in terms of what they eat, how to take care of them and everything. I think the timing was just not perfect and all my investments into the business just went off. But again, I’m someone who never gives up. That too didn’t set me back. The only sad part is I’m still paying back the loan. I didn’t get any returns at all from the business, but I’m definitely still willing to invest in it. That being said, it has been the worst nightmare ever. I’m the first born at home. A breadwinner at home. Living off my salary, with all the debts one has with long-term agreements that one has engaged in and it has just been a nightmare paying back. Unfortunately, interest has already accumulated. When you have one source of income, your salary, there’s no way you can make means because it has to cover everything. Where do you even start? It has really been challenging. The only source for me to pay back the loan is through my salary. That’s why I’m planning on using different tactics. I’m not giving up on the business, but for now I’m on hold, because for me to start again requires capital.
I know I have so much potential. I’ve just got to be willing to take the risk. I need to have more trust in my capabilities. I know where I come from. I can see where I am now and I am a big motivation to my community. I’m an example to many youngsters who look at me as their role model. Giving up won’t just stop my dreams. It will affect many that are still growing. It’ll affect many that aspire to be like me. If I give up, they’ll also lose hope. I’m not only pushing for myself, but for my community as well, showing them that, yes, it is possible. Yes, it can be done. We’re going to push because we have greatness. We’re too beautiful to just give up. Poverty… it’s not our middle name.