Graduating with a Debt
I think my education will one day pay off since as a millennia with all the challenges we are facing it is very important to be an optimist. Though two years have already passed since i graduated and a lot of those who were in my class who i am still in touch with are struggling to get jobs. Majority are not looking for jobs that align with their education since many have given up and stories of starting business while they can not get a loan and support since their names are already in the Credit Bureau.
This year something came to mind and i started thinking about my dream job like how will be able to get back to where i think i am supposed to be. So as i was thinking of my dream job, i saw a scholarship opportunity and decided to apply. I was sure of getting a scholarship but i gave it all. I traveled to my high school first to get my high school certificate which was necessary for me to get my university certificate. Since i could not call off a day at way and i could afford a flight to Arusha i decided to take a night mini bus that was going with news papers to Arusha. I used the same on its way back to Dar es salaam.
The first is went back to my University and get my certificate. I went with my transcript believing that it will easier for me to get my certificate since i had already finished clearence when i finished school. After getting there this time i was told there was an amount of money that i did not clear.
Before clearing it i decided to go back to the Higher Education Students Loan Board and make sure that the claims from my University were right. At the Board i was given a statement of my students loan. The statement wanted me to pay $4,000. One might say this is not a lot of money but with average salary of $220, it might take so much time to pay the loan. I am not saying every graduate start with such salary but majority does.
So since then i decide to give $20 a month to the board but also this is not sustainable since sometimes the money i receive at the end of the month is not enough. You get at the end of the month with a debt more than the salary. I sometimes wonder why did they put the interest. I am lucky but there are fellows who are unemployed and have nothing but a debt.
Better Days Are Coming
I still remember the first day i joined the University of Dar es salaam, i was new to the City, i was happy that finally i won't be wearing uniforms but i was so worried of what will happen after my graduation.
The three years passed by very quickly, i did not take any holiday. I remained in the City and work as an intern for Twaweza in my summer holiday of 2012. The summer holiday of 2013 i joined youth from different parts of the world and organized My Tax, My Health Campaign, a campaign on Tax Justice which was a fruit of a Global Change Course that was conducted at Global Platform Tanzania.
At this time i had already became a member of the Youth Advisory Panel of UNFPA Tanzania. I was nominated after i had successfully conducted a Project called ASK which aimed at giving Answers, Solution and Knowledge of HIV/AIDS to secondary school students.
When i was done with the campaign, University had already opened but i had a scholarship to attend the Third International Conference on Family Planning in Ethiopia. Friends from school, even before the trip to Ethiopia had started calling, threatening me about how hard third year courses were and how nasty Professors were. I was busy with the campaigning and sometimes i went to the University to distribute campaign posters.
After the conference, i went straight to school. It was the fourth week since school was opened. I had missed a lot but i think i leveled everything in just a week. As i was giving myself hope that i was in the same level with everyone, here came an opportunity to go to Rwanda for the PBI for two weeks, the meaning is apart from the four weeks i had missed earlier, i was going to miss two week in middle of a semester. It is at the PBI that i wrote this Souls of Murambi article.
After the PBI, which involved a lot of lectures on peace building,site visiting and leveling on Kigali's new year eve, i came back to school and this was two weeks before the University Examination. I had to read a lot and do a lot tests and quizzes that i had missed.
During the short holiday between first and second semester i got involved with Liters of light and translated the reports of a projects on Micro Finance for Bus4Africa pro bono. At the same time i was still involved with UNFPA Tanzania where i was a member of the Youth Advisory Pannel and AWAS where i am a Global Youth Ambassador.
The second semester was very fast. In the middle of it i arranged a road trip and go to Kenya to meet my friends and attend two events that they had organized, African Symposium on Innovative Ecomics and Lead4Change. After my trip to Kenya came an opportunity to go to the Parliament in Dodoma. I arrived a day before this trip, a political trip that involved students who were doing International Relations.
Finishing school was another success in 2014. Two days before i finished my last exam, i signed a contract with YouthfulCities and became an Urban Decoder for Dar es salaam City. In November, 15th 2014, i graduated and later went to Zambia for a conference.
After the conference in Zambia, i went direct home. I had not gone to my home town for three years i had spent at the hill (University of Dar es salaam). I had not met my Father and Siblings together for sometimes. It was a reunion!
Coming back to Dar, i joined an agribusiness company. My first assignment was to go and establish the Company in Zambia. I went to Zambia and spend time trying to establish a Company and registering products. Zambia was a worst experience, an experience that i will never forget. While i was in Zambia, the Company which sent me there got into crisis, i was not paid for two months and nobody picked my phone.
The patner company in Zambia did not care about me, they only gave me bread and tea every day. I had to walk eight Kilometers to work everyday. Sometimes i hiked and asked friends for money. Thank you to the genorosity of the majority of Zambian or i would have been history. I returned to Tanzania and found out the truth, that the company was in deep crisis.
I continued working with them and thank God i was given the office keys because without them i would have a place to sleep. I slept at the office and sometimes at a friends, i had two friends who had rooms. I am now a General Manager of the same Company, i now have a room but looking back to those dark i feel strong.
Despite my new role i am still committed in all issues that has to do with sustainable development, youth and women empowerment. My greatest dream remains working for United Nations or be a diplomat, this is all i want. I am now involved with Youth4Change, a global youth-led coalition of youth activists working in partnership with organisations and governments to create positive change for girls, boys, young women and young men.
I believe better days are coming!