Her life is of great value and along the way she has learned that people need one another. As much as they need to hustle and make a life for themselves, people need each other.
Beatha Shitemba has also learned that not everybody will understand every difficulty they go through. Hence the need for one to be one’s own encourager and motivator, because 90 percent of life is what one makes out of it.
Things can happen, but only we can determine how those things will affect us and the direction we take. “Life does not happen by chance, you make it happen,” says Beata, a young entrepreneur, about her perception of her own life experiences.
Born in Lubango, Angola, she is the oldest of five siblings. Even though she did not have everything that some kids do growing up, they were brought up not to care so much about material things, but rather to work hard.
“I grew up in a good home. My parents were very good examples to us. I never ever witnessed them fighting or disagreeing. My mom was very submissive and respectful. My dad provided well for us and made sure we had what we needed. There was never a time that we felt left out. My parents didn’t have much, as they were in exile, but my dad worked hard to be able to afford a good education for us,” says Shitemba.
Education was a priority for Shitemba, who made sure she achieved good grades throughout her school years. She obtained 40 points in Grade 10 and 36 in Grade 12, which she was not quite happy with. She feels she could have done better.
Towards the end of her matric year, she got her first job as a receptionist and administrative assistant at a small start-up business for a year, where she earned a meagre N$300 a month. She later worked for Internet Technologies Namibia, FNB Namibia and currently works for Nedbank Namibia as a process analyst.
To find a job these days, you have to go the extra mile by continuously hunting and being pro-active. Along the way she faced retrenchments and dismissals.
“This has not only changed my perspective of life, but it fuelled me to work harder and be able to sympathise with people who go through difficulties in their lives. Today I’m a proud single mom. I’m content and I feel complete within me with no regrets over the past.”
What breaks Shitemba down are people’s actions that can be hurtful and devastating to those around them. “No man is an island. What we are and what we do affects those around us, especially our loved ones. My heart goes out to those who are not able to discern the damage that other people can cause in their lives.”
Besides working at Nedbank, Shitemba also owns her own company, VACS Investments, which she registered this year. The company was born out of her desire to assist businesses with their social media management and administration. The idea was conceived three years back and she was motivated by a colleague last year to turn it into reality.
“I gathered up courage and started operating. It was not easy starting it up, as there are always what ifs and what not. I didn’t need much capital, but a good phone, laptop and internet to get started. I kept my operating expenses to a minimum and built the business on profit to be generated,” says Shitemba.
What bothers her most about today’s youth is that, “They don’t have morals and don’t want to work hard. Girls rely and give themselves up for material things by dating the wrong men and are into multiple relationships in order to have what they cannot afford, things they don’t even need.”
“I advise the ladies to work hard for their own things. I don’t get any financial support from any man, even my child’s father and I’m content. I might not have the latest stuff, but I’m able to take care of myself and my son without getting into a wrong relationship for gain.
“I would advise the men to rise up and be who they are supposed to be. There are too many fatherless kids and broken homes as result of men not being responsible and not wanting to grow up.
“I understand there is a lot of pressure out there, but you don’t have to follow the crowd. Swim against the tide and make a difference. Making that difference starts in your own home,” Shitemba concludes.