A Zimbabwean based in the United States of America says youth should be innovative and productive in order handle some challenges they are currently facing.
Talented Natasha Bell, 21, has been staying in USA for the past eight years and started working at the age of 16. She holds two jobs - one at a children’s daycare center and the other in a restaurant in Washington DC.
“I am always looking for something to do for myself, and trying out whatever new things like working at two different jobs or trying out to see if there is anything on the side to make money or gain more experience for myself.”
Bell, who left Zimbabwe at the age of 13 years, says life and responsibilities in America as a youth is “so different from the life in Zimbabwe”.
“As a young female (in Zimbabwe) I would work like cooking, laundry and do normal stuff but now I have to pay my own phone bills, buy my own clothes, but it also gets lonely at times in the sense of family and friends and the life you used to (live).”
Bell adds that “my life changed when I came to America … You can start working in some places working from 16 years. I can’t start playing outside, outside playing is not some fun as back home in Zimbabwe.”
“People coming to America are people who travel abroad, they are not just giving to live for a luxury life or just want to get money, they are actually going because they have knowledge that it is not easy to come here but dedicated to work two or three jobs sometimes four just to help people back home and to build a better life for themselves here. The difference is I am having to work harder now than before.”
She started pursuing her passion of making African jewelery by selling the products to friends and relatives. Her entrepreneurial abilities began when she came to America and in pursuit to live comfortably as a proud African girl, at the same time doing what she loves as an artist.
“I always love being African. People think when you come to the USA that you forget where you came from.”
She adds, “I am an arts person and I am interested in arts and crafts. I love drawing and painting, and trying to design my own clothes in my head or trying to do something different with what someone else is wearing. I am trying to keep up with my roots and I am able to make jewelery and sale it to people and keep up with my Afro-centric style. It is a good thing. I always wear it because I add to what to wear. I want people to know I am African, a proud to show it.”
Bell says her strong work ethic was imparted to her by her mum who used to perform with Oliver Mutukudzi and the Black Spirits.
“My mum used to be part of Oliver Mutukudzi and Black Spirits. She used to travel around the world and travelled a lot. She would go for days, weeks, and sometimes months but I would not take it to heart because I knew she was doing it all for me. l was the only child then, and I know it was out of love, going out trying to build and live a better life for me. She would do anything for me. She never missed a birthday and I always had big birthdays.”
Word for the youth! “ In life you have to get up and go, you have to give yourself something to work with, whatever you feel you have to do, you have a learn to do it but it if it does not work out there, there is always something you can do or you can always try to do it again. Things don’t and will not come to you, you have to go out and get them.”
She adds, “Do what you love, go to a job and do something you love, do something that make you happy.”
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