I have had a lot of reactions regarding my article about black people’s obsession with Higher Education. I understand why a lot of black people found the article upsetting, sadly we are conditioned from a young age to believe that education is all there is in life to make us prosper. We live our whole lives aiming to be as highly educated as we can possibly be. I personally refuse this philosophy.
I always look at things from a testimonial point of view, I believe I have my own Butterfly Effect on this Universe. I have seen this to be true. So I thought I would share my testimony of how Higher Education is way overatted, especially by Africans and how I stepped out of that bubble and my destiny changed.
When I was 17 years old, doing my form 5 in Zimbabwe at a Boarding School, I came to a decision that I wasn’t not going to go back to school to complete my A-Levels. I had so many reasons for dropping out. I hated the school, I struggled to make friends as it was a new school. I had chosen to do Art as my main A-Level subject. In my previous school where I had completed my O-Levels/GCSE’s, I had been the best art student in the school for years, I was winning regional prizes and all. So when I went to a new school for my A-Levels, I thought I would continue to be one of the best art students, but the art teacher, who was an old white woman, was very negative towards me. She had her favourites and marked me down in everything I did no matter how hard I worked. I went from being the best art student to the worst. I realized that I wasnt going to succeed in my A’ level art, and after the second school term I went home knowing in my head that I had made a crazy decision to never come back to the school again. I had never been so sure of anything in my life. The conviction was so strong.
I knew what I was doing was unthinkable in Africa, you just don’t drop out of School. It’s a taboo and its disgraceful to your parents.
I then approached my father and told him that I didn’t want to go back to school because I was wasting my time and his money.
He was shocked, but he said, “Okay, if that’s what you want, then don’t go to school.” I guess he wanted to save his money as well as the school fees was quite a bit.
When schools opened, people started to talk. I had relatives asking me why I refused to go back to school. They were asking me what my plan in life was. The honest truth was I had no plan, I had no idea what was going to happen next. I was a bit ashamed of myself because I had gone against the norm. But my gut told me that what I had done was the right thing.
I remember having a very humiliating encounter at a bus stop, I met one of my friends who was also at the same boarding school. She was coming home for the weekend. When she saw me she laughed so hard and asked why I had dropped out of school to sell tomatoes at the market. She said that was the rumour which was circulating at school. She said some were also saying a garden boy had made me pregnant. Whatever the rumour was, she was laughing at me, I think I looked a bit of a sorry sight as well, I wasn’t supposed to bump into her.
At home, due to circumstances beyond my control, as I was not in school, I found myself in a scary situation were I could not stay there, so I was sent to a relatives’s house for a few weeks. Life in Zimbabwe was unbearable for me, and I had always had dreams of going abroad as an escape. Then lo and behold, my cousin was applying to do Nursing in the UK. He told me that if you want to go to the UK, the only way was nursing. He was making so many applications and took me through the process. He gave me a booklet with all the UK Universities which took international nursing students. My heart jumped and I just knew deep down that this was my destiny. I went back home and I applied.
During this time things became worse at home with my mother and my siblings. I thought of suicide almost everyday. I would tell my mother that I wanted to kill myself and she would say, “Go on already, do you think anyone cares? Do it in a bush so no one will even find your body, sascam,” as she would call me. One day I took a bottle of rat poison and I told myself that I had to just do it and die so my mother would feel guilty for driving me to suicide. But I wasn’t that brave and somethimg told me that she would not feel guilty but would rather celebrate, so I said to myself out loud with so much conviction, “No I will not die, I will live and go to the UK and will make it, and my mother will live to see it.”
Within weeks of the near suicide incident, I recieved a reply from the UK. One of the Universities I had applied was asking me to come for an interview within days. I had like 5 days to get a passport and buy my plane ticket. My father didn’t have the money for the ticket. It all seemed so impossible.
But he went to his friend, he was always sorrounded by very rich people, and his friend gave him the money for the ticket. I then went to the passport office for an emergency passport. The crazy thing was the passport office was right next to the High school I had dropped out from. I remember one of the girls spotting me and she had that look of laughter on her face, and I hid my face. It was so hot and I was tired and hungry and am sure I looked quite a picture and she looked emaculate and sophiscated in her High School uniform.
But the miracle happened, and within days, I was sitting in Air Zimbabwe, looking outside the window as the plane took off. Everything had happened so fast, I was so young, but I was ready. I was crying tears of fear and tears of joy.
Within weeks of dropping out of school at 17, I found myself in the UK, being driven in London’s first street looking at the white buildings I used to see in movies and thinking this is it.
By the age of 21, I was a homeowner, ‘married’ and had a gorgeous baby girl. Even though I was to lose the house and the husband years later through some crazy trials, God even gave me back everything I lost a thousand fold.
The moral of the story is, sometimes in life you have to make that one decision which changes your destiny no matter how crazy it seems. Of all the things which has happened in my life, the best decision I ever made was to drop out of Upper High School, it changed my life forever.
For me personally, Higher Education is way overrated. If I had not quite my A-Levels, God knows what would have become of me. I found myself way better off than the girls who were laughing at me that I had dropped from A-Levels, in fact I had some of them writing to me on Facebook years later, asking for help. To me, that is what I call the Butterfly Effect.
The Genesis Of The Revelation By
Mary-Tamar was Jean