As a foreigner I could add no value to BBBEE

2013-09-04 07:37
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 Astrid Kaseke, who beat all odds to succeed as a highly educated foreigner in South Africa. ~ Supplied
A Fin24 user beat all odds to succeed as a highly educated foreigner in South Africa. She writes:

THE reality is it is not easy to be in a foreign country. The reality is that no one ever said anything was easy. Such was my experience when I rose to the reality of being a highly educated black woman in South Africa.

Having come to South Africa more than 10 years ago, as a teenager, an excited university student, I thought the world was my oyster. I was determined to succeed in everything that I did, and I was convinced that I had the “Midas touch”.  It was all so exciting, and graduating was the most profound and rewarding experience I have ever had.

Then came the harsh reality - entering the job market for the first time in 2006, and suddenly realising how harsh the world could be, and how unaccommodating people could be in the corporate world. I was devastated and nearly quit to go back and study further, but the reality was, no matter where I went I would have to overcome these hardships.

My hardships were not common to a normal educated black South African woman. My hardships were overcoming the reality that it was tough to get a good job, it was tough to earn a good salary and it was tough to climb up the corporate ladder because I would add no value to the BBBEE status of any company.

I had a dream, I had a vision, but there were too many obstacles. So many times, I thought it would be easier to give up and to face reality, the harsh reality that I am a foreigner.

However, something kept me going, something made me persevere, and I convinced myself that no matter what, one day I would get the opportunity to prove that I can contribute meaningfully to the biggest economy in Africa.

Fast forward seven years later: I am an admitted attorney and I work for one of the biggest companies in the country.
My goalpost has shifted, and now I am aiming higher.

What drives me is that “I have a dream and until that dream comes to pass, I will continue to dream, and dream big”.

It’s not impossible to make it in a foreign country, all it takes is determination, courage and perseverance.

I believe that I have overcome the hardships of being an educated black woman in a foreign country, and will continue to shift the goalpost until my dream becomes a reality.

 - Fin24

* This is a Fin24 user submission. Add your voice to our Women's Wealth Issue and help empower others this Women's Month.

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