CHARTING YOUR OWN COURSE

They work passionately and enthusiastically because they make a living out of it...

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Across Rwanda, people work in fields vastly different from the courses they studied at school. They work passionately and enthusiastically because they make a living out of it, and it helps them to develop. The ni nyampinga team met Dinah, Bebeto, Grace and Robert and found that many of things they learned at school are helping them to excel in their jobs. the four young professionals told us what they have achieved, and how they came to work in their respective jobs.

Dinah is 20 years old, and lives and works in Nyamasheke District. In high school, she studied mathematics, chemistry and biology, but has always had a hidden love for photography. “Since my childhood, I have loved pictures. When I saw people taking photos, I would run over to be in the picture,” she said.

Dinah told Ni Nyampinga that she was very shy when she started secondary school. But after joining a drama club, she realised she had a funny character hidden within her. Since then, she has always made her friends laugh and is comfortable in almost any situation.

When she finished school, Dinah took part in a photography course, and then started doing it professionally. She used her humour and creativity to create beautiful pictures. For Dinah, being part of the drama club helped to spark her comedic talents: “The pictures I take are more beautiful because I first make my subject laugh, and then take the picture.”

A SUCCESSFUL SWIMMER

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Bebeto is 20 years old and lives in Rubavu. Since graduating from high school, he has been a professional swimmer. Speaking about his journey to becoming a sportsman, Bebeto says: “I started swimming when I was eight years old, and I did it for fun. In 2012, a swimming coach saw me and said, ‘I see talent in you, come train with a team and do it professionally.’”

At Bebeto’s school, the students would often do sport in the morning and evening. This helped him to get used to the spirit of competition. “If it took me five minutes to run the distance, the following day I would have to make it three.” This attitude has helped Bebeto in his swimming career because if he is going to win, he knows he has to swim faster than anyone else, he said.

Today, Bebeto represents Rwanda in swimming competitions and has won several medals. He is most proud that his profession enabled him to build a house for his family, thanks to the prizes he has won. Bebeto is now pursuing his university studies in Thailand thanks to his profession.

THE TALENTED TAILOR

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Grace is 20 years old and lives in Rubavu District. In secondary school, she studied mathematics, physics and chemistry, but now works as a professional tailor. Grace told Ni Nyampinga that she started sewing while she was still in high school because she sometimes went to see tailors and borrowed their sewing machines so she could practice.

The skills Grace learned while balancing her academic tasks and tailoring practice help her today to make sure she delivers on time, which helps clients to entrust her with more work.

THE CREATIVE CAKE BAKER

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Robert is 24 years old and studied physics, mathematics and computer science in high school. Today, he is a master cake baker.

“I grew up seeing my aunt baking, and sometimes she asked me to get her some sugar, or some flour. I quickly fell in love with this profession,” he said. “After secondary school, I took a year-long internship to take my knowledge to the next level. Today it’s a profession that I am so passionate about.”

Robert says that the English he learned at school helps him communicate with clients who are not Kinyarwanda speakers, and that the ICT skills he gained enable him to research the latest and most popular cakes, and how to make them of course!

Dinah, Bebeto, Grace and Robert show us that living a life with a vision does not necessarily mean that you need to do exactly what you studied at school. They told us that it can instead open your mind in a way that you can apply your knowledge in another field. “What you learn can help you unlock your potential, and help you make the most of your talent or any opportunities around you. You can then turn this into a profession and develop yourself, and you can gain even more knowledge from it as well,” said Grace.

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