Irene Gotora- Case Study

Irene Gotora Case Study

A Life of Rejection; It seemed I was  born to be rejected.

Life began in a part of this universe. My Life began in Zimbabwe. Life can be what you have known it to be or what you have made it to be known.

I was born and brought up in rural Zimbabwe. Growing up, I was surrounded by my family which included extended family from my maternal side of my parentage. I am the 3rd eldest of 5 siblings. Poverty was written all over every aspect of our lives, from our clothing, our struggle to have something to eat, paying fees etc. Nevertheless we were always a happy family. My mum, being a single mother would sell vegetables, and a lot of our income came from elms from my mother’s relative. I often wondered why we always were a burden to other members of the family and why we had to look up to them and regard them as small gods.

I looked into my life’s situation and realized that it wasn’t what I really wanted. A Route which most people I knew growing up with took, was go to school, pass and go to university. Then if your family could afford it you go to other tertiary/higher educational institutions such as teacher’s colleges, nursing, apprenticeship etc.

Then once qualified, go to get a job. Hence why, when growing up I resolved in my mind that I would do my best to get better grades in my education, which I did despite the poor schooling environment and facilities. Growing up I always wanted to be a medical doctor, however under some circumstances I could not afford to pursue this and ended up enrolling for an electrical engineering course instead. Because this industry is male dominated, thriving in the course and landing a job was quite challenging. On completing my course I landed a job with a parastatal company, the Zimbabwe Sugar Refinery. Shortly after this, I got married. At the time life had improved for me as I then had an income and was able to sustain myself and also help out my family.

In about 1998-99 Zimbabwe’s economic situation had shown massive and very steep fall. You would have to hike to work for $10ZD and on returning the fare would have hiked by 75 to 100%. It was really getting scary. Companies were closing and retrenching their workforce. When human beings experience trauma or severe life stress, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. As luck would have it, I call it a miracle from above a cousin offered to buy me a ticket to fly to the UK as everyone was fleeing the economic situation. I came to the United Kingdom 13 years ago. When I first landed in this part of the world, I had very little knowledge of how to use a computer and the internet. I didn’t even have an email address neither did I even know what it was let alone how to get one. Not only did I have a paucity of knowledge of the contemporary gadgets, I also had a very small social network; my cousins and workmates. My life was made up of a very monotonous routine,  wake up from my single room, which I was renting in a multi- shared 2 bed flat converted to 4 single bed lets a.k.a. a HMO as I would later learn. We had a shared bathroom and kitchen.  My day would start at 5.30am, being the time to get up, then I would have a quick bath and put on my nursing assistant uniform; my tunic and trousers.  I would quickly leave my home by 5.50am at the latest, then take a brisk walk to the train station, Chelmsford to catch a train which was scheduled to arrive and depart by 6.15am, which would then drop me off 3 stations from my home train station,  at Witham,  and this would be an approximately 20 minute train journey. From the train station, I would usually join up with others going to the same nursing home which was about 3-4.5 miles away.  We would then continue to walk and arrive at Bishop’s Nursing Home 7.15 – 7.30am , just on time to start work.  The working day was quite a long. In which I would be working like a donkey until 9.30pm, which is when the night staff comes in. The Job routine included washing, dressing and feeding those who no longer were able to do these activities independently. I would also assist with toileting, which was the worst part of the job and also the part I disliked most when I first started this job. But I became used to it with time. At times we would have to clean an individual after they had soiled themselves.  Never in my life had I been prepared to perform such an act of care to earn a living. In the course of my work I would encounter blatant discrimination. After such a long and indecent daily job routine, the pay check I earned was still not enough for me as I had to divide and share it with my big family back in Africa. I hardly had enough left for my most basic needs. Hence I had to have 2 more jobs if I was to have disposable income. There were days when I would sleep for just 2 hours before rushing to my next job.  In doing all this I kept  asking myself for how long was I going to keep living in this manner.

I was consciously on the look-out for any other means of surviving.  From scratch cards and playing lottery religiously,  to responding to every get-rich gimmick I came across, untill one day I responded to one newspaper ad which simply stated;  Do you want to make £200 a day working at home?  All you need is £250, a computer/ laptop and an internet connection to start this business. I remember dancing and jumping and clapping with joy. I clearly heard a voice inside me telling me very convincingly, this is the real deal I was looking for, and my time has come. I was 100% sure I would make it. I had all the prerequisites as stated in the advert apart from a laptop. I remember phoning the number which was given in the advert and spoke to a lady called Roxanne Cross. She said convincingly that she had taught newbies who had successfully progressed and went on to leave their day job to start trading for a living. After realising I was chasing a wild goose in the forex market I drew my attention to other things. Nursing.

I got interested in training to become a nurse. At the same time I debated to myself whether to do nursing or pursue my electrical engineering as I had a Btec in Electrical engineering in Zimbabwe. I tried to apply for a few jobs in electrical engineering field but got discouraged as most were asking if I had permanent residency in the UK. Most Zimbabweans I knew advised me to pursue nursing as this was easy to settle in the UK. I made a few applications through UCAS and also some directly to the nurse training institutions. I eventually received an invitation to attend an open day at Anglia Ruskin. I got an application form which I completed.  I was then subsequently invited for an interview a few weeks after the open day evening. To cut the short story even shorter, I got a place to train as a nurse. I completed the 3 year programme. Like any other newly qualified nurse, I obtained a transitioning practitioner placement with my local NHS Trust. All the while I had a desire to become an accomplished entrepreneur. I started looking for opportunities in different fields. At the time my marriage had hit a rocky patch and as it would have never recovered, this eventually led to a divorce. I then struggled on my own with very minimum support from a few friends and family I had at the time.

Church activities and fellowship has always been part of my life from my childhood, however when I went through my divorce I started distancing myself from the very few friends and the church network I had. Candidly speaking I was bitter, full of revengeful thoughts and intents towards my ex.  I used to be actively involved in church activities but with time everything became meaningless to me and I eventually withdrew from church and all people I had known through church. Looking back now, I believe I was clinically depressed and socially incapacitated at the time by the divorce I had gone through. It took me a while to through the healing process.

I have continued working as a nurse and have continued to grow professionally and passionate about caring for the people I care for.

 

However my dream to own a highly functional and profitable business has never completely become extinct.

A Life of Rejection; It seemed I was  born to be rejected.

Life began in a part of this universe. My Life began in Zimbabwe. Life can be what you have known it to be or what you have made it to be known.

I was born and brought up in rural Zimbabwe. Growing up, I was surrounded by my family which included extended family from my maternal side of my parentage. I am the 3rd eldest of 5 siblings. Poverty was written all over every aspect of our lives, from our clothing, our struggle to have something to eat, paying fees etc. Nevertheless we were always a happy family. My mum, being a single mother would sell vegetables, and a lot of our income came from elms from my mother’s relative. I often wondered why we always were a burden to other members of the family and why we had to look up to them and regard them as small gods.

I looked into my life’s situation and realized that it wasn’t what I really wanted. A Route which most people I knew growing up with took, was go to school, pass and go to university. Then if your family could afford it you go to other tertiary/higher educational institutions such as teacher’s colleges, nursing, apprenticeship etc.

Then once qualified, go to get a job. Hence why, when growing up I resolved in my mind that I would do my best to get better grades in my education, which I did despite the poor schooling environment and facilities. Growing up I always wanted to be a medical doctor, however under some circumstances I could not afford to pursue this and ended up enrolling for an electrical engineering course instead. Because this industry is male dominated, thriving in the course and landing a job was quite challenging. On completing my course I landed a job with a parastatal company, the Zimbabwe Sugar Refinery. Shortly after this, I got married. At the time life had improved for me as I then had an income and was able to sustain myself and also help out my family.

In about 1998-99 Zimbabwe’s economic situation had shown massive and very steep fall. You would have to hike to work for $10ZD and on returning the fare would have hiked by 75 to 100%. It was really getting scary. Companies were closing and retrenching their workforce. When human beings experience trauma or severe life stress, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. As luck would have it, I call it a miracle from above a cousin offered to buy me a ticket to fly to the UK as everyone was fleeing the economic situation. I came to the United Kingdom 13 years ago. When I first landed in this part of the world, I had very little knowledge of how to use a computer and the internet. I didn’t even have an email address neither did I even know what it was let alone how to get one. Not only did I have a paucity of knowledge of the contemporary gadgets, I also had a very small social network; my cousins and workmates. My life was made up of a very monotonous routine,  wake up from my single room, which I was renting in a multi- shared 2 bed flat converted to 4 single bed lets a.k.a. a HMO as I would later learn. We had a shared bathroom and kitchen.  My day would start at 5.30am, being the time to get up, then I would have a quick bath and put on my nursing assistant uniform; my tunic and trousers.  I would quickly leave my home by 5.50am at the latest, then take a brisk walk to the train station, Chelmsford to catch a train which was scheduled to arrive and depart by 6.15am, which would then drop me off 3 stations from my home train station,  at Witham,  and this would be an approximately 20 minute train journey. From the train station, I would usually join up with others going to the same nursing home which was about 3-4.5 miles away.  We would then continue to walk and arrive at Bishop’s Nursing Home 7.15 – 7.30am , just on time to start work.  The working day was quite a long. In which I would be working like a donkey until 9.30pm, which is when the night staff comes in. The Job routine included washing, dressing and feeding those who no longer were able to do these activities independently. I would also assist with toileting, which was the worst part of the job and also the part I disliked most when I first started this job. But I became used to it with time. At times we would have to clean an individual after they had soiled themselves.  Never in my life had I been prepared to perform such an act of care to earn a living. In the course of my work I would encounter blatant discrimination. After such a long and indecent daily job routine, the pay check I earned was still not enough for me as I had to divide and share it with my big family back in Africa. I hardly had enough left for my most basic needs. Hence I had to have 2 more jobs if I was to have disposable income. There were days when I would sleep for just 2 hours before rushing to my next job.  In doing all this I kept  asking myself for how long was I going to keep living in this manner.

I was consciously on the look-out for any other means of surviving.  From scratch cards and playing lottery religiously,  to responding to every get-rich gimmick I came across, untill one day I responded to one newspaper ad which simply stated;  Do you want to make £200 a day working at home?  All you need is £250, a computer/ laptop and an internet connection to start this business. I remember dancing and jumping and clapping with joy. I clearly heard a voice inside me telling me very convincingly, this is the real deal I was looking for, and my time has come. I was 100% sure I would make it. I had all the prerequisites as stated in the advert apart from a laptop. I remember phoning the number which was given in the advert and spoke to a lady called Roxanne Cross. She said convincingly that she had taught newbies who had successfully progressed and went on to leave their day job to start trading for a living. After realising I was chasing a wild goose in the forex market I drew my attention to other things. Nursing.

I got interested in training to become a nurse. At the same time I debated to myself whether to do nursing or pursue my electrical engineering as I had a Btec in Electrical engineering in Zimbabwe. I tried to apply for a few jobs in electrical engineering field but got discouraged as most were asking if I had permanent residency in the UK. Most Zimbabweans I knew advised me to pursue nursing as this was easy to settle in the UK. I made a few applications through UCAS and also some directly to the nurse training institutions. I eventually received an invitation to attend an open day at Anglia Ruskin. I got an application form which I completed.  I was then subsequently invited for an interview a few weeks after the open day evening. To cut the short story even shorter, I got a place to train as a nurse. I completed the 3 year programme. Like any other newly qualified nurse, I obtained a transitioning practitioner placement with my local NHS Trust. All the while I had a desire to become an accomplished entrepreneur. I started looking for opportunities in different fields. At the time my marriage had hit a rocky patch and as it would have never recovered, this eventually led to a divorce. I then struggled on my own with very minimum support from a few friends and family I had at the time.

Church activities and fellowship has always been part of my life from my childhood, however when I went through my divorce I started distancing myself from the very few friends and the church network I had. Candidly speaking I was bitter, full of revengeful thoughts and intents towards my ex.  I used to be actively involved in church activities but with time everything became meaningless to me and I eventually withdrew from church and all people I had known through church. Looking back now, I believe I was clinically depressed and socially incapacitated at the time by the divorce I had gone through. It took me a while to through the healing process.

I have continued working as a nurse and have continued to grow professionally and passionate about caring for the people I care for.

 

However my dream to own a highly functional and profitable business has never completely become extinct.