I was really inclined to be truthful and direct in sharing my story as I do with all my writing; in particular with Women’s Voice as I strongly believe in the key tag line; you can’t be what you can’t see.
A wise man once said “Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint” and that was the story of my life for most part until a sudden change about two years ago, almost to the day.
Born in Zimbabwe and eventually moving to the U.K. raised in a single parent family earning around the average household income, it seemed that I would turn out okay and my life would be, let’s just say average. The Zimbabwean education system being one of the best in my opinion, certainly the British have a thing or two to learn, had trained me to a point I could have excelled at a Russell Group University in years to come. But the top-performing me found solace in popular culture, boys and image. Slowly but surely my grades became average, I was despondent that the me I knew I could become as a little girl had faded away.
Between 14 – 21 things took a turn for the worst and my not so average life began to head into a ditch. Some would call that being young; I call that lack of vision. In a new country, no father at home to set a vision, no role model mum and average friends. I got myself caught up in the mundane things of life, focused on the wrong things and was too afraid to speak up for myself and say I’ve changed my mind.
I always knew I was living below my best, and everyone has a different limit and standard of course. It’s just that mine where extremely high and the older I grew the further away they seemed.
Fast forward Spring 2015, I took a stand for my belief and that niggling feeling that there’s more to life than this. I carried my load, my below par 2.2 BSc Business management degree and kissed my past goodbye. As I headed for the big smoke, I had a dream but it was unclear, a passion and that was for certain.
Through solid mentorship, a solid and dynamic circle and opportunities and platforms created by those who are further advanced than myself, I am able to say I’m back on track. Not only that, I intentionally live my life for young black men and women who like me at one point also had a dream but no role model to live it through.
Two years ago I joined a church and fastest growing youth movement in London SPAC Nation where my potential has been unleashed in a way I didn’t dream to ever happen, certainly not in a city like London. I am a minister at SPAC where I serve and lead in two boroughs in London, meeting twice a week to discuss topical life events, CV workshops, career advice and mentorship. I actively seek out opportunities for the young people in my fellowships who are hungry and driven but don’t know where to start and see them flourish into their passions and reach goals which no one else around them has ever aimed for.
This August, we are launching initiatives to improve social mobility for youth in London through SPAC Foundation, a story which is soon to be released in the winter edition of the Financial Times. At our regular meetings at Hilton Bankside, we are trained to apply what we read in the pages of scripture to our everyday life.
Currently I am pursuing a MSc in Finance Banking at SOAS University of London whilst working full time at one of the Big Four management consultancy firms. To say I’m involved in a lot is an understatement, the cause, the vision is what keeps me burning the midnight oil.
Finally I’d like to use this opportunity to stress the following nuggets, if you haven’t taken anything so far:
– Get yourself a mentor who has already got evidence of some of the things you wish to achieve in life, not just a talker. Talk is cheap.
– Attach yourself to like minded people and don’t be afraid to tidy up your circle, regularly.
– Don’t worry if you’re different, your value in life is usually hidden in your diversity.
The above nuggets and more are available via my WisdomWednesday segment on Periscope live at 9.59pm.I invite you to come and join us at either the Islington Fellowship or Surrey Quays fellowship next time you’re in the area, and come and meet more prodigals.
Faith Gundani is active on the following:IG: @faithinthecity
Periscope: @SPACNation – live every Wednesday 9:59PM