In October 2018, I was retrenched from my permanent journalism job. A job I’d been doing since 2010. This came as HuffPost South Africa, the publication I worked for, closed down after only two years in the South African market.
Those who know me will know how, for the longest time, I have toyed with the idea of pursuing cooking on a full-time basis. Although I knew I wanted to go professional (and train as a chef), the anxiety of leaving permanent employment was somewhat great, in hindsight though, the fear was all for nothing.
The retrenchment letters came a coupla months before I was supposed to go on maternity leave so that meant I was to be off the job market until after giving birth and seeing baba grow for some months.
I was stressed.
All the tears and anxiety that follow after losing a job, I had them. Mind you I knew that we were okay (financially) even without my job but I couldn’t help but feel anxious about being able to find work again after staying home for such a long time.
My husband, Muxe, has been the greatest support throughout all this. He’s been my sanity. A special shout out to him for holding me down no matter what. You’re the real MVP Nkata mina.
This man has always known about my dream of qualifying as a Chef (I mean hello, have you seen our electricity bill).
Fast forward to 2019, I started training at the Chefs Training and Innovation Academy (CTIA) all thanks to him (he made it possible) — this was a dream that has been so long in the making that at some point seemed like it was not going to come true.
My baby girl (Nyeleti Asante) is 8 months old now and both she and her brother (Nathan Yinhla) keep me on my toes. Yinhla is 5 years old.
You often get told; “reset, readjust, restart, refocus as many times as you need to, but trust me, it ain’t all so easy to do which is why am ever so grateful to the people in my life who’ve anchored and held my hand through this time.
With that said kids, losing my job taught me that nothing is forever. As cheesy as it may sound, I’ve also learnt to not give up on my dreams.
Writing this today, I can’t say I no longer have anxieties about what the future looks like, I do but I’m leaning on my knowledge and trust in God. I’m going through it knowing that nothing is impossible in Him.
I can’t shake off the feeling of relief — knowing that it had to take me losing work to get to the space am in and being so close to my dream that I can almost taste it.
(Almost) Chef Duenna 🙂