Photo : Kimani DeShields-Williams
“I was born in China and two years after my birth, due to my parent’s job, we moved to Algeria. From there, it was France where I completed my primary studies. Eventually, I lived a year in Belgium, then much later, studied in Germany and Italy and again in France.
After obtaining my baccalaureate in Chad, I learned German while staying in Germany, and then did a linguistic stay in Italy before starting my studies in Valenciennes, France, where I obtained my master’s degree in Applied Foreign Languages (LEA) in Law and International Affairs (English-German), after which I registered in DESS Trilingual Negotiator of International Trade. In Valenciennes, I had to adapt to a different education system, that required me to be very independent. In addition, not being a scholarship holder, I had to find a job to support myself and meet various expenses such as rent, transportation, study fees, etc. I eventually managed to balance three jobs during the day in addition to my courses. Yet, this is the life of many foreign students, so the situation was nothing extraordinary.
My diploma in my pocket, during my years of searching for employment, I was able to multiply my professional experiences, before finding the opportunity to return to Chad with a promise of employment won during a recruitment forum in Paris. However, it did not go as planned, but I persevered and found a job at the German Embassy as an administrative assistant, launched my free advertising newspaper and created my first marketing and training consulting firm.
Eventually, I left the country, and five years later, with my training in communication to my credit and having taken a liking to self entrepreneurship, I returned. The desire to return to work in Chad or, even in Africa, in addition to the fact that it corresponds to my professional project, has been reinforced by the sentiment during my career that, « what we can do elsewhere, may perhaps only be a drop of water in the sea, while at home, it can represent a significant contribution. »
Former Minister of Posts and New Technologies of Information and Communication, I am now involved in the private sector at different levels and am also a member of the Executive Office of the Network of African Women Ministers and Parliamentarians in Chad (REFAMP / T ), responsible for Commissions. I also support young entrepreneurs in their initiatives. Regarding migration, I think that being able to travel or even migrate, when the basic conditions are met, is an advantage because the journey trains and educates you.
On a personal level, that’s the benefit I think I’ve received. Yet, before embarking on any travel, you must know why and how you are going; choose your destination based on your objective by being informed; know what you want to do there and make sure that the chosen destination will make it possible to carry out your goal because it is easy to get lost on the way or to be the victim of others with bad intentions. Leaving home is never easy and you have to prepare yourself to face many difficulties, including material and psychological ones. A person who leaves is not lost, but an asset, as long as he does so under suitable conditions, safely, is able to accept the possible failure of the experience and has the courage to return at any time and rebuild.
This story is part of the "Beyond the Headlines: an Overview of Migration in Chad" publication.