This is me telling my story, within the measures of my Christian walk.
I grew up in Bonteheuwel, Cape Town. This has been my home for as long as I can remember. I am the youngest of four children. I have two brothers and one sister. Both my parents are retired and spending time just being loving grandparents. I was brought up in a household where prayer was and still is the foundation of our Faith.
I started my apprenticeship at Simon’s Town Dockyard in the year 2013. Once I became enrolled in the apprenticeship program, the training officer for shipbuilding at the time, Mr Rafeeq Fisher, who has been a father figure throughout my entire apprenticeship and the forerunner of fighting to get me qualified and truly a Godsend, insisted that I pursue this trade. With all his knowledge and expertise in this field, I was completely sold. Today, I do not regret my decision. In Ship Building, you’re exposed to marine joinery, sheet metal work, arc welding, gas welding, gas cutting, brazing and engineering drawings. Each section allows you to work on any vessel, regardless of the vessels purpose, shape or the material it is made of. This trade is not limited to vessels alone but allows you to do Boiler Making work as well as various types of Woodwork.
My apprenticeship was longer than most, due to some external complications which have been resolved but because of these issues, I remained an apprentice for 6 years before I qualified. Every day felt like an uphill battle. Besides my physical strength or stature being enough of a challenge for me, I had also faced seeing everyone I started alongside qualify and grow in their careers as I stayed behind waiting at the foot of a closed door. Even people who started their apprenticeship after I did, had qualified before me. I remained in one place, not moving forward or backwards but feeling completely stuck. Year in and year out and everyone around me started seeing it as well. Questions about me continuing in this trade became a norm, as it suddenly seemed as if my career had found a dead end and yet God kept guiding me to stay.
Along with staying, every person I met during my apprenticeship was someone God used me to pray for and show His love to. No matter how low I felt or what I was going through GOD still used me to encourage those around me. I prayed every day and night, fasted every year at the same time, would stay up late just worshipping with tears in my eyes and bended knees, I would pray for God to just, take over and to change my situation. The thing I never realised until this chapter of my life had come to an end was that God has been shaping my character into the goodness of His character. He was changing me and teaching me how to dance upon each disappointment that came my way and Trust His leading. He was teaching me that it doesn’t matter where I am whether in the Valley Low or the mountain top my focus, dependency and contentment need to remain on and in HIM.
If there’s something I’ve learned during this process, that might be of encouragement for those trying to achieve their goals, would be, “prepare your heart to fight for what you want to achieve in life. fight to be better, fight to do better. Fight to be more than just enough, to be the true potential that God created. Life has a way of pushing us back or pushing us down, but don’t allow it to keep you there, push forward, in everything you do. Be consistent, be hardworking, be kind but objective, it’s okay to be afraid but go for it, and do it anyway, be open-minded and always ready to learn and no matter what happens, never, ever, ever give up and once you have achieved all that you set out to do, remember to thank God, because, He always knew that you were destined for Greatness.”
Now that I am finally a qualified shipbuilder and also the First Female Ship Builder in South Africa, which is ALL GLORY TO GOD. I wouldn’t say that I’ve made it and know everything, but that I’m ready and willing to absorb everything this trade has to offer. Knowing that I can do All things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. God Bless.