I was sitting In bed one day with tears rolling down my eyes. I was thinking about life and all the challenges that I had came across as a child all the way into my adult life.
I started asking God a few concerning questions that I already knew the answers to. I was hoping the answers would come out differently this time but they never changed.
People look at me and think my life is everything and yet I dared to ask God, “why me? Why did I have to go through all of that?” The outcast in primary and high school. The child that grew up in a traumatising state stuck in the middle of divorced parents. The young teen that was denied a social life on weekends to run her fathers alcohol business while other children got to go out, play and be cool kids.
The distances I walked to get to school and make it through with limited text books, “why me Lord?” I’ll never forget the day I got sprayed with doom by a fellow learner, characterising me as a cockroach because I didn’t have what other kids had.
I had other moments to smile at, the girl that handed me down her school blazor during winter – wearing it with pride – I still asked God, “Why me?” How I became an entrepreneur during high school – getting by, selling two packets a day of pin pop & yoghetta suckers to buy myself clothes and slap chips at lunch time like all the other kids.
I made it through. Life after matric became another phase in my life.
I had more drama in college where my peers were judgmental of me, perceiving me as a “know it all” because of my love for people, down to earth attitude & the will to succeed in my studies.
People find it hard to applaud people with potential. People who are different never fit in with the masses. They would rather criticise you and ridicule you for your uniqueness.
I didn’t understand that but that didn’t stop me from becoming a leader amongst my peers aiming for presidency within campus and landing up with only a treasury position – again I asked God, “Why me? Why can’t I get the best?”
I later moved into a learners affair and liason officer position where I seemed to be effective at motivating other students. I was never a political head, it was my love for helping others discover potential in themselves.I loved poetry and performing at our college concerts. I performed about slavery, about our cultures as black People and about rape in particular. Getting off every stage, I was applauded for a dramatic performance.
I had young girls crying and sharing their painful experiences with me, I asked God “why me?” I found time to become a social butterfly and keep up with being top of my class – I had something to prove to everyone that rejected me. I wanted to prove to my parents too, that despite their divorce at 13 and my painful experiences, I’m going to become a somebody.That’s all that mattered to me but I kept getting broken along the way to being this somebody.My weekend job kept me going. A brand Ambassador – I loved promoting different brands and spending time harnessing my sales skills in the stores every weekend.
I loved what I did, it wasn’t just about the money although it gave me an income to fit in during my college years. It was tough catching taxis with all that heavy promotion equipment and walking a distance to get to the store and feeling like life was unfair, I asked God “Why me?”. My friends at school were always there for me.We would laugh and dream about the future exchanging conversations on the train to and from school everyday and I’d share my experiences of the weekend hours spent at work. We’d part ways in the city of Johannesburg. I stayed there since I was a kid. The city life was home.
I had a childhood best friend I shared my life with from the age of 10. We lived in the same building on Wolmarans Street. She’d share my pains and joys till this day. Another high school friend of mine, was also there, we partied in Yeoville at age 19 and almost got raped in the dark alleys of hillbrow as we walked from Wolmarans Street to rocky street to discover a good time.
I got slapped and robbed once when we were walking home… but we still kept doing the night thing to be on the dance floor. It was my love for music and dance that kept me going to the clubs. I eventually found a convenient spot right next to home, Mariston Hotel.
I met more friends there, breaking our bodies on the dance floor – that dance floor became my escape.
Despite a hectic young life, I had so much to prove. I wanted to prove that I’m more than just a ghetto child, that I too can become a somebody and I wanted the missing answers to the question “God, why me?”
Things got harder as I grew up and graduated. I came out top of the class on graduation day – receiving an award for the top achiever in the School of Information and Communication Technology. Surely that was supposed to open the doors for me but I spent half of a year unemployed, working part time as a brand ambassador like I was during college.
I didn’t want to become a liability for my single mother that was raising 2 other children, my sisters. Time was ticking and I kept applying for jobs with no responses, again “God, why me?’ My mother stood by me and I eventually made her proud.
I landed a job as a learner System support engineer in one of the top IT companies in South Africa, Bytes technology and although it paid peanuts it was my stepping stone. When God saw that I was determined & grateful, within a month he promoted me to a Graduate Solution Architect position in one of Africa’s top telecommunications companies, MTN Business.
There I found myself earning 10 times what Bytes had offered me, surrounded by a team of men my father’s age. I had the opportunity to to become a somebody. Life began at 22. Three months down the line, I got too comfortable & I slacked in my role and the senior manager called me aside to warn me about laziness.
I thought she was attacking me and I asked “God, why me?” Why is she on my case? But then I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started working damn hard. I’d get to work at 06:45 and left at 18:00 everyday. I found myself climbing the ladder fast because of ambition and long hours of learning, serving and putting in more work than I had to.I worked on building my cisco certifications and found myself being interviewed for an article in an SA leading IT magazine – Brain storm under the Cisco supplement. I applied for a permanent role within a year during a serious merge within MTN. I found the perfect timing to strike opportunity. They made it hard for me during interviews, my age and whether I could handle the pressure was questionable but in the end God promoted me.
A year later, I was yearning to become an Account Manager. I remember spending 6 months going to interviews within the company and getting rejected in 7 interviews. I kept applying and going to the interviews and got a “no” for an answer. I cried each time because I wanted the job so badly. The idea of earning commission, selling WAN networks and related technologies coupled with my passion for business drove me. I asked God “Why me? Why do they keep rejecting me?”Instead of giving up, I kept reading the necessary books to assist me as I did not have the required level of business and sales experience to pursue the role.
I only had technical experience. I went back, rejection after rejection and one day I got hired as a Senior Account Manager in the public sector division taking care of my own region, which was Limpopo. I relocated for my dreams but they didn’t turn out how I expected. Eight months down the line I had made a good chunk of commission but I lost my health in the process because of the stress & being alone in the wilderness.
I started eating healthy and exercising everyday to beat the stress and pressure. I chased a couple of deals that didn’t materialise and burnt out with a lot of admin work – I started asking God “Why me?” But something happened during that time. I met someone that bought some light into my life.
That someone was exactly just like me, hard working, ambitious, kind and a dreamer. We hit it off and before I knew it I was in between Johannesburg and Limpopo. My relationship inspired me to move closer to my family and to try out another company in Johannesburg so that I could be closer to everyone that mattered to me. I made it into Neotel, the leading fibre service provider in South Africa, as a Key Account Manager in Public Sector.
It was harder than my previous job and made me even more sick but my relationship was my medicine. I felt like quitting my job a million times because I wasn’t reaching my target anf started feeling worthless. I asked God “Why me, why am I not succeeding at this?” My partner had to listen to my pain everyday.
Despite that we travelled a part of the world, built unforgettable memories, we got to know each other better and become real lovers.
I recently applied for a job as a Solution Architect within the same company and got the job. A few weeks later I got into an accident. My car was a write off but I came out alive asking God “Why me?” So much has happened since then – good and bad.
The most painful moment was a goodbye of one of the best but yet most complex relationships I have ever had in my life. I thought I had it in check but I lost it. I asked God “Why me? Why can’t I keep it together, why do I have to go into relationship after relationship? I’m tired.” Every time the world let me down, I burst into tears. The world rejected me for what I thought I was good at, little did I know that God is preparing me for greater matters.
Kopano: “God why me?”
God : “Because I designed you to take the pressure and overcome it”
Kopano: “But God why me, why did you place all these dreams in my heart and yet I have to go through so much pain to realise them come true. Why do I have to lose, get used, get rejected, fail, be an outcast at times?”
God: “Do you know your purpose here on earth? ”
Kopano: “Yes, I do.”God: “What is it?”
Kopano: “My purpose is to motivate others and change the lives of millions of people for the better”
God: “So, how did you think you would fullfill your purpose if you knew nothing of pain, failure, poverty, struggle, despair, loss, sickness? Love, passion, forgiveness, discipline, commitment. Do you really think you can motivate people on something know nothing about, that you have never been through?”
Kopano: “No God”
God: “Now that you know why you, I want you to write the books that I have placed in your heart, I want you to strive to be on small stages and world stages and speak to millions of people so that they too can overcome their limitations. So that they can realise that Greatness isn’t for the few of you, it’s for all of you. You are all created in my image.”
Kopano: “Yes, father. It’s work before glory. There are no rainbows without storms and for every blessing, I must bear the burden. And now that I know the answers, I will continue on my quest to fulfill my purpose. You knew me before I was born. I am a victor and not a victim. Thank you Lord.”
I am Kopano Kapa on facebook