Nhambure defies the odds

Washing clothes, selling anything that can be sold and working as a housemaid – these are some of the jobs many professional Zimbabweans humble themselves to take up when they arrive in South Africa in search of a better life.

Alpha Nhambure
Alpha Nhambure

The main obstacle in their way is getting a work permit – which is not anything like buying some painkillers in a pharmacy.

Alpha Nhambure (33) is a qualified engineer and a mother of two. But she had to pack away the degree she attained at a Zimbabwean university in order to raise funds to apply for the permit she now holds.

Males only

As a teenager she discovered she was a special girl and chose a special career – in a sector normally viewed as a preserve for men only.

“The inspiration came from the urge to do out of the ordinary, to do challenging things and change the course of history,” she said in a recent interview. “I felt this was a normal belief held by many people. I came out tops at ‘O’ Level out of the whole stream and tops in my combination at ‘A Level.’ So I thought, ‘if I managed to beat males at those levels, why not pursue those careers believed to be for males only?’” And so she did.

“My Civil Engineering class at NUST was the class with the highest number of females ever recorded at that university. We were six out of twenty something males and it felt good that more and more females were venturing into such fields,” she said.

Her teenage life was concluded with a marriage and falling pregnant at the age of 19, which presented a big challenge as she was suddenly and far too early faced with the responsibilities of being a wife, mother and student – all in one.

Not a quitter

“All eyes at school were on me. It was so bad that at one moment I felt like quitting. But I told myself this will pass, I’m not a quitter. I must say it was not easy being a wife, a mother and a student at the same time,” she said. But she clung to her belief that “When Jesus says yes, no-one and no situation can say no!”

“God had planned my journey to be an engineer and that is what I was going to be. And that is what I became. Also with support from family, I conquered,” said Nhambure.

While working as an engineer in South Africa, she came to believe she owes her success to God and decided that the only way to appreciate him was to spread his word.

This led to her becoming an emerging gospel music diva who recently launched her debut album “The Alpha” in Harare.

Put God first

“In everything I do I strive to put my God first. He has seen me through all the struggles of life up to who I am today. I have so much love for God, I have hunger and thirst for his word. Through the inspiring teachings from my Pastor, Apostle Evans of Faith Revival Outpourings, I was always praying that God should use me in some way. I never planned the music or even dreamt that one day I would be a musician. However God had a plan for me, when He thought He needed someone to use I was there already waiting,” she explained.

Alpha Nhambure at work.
Alpha Nhambure at work.

Nhambure believes men and women can work together in all public sectors with no specific jobs relegated for males or female. She urged young girls to follow their dreams and look outside the box of societal stereotypes of the ideal jobs for women, which are mainly related to nurturing such as nursing and teaching, or beauty – such as modelling.

“If you feel you have it in you and it is your dream, go for it! Let us do away with the myth that there are some careers that are meant for males and not females. All it needs is commitment, determination, perseverance and God’s grace of course!” she said.

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