My name is Bizuayehu (Buzic) Bekele, currently residing in a small town called ‘Melville’ in Saskatchewan and here to share a little bit of my drama filled background.
I was born and raised in Addis Ababa, an area commonly called ‘Nefas Silk’ a walking distance from St. Joseph church and spent most of my childhood doing activities around the church. Growing up, I was encouraged to spend most of my time on schooling as my mom and dad didn’t have much of a chance to attend higher education and unfortunatly all my siblings weren’t much into education. After I graduate high school, I was sent to Hawassa to have my bachelor degree on “Rural Development and Family Science” at Debub University (later renamed as University of Hawassa) and graduated just a month before my 20th birthday.
As an Ethiopian youngster, I didn’t have a choice to study what I intended to, and the only reason I completed the program was to just make my mother proud. Right after that, I started a masters program on human nutrition but didn’t go too far; I moved on to selling shares for an international timeshare company. I started off as a surveyor, talking to strangers on the street and inviting them to our office so that they’d have a visual of our vacation plan. Considering the expectations my parents had, they were not impressed with what I did at all.
So I shifted and started working in a local NGO called SOS SAHEL and started off as an assistant for the program manager on Rural Development forum of NGO’s. At that point, I had a chance to work in synergy with a number of local non-governmental organizations, hence looking at numerous development related statistics and facts.
Believe it or not, by the year 2009 G.C, only 27% of youngsters in a productive age (19-40) living in Addis Ababa were employed. I was really shocked to see that figure and I designed a project entitled “Hour after Hour initiative”, mainly planning to maximize and strengthening the work ethic and hours of work by making every company work twice as much, bringing more job opportunity to the needy. My young and idealistic thought was, “if every cafe worked for 24 hours, every company, store, taxi and everything else worked twice as much, joblessness would be reduced by half”. I worked on this project for a couple solid years while taking my Masters of Social Works at Addis Ababa University and when I realized that this project was far from implementation, I decided not to look back at social science and started off fresh as a software developer mainly tutoring myself and taking tests like Computer Science assessment, SISCO and the likes. This new route opened doors for me and that is when I got the chance to move to different places in the country and other locations in Africa.
I came to Winnipeg, Canada on 2015 and lucky enough, I found a job in less than a week after my arrival doing data processing at Fineline Communications. My role at the company was basically focused on encoding data the whole time I was there and the profession wasn’t needed whatsoever. Afterwards and what I consider to probably be my biggest break out moment happened when I heard about the Aerospace course Manitoba was offering. I applied and went to a number of consecutive assessments, including interviews and stuff and luckily became one of the 40 out of 500+ candidates chosen for the course. I dedicated myself to the course for a year. The course was sponsored by three of the biggest aerospace companies in Manitoba; Standard Aero, Magellan Aerospace and Boeing and I graduated in June 2016.
After grad, I Worked at a company called Aero Recip for a couple months and got hired by CN after six more months of training. I’m currently counting down to starting my Masters on Information Systems at Athabasca University, while working at Canadian National Railway.
I honestly don’t feel like I’ve done much to deem me worthy of sharing my story. I gotta say just one thing to newly arrived immigrants though, no matter what you do, no matter what you start up with, Education and upgrading is a MUST, DO NOT settle for whatever you’re getting as a fresh start. If you do settle, you’ll get used to the life cycle and the environment and it will be harder and harder to upgrade. This is me, thanks for reading!