There is always that one person you learnt something from and aspire to be like him/her. Let me tell you why I aspire to be like this self-taught project manager and fundraiser.
She walked into our office with a very quiet and harmless look like one who could not hurt a fly. Her beautiful white teeth separated at the upper level with a wide gap caught my attention when I turned to answer her “good morning”.
Tatiana my colleague could not stop looking at her curvy body while Mme Bridget (Mami Silicon) bombarded her with questions which she struggled to answer so doubtfully. The way she did it, one could tell she didn’t master talking about herself.
I had seen her before then. She had been frequenting our office to see my boss, Valery. Could she be a new employee, intern or volunteer? Or maybe she was just passing by to get some advice from him. Valery is known for coaching many people especially on self development.
As I pondered on her mission, I went about my usual; talking to everyone I saw at the space since my Community Management job meant so. I knew I irritated her with my noise and constant movements, but what could she have done?
Then, Mami Silicon decided to break the few seconds silence again in the room. “…My name is Mme Numfor Bridget Arimbo and I am the program coordinator for the Silicon Mountain Community, and you…?”
“…Ok, my name is Buma gbdjeehebejw netiahsjajsj wa, I am a painter but I want to learn Graphic Design, I was sent here by Mr. Valery.”
She said that with so much tension as if she was at a job interview.
Yes, that was the name I heard. The name was difficult to remember, I had to learn with time. You too will learn as you continue reading.
“…Are you the new intern Val was talking about…?”
“…Yes. I want to learn Graphic Design. So he asked me to join you guys…”
This was the second lady I saw who was interested in Graphic Design. We (me, Tatiana and Mme Bridget) asked her to wait for Agbor Daniel, our in-house Graphic Designer. She punched her iOS device while waiting.
But soon, Tatiana brought out the ledger we used to register participants’ information during the 2017 Silicon Mountain Conference and gave her to key in the information in our Google sheet. Hahahahahaha, new man tax. I couldn’t help but pity her. The names were many and her hands and eyes looked so fragile. I knew she won’t finish the work.
We screamed and laughed as we recounted some of our failures in that room. But she was as quiet as if there was nobody there. I am sure on her mind she was like “…these girls are really not serious, they come here and chat and don’t finish the work they have. They should wait when I will learn this graphic design, there will be no unfinished work…”
The usual me is friendly. As Community Manager, I opted to connect her to the internet. You won’t believe the response this 21st century kid gave me.
“Sorry, I can’t do that. Your boss, Valery will shout at me…”
Hhmmm, who does that? I knew there was something fishy somewhere. The Val I know won’t say that except something prompted him.
Gbaaam! I later found out she used her data bundles to check the latest dresses online, best eateries, make up etc. You and I know this is not what a broke ass Cameroonian unemployed graduate should be doing while consuming much food in another person’s house.
Moreover, Val gave her some materials to study while waiting for him in the office. Woe betides her if he asks a question and she doesn’t answer correctly. He knew her greatest distraction was the internet. Hence, she was to stay off it during her study periods.
As time went on, she started adpating to the ActivSpaces culture; learning new skills, planning to build her own business, creating corporate relationships, helping others grow self development etc.
From learning graphic design, she finally settled on learning project management and fundraising. So, she was tasked to handle the projects and partnerships department of ActivSpaces. This is what purpose finding and interaction with great minds can do.
As volunteer at ActivSpaces, she began connecting with members of the community and met with high level partners. She worked with others above her and learnt patiently. She also spent sleepless nights trying to catch up with the work load and keep herself up-to-date with the necessary skills.
Despite all these, there was something unique, she was determined on self development. I can’t remember how many times she thanked God for directing her to ActivSpaces.
“…I used to waste in the house. Spend my time on irrelevant things in the name of wanting to be up-to-date with the world, I used to be empty, I have wasted a lot of my time and I need to catch up. I have been having the wrong orientation…”
Who is this lady?
She hails from Muambong, a village in Kupe Muanenguba Division in the South West Region of Cameroon. She grew up In Mundemba, a village in Ndian Division as a village girl. She did the unimaginable growing up as a young girl; climbing trees, fighting with peers, stealing meat from the pot, forgetting her school bag under the palm tree in the name of “cracking banga” etc. She is known for living in major towns of Cameroon like Bertoua, Bamenda, Douala, Buea etc.
This African girl I admire so much and will love to be like is Buma Wa Motia, the Projects and Partnerships Coordinator at ActivSpaces. I watched her work so hard to achieve this. She took many online courses and physical classes with extra determination to learn these in two years.
She is the lone Scrum/Agile project Manager we have in Silicon Mountain. Meaning, she can manage software projects. She has managed and is managing many software projects ranging from Leapfrog, ActivSpaces etc.
Take note, this young is a graduate from the university of Buea who holds a BSc. In Geography. “Who Geography or Earth Science epp for this Cameroon for today”? When she discovered it won’t help her in anyway, she diverted and learned the on-demand skills in the market.
Buma manages Eduke’sInk blog and has ensured the effective running of the blog over time.
As an African girl, she and her team are currently working on Ngondor, an initiative that encourages and initiates young Cameroonian girls into tech.
Why do I admire her?
Ask everyone who knows Buma, the first thing they will tell you is that she is easy to talk to. She creates a friendly atmosphere around her that always enhances the growth of others. I admire her because she practices the art of giving and humility.
I want to be like her because she has proven everyone can walk from zero to hero. I am talking about my blog manager. She applauds excellence, reason why you will find all posts on Eduke’sInk very interesting.
Buma does not come from well-to-do family but she walking her way up. Did I mention she is the Dean of Studies at the ActivSpaces Academy?
1.Everyone has the potential to grow. once they put in some effort, they become what they want.
2.If you are not comfortable with your situation, change it. Buma used to sit at home all day browsing from one video to another without any focus. After all, she had a 1st degree. But when she became uncomfortable with it, she worked towards changing it.
3.Learn to adapt to the circumstances around you. A degree in Geography did not help, so should she stay all her life waiting for an opportunity? No. She had to switch to Project Management and today, she is “Hot Cake” out there.
It is very easy getting to Buma. You can do so using the following handles.
LinkedIn : Buma wa motia
Facebook: @Buma wa Motia
Instagram : @Buma_sucrenoir
Gmail: [email protected]
Do you know Buma, tell us something we do not know about her in the comments section.