From my previous post, several people asked me a simple reason that I did not have any ready answer for. "What causes your depression?"
May sound simple but there is no one answer to it. I am depressed for a lot of reasons and one of them is "REJECTION".
There are days I feel like I am the unluckiest person on earth and I am always forced to give up. "Dennis you are the biggest loser the world has ever seen, Just give up man, you will amount to nothing". There is this constant whisper in my head all the times. Sometimes I have given up and sometimes, I have pushed a little bit harder and saw the win, that long awaited victory.
Few days ago I heard that the YALI application results were out and I dreaded opening my email. I foresaw that "We regret to inform you that..." email. Well fair and good I remembered that I did not bother applying for this fellowship the last call. Sigh! I just saved myself from that bad experience of being rejected again.
Few days later I stumbled upon this article by one of the young guys who inspires me a lot. I was so expectant to read how he has been "Ballin'" after Chevening and I was eager to hear his story.
What I found out shocked me. I did not expect t hear what he has and continues to go through. When I thought I was a lone and few more other, Chimwemwe's account with rejection gave me a different perspective of pushing until something happens. Below is Chimwemwe' post which originally appeared on his personal Blog.
Know that you are not a lone. Chimwemwe writes,
"It’s been a minute since a blogged about my life and experiences. The last time I wrote something personal and close was when I was sharing my experience with my English language test as a Chevening requirement, and then my experience as a 2015/2016 Chevening scholar in the United Kingdom. The interesting thing about these two experiences is that there is some kind of happily ever after. What I am going to share to today, does not resemble anything along those lines.
Like most of the students, I came back home full of hope and energy. I had made applications for the Mandela Washington Fellowship 2017. Like any other applicant, I was hopeful that my application would help me stand a chance to get an invitation to meet the Mandela Washington Fellowship panel to chat about my work. However, my application was not strong enough to help me get an interview with the panel. This was disappointing news especially after seeking counsel from Mandela Washington Fellows from 2016. I cannot lie that I was not disappointed because I was. But I had to quickly get over the disappointment and move on. I then made an application for the YALI RLC-SA Residential program with counsel from another fellow. I also did not make it. As I am writing now, I have just received another bad news that I did not make it for the Mandela Washington Fellowship 2018.
I have always had plans to do a PhD in International Development. When I was doing my MA, I started working on my PhD research paper. I took advantage of the fellows to provide counsel and PhD candidates to provide pointers. I got the best support from the fellows and friends. I made submissions of the proposals to several schools in the United Kingdom. I got a fair share of my ‘we regret to inform you’ emails. Just when I was about to take a holiday from applications before I regroup for another round of applications, I got an invitation to an interview for a PhD International Development with the University of East Anglia(UEA). The interview went well, and the University offered an admission but not the scholarship. The competition was very stiff, and my application was not strong enough to beat the competition. I had to buy myself a bottle of Cocopina, and drink my bad news away. Then I was back again to applications and I know I will secure a scholarship very soon.
I made applications to various universities, scholarships and fellowships. One Young World, Queen Young leaders, etc. I have applied to them all more than once, but I have not been successful. The feedback was the same, ‘we regret to inform you…’ Then, I would do my ritual again, buy a Cocopina, drink my bad news away, and then back to the application game.
Did I also mention that I was doing some job applications? Yes! I was and still, I am. I made applications for jobs into several companies too. Of the million applications I made, I got invited to two interviews and I wasn’t successful on both. My ritual again, drink Cocopina, and back to applications.
From the stories above, I do not qualify to stand in front of people to share anything to do with applications for jobs, fellowships, university admissions and scholarships. To some, I am a fraud, right? But interestingly, the people that I work with end up getting jobs, fellowships, university admissions and scholarships that in fact, I have failed to get. Quiet ironic right? I do not understand how this works, but it just works that way. I guess it is not up to me to understand, but just to continue helping people and hope that one day, it will make sense.
My life after Chevening and Sussex has not been about bad news always. I have had my fair share of great news too. I have been part of live panel discussions and interviews with various media houses to discuss development issues and policies. Thanks to Zodiak Broadcasting Station and Timveni TV.
I have been featured in the Nation Newspaper, and have had some of my articles published in the paper. I have had the chance to be invited to various high profile meetings. Thanks to people within my networks who always share opportunities and recommend my name to organizations within their networks. I have had the opportunity to share my knowledge with people through training organized by various organizations.
Most of all, I have had the chance to make a difference in people’s lives through scholarships, training and mentorship mainly through maphunziro265. This has been a very exciting part of 2017, and I am sure it will be the same for 2018.
Why did I share all this today? I shared this with you to get to understand that you are not alone. I am among the many people who continue to go through this experience. There is nothing sweet about bad news. Nothing good about a ‘we regret…’email. However, we don’t stop because we are not getting good news. We continue to press on. We don’t put other aspects of our lives on hold because other aspects are not working. We still live. We still continue to enjoy life. Most of all we continue to be happy and praise God. Finally, we continue to do what God has called us to do regardless of how we feel that day".
Get more of what Chimwemwe writes on his blog, The Development Hub
Dennis Imaan is a Global Citizen born and currently staying in Malawi. He loves to share his experiences and lessons with others. Travel, Tourism, Innovations, Media and Youth development are close to his heart.