NOMINATED FOR OUTSTANDING AFRICAN EMPLOYEE
My name is Gertrude (Trudy) Jaricha. I’m a proud African with a
bachelor’s degree in Social Science with honours in industrial
psychology. It’s great honour to have been nominated for this award.
Having moved to china over a year ago, I was quickly aware of the
challenges that African teachers face on a daily basis. During job
interviews questions asked were not based on qualifications, rather
the focus was on my background and skin colour. After being viewed in
such a negative way, it became very clear to me I had to play my part
in raising awareness for Africa and African teachers. I vowed to
myself that I would be an example, so others could recognize me for my
skills, teaching talents and intelligence.
As I worked tirelessly doing winter English and summer camps. I was
afforded the opportunity to showcase African culture. I shared my
African traditions, delicious foods, and tourist attractions of many
African countries to Chinese children. It was amazing to discover;
how little people knew about Africa. The real Africa is not just
animals and poor people. The real Africa is rich and encompasses
wealth, love and above all hope.
As an educator, I believe that one needs to do their very best. It is
also my sacred human responsibility to teach children and the world
how to be resilient.
Being an English teacher isn’t easy, but being an African educator is
much more difficult. Working in a blond hair, blue eyed dominated
industry has been brutally challenging; but hard work, persistence,
integrity and a positive outlook are what I believe to be the golden
keys for success.
Being turned away and rejected so many times simply because of where
I’m from prompted me to work harder and dig deeper. There was a lesson
to learn and a blessing to gain.
Within a year I started off teaching as a substitute at Fangncaodi
International School and later became the full time remedial
specialist and curriculum development consultant. I received much
needed training and exposure and I learned the importance of
inter-cultural awareness. My supervisor and teaching coach was very
hard on me; he explained the importance of what it meant to be a great
teacher and a diamond. Diamonds are like teachers they are not made
over night. It takes time, pressure and harsh weather to produce such
a precious and valuable stone.
I have discussed this issue on various platforms including magazines
and cultural days talking about the challenges and misconception
African Teachers face daily. It is my sincere wish to shift the
mindset of the unknown.
Working at schools such as Elite Training School, Grey stone
international, Ritan Primary School as the first African has given
opportunity to do what I’m passionate about and that is drama, music
and teaching my students African culture.
One initiative I’m most proud to introduce are free African cultural
awareness classes, I carry out to different schools on weekends.
Although, most parents are apprehensive when they discover I’m not
teaching about Africa through the lenses of Europe, but teaching
through African perspective.
Not only is it an honour to be nominated for this prestigious award,
it is also an honour to represent, and further enhance inter-cultural
understanding and co-operation, between China and the broader African
community through my chosen profession of teaching.
I believe we must stand by our true identity, not have to lie about
where we from…be proud of who we are, have faith in our God and
raise awareness of what are the true qualities of an outstanding