A technician from Zimbabwe epitomizes what it means to be committed to your profession. His story is so motivating I asked him to share it, in his own words, with all of you.
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My name is Taurayi Raymond Sewera. I grew up in a family of four boys and one girl living in the high-density suburb of Glen Norah in Harare, Zimbabwe, Africa.
I had a very tough life growing up where I could barely get three meals a day. My mother would sell hand-sewn clothes she made to take care of our family while my father barely took care of our family most of my childhood life. He became more involved in our lives when I was 13 years old and passed on when I was 19. I became the bread winner for my family at the age of 20 and I started working on cars as the best way to provide for them. I am a self-taught automotive technician.
I would work on anything automotive that presented itself to me from light gasoline, light diesel and even heavy-duty diesel vehicles including earthmoving equipment. I started my career selling vehicle spares — mostly used ones that I got from salvage yards. In the early part of my career, I was working in and out of a highly informal industrial place called Gazaland in the Highfield suburb.
|I have over a thousand automotive books in my personal library and study them nearly every night in my quest to become one of the world's best.|
At the age of 22, I got married to my beautiful wife, Faith. Two years later we had our first child, Chantell. Together, my wife and I have had five children. My growing family added additional responsibilities on my life as the family bread winner and it pushed me to work even harder.
Unfortunately, we tragically lost our second-born child, Russell (nicknamed ‘Russy Dollar’ by my best childhood friend). The passing on of my child devasted my wife and I, and even up to this day it feels like we lost him only a year ago. I became an alcoholic after the passing on of my son and remained so until 2015 when I finally decided to quit drinking alcohol. And even though I'm sober, I pay the price still today. Beer has already extremely damaged my pancreas and I am now suffering from chronic pancreatitis.
What has truly turned my life around was the decision to become a Born-Again Christian, and from that day I have never looked back. I made a prayer to the Almighty telling him how much I wanted to turn my life around and become one of the best automotive technicians in the world.
My quest to become one of the best took off in 2016 as I was watching a YouTube video of an American automotive instructor by the name of Jim Morton. The video was Mr. Morton teaching an ignition waveform diagnostics class at a TST (Technicians Service Training) event. At the beginning of the class, Jim wrote his email address on the board and I chanced emailing him, telling him of my desire. Fortunately enough, Jim replied my email and told me how he was impressed by my desire.
Jim told me that in order to become one of the best, I needed to attend one of the best automotive training events in the world — like the VISION Hi-tech Training event held every March in Overland Park, Kan. He also mentioned how unfortunate it was that I lived so far away because of the costs involved and what it would take for one to attend this event all the way from Africa.
Not to be discouraged, I told Jim I was 100 percent dedicated to automotive technology training and I was willing to pay for all the costs to attend this legendary event. Jim managed to link me up with Sheri Hamilton, the Executive Director for VISION. Sheri was very happy to help and provided me with all the necessary paperwork to facilitate my USA Visa so that I could attend VISION.