Displaced and Impoverished
There is no single person on earth who would have ever wanted to be born in a poor family. When you are born and bred in poverty, there’s usually a lot of things that you have to forgo because they can’t be afforded and there are also a lot of sacrifices that you have to make for ends to meet, and more often than not you might end up frustrated, or worse still depressed if your endeavors are fruitless.
I am saying this because I was born in an refugee camp in Serbia. My names are Zeljana Radoje- Zeljana means ‘desire’ and when I was born, my parents desired much to have a better life before my birth but it never came to be. They had hoped that they would have been resettled since the war that had had them displaced was over. This having not happened, they still hoped that I would have a better life.
A Girl Of Hope
Life in the camp wasn’t that desirable though there were several NGOs who facilitated and supported a modest livelihood for us. While still a young girl living in the camps, I was among those who had lovely voices and was well endowed with the capability to sing.
I never realized much about it since I was a young girl with little ambitions and thus I paid almost no attention to this gift. All through my education, I participated in various singing events and competitions and most of my teachers, friends and audience believed that one day I would make a great singer. But signing wasn’t my dream and my parents showed no support to this whatsoever.
After my high school studies however, I felt the urge to record a song. It was a song about the miserable life that I grew in. I wanted the world to hear about the horrible stories of injustices that my mum used to narrate to me to encourage me put efforts in my studies.
I talked to my parents about this and they thought that I was insane. To them, music had no future and could never bring any food to the table. They reasoned with me and I gave in. That was the end of my music ambitions.
I went to college and studied education as they advised me. Though I am a teacher today, whenever I look back at the decision to become one, I feel that I shouldn’t have forgone my dreams of becoming an artiste. Maybe if I was born in a decent family, they would have considered my talents.