Adorned with a long list of achievements and carrier that speaks for itself, there are no adequate words to properly describe who Consolata is. She is a first born in a family of twelve and mother to six children. She has three sons-in–law and six beautiful grandkids. From her school days, she always thought she would become a journalist or interpreter one day because of the love she had for public speaking. But as fate had it, she became a teacher since the year 1983 following in the footsteps of her father who was a primary teacher from 1957 to 2009.
“Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions”
Since the beginning of her carrier up to now, Consolata has a track record that a few people could measure up to. She was a teacher of English for many years in different parts of the country. In Kirundo for two years, in Jenda for one year, in Gitega for three years and two years as prefect of studies and discipline in Bubanza. After that she served multiple purposes in the National ministry of Education and gave English courses to many tertiary education institutes. She is now a full time lecturer at the University of Burundi since 2001 and a part of the National team that implements the integrated pedagogy for the four higher institutes training teachers for the post-basic level.
Consolata Nahimana has been a teacher for the last 40 years and still going strong. However this beautiful story of her life was not written without a few bumps in the road. She was sent to work in new places with new customs, struggled to get used to it and she had to commute from home to work at long distances. It was a huge responsibility to deal with young learners and gain their trust because it required a lot of efforts on her part. Another big challenge was to maintain a healthy work-life balance since she also had a family to take care of. As Mustafa Kemal Atartuk said, “ A good teacher is like a candle, it consumes itself to light the way for others.” She endured all things for the bigger reward of training the future generation.
Through all the difficulties, she delights in the unwavering support from her family and loved ones. She once had to go abroad for further studies leaving three very young children but it all worked out thanks to her husband’s support. Now much to her satisfaction, the students she trained became professors, lawyers, politicians, doctors, businessmen and very big people in the society, etc. Through her hands was born multiple generations that are doing amazing things bigger than what anyone can achieve in one lifetime.
“Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners and the love of bringing the two first loves together”, says Consolata Nahimana as she advises the younger generation of teachers. « A teacher should be characterized by love and empathy, continuous learning, hard work, positivity and always strive to be inspiring », she adds.
Her story is the reminder that women are powerful and able to have both a healthy family and a successful carrier.