Vera Vencatasamy – A very heartwarming story of an incredible Woman
Whenever I am asked to share about my life, I find it a humbling experience as I consider the many inspirational stories of hardships and challenges that women who have overcome and are successful, far more worthy than mine, however I do believe that each of us has a unique story, that can help and touch someone’s life.

There are two significantly heart wrenching moments in my life . The day my mum died when I was 16 years old and the day my dad died suddenly from a cardiac arrest in front of me and I could do nothing to help him. How those pivotal moments shaped my life, I would never do justice in just one article.

Firstly before I go on.. I would like to salute a tribe of women who I believe are true warriors and actual super heroes that inspire me every day to go on. I salute you the woman who works from 8am to 5pm and then comes home and works again to take care of her husband and children, I honor the single mum who strives to take care of her kids alone , to the mother that’s lost her child to death or drug addiction, to the woman who cries tears no one sees, to the woman who suffers abuse or illness and still has a smile on her face , to the woman who works as a maid and puts her kids through university I salute you all. I believe that God sees you and knows every tear you have cried and He honors you! Women are true examples of how to turn their pain into power and I honor you.

My mum never had great education, neither was she wealthy but she was a fiercely courageous woman whose generosity and kindness knew no bounds. I honor her for always believing in me and believing that I could be more. If I come close to being like her I would have truly had a blessed life.

As a child growing up I had issues of belonging, I remember at school I performed poorly because of I felt rejected because of the colour of my skin., I was bullied in grade 1 and called names like black and ugly. Is it shocking that kids can be so cruel ?. I remember going home every day crying and telling my mum that I hated school and I never wanted to go back. My mum never really knew why I didn’t like school so much, she thought I would in time get over it. When she enquired of my teacher what could possibly be the problem, she said that I had a learning disability and I might need remedial classes. My mum never believed the teacher, she knew there must be something else wrong.

Eventually I managed to tell my mum what was going on at school and I will never forget what she told me. Those words still give me confidence today when I walk into a boardroom of affluent and high profiled people or anywhere really. She said “ You are the most beautiful girl in the world, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, when you walk into a room everyone will notice you because you are brave and courageous.” I believed her! The day I heard those words of affirmation, it changed my life. During the course of my life no matter the tough challenges that came my way, I have never felt intimidated and have always been confident in who I am. Affirmation is so important. We need to affirm our children so we grow up confident women and men who know that they are worthy and more than enough. Oprah once said she interviewed presidents to housewives to Beyoncé, the one thing that everyone had in common after the tv interview, was the question, ‘ was I ok?’. Everyone looks for affirmation! Affirm your daughter your sons your husbands, fellow women and most of all your selves. As for my school experience since then, it became much more pleasant as the more confident me started making new friends and not worrying about the bullies, slowly my grades began to improve too. Isn’t it true that when we have a sense of belonging, we thrive.

When I was 16 years old I lost my mum to the dreaded ‘C’ word ( Cancer) and my world fell apart, I lost the love of my life! She was only sick for a month, her death came as a shock. I felt rejected by the entire world but mostly I felt rejected by God.
I will never do justice in this article to explain my journey since that day, from my utter loneliness to divine connections with people which can only be described as miraculous. No matter where I went I always felt my mum in my heart and God guiding my path. One of the life altering connections that I made, was when I was confused after matric and didn’t know what to study, not because I just didn’t know… but because finance dictated that so. My single dad could not manage financially to send me to university . Finally I decided I would study journalism at Durban Institute of Technology which seemed more affordable. However I went late and the lines where already filled up, I had no idea where else to stand and eventually ended up standing in the Public Relations and Communications Studies line. I eventually enrolled in the course but I believe that all of it was divine. I also got to work as a student intern for a company called Media Link, a PR and marketing company. The director of the company, Rhoda Fowler, was an amazing mentor. In 2005 she gave me an opportunity of a life time to take over the business and become the director. I felt that I couldn’t do it at first and then I heard my mom believing in me and urging me on. However I was hit with another blow when my dad suddenly died the month I started the business.

My heart broke. To describe that time as painful is an understatement. Here I was mourning the death of my dad whom I loved dearly but also starting a business in a fiercely competitive environment. I felt clueless and perplexed. How would I ever survive? There are many times I look back and wonder how I made it through and then I know for sure it was God’s amazing grace. I have been the director of Media Link for the past 14 years and also the director of Lyon Queen Productions, a digital and video productions company.

Through the many challenges, over the years, there has also been indescribable joy. In 2008 I met my husband Theo, the love of my life and we got married in 2009. Since our marriage we have been business partners who are also passionate about youth, women empowerment and giving back to our community.

On October 5, 2016, my life changed forever when I met our baby girl for the first time and brought her home. She was 8 months old when we adopted her. She’s now a very active 3 year old who keeps us super busy. The joy she has brought to our lives is immeasurable .

She is the love that found me.

When I met her for the first time, I felt that the spaces of deep sadness in my heart where being filled with immense joy. It is strange and often bewildering how God places the puzzle pieces of our lives together and mends our broken hearts.