Technology innovator Steve Jobs once said “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work and the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
Trust me, when I say, I have met a lot of people throughout my life and many are comfortable in their career fields, but never have I ever met someone who talks as affectionately about what they do as Aretha Meusa does. Throughout the world, women are pushing boundaries and cementing their place in the world as movers and shakers. They are proving that there is nothing like ‘a man’s job’ and are taking up careers in every possible field.
If you had asked Aretha a few years ago, what she wanted to become, she would not have said that she wanted to be a plumber. She had never planned to go down the plumbing route, since she had her eyes set on entrepreneurship.
The 31-year-old mother of one is doing everything to ensure that she serves as motivation for her young son as well as letting him know that there is nothing that a woman cannot do. Aretha grew up in the small village of Plantain Walk on the West Bank of Demerara. She attended the Vreed-en-Hoop Secondary School, and immediately joined her mother in handling their small business after she finished school.
With a need to further her education, Aretha joined the Computer Science programme at Computer World in Georgetown and after graduating she went on to the Government Technical Institute (GTI) and got certified as a plumber. After she graduated from GTI, Aretha took the bold step of venturing out on her own and so came A Meusa and Son Residential Plumbing and General Construction.
“The reason I started my own business is to make sure that I have everything in order. I fell in love in plumbing and I can’t see myself in anything else other than that. I also did a heavy-duty operator course at GTI,” she said.
Tracking back to her early beginnings, Aretha explains that she grew up with her father who allowed her to join him at work. He was an architect and was also into construction so he allowed her to work with him.
“I have always been doing work with my hands. I grew up with my father in the construction field, he was an architect and he was an artist and from looking at him and being in the field with him and doing the plumbing work, I fell in love with it. I love it and that is when I started to pursue it more. It became my passion and it is something I cannot see myself doing anything else.”
For over five years, Aretha has been blazing the field and making sure that she makes her name a household one and she has been quite successful in doing that. However, it has not been without challenges and those were not easy challenges.
Despite being given the opportunity to join the field by a male, the other men in the field made it even more challenging for her since they doubted her every step of the way. She said that the main challenge was the sexism.
“As a woman, it is very challenging to be in the field because of the sexism, but I put all of that behind me and I showed them that it is all about the mind. Once you set the mind to do what you want to do, then you can conquer everything. The body works with the mind and once you put your mind to it, then you will conquer. That is what I did and I conquered all the negatives,” she declared.
For now she continues to blaze the trail, making her one of the most requested plumbers in the country.
“At first, it was hard because men used to say that plumbing is a man’s job and that you can’t do it, because you are a woman, but now everything is better. Now I’m known and my work is respected, the business is growing and exceeding. My advice to the other women who are thinking about being in this field, then they should stay focused and be humble. Put your mind to do what you want to do and the Holy Spirit will guide you that way. Go forth and don’t bother with those people who try to pull you down, because that will make you stronger.”