From Shoe Repairer to Radio Star

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Yacob the son of chiefs tribe, had been living a life as a shoe repairman at the market in Central North Timor, East Nusa Tenggara

One day, Yacob Obe Tusala's shoe was broken. He brought the shoe to a shoe repairer.

"It is easy to get money," Yacob thought while he was observing the shoe repairer working. He immidiately bought tools to repair shoes and began to practices reparing his broken sandal.

Yacob, 22, is now registered as a semester seven student of the Faculty of English, Timor University, in Kefamenanu, Timor Tengah Utara district, in East Nusa Tenggara. In his church, Yacob is known as a good singer. His talent in singing had made him win singer competition held by local radio.

As a son of a tribe head, Yacob should have good life. But the fate determined the diffirent thing. Since he was in elementary school, Yacob had to move from one family to other family in order to get education at school. Without a courage to embrace difficulties, he must have left school and lived in village like most of his friends in Bikomi Nilulat sub district.

His father, Paulus Ta'eki Obe, has been old enough when Yacob was born. People in his village predicts that his age is more than 90 years. His mother, one of Paulus's wife, is more than 60 years. Yacob is the youngest son of nine siblings. That is why Yacob had to think hard how to remain at school. Besides becoming singer and shoe repairer, he also worked as a motor cycle taxi driver.

"I receive happily how much customer pays my service. There is a customer giving 1,000 rupiahs (US $ 0.09), and I does not complaint. There is customer who gives me 5,000 rupiahs (US $ 0.45) but does not ask the change."

A month working as a motor cycle taxi driver, Wahana Visi offered Yacob a job as a daily worker. He was very grateful for the opportunity, but he still needed around 2,000,000 rupiahs (US $ 181) to continue his education to university.

Yacob asked God guidence in his pray. "If I have money the time I have to pay admission fee then I will continue my study. Otherwise, if I don't have enough money, I will not continue my study."

A miracle happened when Yacob received 1,700,000 rupiahs (US$ 154) money from his sponsor just before the regristration. The money was an answer to Yacob letter sent to his sponsor in Canada. Previously he said that he was eager to continue to university but he did not have money. With the great support from his sponsor, Yacob can continue his study to university. Studying at the university brings happiness to Yacob. But he still face challenges: how to fulfill his daily needs and pay education fee?

So if someday, you see Yacob, youngest son of tribe head, is repairing shoes or driving motorcycle taxi, it is part of his effort to reach his dream.

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