Fanning the Flames of Passion: Jemila Hamid

A first daughter, a wife, a mother, a business owner, and an entrepreneur, Jemila Hamid’s story is one filled with perseverance and inspiration. Born to a hard-working mother and a devoted father, Jemila looks back on her childhood with a fond memory. Growing up, her parents made it a point to involve their children in family decisions, from something as mundane as what type of furniture to get, to major family decisions. After her sister was born, her parents started a business that consumed their time. However, breakfast was one sacred time that nobody missed in the Hamid household. Through that, she developed a strong sense of family and its importance.

When she was still in school, Jemila had chosen her career path as a physiotherapist and has stuck by it to this day. She majored in the Science of Physiotherapy in college, which reaffirmed her burning passion for the profession. However, the road was not easy. All her loved ones preferred that she major in other fields rather than physiotherapy, believing that this would be the safer option for her career, for the field that she chose was an untested ground. Nevertheless, she believed that she served better in physiotherapy than in medicine; she craved to explore that world, and so she did.

Jemila graduated as the valedictorian of her class and was over the moon about being one step closer to fulfilling her dream, which was to open her own physiotherapy clinic. But as life would have it, she was faced with another challenge that kept putting her dreams farther and farther away. Unlike the traditional way of the government placing natural science students, specifically those in the medical fields, Jemila and her cohort did not get the same opportunity. That reality left her devastated. Despite leading a petition against the government’s decision, she quickly realized that the fight was not worth it because the decision was not to be altered. All her plans seemingly took a detour. With a broken heart and an uncertain future, Jemila joined the family business and got married to her college sweetheart, her best friend. But she never let her flame die out. Because of her burning desire, she was determined to fight for her career path, and she started sending her CV all over.

Luckily, Paragon Physiotherapy Clinic had an opening that required a stiff competition. Needless to say, Jemila was determined to get the position despite her lack of experience in the field, and she did! Her commitment to her field and her superb work ethic earned her the position of Clinical Director within a very short time. Her rewarding experience at Paragon became a stepping stone for her career.

In 2019, Jemila, pregnant with her second child and with an undying ambition, opened her own physiotherapy clinic, Nexus Physiotherapy and Stroke Rehabilitation Specialized Clinic. But even this chapter didn’t come without its own struggles:  lack of support and discouraging comments that did not deter Jemila from pursuing her dream. With the unfailing support of her husband and a business partner that she brought on board, she was able to put a strong foundation for her new business.

In the first year of their business, Jemila and her partner encountered quite a few challenges, like dealing with customs bureaucracy, being understaffed, and not being aware of their target market. To sustain their business, the two partners had to wear many hats. At the end of their first year, COVID hit which did not help the business. However, Jemila has described this time as a learning curve because it has helped her understand her business on a deeper level. For a while, they had to do everything for themselves, but their hard work paid off. Three years after opening, they were able to open their second branch. Jemila has traveled many roads to get to the success she has reached today, and she is grateful for that.

The Addis Ababa Karate Federation is one of the organizations that works closely with Nexus Physiotherapy. According to statistics, 50% of sportsmen don’t return to sport after they have suffered an injury because of a lack of proper guidance and facilities. The same goes for women after childbirth which hinders them from going back to sports for the same reason. Nexus helps them with rehabilitation and also training of Karate Masters so that they can become trainers in the end.

Jemila served as the first woman president of the Ethiopian Physiotherapy Association that works diligently on policy-making in the Ministry of Health, advocating and creating awareness about physiotherapy and its importance.

Jemila considers her parents as her role models and instrumental in shaping the person she is today. They made sure that she went to a public school so that her perspective can be widened by her surroundings. She learned a key lesson at a very young age: that not everyone is as privileged as she was. Gratitude and kindness were instilled in her at a very young age. Jemila learned from her father to treat everyone with dignity and impartiality. From her mother, she learned about hard work.

Jemila realizes that she is part of the few that are fortunate in Ethiopia, and she makes an intentional decision to constantly give back to her community, especially to the women. She hires more women in her company and mentors them personally so that they can stop being in the boxed mindset that society puts them in. She also supports and encourages them to pursue their dreams through deeper self-reflection.

She asserts coming to AWiB has helped her in more ways. She has found the experience sharing with like-minded women to be helpful and refreshing in her personal and professional growth that would lead her to be the leader that she aspires to be.

Jemila is a strong believer in “Do good, and good will come to you.” Never let another person’s negativity take a toll on you. It reflects more on the type of person they are and not on who you truly are. Jemila defines success as something that is divinely given from above. What she values most as success is fulfillment in life and happiness. She wants her accomplishments to not only be about her but to extend it to the larger community. Nexus gives discounts, services, and free consultation services to NGOs that might require it.

Jemila is grateful for the time she affords for deeper reflection, for the balanced life she leads, for her family, her sister, who is also her best friend, her children, who add color to her life, her business partner, and above all, her husband, her rock!

Jemila’s advice to the younger generation is, “Follow your dreams and have balance. If you can dream it, you can achieve it. Don’t stop at just dreaming; do something about it. Try not to be swallowed by failures, because they are just lessons.”

Nexus Physiotherapy and Stroke Rehabilitation Specialized Clinic Information

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