The office of Info Front association I’m volunteering for is in the same building of a factory where parts of shoes are produced. Almost every day I have the pleasure to say dobro utro – good morning – to the workers having a break in the courtyard of the factory. And often, a smiling woman comes to the office to greet us.
Vase Stevanoska, 55 years old, is the master tailor and production manager of the “Maci shoes” factory.
For the second issue of MYG – Magazine for Youth Generation, which is going to be published in the next days, I decided to interview her (read the first interview to Simon Bidjoski).
In the shoes factory in Andon Slabenko road there are about fifty people working. The most of them are women, and it’s a woman who thanks to her experience is responsible for the final products, controlling the seams of the shoes and giving advices to her colleagues. In the “Maci shoes” factory are the upper parts of the shoes to be produced, which then go to another factory to be assembled. The final destination is the Italian market.
Vase Stevanoska was born and grew up in Prilep. She has never had the desire to live in another place, and she’s proud of her job. In this interview, Mrs. Stevanoska talks about Prilep and her life.
Vase, what do you like of Prilep?
I like the look of the city, its different neighbourhoods. And then the nature around Prilep. I live in a flat and every week end I go out for picnics.
What instead don’t you like?
We are experiencing a very difficult economical situation, because of the unemployment it’s difficult to have the possibility to live here. Prilep has changed in better in its look, but it hasn’t changed in terms of economical opportunities. Only for few people.
In the past was the situation different?
Yes. From one side I think that the people were satisfied with less, but from the other we had a regular salary, and hope. When I was young there was hope, and this is what young people and in general the society miss today.
What would you do to improve the situation?
I’d do the possible to create jobs for young people, this is the biggest problem of Prilep. We are loosing the enthusiasm and the capacity of young people, which are wasted because they are leaving the city to look for opportunities abroad.
When did you start to work?
Exactly thirty years ago. I worked here, in the same factory, that at that time had other owners.
What did you do?
I was a tailor. I loved the job and this is why with the passage of time I’ve reached an higher position. Now I’m a master tailor and I control the production. I like to take responsibilities.
How did you find this job?
It was a bit a chance because I should have done something different. At that time there was the employment agency and I was proposed to do the shop assistant for the shoes factory. But at the end there was no place in the shop and so I was offered to become a tailor.
What did you do before starting to work?
I got married and I had two children, a son and a daughter.
What do you do in your free time?
I love to spend my time with my two grandchildren, who are 15 and 9 years old. Then I like to walk and I’ve been going to yoga classes for three years, twice per week. Yoga has improved my physical and psychological condition. And then in my free time I go out with my husband and friends, and I read a lot.
What is your favourite book?
“Master of the game” by Sydney Sheldon. I recommend it because it teaches that if you are determined you can obtain everything you want.
What is youth for you?
It’s the most beautiful days in life, full of enthusiasm and power. This is why I think the society has to give a chance to young people.
Until when is a person young?
Until he or she feels young.
What does it mean to be young?
It means to have positive thoughts, to be cheerful, to do sports and to hang out with friends.
How is in the country the situation between men and women?
Our society is still a bit patriarchal. I’m against the gender roles and I feel lucky to be surrounded by good men. For sure women haven’t the same opportunities of men, for example in being successful at work.
Can you give three advices to young people?
To be persistent in realizing their ideas, to do everything possible to have a family, and to be optimistic. I know that it’s difficult today to be positive, but you should look for optimism even when it seems that there’s no place for it.