She always wanted a career in teaching and at the age of 18 after leaving high school, was appointed a teacher at Belmont Girls’ RC School followed by St Rose’s Girls’ Intermediate School. At the age of 19 she was married and had her first son four months after her 20th birthday. Zakiya went on to learn to play the steelpan with Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra in 1974 and eventually was elected to the Band’s Management Committee in the position as Secretary. It was in the early eighties that she stopped teaching and opted to open a Health Food Store on Henry Street. The venture she continued while also living in Antigua for a few years and teaching at a private school there. Her return to the shores of Trinidad and Tobago in 1987, by which time she had three children, was the point where she began a fabric design business to provide top designers and fabric stores hand-dyed fabric. After seven years in the business she worked as the principal of Abiadama, a private primary/secondary school, and then as Programme Director of the Caribbean Network for Rural Development.
An individual who is admired in this society and stands as a positive example for all of us.