Africa needs mindset overhaul


LAST WEEK The Patriot Arts reporter, Shingirai Mpofu (SM), caught up with motivational speaker and author, Dr Patson Dzamara (PD) and had a chat below are excerpts of the interview.

SM: I’m sure a lot of people know you as the young man who launched five motivational books at once. Most are curious and would want to know who Patson Dzamara is?
PD: Patson is an Afro centric life coach, author, motivational speaker, carrier coach, and educationist. My forte is leadership so all these things I do all boil down to leadership development and training.
SM: You just defined yourself as “afro centric.” What does that mean to you?
PD: I believe as Africans, someone lied to us and told us that anything and everything that is foreign is superior and so we have assumed the receiving posture. We are always receiving and recycling. You would appreciate that there are ‘no’ leadership experts in Africa and that is really a cause for concern. Africa is rife with a lot of leadership issues and case studies and I believe it is actually robbery for someone to come from America or UK telling us what it is we need to do about leadership. No one has been bold enough to stand up and say, “you know what, we can do it on our own.” So that is where I am coming in as an afro centric leadership expert.
SM: You have said everywhere else there are leadership experts but Africa. Why don’t we have more leadership experts that are African and have to depend on literature on the subject from abroad?
PD: It boils down to the mindset issue. There is a need for a mindset overhaul. Like I said earlier on, someone lied to us and told us that anything foreign is superior. We have not learned the art of celebrating our own. For instance, as artistes are guilty so to say. We lack originality in our work. We have a tendency of viewing the West as the benchmark and hence our products are inclined to be an imitation of Western ones. I believe the time has come for us to be original. For example, our legendary Tuku fused his music with the traditional African beat but his music has gained international appreciation.
SM: What gives you the confidence or strong impression that we can compete on the international platform, with the rest of the world?
PD: Number one, I’m a believer. God created us all equal. Whether you are in the US or in Africa, as long as you are human, you have the same access to creative ability. And that gives me the confidence and audacity to dream that I can as well compete at that global scale. I have also been inspired by people like Bishop Tudor Bismack.
SM: Many would want to know how you came up with five books and launched them at once?
PD: I actually have over 50 unpublished books. The plan was to launch 10 but I was advised not to. I plan to launch three more this year. Besides motivational literature, I also write short stories.
SM: Do you believe that these books you launched will help the average Zimbabwean become a better person in terms of personal development and leadership capacity? How critical are they?
PD: I believe the difference between people lies in what they know. Knowledge can never be over supplied. These books come in handy in addressing our pertinent issues from an African point of view. The case studies in the books are all local. People can identify with that. The first book, Dimensional leadership, is all about leadership and The Winning team is similar to the former but deals with managerial leadership, marriage and relationships. Finish what you start is all about motivating people to finish whatever they put their mind to achieve. The Anatomy of Process is a life coaching leadership tool and The Development Matrix is for personal development and career guidance.
SM: The issues that you discuss in your books are mostly centred on Zimbabwe, why is this so?
PD: No nation has ever been through what we went through, but look at where we are now. We went through the unthinkable but now we are thriving. We meandered through all those storms and managed to come out victorious. It’s these experiences that make Zimbabwe the best country to exemplify in terms of outstanding leadership.


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