Dreams make nations


THE shooting down of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Honourable Engineer Walter Mzembi’s plan to bid for the 2034 FIFA World Cup points to Zimbabweans who, like Thomas, only believed after he put his fingers into his master’s crucifixion wounds.
An article in last week’s edition of The Sunday Mail bemoaned that the country has lost the capacity to dream.
The contribution, by Bishop Lazarus, foresaw a tragedy if we did not resolve our inability to dream.
The success of our country is steeped in our ability to dream big.
Our inability to dream points to a lack of confidence in ourselves and it is a vestige of colonialism.
It is a manifestation of ‘only whites can do it’ syndrome.
Many doubted that independence would be achieved given the strength and firepower of the enemy.
Many doubted that land could be repossessed especially considering that some of it belonged to British Royalty.
But the success of it all began with the ability to dream.
Yet the high school graduate who has passed with flying colours, the university graduand leaving university with distinctions, the professional with vast years of experience and excellent service, the free man and woman in the street cannot dream big.
What is lacking and holding us back is not an absence of knowledge and skills, but lack of confidence in ourselves.
In most cases, what separates nations are not resources but the dreams the citizens possess; sometimes, small European nations with minimal resources are among the richest in the world.
King Leopold ordering Belgian missionaries in the Congo not to teach Africans about God because they already knew him was an exhibition of the pursuit of a ruthless dream.
The British ‘super-patriot’ Cecil John Rhodes dreaming of conquering Africa from Cape to Cairo highlighted dreams that make Mzembi’s unrecognisable in the realm of dreams.
Their dreams, considering the odds staked against them, could be described as madness.
But both men achieved their dreams and acquired vast fortunes not only for themselves, but their countries.
The ‘harsh’ African conditions did not deter them; they saw not the impediments, but the possibilities.
And the first thing they took and destroyed in Africans was self-confidence.
But fortunately there were also dreamers among Africans whose spirit was not broken by colonialism.
It was the dream for freedom that drove the men and women who fought in the First Chimurenga and Second Chimurenga.
The seven guerrillas of the Chinhoyi Battle in 1966, who triggered the Second Chimurenga, David Guzuzu, Arthur Maramba, Christopher Chatambudza, Simon Chingozha Nyandoro, Godfrey Manyerenyere, Godwin Dube and Chubby Savanhu were driven by a dream.
It was belief in their dream and themselves that blinded them to see the ‘impracticality’ of seven men taking on the Rhodesian army.
Many others would follow them to fight in the Second Chimurenga.
And the sons and daughters of Zimbabwe realised their dream in 1980 with the attainment of independence.
For 109 years, sons and daughters of the soil nurtured the dream of possessing their land, from 1890 they began fighting for it and finally repossessed it in 1999.
The men and women believed in their capabilities to till the land and dreamt of surpassing the production levels of former white farmers.
And today tobacco output, despite challenges in the agricultural sector wrought by Western imposed sanctions, has been increasing every season surpassing that produced in the best years of the white farmers.
Zimbabwe is one country that has blown to smithereens Western clichés about Africa.
The West continually harps that Africans are not a forceful people who can fight to the finish.
Rhodesian genocides at Chimoio, Tembwe, Freedom Camp did not deter the freedom fighters, weapons were not abandoned, they fought to the bitter end because they were fuelled by a dream and had confidence in the war they were waging.
Zimbabweans through programmes such as the Land Reform showed the world that we can and do what we say we will do.
Zimbabwe has remained resolute in achieving its aspirations through embarking on more empowerment programmes which now include the indigenisation of the economy.
It is important that we do not frown and spit on dreams possessed by people like Minister Mzembi; our country has been made by men and women like him.
Our history is full of indicators of why we should be a confident people.


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