ED the Dream Crusher!

Imagine spending your entire childhood carrying a dream to one day be a writer, teacher, nurse, doctor, a technician in one field or another, or even an athlete who would some day raise Zimbabwe's flag high whilst playing for the national team.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana

Tendai Ruben Mbofana


What about those young girls and boys who made the whole country proud, as their Moot Court Team made headlines with their phenomenal feats, as they overcame the whole of Europe and the world – who would some day hope to become prominent lawyers in their beloved motherland.

You sink your teeth into ensuring that those dreams are realized, through sheer hard work, encountering both bitter and sweet moments in the process, as you put your all in your schooling and chosen field of endeavor, so as to become the best.

Just when you believe you have overcome all the challenges along the long and tedious way, conquering some seemingly insurmountable obstacles – you finally come face to face with the harsh cruel realities of life in Zimbabwe – as either, there are no jobs in your preferred career path, or the earnings derived are pathetic and unsustainable.

What are your choices? What do you do?

Bite the bullet, and soldier on in your chosen field – which, you genuinely believe is your calling, as you are unquestionably passionate in this area, and your blood flows faster whenever engaged in that pursuit – despite not being able to fend for your family, or even cater for yourself?

Leave Zimbabwe, and ply your trade in a foreign land – which then derives immense benefits from your exceptional knowledge and skills?

Or, as home is always best, and are reluctant to leave – you are forced to go into something that you never liked and were never passionate about – just so as to make a living?

Possibly, you are left with very little choice, but to stay in Zimbabwe, and instead of being a writer – something you always believed you were born to do, having even honed your skills from a very early age – you only end up starting a “project” in goat rearing, or chicken farming, or growing some vegetables for resale.

Instead of waking up in the middle of the night, on account of inspiration hitting you for a new article or book – in moments that always uplift your spirits, and fill you with much joy and satisfaction – you are forced to grudgingly get up in the wee hours of the morning, apparently always tired, exhausted, and stressed, in order to attend to the various demands of your cumbersome “project”.

Each and very day, you feel like giving up – but, the frightening thought of your children not going to school, or inability to put food on the table for the family, or a roof over their heads, forces you to keep going on!

That is exactly the situation the vast majority of Zimbabweans find themselves in, as a result of the destruction and crushing of their dreams by the Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa regime – whose incomprehensible economic policies, and widespread corruption and looting of the nation’s resources, have driven most citizens into unbelievable poverty and suffering.

Is it then any wonder that there are ever-increasing cases of mental illness, most characterized by stress, depression, hypertension, and strokes, as well as related suicide cases?

Why would Zimbabweans not be some of the unhappiest people in the world – judging by the recent statistics released by the Global Happiness Index, which ranked the country 144 out of 146 (2022 World Happiness Report)?

Human beings are created to desire far much more than money, and its pursuit – but, to experience purpose, meaning and inner potential in life – a fact clearly enunciated by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which ranks this as the highest need of self-actualization.

Surely, how can anyone achieve this level, and in turn gain inner satisfaction and happiness – when not pursuing what one had always loved to do, and is passionate about – but, forced to eke out a living through stressful endeavors one does not even love, just so as to bring home the bacon?

If I am a writer, who honestly believes my purpose in life is to fight for oppressed people’s social justice, through my writings – where will I derive that sense of purpose and meaning, if I am to spend my time raising layers chickens for eggs?

In fact, as we go down this hierarchy of needs, it is easy to see that Zimbabweans have nothing to be happy about at all – since, we even fail in the personal achievement arena, due to the same reason of not engaging in pursuits one truly enjoy.

One can never declare to have made it in life, simply because he has made some cash, if accomplished through something he loathes.

Genuine achievement is inseparable to the attainment of one’s goals and ambitions from childhood – which, inevitably, come with tremendous fulfilment and pleasure.

The basic needs of any individual, at the bottom of the hierarchy of needs, are similarly elusive for Zimbabweans, who find it a huge battle just managing to afford food, access water, shelter and decent clothing – let alone, securing employment, enjoying good health, and owning property.

Surely, how many of those doing “projects” even own the houses they are residing, since most are simply renting or “lodging” (as we popularly refer to “leasing”)?

Zimbabwe is truly a depressing country – and, we have the Mnangagwa regime to thank for that, through their unmitigated disgraceful failures, who have ruined a once prosperous country, where people could fulfill their dreams!

© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: [email protected]

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