There is nothing like a dream to create the future. So what is the Zimbabwean dream?
We’ve all heard of the American dream. Quite simply, it is the belief that freedom allows all American people to strive for and achieve success. It’s based on a set of ideals which include democracy, liberty, opportunity and equality. James Truslow Adams in 1931 said “Life should be better, richer and fuller for everyone… Regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.” The idea being if you work hard, you will achieve success.
So what is the Zimbabwean dream? What do we work for? What do we promise our children? Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, I had dreams of obtaining a University degree and getting a good job. I imagined my future partner and I would buy or build a house in Borrowdale or Chisipite. Driving rather nice, expensive cars that would indicate we had made it in life. We would have two or three children. All of whom would attend a good private or government school. That, was my Zimbabwean dream. I truly believed if I worked hard I could achieve all of that (with the aid of my imaginary future partner). Those were what I believed to be, the indicators of success. After all, it wasn’t too far from what my own mother had achieved as a single parent. She held down a bank manager job in one of Harare’s top banks. Having spent most of her adult life working in a bank, she was able to build a beautiful home for us in one of Harare’s low density surburbs. So this dream that I had, was relatively ordinary in my eyes.
Of course none of that ever came to fruition. They were the dreams of a child. Dashed by the failing economy and the hostile political turmoil that has ravaged Zimbabwe. New dreams had to be forged. Dreams of moving to another country. Dreams of getting jobs and “papers” in foreign lands. Settling down in those foreign lands and gaining acceptance / tolerance from the locals. We had to invent new dreams.
Fast forward to 2017 and what do today’s young Zimbabwean dream of? Can they dream of having a successful life and career? Do they only need to work hard to achieve a “good life”? Do they dream of being able to afford healthcare? Do they dream of roads without potholes? Of having clean water and electricity everyday? Do all Zimbabweans have the same opportunities or are they reserved for the select few?
What is the Zimbabwean dream?
What’s your dream for Zimbabwe?