Oct 26, 2010

The Dream

Many of us economic refugees have what my friend Vimbayi calls “the Africa dream”. The dream usually centres on what each of us would like to do at home to make things better, in essence giving back. These dreams are often difficult to realise, and many of us stumble and lose heart along the way. Some are realised and are used to inspire others. Others ignore the dream, stifling it until they lose sight of where they came from and where they are headed. 

As I try to make my Africa dream come to fruition in my own way, I have come to realise that I need to surround myself with like-minded people as much as possible. During my undergraduate and graduate years, the one constant mantra I received from ALL my instructors in the business school was NETWORK! NETWORK! NETWORK! It was drilled into my head so much; I think I got my eyes stuck in the back of my head from excessive eye rolling, what did those old geezers know? 

Ha! Oh, what lessons I would go back and share with my naïve younger self.

So, as I surround myself with much wiser and experienced people it dawns on me how little cooperation we as Zambians in Diaspora can claim. We eagerly point to the successes of the Ethiopian and Ghanaian Diaspora communities, and yet we continue to work in silos (for the most part) on various ventures and projects that could benefit from the expertise of others.

My fellow Zambians with the Africa Dream let us work together when we can. We are not in competition with each other because at the end of the day we are working towards the same goal – a better Zambia, and a better Africa for ourselves and our children. 

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