Mufuka goes global with his dream!
By Ken Mufuka
The second anniversary of the death of Zimbabwe’s long serving tyrant, Robert Mugabe has wakened some ghosts which had been allowed to sleep.
Mugabe not only betrayed our dreams of a prosperous Zimbabwe, but almost killed my personal dream to be able to contribute to my country. The Dr. Gideon Gono era of inflation, 2007-2013 destroyed my U$4million portfolio I had entrusted to CABS and Founders financial houses.
Without a dream, life is meaningless, and many people die from depression and worse. I have held to my dream, and recently, I have gone global with it.
When I went home in 1982, Mugabe was at the pinnacle of his power and influence. Having served in Jamaica, and knowing what the word socialism do to an economy, and how business men begin o can hide their money as soon as they hear that word, I knew Zimbabwe was doomed to repeat the mistakes of Tanzania and Zambia.
At the time, very few of us appreciated what a dream killer Robert Mugabe. Professor George Kahari was one of those who saw the writing on the wall.
“Sekuru, all this talk about Marxism and socialism, they know nothing about socialism. Hapana zvirikuitwa apa. It is all nonsense,” he said.
We were naïve. We had been brought up to believe that a man is not fulfilled unless he uses his knowledge to develop his country, or give something back.
My family had been blessed ten times over. Through our connections with the church, five of our eight siblings had been educated abroad. I had been sponsored to St. Andrews University in Scotland by the reverend Dr. Robert Craig, D.D.
Education was my field. As director of museums at Great Zimbabwe, I set out making a plan for museum education to be integrated into the school curriculum and the Great Zimbabwe to be central to that scheme. The BBC took me on it. Prince Charles visited Zimbabwe and I had several interviews with that organization. My reinterpretation of the Great Zimbabwe was filmed by the BBC.
I set up a scholarship fund for Mazambara Primary School in Gutu and Mucheke High School in Masvingo.
But even I was working on that dream, the Zimbabwe economy went from bad to worse, and Mugabe’s politics became more and more toxic. I was a Zipra and Gukurahundi affected our party, leaving our members as suspects in Mugabe’s scheme of things.
My dream shall never die
I returned to the US, hoping to set up a financial foundation from which I could regenerate my dream.
With the help of my family, we set up two scholarships available to Zimbabweans studying at Lander University.
Over one hundred Zimbabweans have now passed through Lander University.
Hatfield Elite Academy
I was going to mourn my mother in Zimbabwe, when a Christian community in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, called me to stop by and witness to them.
The fellowship was led by matriarch, Dr. Gallie al Kawas (her Arabic name translated from Kawanzaruwa). She invited me to assume the role of patron of Hatfield Elite Academy. In my experiments with pedagogical ideas, I had come across the American educator, John Dewey.
To cut a long story short, I experimented with my daughter Rumbi. An average child, brought up in a positive environment, and kept away from the negatives of: “You can’t do this. This is for the rich and powerful” can achieve miracles.
We exposed Rumbi to Beethoven music at the age of five, not letting her know that that music was one of the most complicated In the European repertoires. We sent her to Emory University, the Harvard of the South, not letting her know that that place is the recruitment ground for the US State Department and other lofty headhunters like Lockheed Martin aerospace giants.
A super kid is raised in an all positive environment, challenging the kid to greater heights every day, arranging for her to associate with the high and mighty without her knowing the hard journey before her if she is to achieve those heights.
Some sense of religion is important. It tames the tempestuous hearts of rascals and would be scoundrels. Hatfield Elite Academy conducts an assembly and social every Friday morning, supervised by a chaplain.
Parents living abroad can enroll ONLINE and get their kids picked up from Harare Central District by a school bus. The academy has enrolled for Cambridge as well as Zimsec examinations. With our connections globally, we can almost assure a kid of a college place after graduation.
The fear of God, and the feeling that there are some things which are self-defeating because they contradict natural law, rather than human supervision become the child’s guide in life. This way the child becomes self-regulating and self motivating.
With this discipline and wisdom, derived from my experience as an educator for thirty years, I raised my last born child. Dr. Rumbi achieved that title at the age of 27 and went straight to work for the US government.
When Dr. Al Kawas invited me to serve at the Hatfield Elite Academy, our ideas of raising a generation of super kids were similar. I want to spend every summer at the Elite Academy, sharing with the super kids my global experiences and introducing them to the global movers and shakers of the universe.
While in Dubai, I was introduced to Arab speaking graduate students who use English as a second or third language. Our readers may not know this, Zimbabwe students learn English by immersion. They start in Grade one by hearing and speaking in English without the help of interpreters.
The experience we gained at Zimpapers under the great editors, Willie Musarurwa, Tommy Sithole and Charles Chikerema was exactly what was needed. In order to help these students. Modern educators are preoccupied with publish or perish syndrome and have very little time for personal guidance of their students.
I was therefore instrumental in establishing Elite Academic Services Global (Dubai) to help with the ever increasing need for counseling and editorial services.
In counseling global students in graduate school, two very common diseases called depression and student burn-out were rampant.
I am writing this on the anniversary of Robert Mugabe’s death, the killer of our dreams. If the reader finds himself (herself) depressed by the loss of purpose, one needs to be aware that one is not alone.
The cure, however, is not to lose one’s dream. One needs to find what one does best, and share it with others in the homeland. My first bursaries at Nerupiri School in Gutu were U$15 each for Grade 1-5. While this sounds a ridiculous sum, here was a gifted 10 year old poetess who was being raised by her grandmother, after her mother and father had perished from HiV-Aids. Chief Nerupiri gave me a title, VeMoyo Munyoro of which I am very proud.
My aim in writing, therefore, was to encourage Diasporas not to allow their dreams to die because of Zimbabwe’s tyrannical leadership.
Kenneth Mufuka is professor of history at Lander University in the United States. He can be contacted at [email protected] His books are available from INNOV bookshops in Zimbabwe.)