Recently, Roger Federer broke one more record by winning the 8th Wimbledon Tennis Championship. He already has a record nearly 20 major trophies. And he is excelling at an incredible age of 35 when many would be struggling with match fitness not to talk about competitiveness.
I was so impressed with his latest feat, as always. And I declare that I am a big fan of Federer, the man that in his philanthropy has pumped some millions of kwacha into Malawi as his charity works to better the lives of many orphans and other disadvantaged kids.
What I liked even more than his clinical shots in the final game was the after match interview. The director of ceremonies asked Federer what was the secret behind his incredible achievement. Federer said: “It is all down to dreams. When you dream and when you believe in your dreams, you make it happen. I have always dreamt to win this and here we are now.” I was immediately bought into his principle of dreaming. I looked back and saw that even in my own life, the moments that I dreamt and believed in my dreams, I triumphed-unlike the times when I did not dream or did not believe in my dreams.
All great achievers start with dreaming-they dream big and they believe in their dreams. Be it in sports, politics, business, academia even in religion. In literally all fields, it is those that believe in their dreams that excel.
Case in point is Kamuzu Banda, our founding president. He often talked about the three dreams he had when he was detained for about a year at Gweru Prison in Zimbabwe in 1959. He dreamt “to give my people their freedom, to build our own university and to break the stupid federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland”. Since he believed in his dreams, it didn’t take Kamuzu long before he achieved all his Gweru dreams.
Bingu too had his big dreams which he achieved. We can say the same about a Tcheya Muluzi, Amayi and certainly the current big politicians. Of course, the mother of all dreams is that of Barrack Obama seeking to become the first black President of the United States of America. He believed he could do it, and you will remember his mantra “Yes we can!”
I have referred to the Zimbabwean entrepreneur Nigel Chanakira several times on this column. He told me that he used to tell his mother that he would own a bank when he grows up. Indeed, at the age of 28, he formed Kingdom Bank in Zimbabwe. He achieved his dream, the dream he believed in.
In religion, we have Joseph Ratzinger. Aged five, he was one of the young children who welcomed the visiting Cardinal from Munich with flowers. Later that day, he said that when he grew up, he would become a Cardinal too. He became not just a Cardinal, but even became Pope Benedict the XVI. In fact, another Pope long before him talked highly about the power of dreams. Pope John XXIII is quoted as having said: “Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”
In my first year at the Polytechnic, I had a friend Gift Kawamba. Gift had a dream to become a leader. He used to call himself “he self-declared chairman of first year students.” We all accepted that declaration. He kept believing in that dream and indeed in the third year, he became president of the Polytechnic Students Union (PSU). When you believe in your dream, you are not shy to say it a hundred times-reinforcing your dream the way Kawamba did it. Set out your dream, believe in your dream and live your dream.
If you can, even dream in colour-you will remember Bingu’s inaugural speech when he called on all Malawians to dream in colour. At least dream big, even if in black and white but dream big and believe your dreams. This way, you will excel in life!