A dream deferred sickens the heart

“What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore— And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over — like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?”

THESE words were written by Langston Hughes, an African-American writer whose work became famous in the 1920s, in a piece entitled Harlem.

When I was younger my elder brother, whom I worshipped, told me that where there is a will there are at least seven ways. Because he was an engineering student at university, and I was an arts student in high school, I simply assumed that there was some sort of incomprehensible scientific explanation for this statement; that someone had done some complex calculations and averaged things out and come up with this brilliant and very encouraging statement. I took it to be absolute truth and for many years went about guided by this principle.

Only when I was much older did I realise that he had popped that out randomly with absolutely no factual basis whatsoever, but it did get me thinking. Because I believed it to be true, I always looked for multiple solutions to any problem I faced with the certain knowledge that at least seven could be identified. It worked because I believed in it.

Similarly then, Zimbabweans now must be prepared to work for themselves (with Zanu PF having won the elections). If you dreamed a dream of prosperity, you should still chase that dream, irrespective.

If you longed for another child or even another wife, you should surely go ahead and satisfy your longings regardless of Zanu PF winning the elections.

If you planned to travel to a faraway land, to write poetry in the sunset, to play soccer with a star, or share supper with a sheik, you have no cause to derail your plans.

We read in Proverbs 13:12: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true there is hope and joy.”

Because if we allow the results of an election to derail our dreams, we become prisoners of those results. And we should not give ourselves up to be prisoners of anyone or anything; not now, and not ever.

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