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Lessons By The River

Today I wanted to learn so I asked my daughter a very simple question – what can we learn from a river?

This is what we learnt:

1. It CHARTS it’s own course. A river doesn’t have the luxury of following an existing path – it creates one.

2. It FLOWS. A river does not have to go with the flow…it is the flow.

3. It OVERCOMES. A river cuts through stone, gorges, trees and still overcomes

Life is pretty much the same. CHART your course. Don’t go with the flow …be the FLOW and OVERCOME while at it!

A Decade To Flourish – 2020-2030

Earlier today I took these two pictures. I was intrigued by the fact that these trees are planted right by the river yet one flourished and the one died. As I reflected I thought of the metaphor of life:

1. Some people thrive where others struggle

2. Some are deep in opportunities but sometimes they can’t see them

3. Ultimately to flourish is not just about where you are planted but a function of the grace of God in your life

Friends I pray that in this coming decade:

1. You will flourish where you are planted

2. Your ideas and dreams will be watered

3. That the grace of God that brings depth, respect, honour and flourish to your goals may abound in your life

You Were Created To Flourish & Dominate

Genesis 1:28

Then God BLESSED them, and God said to them, “Be FRUITFUL and MULTIPLY; FILL the earth and SUBDUE it; have DOMINION over the fish of the SEA, over the birds of the AIR, and over every living thing that moves on the EARTH.”

INSIGHT

1. You are BLESSED – “preloaded with divine possibilities and abilities”

2. FRUITFUL – be productive

3. MULTIPLY – expand and increase

4. FILL – maximum capacity

5. DOMINION – take control of the:

• SEA – swim in OPPORTUNITIES

• AIR – fly over CHALLENGES

• EARTH – walk in POWER

Let me use the analogy of geese here – the geese will WALK on the ground, they will SWIM in water and FLY in the air. This is the essence of having dominion in all arenas of life!

Don’t Stick To Your Job Description

Over the weekend I was say my favourite restaurant. After going through the menu I succumbed to my weakness for malva pudding. When I asked the waiter he indicated that the chef was gone but he would do make the malva himself. It turned out to be one of the most indulgently trusty malva pudding with a spongy caramelized texture that I have ever had. Topped with vanilla ice cream it made music on my taste buds. With my curious mind I couldn’t miss an opportunity to learn from this:

1. Don’t limit yourself to what they said you can do. Thomas was just a waiter but he could cook one ‘heaven’ of a malva pudding!

2. Where you are is not who you are. There is more in you

3. It’s not what you are called that matters it’s what you answer to

One more thing, remember David went to the battlefield to DROP OFF food and and he ended up PICKING UP the crown

Change the Method, Don’t Change The Core Message

So yesterday I was invited to speak to a group of SMEs and #entrepreneurs. I had prepared to talk about some of the #disruptive businesses such as AirBnB, Uber, Lyft and the like. As the delegates started to arrive it dawned on me that a number of them had never heard about Uber. Well, I knew I had to change my method.

I had put together about 10-12 slides. I decided to tell stories. I shared the story of how in the last few days we had turned a problem of waste into a great #opportunity for young people in the high density areas of Glen View and Budiriro. I also told them how the previous day I had met a delegation from Japan Embassy and told the delegation of the vast opportunities in Zimbabwe. I literally saw the energy in the room rise and in a simple story telling moment, me and the crowd went on an exciting ride for the next 45 minutes. By the time I went back to my presentation we were now tap dancing together. I also told them how I lost money in trying to do quail business. A few lessons:

1. Don’t stick to a method, if it will affect your message

2.The best presentations are those that connect with audiences

3. Audiences will love it when you show how much you care not how much you know

O Hail New Season | It’s Spring Time

Winter is gone. Spring is here in all its magnificent splendour. Summer is right behind like a best lady. I have been meditating on the meaning of the change in seasons. Winter has got a way of numbing us as we all retreat to find a niche of warmth. Spring has got a way of making us all bounce back. This morning I have been watching the red spring blossom of Msasa trees, hearing the enthusiastic chirping of birds all under a serene blue sky – what an explosion of edenic beauty. Flowers as if on some regimented cue, are all strutting their beautiful blooms at the slightest push of the gentle whispers of spring breeze.

All this we see in nature is a promissory note from the bank of heaven that nothing lasts forever even the coldest and longest winter has to give in. The destruction of the old brings the construction of the new. Every exit…is an entrance to somewhere… The sun sets today to rise tomorrow. Your situation is not your destination. Your temporary condition is not your permanent position.

If I had time if I had time…. I would tell you of one story that grabs me. A story of one paralytic man who had been immobile for 38 years… he had “a deep seated lingering disorder”:

John 5:5-8

There was a certain man there who had suffered with a deep-seated and lingering disorder for thirty-eight years. When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, Do you want to become well? [Are you really in earnest about getting well?] The invalid answered, Sir, I have nobody when the water is moving to put me into the pool; but while I am trying to come [into it] myself, somebody else steps down ahead of me. Jesus said to him, Get up! Pick up your bed (sleeping pad) and walk!

Jesus asks the man a question. I am reminded of the story of Job – for a good 37 Chapters God is silent. In the 38th Chapter, God finally speaks and asks Job questions:

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:

“Who is this who darkens counsel. By words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.”Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. – Job 38:1-4

Going back to the Old Testament, instead of getting an answer God asks questions and tells a Job to basically zip it! Fast forward to the New Testament , the paralytic man who wanted to have a pity party was also told to zip it!

Friends today you are being asked questions as well. What is your answer? This ain’t time for a pity party. This is not time to feel sorry for yourself. BUT…

1. RISE UP (above negativity, from slumber), TAKE UP YOUR BED (circumstances, limitations) and WALK (pursue purpose, do what you couldn’t do)

2. Write that business plan, publish that book, go to that place, meet that person, read that book…do that which you have always wanted to do but couldn’t

3. Cheer up. Chin up. Head straight. Chest out. Square shoulders . Spring in your step. There is more in God…there is more in YOU

It’s a spring time!

Celebrating Heroes Day | My Personal Reflections

“Love urikugayei?” there would go the question. I would answer ” Ndirikugaya Makeyi”. The next question would be “Makeyi aendepi?”

“Makeyi aenda kuSobhaya” , I answered. This would be a typical scene at my parents shop at 37 Ross Avenue in Rusape, a place then known as Evergreens. This was in 1981 when my siblings and some of our staff would ask me why I would be in deep thought. I was just about 5 years or so and I was close to my dad and would be sad when he travelled for a few days. Makeyi was slang for Baba as I used to call my Daddy. Sobhaya was slang for Harare then known as Salisbury (Sby).

I have been reflective for a number of reasons. Tomorrow it will be 31 years after my father’s passing. But this week is also our Heroes and Defence Forces Holiday. Let me take you back to the trips my father was making to Harare a lot. My father had a number of shops during the war in Manicaland in places like Mandeya 2, KwaZindi, Vengere, Nyazura. Like many patriotic Zimbabweans he supported the liberation struggle with his substance. In his office when we went through some of his documents after his death we saw letters from Makomuredzi ( liberation fighters) written to my father. Some of the letters would read:

Wadiwa Baba

Makadii Baba. Tiri Vana venyu. Tinokumbirawo rubatsiro;

1. 10 X Kingsgate Cigarretes

2. 10 x Madison Cigarettes

3. Jeans & Jackets (Denims)

4. Matendafoot (Tennis Shoes)

5. Batteries for Radios (used to be called Wairesi – Wireless Radios)

….the list would go on.

Pamberi Nehondo! Pamberi NeGutsaruzhinji!

Wenyu Muhondo

Comrade Canada Dry

My mother confirmed to us back then as we painfully went through my father’s office and papers after his death in 1987, that this is typically the letters that would have been dropped off and passed on to her via the Mujibha’s or Chimbwido’s for Baba’s attention.

So why was my Dad travelling to Salisbury a lot those days? This was soon after the war and there was a talk that the government would ‘compensate’ business people like my father who had contributed to the liberation struggle. His trips to Salisbury where to go to some of the ‘offices’ to follow up. I don’t remember my father getting the compensation , but that’s not my point. On one of these trips Cde Canada Dry who was now a top military man even phoned and asked to speak to me and he said “Mfana tinaBaba kuno kuSalisbury, hold on and speak to him” That made my day and I can ever forget its effect on my impressionable young mind and heart then.

This is my point in sharing this:

1. The liberation fighters were respected and respectful people

2. The liberation struggle was a joint effort between the fighters and the people

3. Therefore let’s always celebrate days like these because of our common history as Zimbabweans

As I am writing this now, my little boy came and asked me what I was writing. I explained to him. It’s important that present and future generations are proud of their history. The past has got a way of informing the future. Our children will only be determined and courageous going into the future when they know their rich heritage as determiners of their one history.

Happy Heroes Day Zimbabwe.