Born to be great but couldn't tell how or at least when!
Many if not everyone has a dream; realisation of any dream has a time range and the size of a dream depends on the bearer. We are always told to dream big but we are never told how big exactly our dream should be.
When I was about to complete my primary school studies, I was convinced by my parents that I would become a pilot. Things would fall apart, later on; I found out that aviation wasn’t my thing. Besides, I believe that one tough but worth thing to do is discovering one self’s potential, by themselves.
While I was at the university, my uncle stayed close to my campus; though we could seldom talk, one day, he wanted to know about my aspirations for the future. I cannot accurately remember what I said, but I couldn’t forget his statement; uzaba umwami ntaba umwana.
That’s a Rwandan proverb, literally meaning that one to become a king is never juvenile. In other words, regardless of what people may see or say, the greatness is in the hands of the beholder.
We are used to the “American Dream” which conveys the belief that, everyone in the United States, through hard work inevitably becomes successful, rich and happy. What about the African Dream?
It is widely known that life started in Africa and it is today commonly said that life is starving in Africa. From ancient to contemporary times, Africa is known to be the continent laden with resources but also with scarcities.
Everyone is aware of the statements above, moreover many an African are aware of how to improve the situation. However, bound with a certain background or even mindset, the question of ‘when’, is somehow still not clearly answered yet.
We are somehow affected by bad histories; despite numerous opportunities to become the greatest.
All in all the African Dream is to have a stable, self reliant and sustained continent whereby everyone’s hand is stretched out to lay a brick on our home of fifty four siblings. However, knowing the exact role of each and the appropriate time for action is still a challenge to many.
As Rwandan, I have a history interconnected with my background defining a part of my decisions. Thus, I always have to fight with myself, to bring out the best of me. Ultimately, my only choice is to win this self battle, if I am to make any change.
As a matter of fact, it is not because we can’t do it, but because we can’t imagine ourselves doing it. Even if, I think of making a step forward, something tells me that maybe it is not yet the appropriate time or else my sex becomes an issue.
In Rwanda at twenty one years of age, one is considered mature enough to even legally get married, but it is almost a miracle to hear of a major entrepreneur at this age, not because it is strange but due to certain poor mindset concerning age and wealth.
Since when I met my uncle, the other proverb has been continuously echoing in my ears and I strongly believe that, one is great not because they are called so, but because they feel so.
Indeed, our greatest foe is ‘ourselves’ and the greatest gift is our ‘time’; both can determine the weight of one’s dream and the scale of its realisation.
The writer works with the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda. Views expressed in the article are personal.