‘My life is my story’

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Emerge; By Simbarashe Nyamadzawo, Harare, 2019.
ISBN: 978-1-77906-927-6 (Paperback)
105 pages

Reviewed by
Eddie Zvinonzwa

FOR most writers, personal experiences have always been a source of material for their books, be they fictional or otherwise.

Simbarashe Nyamadzawo, pictured, does exactly that with his motivational piece Emerge. However, he does this with refreshing honesty, a feat that is very difficult, especially if their early lives are not that rosy.

Nyamadzawo traces his early life from his humble beginnings in rural Domboshava where his mother had to struggle to fend for him and his siblings’ education.

Literally, the word “emerge” can be defined as “coming out”. In this case, Nyamadzawo’s use of the word appears to be the same where the writer is referring to how coming out of a shell to eventual popularity and recognition in inspirational speaking and writing.

And the writer says of the book: “The book Emerge holds the keys that will help you unlock the gifts and talents that are often overshadowed by insecurity, fear and pain of the past. It is in overcoming the things we fear most that reach the heights of who we should be and more.

From being a star maths student to failing my “A”Level exams, I have had to walk the path of overcoming great personal pain and more. In this book, I have shared how I have weathered the storms of life through sickness and personal hindrances with the help of mentors …” (pi)

Nyamadzawo has risen from very low — being raised by a widowed single mother. “To fend for us, my mother did piece jobs in exchange for maize, cooking oil, sugar beans and kapenta … The school I attended was a poor one and could not afford to buy exercise books for its pupils, let alone textbooks for the entire classes.” (p2)

Whereas the village, its people and school were poor, it exuded lots of positives which should have helped mould Nyamadzawo into the person that he is today.

“Our village did not phave much in terms of resources, but there was unity, a sense of community, love and oneness; to be precise, we observed ubuntu. We were taught to treat each other with dignity and respect more so our elders.” (p2)

Nyamadzawo has been able to look at his life in retrospect and pin-points the day that changed his life as the day of National Scholars Chess Championships held at his school when his headmaster chose him to announce the results in front of everyone at assembly. “I had never spoken in public before and besides the fear of public speaking I was a stammerer.

“Had it not been for Mr Muzamhindo I would have asked to be excused. He was a strict man, a disciplinarian for that matter. I had no option but to comply with the directive.” (p7) The experience of having to announce the results exposed his limitations but he did not remain in denial.

The writer says of his writings: “I encourage others in similar circumstances that their condition is not their conclusion. My life is all about inspiration. My life is my story. I want people to realise that the finishing point is more important than the starting point. I want to emphasise that the most successful person is not he who climbs the highest mountain, but he who has come out of the deepest valley.”

He writes: “The best way to deal with fear was always to confront it. I joined the debate and public speaking club … That day ushered me into the world of possibilities. I turned my weakness into strength, my lemons into lemonade. In that moment, I took responsibility for my life.

Nyamadzawo recognises the central role God plays in people’s lives but says how people respond to situations determines how successful they become.

“God is not responsible for your wellbeing. You may be in a tight situation but what matters most is how you respond to the situation.” (p62)

The intervention of prayer in human life is one thing Nyamadzawo says made him “emerge”.

“Lord, use me as an instrument of inspiration, impact and influence. Surround me with other leaders, wise men, global shapers, world changers, and other people committed to progress and development” (p64-65)

Most successful people have clear attributes of discipline. “The successful do daily what others do occasionally. Birthing anything significant will take discipline, commitment and consistency” (p72)

Putting one’s priorities right also leads to success, according to the writer: “Priorities are the key to effective decision-making. You must identify priorities in relation to achieving your vision and establishing the principles by which you will conduct your entire life…” (p75)

When people are able to take risks, they stand chances of seeing other opportunities. “Risk takers are not people who do something out of this world but they simply do what most people are afraid of doing. Taking a risk is not a careless exercise but a courageous action with a potential worthy reward backed up by faith. Refuse to settle for less when you can have more.” (p82)

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