From the day I walked through that door ...
By Nancy Kasvosve, University of Chicago 11'
"For Usap is a family of dreamers. We dream beyond our situations in life. We dare to step over the line of what we are supposed to become according to society. We dare to say we can, when the whole world says we can't."
I was tired and flustered from a four hour ride in the back of a dirty open truck all the way from Masvingo. The wind and cold had done me good and I looked just as close to a street kid as I could. It did not help that my high school, Gokomere made us wear an array of mismatched colours for a uniform. Walking into the flashy Eastgate shopping mall and up to the seventh floor in that glass elevator (unnerving the first time!), and how could I forget getting through the guards, was all but an embarrassment, but I was too full of anticipation to notice all that. Lesson number one; do not judge a book by its cover. 27 pairs of eyes turned to me as I walked into my first Usap meeting, a good two hours late.
I have since tried to understand the rush of feeling that came into me as I walked into that room, with little success, but after being at the Usap forum, I can fully describe it, because I experienced it a second time. It was like walking into a world that had a place for you. I remember the first introductions, your name, school and dream. For the first time in my life, I spelt out my ambition and was rewarded with interested eyes, thoughtful nods and some applause. It was a welcome change from the blank stare that the rest of the world had given me for a long time. What can you do sitting in a mission school in the middle of almost nowhere? From the day I walked into that room I have known no boundaries to what I can do.
For Usap is a family of dreamers. We dream beyond our situations in life. We dare to step over the line of what we are supposed to become according to society. We dare to say we can, when the whole world says we can't. From the day I walked into that room, I recognised my chance to get even with fate and prove my worth. The wings of possibility right before me and my imagination being set free, to soar the realms of success.
For we have many success stories because we are a family of achievers. We have championed academic scenes where we come from and still are now in our respective colleges (I trust). Our leadership virtues have seen us anchor our families, friends and schoolmates as well as the hope of our nation. Above all achieving a voice to stand out from 485 other applicants or so, to demonstrate battles fought with life; won and lost, lessons learnt and moving on saying I still can be what I want to be. It is not what happens to you that matters but what you choose to do with what happens to you. Most of all demonstrating a sense of responsibility for our past, present and future as it all defines who we are but not what we can become. Looking back on my life is not as painful; knowing that I can be better than what fate had painted for me.
Last but not least, we are a family of believers. Believing, maybe blindly, dreaming without prudence, but with only a bold hope that at some point in life, a will turns into a way. We believe in our dreams, and most of all in each other. That is the sense I came away with from the forum. That the world will give you all but it's up to you to make it what you want, and you know what it is "doable", because there were people right there at the forum that had done it. We believe what we have achieved thus far, is a small measure of the potential that we have if given the reigns of our destiny. After all is said and done the world is not so big after all. I had it within reach all this time, now I have it right at my feet, from the day I walked through that door…