Title: Dare: A Diary to My Grandchildren
Author: Doris Mufara
Publisher: Self (2019)
Between the Lines with Phillip Chidavaenzi
DISRUPTIVE innovation is not a new thing in business theory, but the concept has spread out to other areas, including the study of literature. I am persuaded to believe that Doris Mufara’s debut offering, Dare, perfectly fits this new paradigm as it bluntly refuses to be confined to one genre of literature, be it fiction or motivational — or even academic.
The book’s transcendental nature, which spreads to even the style in which it is written, is not only refreshing, but challenging, as it seeks to upset the well-established conventional way. Right from the beginning, Mufara takes no prisoners, with a word study of the meaning of “Dare,” itself a peculiar choice for a book title.
Although this title can easily persuade the reader to dive into the book as a motivational text, the storytelling style makes it read like a piece of creative writing. But Mufara, in one of our meetings last week, admitted that the book not only borrowed a few slices from her life — but all of it was based on true, lived experiences. This lends the publication an indisputable aura of authenticity, which consequently makes it a strong offering.
Diary entries are by their nature very personal and intimate, often with personal details not meant for public disclosure. The epistolary style of a diary used in the book is effective in that it draws the reader into the author’s personal life and experiences.
Mufara writes with a sweet cadence that makes the text flow smoothly; something acknowledged by her former English teacher, Lucas Kasenya, who recalls that Doris was “a gifted student” and “a budding writer” way back in high school. In the foreword to the book. Kasenya writes: “This book is very well-written, readable, with a delightfully simple style.” (ppvi).
In 14 chapters, Mufara gives a blow-by-blow account to her grandchildren on how to discover, and walk in their God-given destiny and how to leverage their faith for a life of purpose and fulfilment. In simpler terms, as the book title suggests, she dares her grandchildren to pursue extra-ordinary lives, do the impossible and dream big.
Mufara shares how she broke off the shell of mediocrity and the mundane associated with predictable life patterns to reach out for the impossible, starting out with learning to ride a motorbike when she was well into her late 40s. But while conceiving the idea, she says her mind “was placing limitations on the realisation of this dream. I constantly told myself that it was ridiculous for me to entertain the notion. It was dangerous and, after all, I was nearing the age of 50!” (pp2).
It is quite clear from the book, that it is important for an individual to have one significant dream into which all other smaller dreams should feed. And this dream has to be pursued with the tenacity of a zealot, if ever it is to be realised.
But what seems to be the underlying message, which runs like a thread through the book, is that unless you exhibit reckless courage, unless if you are daring, there are certain levels in life that you will never reach. This is why it is important to dare!
If you are frustrated with life, if you are trapped in the vicious cycle of monotony, or you sense your station in life should have long shifted, but you are stuck in the same old place, then you need to get this book. It will push you out of the comfort zone and get you going. It is all about purpose.