Feature: Circumstances not a barrier as children dream big

WestProp Holdings chief executive Kenneth Sharpe poses for a photo with children at Shungu Dzevana Children's Home where his wife Joanna hosted a Christmas party recently

Birth circumstances have failed to hold them back. And, like any other child, orphaned and abandoned children at Shungu Dzevana Children’s Home in Hatfield have ambitious dreams, shaped by lived experiences and their interaction with celebrities who occasionally visit the home to give material and moral support.

Orphans dream too. Last Sunday, presented an opportunity for children staying at Shungu Dzevana to express themselves and share their life dreams.

Former United States secretary of State Colin Powell’s said a dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.

They are determined to fulfil their dreams, spurred on by their siblings that have excelled in life.

The Sharpe family led by  Joanna and her celebrity husband Ken and friends hosted a Christmas party for 103 children at Shungu Dzevana Children’s Home. The party was bankrolled by proceeds from the sale of a book written by the Sharpes’ daughter, Tatiana. The book, The Lonely Tiger, was written when Tatiana was seven 20 years ago.

The party accorded the children time to express their wishes.

One of the children Kyle Dahwa (8) won himself a fully funded scholarship at Martingdale Primary School in Norton after convincing the Sharpe family that he has what it takes to be the future President of Zimbabwe.

“I want to be President of Zimbabwe. I want to help people to have decent homes,” he said.

Keith Tunhuma (10) who has been following the construction work of WestProp Holdings says when he comes of age he wants to be a building contractor and help Zimbabwe to achieve its housing delivery goals.

“I want to build houses and help Uncle Ken. I will go to college to learn the trade,” he says.

Several other children expressed their desire to join the Zimbabwe National Army and the Zimbabwe Republic Police all with a desire of protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Zimbabwe.

Others expressed their love for the different fields of the medical industry with the majority indicating that they wanted to be padiatricians or gynaecologists.

Head of Shungu Dzevana Sister Mercy Mutyambizi believes “the sky is the limit for all the children. Our wish is for all of them to go to university or college. For those that are not academically gifted, we ensure they go to vocational colleges to attain various life skills”.

“More than 1 000 children have passed through the home. Some of them are now professionals in different fields.

“Of our children — 21 are now engineers in various areas such as mining, mechanical, structural and electrical, 10 medical doctors, 53 nurses, 58 teachers, nine lawyers and several other disciplines”, she says.

Sister Mutyambizi said the home would not be begging for assistance, if all the professionals that have passed through the home would regroup and “give back”.

“The children here are their siblings. They should use their influence wherever they are to ensure their siblings enjoy the same support that got them where they are today,” she said.

Asked how the children are named and accorded surnames when the majority of them were either dumped or picked from the streets as new-born babies and no one knows their biological parents, Sister Mutyambizi says she is the godmother of the children.

“I play around with my surname. Some are called Mutya, Mbizi, Mutyambi and other variations from my surname. Their totem is Moyo,” she says.

Mutyambizi confirmed the support given to Dahwa and appealed to more corporates and individuals to adopt the children through paying for their education and inviting them to join them on holiday and other festivities.

“We want the children to have as much a near normal upbringing as possible. These are the future. We need to shape their destiny now,” she said.

The children have not stopped dreaming. After all, they are galvanised by former Indian President Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam who said: “You have to dream before your dreams can come true.”

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