How is Rabison Shumba doing in 2015?
My 2015 started well and is going great thus far. Nothing excites me more than a fresh year full of possibilities heralding another chance to do things better, differently and more creatively. I am getting stronger and more productive with the passing of each day.
Where did you grow up?
I was born and bred in rural Masvingo, Mwenezi District to be exact. I only left that environment when it was time to come for tertiary studies in 1992.
What are your plans for 2015?
I am definitely releasing yet another book (at least a book a year), I will speak more, mentor at least 50 young people. I am pursuing further education passionately and it is taking a lot of my time. I want to build my mind to be stronger and more relevant for this generation and to be able to solve people’s ever changing range and array of challenges.
What keeps you motivated?
I am a lover of purpose driven life. I pursue my purpose daily with a clear set of goals and milestones to achieve. Just having stuff ahead of me to achieve keeps me going. My desire to make a difference in my generation keeps me awake at night. Making others grow in their chosen areas of endeavour fulfils and fuels my zeal to shape a better tomorrow.
How did you get into motivational speaking?
Motivational speaking was preceded by motivational writing. Motivational writing was preceded by find my purpose which is summed up as “to create greatness in others through inspiration”. Everything I do is intertwined and linked to that purpose. So, upon releasing my first book which became an instant hit, I got demands from businesses, non profits, youth organisations and even churches to take speaking engagements. I never had a chance to start lessons on it. I had to hit the ground running and got better with increased exposure and experience.
Do you think the youth of Zimbabwe are involved in the future of this country?
There are several categories of youth in Zimbabwe and in any particular nation. There are those who wait for things to happen, they sit back and watch others creating or mutilating their future. There is another class that does not even care about the future. They are consumed with the present, pressing and urgent. If they can have a meal today so be it, the future to them can not be apprehended or influenced. There is however a group of young people that I have seen who are determined to create the future where they take centre stage in making things happen. Sadly, this forms a smaller proportion of Zimbabwean youths.
Do young people in Zimbabwe recognize your work or its young people outside Zimbabwe? Is it important to you to be appreciated at home?
I am one happy Zimbabwean writer and speaker in that my work is highly recognised in my very own country. Young people appreciate anyone who creates time to listen, coach, train and mentor them. I do that to the best of my ability with the amount of time available. I do have a global audience as I receive invitations even from those who have no links to Zimbabwe. It is always great though to have your own nation and community as a launch pad that endorses your work. Charity begins at home and so does endorsement, it does not need to end there.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My greatest challenge in my career was finding my own voice and niche. I write broadly. For a long time I did not know whether I need to keep spraying in all directions or I needed to focus on specific topics. Also if you are widely read, your main challenge is ensuring that you remain original and yet making sure your message competes favourably with whatever is available locally and on a global scale.
Whats your biggest achievement yet?
Through my writings and youth development work, I was selected to represent Zimbabwe in the United States in 2011 as part of the Young African Leaders Initiative. This really boosted my drive to make a difference through the learning experiences I got while interacting with top government officials, leaders of commerce and industry as well as non profit organisation leaders. I travelled the length and breadth of America speaking and exchanging ideas. What a great honour.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I will be well into my PhD studies and in the process of setting up structures towards a Leadership Academy for Africa because I know I am called to build a better Africa through developing leadership capacity in the young people. In fife years I will have grown 5 more years wiser as I know every day that goes is a lecturer with life lessons that no university can give. I will have reached a few hundreds of thousands of African youths through my mentorship programs, books, and social media interactions and coaching sessions. I would like to serve Africa more regardless of which part of the world I will be stationed at the time.
What do you do to relax?
Interestingly I write. It is great therapy. Some think it is great work as the mind will be racing but for me it is a time to focus and collect myself into one space. I also love TV which I watch mostly with family. Nothing beats family time and obviously playing my favourite games.
Your Top 3 local motivational speakers?
You are making it hard for me. I love the work of most local motivational speakers. I am a proponent of local content. Some of the sharp shooters include Evan Mawarire, Milton Kamwendo, Kudzai Mubaiwa, Arthur Marara, Patson Dzamara, Nicholas Bhero, Yehohanan Museredzo, Fitz Mujuru, Tafadzwa Nyamuziwa, should I go on. I know you said 3. These are not in any order. They are all unique in their own right and focus areas.
Any words of wisdom to the youth of Zimbabwe?
I have tonnes to say. Young people, you are candidates for success and influence. If you can only translate your ideas into real tangibles that solve the issues that mankind grapples with, you are well on your way to becoming preferred solutions providers. Let us move from being content with what already is (as consumers) to creating what can be (contributors). In this lifetime you are not rewarded for talking but for ideas which bring results. They say the best way to predict the future is through creating it. You shape or destroy the future through the decisions you are making today and the habits you chose to entertain. In all your decision making, take responsibility for the outcome, however negative it becomes. That is the essence of maturity. People will only take you serious to the level to which you also take yourself and your life seriously. Let me stop here… for now.
Where can your fans reach you?
I am on almost all social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter (@rshumba), Facebook Fan page (Rabison Shumba), On my blog site (www.rabisonshumba.com). Anyone serious about talking to me will get me. My email is rabison [at] rabisonshumba.com.