From the balcony of my new flat in Woodstock, I have had the pleasure of being woken up by the sounds of the neighbourhood coming to life, people in cars like busy ants filing into the CBD to put in another day of hard work, and planes with passengers loaded like sardines making their way to other cities to work, play or simply sit back and relax after a difficult year. One more difficult year to add to the growing number of those that have gone before it.

I am constantly overwhelmed by the pace at which life moves, as well as the sheer volume of information that I am required to process in order to keep my finger on the world’s pulse. But in the midst of all the demands that society places on the (post?)modern individual, a little creative manoeuvring and ingenuity can ensure life does not become the slog it has the potential to be.

In the words of Erasmus, “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” A little vision goes a long way to making life that much more enjoyable. If there is one characteristic that has the potential to change a person’s quality of life, more than anything else – although other factors do play significant roles – I would have to say that this quality is vision.

To quote the proverb, “Where there is no vision, the people perish”. In the same vein, the converse must be true: where there is vision, the people prosper. The Tambos and Teresas and Tolstoys of this world all had a transforming vision that spurred them on to the great accomplishments of their lives. How about we in Africa take a leaf out of their book, test this proverb and see what may come of it? What harm could a little dreaming do to a continent in desperate need of a revitalised vision of its future?

Kambani Ramano

refusing to let history encumber him, Kambani has gone off to do something wonderful...

2 thoughts on “Vision

  • December 24, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Interesting post and something I have been thinking about recently. Of late, I have been watching a number of documentaries about the development of many of the western nations. One key feature is leadership which sets the vision for the people. In New York, the streets were filled with waste, human excrement, etc, and it was broad level vision that changed all of this starting street clean-up campaigns, sewers, etc. The same happened with Rome where they colonised a large portion of Europe and pieces of Asia. Now, colonisation may be a sensitive issue for some, that leadership which provided vision for the people and the nation is what advanced the empire. Similarly with Shaka and unifying the Zulu people into a nation. It got me thinking that the deterioration and degradation of different parts of societies, such as what can be found in the slums on the outskirts of the cities, can be brought to a lack of vision and leadership. Also, the lack of service delivery, racial clashes, etc, will a lot of the time rest on the leadership and the vision that the leader bestows.


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