By Cynthia Ayeza:
I have often heard that in life, it is important to follow your dreams and do what your passion is. I think it has worked for some people. For others, it may not have worked for various reasons; perhaps they did not persist or they were following what they thought was their dream or passion only to realise it did not bring in hard cold cash and so considered re-dreaming; – whatever the case, we must admit that dreams vary from person to person.
For so many of us, our parents have had the most grand dreams and ambitions. Some of us attempted to achieve them, in the hope of gaining their approval while others rebelled, either to their parents' mortification or pride (depending on where you are right now).
I knew a guy who was so passionate about music. He probably still is. However, his father preferred that he study something more marketable. I assumed that his dad thinks music is not marketable, or that perhaps in the case of his son, it would not be marketable – and those are two different things. Music is the heartbeat of our universe but not everyone is able to turn it into the rhythmic heartbeat that it should be for humanity.In Africa, to dream about studying music could be catastrophic given that the reality of that music dream or where it should end up may not be possible even in the first 10 years. It is a hassle. And so is the case with many other dreams – including writing.
However, we have dreams, I dare say, for a reason – perhaps to fulfil our innate sense of purpose here on earth. I do not know if many parents understand this but since I am not one, I should tread carefully. Nonetheless, dreams or aspirations are simply that. They represent our desire to remain relevant in our current world, and at the very least, in our immediate contexts. However, and sadly, these dreams to a great extent have been manufactured for us. A child's dreaming system is interfered with so early in their lives that authentic dreamers are hard to find. From a young age, we are told about becoming Pilots, Engineers, Doctors, Presidents, Architects and sometimes, Lawyers and so on. The options are driven home into our sub-conscience way before we can pronounce them right.
But what happened to the other options? Is it that they are not marketable? Has the world made them unmarketable and yet consumes them? Do they not deserve to be flaunted like the others? What if your child aspired to be a stripper? It could be that all she or he dreams about is becoming a stripper; spanning those smooth snake-like moves, turning on men and women and giving them a kind of pleasure that the marital bedroom has seemingly failed to achieve. Perhaps she wants to be a porn star – Now that is a marketable profession for sure, right? In fact, there is a lot of money in the pornography industry and she could be the leading lady of their movies.
It may seem that I am making light of this and truth is I am not. I have considered and thought about having a child, who later grows to aspire for the leading role in a strip club. And I wondered if it would then sound as bad as it may have sounded to my dad when I said I wanted to study English at University. I think his worry was that I would become his dependant for the rest of his life. Well that almost happened but not because there is no need for English Majors in our world but because other factors came into play. Just imagine the following conversation:
CEO MTN, “My son has made me so proud, he is now a Chartered Accountant at KPMG.”
Me, “Congratulations. Well, my daughter has recently joined the world famous Adult World on Nelson Mandela Avenue. She is managing brilliantly.”
CEO MTN, “Right!”
Me – nervous smile.
What the CEO of MTN may not realise is that my daughter may be the reason his Chartered Accountant son may ever know any excitement/pleasure on this planet, given how boring his job is. Numbers all day long and fun times at the Adult world – sounds like a balance in the equation, right?
The nature of our world has changed so much with different needs rising to the fore of our societies. There was a time when the Ssenga(Paternal aunt) was the source of premarital counselling and sex education but in today's world, with flat screens and cheap tedelex brands flashing enticing ideas of “there is more to sex”, what are the chances that a child's aspiration and ultimate dream is to become a stripper? What would drive her to aspire to that, you may ask? Well, the desire and underlying purpose to fulfil other people's dreams however gross we may hypocritically think they are. Purpose is the whole point, right?
My point here is that whereas we encourage people to dream, and urge them to dream big, we need to remember that the world continues to change, never mind how greatly capitalistic it continues to be, such that one's greatest dream could be to own the biggest porn-producing movies company because there is a lot of money in that industry, whose profits by the way, she or he could also use to donate to orphanages and various other charities. And if your or my daughter aspires to be a stripper, we should not be too shocked – it is the world we have built.
However, I hope my child would/will not dream or aspire to be a stripper or play the leading role in a porn movie but then again – it is just one more reason for me to not have any children…for now. For I would, like parents today, be tempted to dream for them in a far less looked down upon profession. It seems that whether we are willing to admit it or not, it all comes down to what “they” or “others” will say if your child became a stripper. Just imagine the stares, the sneering and their condemnation in the advice they give their own children, “do not associate with them, their daughter is a stripper, a hooker…they are a shame to our community,” right?
What would you do? It is the world we have built, shaped and continue to build. It is yours and my product, and so are most of the dreams we have or aspire to.
4,633 total views, 1 views today