I met a young lady on Saturday, 29 July named Kimberely Bhunu as we were clearing customs at the Harare International Airport. She greeted me with a lovely smile and asked where I had come from. I informed her Gaborone and I enquired about her huge 4 bags. She proceeded to tell me about her schooling in a tennis academy in France. As we walked, her family waved from the upstairs glass viewpoint. She waved back and through that short encounter I witnesses how excited they all were to be reunited. She informed me that she had been away for about 3 years but had managed to come home once a year in that period. Kimberely preceded to tell me about her love for tennis. Actually she didn’t have to say it, her face practically lit up when our conversation moved to tennis. I asked if she dreamt of Wimbledon and she responded in the affirmative but not in a very convincing way, like she was too polite about it. She was playing in junior tournaments and had plans and dreams to play in the big leagues, she hoped and God willing she said. Serena Williams and Kimberely Clijsters were her top 2 tennis players, her role models.
Her big beautiful eyes and enormously passionate smile as she recounted the dreams forced a chuckle from me. I couldn’t at the time figure out whether I was laughing at the naivety of youth or the sheer audacity of her dreams. I was then transported back to a time I was also young with big dreams of conquering the world. So like Kimberely, we show up for practice, do the work and believe that we are capable of playing at Wimbledon. Then life happens a bit at a time, or for others, all at once and our dreams tarry, and slowly become eroded. Somehow others who’ve gone before tell us it can’t be done or we may have witnessed others fail at the same pursuits and are drawn to believe that we are also doomed to the same fate. So I said to Kimberely, “Girl, you have the right to dream as far and as wide as you wish. You go out there and have the audacity to dream impossible dreams. I don’t know you, but your scholarship says there’s something that was seen in you. So work hard, believe in yourself and leave the rest to your God. I wish to one day see you on great championships.”
Will I one day see Kimberely Bhunu at Wimbledon? I don’t know, maybe. I sure hope I do. I loved her spirit and how she revived in me dreams long forgotten.