Article on Tapiwa’s circumstances, what made me feel I needed to raise money and the impact of TM on my life?
Toastmasters has helped me realize my potential in terms of communication and leadership. Am inspired by making a difference in other people’s life and Toastmasters competent communicator manual has helped to improve my communication skills. Project 9 taught me how to persuade and project 10 taught me to inspire my audience.
On 14 July 2017, I met a young man by the name Tapiwa at an exhibition event where I was representing my organization. He introduced himself to me and I could tell that there was something special about him. He told me about his story and desire to improve his skills of motivational speaking. I figured he was a very good speaker, but he needed to improve on a few skills. I told him about this illustrious Toastmasters programme and invited him to my club meetings at Chartered Accountants Academy (CAA). He started attending our meetings. On Tuesday 5 September, he approached me a few hours before I went to present my CC10, and said, “Brenda I need your assistance. I have developed a passion to join Toastmasters but I am short of funds. I only have US$6, and I was wondering if you can ask around your work mates if they have any piece of job that can make me raise some funds. I am prepared to do anything, even it means cleaning cars” I was saddened by this and I almost cried. He went on to say, “I am currently doing a piece job in which I sleep in the streets looking after a vendor’s stock. He gives me $4 each morning and I use it to buy food for my family (parents and siblings)”
I invited him to accompany me to Metropolitan club where I was going to present my CC10 in the next few hours. I was troubled as I couldn’t think of any form of job that could assist him to raise the funds he needed. I couldn’t assist him myself as I had other social responsibility commitments I had made. Giving for me has become part of my DN. It’s worth burning myself out like a match so long as others receive the light and warmth I dispatch.
While I was still wondering on how to assist Tapiwa, a thought came into my mind, “Why not make an appeal to my audience this evening for them to support me in this initiative?” I quickly adjusted my speech and added this call to action. My CC10 project was entitled ‘The Prime Purpose For Life’ In this speech I wanted my audience to have the will to serve and assist other people. Some of the quotes I shared included, “only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile”, Albert Einstein- German-born theoretical physicist. At the end of my speech I then told the audience that there are so many ways to give, it doesn’t have to be only material things but includes not hurting others but to love, respect and assist them. “I believe sometimes we have to sacrifice and share the little that we have with those who are in need. I also believe that giving is a habit which should be learnt just like any other habits. Paying a monthly subscription of as little as $2 or $5 for club maintenance is difficult for some club members, because they have not learnt the habit of giving.” I encouraged the audience to start by giving clothes which are no longer in use to the less privileged people in the streets and in charity homes, and to share the plenty of food that they stock in their pantries while some of their neighbors are starving. I encouraged those in leadership positions to exercise servant leadership style, and anyone who work with people to serve them wholeheartedly.
I then related the story of Tapiwa to my audience and appealed to them for donations of money so that we could pay his membership application fee and the first 6 months subscription fees. He had not arrived when I delivered my speech, but eventually arrived and participated in the table topics session. He performed very well, such that when I then introduced him to the audience everyone wanted to assist him. A team of 4 volunteers approached me soon after the meeting and offered to help Tapiwa. They made instant transfers which totaled $75.
Thanks to Toastmasters International which equipped me with the skills to persuade and inspire people. As the first and current president of Chartered Accountants Academy Toastmasters club, I have been given a great opportunity to learn leadership skills. Toastmasters has helped me realize my potential to impact on other peoples’ lives. am so proud of this brand and I will always recommend it to my networks.
My name is Brenda Zimbowora and I believe I am born for purpose that the world cannot do without.