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Munhenzva’s book tackles ups and downs of life

Munhenzva is also a qualitative insight researcher in the United Kingdom, a consultant and founder of Arete Consulting Group.

AUTHOR, speaker and consultant Petronella Munhenzva says her latest book titled ‘Dear African child’ 100 love letters from me to you describes her passion for personal growth and seeing people achieving their dreams and also excelling in life.

Munhenzva is also a qualitative insight researcher in the United Kingdom, a consultant and founder of Arete Consulting Group.

In an interview with Standard Style she said life was full of ups and downs, something that has taught her resilience and fostered her personal growth.

“I once walked this path myself and it was not easy,” she said.

“I learnt a lot of lessons, made a lot of good and bad decisions, made a million mistakes and above all I still found my way through.

“Through all of this I realised that success is predictable and so is failure.

“After learning this, I had so much to tell the African child, so many warnings to give, so much advice to offer, quite a few do’s and don’ts and a whole lot of lessons to share.

“The book contains 100 lessons through ‘love’ letters that are categorised into four sections; motivational letters, important life lessons, philosophies to live by, and words to remember each day.”

Munhenzva said the title represented, inspired and motivated the African child.

“The title has a lot to do with identity,” she said.

“I had lived my whole life hearing people talk about identity crisis and quite frankly I had never understood what it meant.

“Then in September 2019, I arrived at Oxford University.

“Growing up in Zimbabwe, I had just been a student, and when I got to Oxford, I became a black student.

“For the first time in my life, I was forced to think about my identity and how it is tied to the colour of my skin.

“I had to sit with the stereotypes, contend with the mischaracterisation and grapple with my blackness.

“It became clear to me, in a way it had never been before, that I was a black student, an African child, a daughter of the soil!

“A girl who had grown up like me in rural Zimbabwe, with nothing, now standing tall, with the who and who of this world, at one of the most elite institutions in the world.”

Munhenzva said striking a balance between the four sections of her book was quite a challenge, but also a thrilling experience.

“For instance, the first section called "Motivational Letters", was my passion project,” she said.

“I understand fundamentally how people are overwhelmed, under-appreciated and under-valued.

“This creates such a big dearth of motivation and inspiration in our society so when I was writing the first section I just wanted to keep on going, but I had to remind myself that motivation and inspiration can only carry someone for a short while.

“However, it is impossible to be perpetually inspired and for someone to be grounded, they need some tough lessons, some philosophies to ground them and words to live by each day.”

She said the second challenge was to know when to stop.

Her work is inspired by Jim Rohn’s writing, especially quotes from the book Philosophy for Successful Living.

“There is a quote from his book I like that says, ‘Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. We do not fail overnight. Failure is the inevitable result of an accumulation of poor thinking and poor choices’, so I simply understand the statement as failure is nothing more than a few errors in judgment repeated every day,” Munhenzva said.

She said readers should expect to be entertained, motivated, learn and in rare instances laugh and be able to see life from a different perspective.

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