Dumi Senda was born in Zimbabwe. In 1999, he moved to the United Kingdom (UK) using a program established by the National Health Service (NHS) to bolster its workforce. He enrolled in college, but quit before getting a degree.
His life began to spiral downward. He got a job doing manual labor. What he wanted to do was to write poetry. He was close to being deported since he no longer was pursuing a degree.
What turned his life around was being rejected by a peace-building conference. He wanted to read his poetry but was told he was not qualified since he had no academic credentials. For many, the rejection would have been the moment when he gave up on himself.
But that was not the case for Dumi. He reenrolled at the university. His commitment this time set him apart from his classmates. He ended up with a special award.
With the credentials he had now received, he set out to make a difference. He has become an inspirational model for organizations wanting to make their workforces more diverse and inclusive.
He has become a role model for defying victimhood. His mantra is to never let your background keep you in the background. He has shared his story with the United Nations, the British Parliament, as well as a number of prominent companies.
In addition, he continues to write poetry and has become a children’s book author. He has appeared on stage with noted orchestras. He has become sought after for his community development and humanitarian work.
Hopes can be rekindled by rejection, but it takes an acceptance that being a victim is as much a self-imposed trait as it is a real one. How might we turn victimhood into hope? That’s one of the most important questions for our society.
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“People can become so blinded by their own perceived victimhood that they make victims of everyone around them.” – Richard Paul Evans