Dr Patson Dzamara's sixth offering titled "Dear Miss, Dear Mister-Wisdom for Relationships Vol One", published this year by Off the Hook Publishers, is a candid, motivational yet hard-hitting "letter" to those in or about to enter into a relationship. The book's official launch on April 10, 2015 at Jameson Hotel in Harare drew a large number of different people, the young and the old, established and upcoming musicians, writers and poets, businessmen and women as if to demonstrate the great effect the book's message has upon all kinds of people.
A discussion of the book led by a five-member panel, which included gospel musician Pastor G and multi-talented artiste and writer Wizzy Mangoma had the guests' curiosity aroused.
One of the speakers after the panel discussion, Lucia Gunguwo also known as Mai Gunguwo, popular for her controversial marriage counselling, said she was amazed by the experience-based wisdom that Dr Dzamara exudes in "Dear Miss, Dear Mister" and urged the youths and adults to buy a copy.
"When you look at the wedding budgets of those about to wed, you are shocked by the amount of money they invest. But when you look at the non-monetary investment that they put in their relationship, which should last for the rest of the lives, there is zero. It is sad," she said.
"Dear Miss, Dear Mister" was edited by writer and Pastor Phillip Chidavaenzi, who notes that "more often than not, the relationship between leadership in the public and private spheres is often lost on us. It is for this reason that we see many leaders appearing to be successful in their professions yet they are dismal failures in their marriages and other personal relationships".
Dr Dzamara makes a very spot-on observation "that everyone has a past" and it has a huge influence on the present relationship. He dedicates four chapters to this issue and how to deal with it under the section titled "The Foundation".
Universally, there has been stories about marriages that lasted for hours or the newly-weds divorcing after hours or days because they had hid their past from their partner. Very often, secrets (in many instances secrets about past attachments) in relationships are revealed when people least expect it.
Somewhere in the book, the author says, "Where a person's secrets are, there their heart is" (Page 32).
To escape the past, one has to be open about it and move on. "Always unmask your dirty and clean linen to the person you are with or intend to be with" (Page 3). Dr Dzamara also acknowledges that sometimes people feel ashamed of their ugly past or poor background.
Most people get into a relationship because they have been lured by the physical appearance of a person and this is dangerous because, as the author says, "It must be about what is inside. It must be about the person's story" (Page 29).
Although this book could be described as motivational or life-coaching, the author never switches to a "preachy" mode. He offers the universal truth about relationships, using examples snatched from his own experience and the experience of those whom he met not only in Zimbabwe but also abroad. What will mostly get readers glued to this book is the heart-to-heart talk Dr Dzamara gives, complemented by an Action Page at the end of each chapter. This indeed makes the book's wisdom worth practising. By truthfully answering the questions on the Action Page, one discovers himself/herself.
The other section, "The Reality", has six chapters under it devoted to advice on dating and the true meaning of dating. Young people have been exposed to different teachings on dating from different religious and cultural angles.
Here the author stresses that dating is a very important opportunity of learning about oneself and the person one intends to be with for the rest of their lives. And yet, the doctor further warns, the purpose of dating (and obviously marriage) is not about changing the other person's values and priorities or imposing one's own on the other but it is about sharing those values and priorities.
"As you evaluate and navigate through the process of getting to know someone and making decisions always leave room for compromise" (Page 59).
The author uses the exemplary marriage between celebrities Will and Jada Smith whose values and priorities he says match perfectly.
The book notes that Will and Jada Smith, by matching their priorities, have automatically passed happiness and joy to their kids (Willow and Jaden), who have also discovered themselves in the world of arts and sports.
"Their children are also powerful and influential in their own right because they are beneficiaries of their parents' philosophy of collaboration" (Page 67).
When one looks at some examples given in the book, examples which we all possibly read about elsewhere and dismiss them as valueless, the truth about relationships become alive in "Dear Miss, Dear Mister". For instance, the author somewhere uses cases of a man who wanted his wife to be like his mother in the way she cooked and a wife who discovered that his husband was married to a snake which he kept in a separate room that no one was allowed to enter to point to the truth that a relationship is a process.
Yet, the author mourns, "Young people are not taking time to know their prospective partner. They just hook up and embark on a dangerous free flow emotional roller coaster" (Page 31).
A philosopher that he is, Dr Dzamara presents his wisdom in certain creative written form that is not fiction while shedding light on relational issues usually taken for granted.
"Dear Miss, Dear Mister" has all that one would want to know about the essence of relationships.
The book is Dr Dzamara's offering. His other books are "Finish What You Start", "Dimensional Leadership", "The Anatomy of Process", "The Development Matrix" and "The Winning Team".
His profile is broad. Apart from writing and publishing, he is a leadership expert, motivational speaker, educator, developmentalist, life coach, career coach, pioneer strategist and philanthropist