Come As You Will Be In 2014

For many of us COVID-19 has made us rethink the way we run our organisations as we try to figure out the way forward.  I had such a defining moment over 10 years ago.  It was 2009 and we had just officially established the Zambian Cancer Society. Cancer was still not a national priority, yet the number of new cancer cases was rising. We needed to raise funds to support our vision of a fearless cancer smart Zambia.

We decided to have a gala dinner graciously attended by former First Lady – Thandiwe Banda. The event’s theme was “Come As You Will Be In 2014”. I got this idea from a book I purchased in 2008 titled The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield.  The plan was to arrive as whom you will be in 5 years’ time. Speak only in the present tense as if you had accomplished your goal(s) and come with props showing your achievements such as books written, awards won, causes supported, foundations/businesses set up, qualifications attained etc.

According to Jack “..the purpose of the Come As You Will Be Party is to create an emotionally charged experience of what it will be like when you make it – when you have achieved your dreams.  When you spend an evening living out the lifestyle you want and deserve, you lay down powerful blueprints in your subconscious mind that will later support you in perceiving opportunities, creating powerful solutions, attracting the right people and taking the necessary action to achieve your dreams and goals.” Obviously, a single party like this by itself is not enough, one still has to do other things to make it happen.

Amongst our guests, I met a “member of parliament” and the “founder of a museum about the Ngoni people.”


5 years later we took stock.  A major dream of ours was to build a facility that provides cancer patients with low-cost accommodation whilst on treatment.  Whilst the physical structure had not been built, through the continued generosity of our supporters, we had carried out several other activities such as the provision of transport money, monthly baskets containing toiletries and counselling.  Other services came later (some discontinued) as ZCS and the cancer landscaped evolved. Current services/products include patient navigation, payment of local medical tests for disadvantaged patients, breast cancer audio guides and Tisamala radio drama on breast cancer.


Did the “Come As You Will Be in 2014” party help us?  We believe so. Such that at our 2025 reunion party we shall say “through the continued generosity of our supporters, we have created a cancer resource and wellness centre.”

And you know what? Maybe, just maybe we will break new ground with the centre in 2020! Watch this space…

A Final Thought

Some people believed we were crazy to have such a theme.  I heard comments like “that is too far ahead to plan” or “people won’t get it.”  Where they right? Perhaps to some degree. The question I pose to you though is where do you want to be in 2025 and WHY?  If you have a compelling reason and are committed, then planning 5 years ahead may not be such a crazy thing to do after all.

For more information about the Zambian Cancer Society visit our website at

Pictured below is a ticket to our “Come As You Will Be In 2014” gala dinner.

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