Sunday, June 5, 2011
Is it time to reinvent the wheel?
A few weeks ago I was provoked but in a good way for a change. Not so much in a way that has caused some of my previous rants. I was challenged to think beyond the normal realms. To think of solutions a leader of a country should think of. I didn't have time to prepare. I had seconds to gather my thoughts, opinions and principles. The question was where can we go from here? we as in Zimbabwe, we as in Africa. It came back to me now because of the Independence we celebrated this week.
Not that many people can truly stop me for a conversation that spans for 2 hours at a time with so many deadlines looming, Yet a colleague managed to keep hold of me for an hour and a half. That whole time I was standing. Not once did I think of sitting down nor did pain reach my legs and remind me to move on with my hectic day. We engaged in conversation about what Africa is to me.
To me Africa is the land of beginnings. It is the land of opportunities when all other land runs dry. The question is why do we continue to ship out all our priced assets. Diamonds, gold, oil and people are priced assets. We sell them off in near raw form. Someone else adds an ingredient and changes it to triple its worth. Every country has a capability of some sort. Why do we not ship our products in and around our continent; processing and improving them. Why have we not established a sense of African pride and unity? Is it the leaders at the top that have created empires within governments and use those to keep us at bay. The ordinary person has nothing to say. One of the best examples is that of oil. A large amount of oil is extracted from African countries but there are few processing plants over the continent. The capital is certainly there because tycoons have been born out of this oil and African tycoons of that matter. Is it greed that makes someone take the profits to better his life and leave the rest of the population looking up to him with envy. Creating jobs is clearly not in the back of the minds of many of our entrepreneurs. We are creating an environment for selfish acts that become part of a an extended cycle.
It is time that we move away from industrialized economies. Many countries including Zimbabwe are purely dependent on production of tangible goods. Yet theres so much potential in services. The African movie industry is excelling right now. If it was not for our diverse language and accents there would be greater success. One thing we do well in the African continent is the arts. We are a collectively creative people that is why the sculptures from there sell so well yet they are made with old techniques. I am doing my part to support some of the promising talent so that we can stamp our image on the global scene. What I have learned in my travels across the world is the person that can tell your story best is yourself. After that people take it as it is and spread it to everyone else. Given that you don't screw it up. That is something America has done well. It has sold its image so well that everyone wants it.We need to make arts our the center of our focus. It will be a new avenue of revenue. Look at how the blacks in America have been empowered with the success of R&B as well as hip-hop. It's just unfortunate that the country has a poor social structure that lets them down. That is why few make it out of the poverty. Our arts are one of the ways we can take so many out of poverty.
In my search for success I came across a man that has potentially changed my views on life that little bit towards positivity. I met him at the Atlantic Youth Entrepreneurship Summit in Nova Scotia, Canada. The dude is pretty legit and i was impressed by the way he thinks with a decent mind. He is not the savior but he is there to help. The entrepreneur I met owns Oliberte shoe company which makes premium brand shoes sold worldwide. It manufactures out of Africa and he ensures that all the factories that he purchases from maintain quality work environments similar to Western countries. For those that don't know him, his name is Tal Dehtiar. He even featured on CNN for his good work to promote Africa as a destination of production. He stands by the philosophy that support should should not only be cash but include infrastructure, industries and contracts because that will fuel economic growth. there's certainly not enough people of our own doing it. The continent so we are obviously not intellectually inferior. Sharing wealth is a thing we have to fight for. It is only a coward that can sit on a high throne and watch his brothers suffer.
We can certainly work set up global centers besides South Africa in the same way that Hong Kong did.
lets stamp made in africa on everything the same way china does. lets beat the rest of the world at what they do best because a lot of it comes from Africa. We have learned from the rest of the world so there is nothing wrong with pulling off a jesse james. lets not just look for aid, lets create jobs like oliberte is doing. Let us step above the politics and focus on the gains. For as we long as we let the politics dominate talk we will remain in the same place. A friend once said why does Kenya get so much aid but yet they have not yet caught up with the rest of the world. It is because the money goes in feeding people and paying administration costs of workers. Basically keeping people alive but hardly taking them out of difficulties. On top of what the Government will be doing wrong. Just a bad mess.
Steps to change
1. lets stop this selfish nonsense that we have been doing since all our countries attained independence.
2. Our people are not intellectually inferior that they cannot be trusted with growing economies when they have skills to do so
3. What are we fighting for anyway? I dont see us going anywhere with it. All we are doing is eliminating ourselves from the face of this earth for someone else to come seize what we leave behind. Stop the fighting and at least try
4. We complain that we are treated as an inferior continent when we behave like one. If a person kills people, is he not a murderer? i.e if we continue to do backward things we will stay backward
One may ask where is this going. Well, think of it as a challenge to out do yourself. I don't see the point of us leaving our countries to go learn. We pay high tuition which is used to subsidize the tuition for locals at the cost of parents sweat. After graduation we go back and fit in into a system that's been running for decades. We don't make an effort to change the situation, we become like the people that were there already there. If that is the case, what was the point of boarding that plane in the first place. It is cheaper to go to a local university or one in South Africa. Let us use the same brains that we reason with away from home to reason at home. That is where the change takes place. All our reasoning away from home only amounts to other countries gaining from our creative processes. I have pledged to return to my country as soon as I am done with my studies. Through my return I will part take in entrepreneurial projects to help the people of my country. It is not only through politics that we can help others. If you look around the world, governments let down their people even in the so called world powers. Its time for the people of the nation to help each other.
Zimbabwe, and the continent stand better today they it did a few years ago but there is still a lot that has to be done. Let's help each other in our conquests.
Too many colors on my page? Sorry! i'm by proud of my national colors. Don't forget them, they will make sense one day!
G-flexxx signing out!!!