Sep 1, 2010

New month, new challenge

My mind has been working in overdrive the last couple days, so brace yourselves as I work through this! I’ve been involved in conversations with a variety of people about personal goals, upcoming elections, and business ventures. And I’ll tell you what; I am surrounded by some very intelligent people with fantastic ideas!

Where the rubber hits the road though is with implementation. How many of us are courageous enough to take our ideas to the next level, placing our bets on the 50-50 chance that we’ll succeed or fail? Now of course no one sets out to fail at something; many of us are risk adverse and will do just about anything to avoid failure. But in being overly cautious some ideas that could bear considerable fruit if implemented correctly die a premature death, and our world loses out immensely.

The rallying cry from many Africans (young and old) is that our countries are inhospitable to new ventures and new ways of doing things. There is truth to that, but what are we doing to change that? How many of us are willing to set aside some of the luxurious we have grown accustomed to in suburban America or urban England to take a chance at making things different for the better?

These are obviously personal decisions that each of us must think through critically and cannot be made lightly given family, financial and work commitments. With that said, we need to stop sitting on the fence. To put it crudely, it’s time to “shit or get off the pot”.

Many of us have gained valuable skills and knowledge through our education, work, and travels that are lying fallow because we have no outlet to implement our ideas either through the lack of trying or because of past experiences. But I truly believe now is as good a time as any to get moving.

On an almost weekly basis articles or research findings are released touting Africa as the new frontier for development or some variation of that title/subject. This is evidenced by the increase in mining activities, rehabbing of once shuttered factories, road network development, etc. So, why are so many of still just philosophising over cold beer and michopo (variety of roasted meats)?

It is vital for those currently involved in ventures to share their experiences and show that things can be done – we need mentors and role models. And on the flip side, as listeners we need to shed our scepticism, and eagerness to be overly critical and disparaging of other people’s endeavours.

So, how many of us are going to lay claim to Africa’s future success, our future? 


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