Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Ideological transformation key to grooming entrepreneurs

Glued on the television in January last year and watching the prime time news I was so traumatized at the sight of a dead woman lying flat at the entrance of one of South Africa’s universities. She had been among the parents who were attempting to get a place for their children at the institution; unfortunately a stampede came and made her breathe her last. The story is so terrifying such that it steals all the courage out of you. It actually leaves me with no option but to add seeking a college place to the things I consider risky.To take to the base of the matter, South Africa with its huge institutions cannot accommodate all the eligible pupils churned out of their high schools such that prospective freshmen end up jostling for the available places just before the start of the academic year in January.Many rush for the few tertiary education places not just in South Africa but also in its neighboring nations that include Zimbabwe. In my own home town here in Zimbabwe getting a college degree is equated to landing a job as a Wall Street executive. With my inquisitive nature here I am compelled to ask why the young generation is increasingly believing in tertiary education when so few eventually make it to the proverbial land on the Job market, some even going to extremes that cannot be mentioned due to their explicit nature?
After careful consideration I came up with these hypotheses:

1)       When asked what he wanted to become in the future Abraham Lincoln replied that I shall prepare myself maybe my chance will come. A study of this statement can bring one to the conclusion that President Lincoln believed in the uncertain future. Many youths today believe in the uncertain future, therefore by enrolling for tertiary education they are going through the process of preparing for the unknown future. Take note that he used the word ‘’maybe’’  suggesting that you can either prepare for the future and get it all right or you can prepare for the future and your chance will never come.

2)      Writing up my business plan I came across a thing called competitive edge whereby I was supposed to write about that which differentiates my products from the rest of the market. Some within the prospective students believe in having a competitive edge and so they invest heavily on that. They believe the job market has suddenly become saturated and so they want to make themselves unique in one way or the other.

3)      The third group of young people whom I prefer describing as glamorous  believes in enrolling at reputable schools graduating with degrees from seemingly high end faculties namely mechatronics, actuary, to mention but a few. Getting a college qualification is their “unique selling point (USP)” a competitive advantage. This, they believe will eventually make them the envy of many organizations.

With the great risk that this gigantic force of egoism will collapse upon the crumbling institutions of capitalism with hazardous results, it is imperative that these ideologies grappling the minds of the youths today be uprooted so as to groom a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that will subsequently lead to sustainable national development.For us to suggest a remedy to the belief system of our youths today we have to crack the code and try to go back to understand where exactly the line of thinking emanates from. In as much as we might claim to be independent as nations and free from colonialist supremacy the economic framework that we live under remains capitalism propelled by the ideology and tenets of wealth property and selfish enrichment which masks the psycho-social lack and spiritual poverty within our communities. 

Capitalism acts as a york and represents modern day slavery. In capitalism there are generally four factors of production namely land, labor, capital and entrepreneurship. Here humans are viewed as resources in the form of labor and are therefore meant to get one’s short term goals accomplished when managed.When the colonial masters founded educational institutions in their colonies, they were trying to meet the demands of the labor market which required skilled manpower. In these institutions, curricular was designed to train workers not entrepreneurs. The by-products of the system would be guardians of the colonialist’s vision by aiding in furthering their ambitions. It is not surprising that the offspring of the colonialist, who was heir to the vast empire of businesses that the father had built, never got much interest in enrolling even at Ivy League schools, the simple reason behind the reluctance being that the system was not customized to the heir’s requirements.

Local youths are conditioned in their minds that capital to start a business exists in the form of paper money, totally dismissing the fact that labor itself can be capital in as much as land can also be capital. Furthermore these minds have grown to believe that minerals from land are ‘’worthless’’ in their natural form until turned or rather exchanged for notes (money). To these minds, protesting against the government that it has failed to provide jobs/employment is out rightly justified. The stories of Facebook and Google about entrepreneurial aptitude that turned into mega riches are completely fairytale.It is prerequisite upon us the incumbent generation to change the curricular as well as cultivate an environment conducive for the breeding of ideas that go directly to solve the contemporary problems grappling our societies today. Quoting from one great American Evangelist, 'if you really want to be a success, identify a human need and reach out to meet it.' Identifying problems within our communities can turn one into an entrepreneur and if you are lucky a multi-millionaire ask Dr. Masiyiwa. Yes it is true that those issues like electricity problems disconcerting Zimbabwe today can be solved by one from amongst us. It is wrong to believe that foreign direct investment (FDI) is the way to go for the existing challenges on Zimbabwe. Investment is indispensable but not inevitably foreign.