Living in Africa gives a person who pays close attention to his environment and sphere of contact a deeper insight into the conditions, way of life and the view the people hold of life. Just like on the national geographic channels, where we’re taken a little deeper into how some animal species live, reproduce, how they think and how they even go extinct. Similarly, how the archaeologist, the ethnobotanists, numismatists and the psychologists, their step by step approach taken to carefully examine species of creatures, plants, coins and the study of rocks. Careful studies done in these fields produce knowledge that keep advancing mankind’s awareness of his world.
However, I am of the belief that people living in this part of the world can also be made to see the rest of the world for the various developmental, entrepreneurial wave and economic progression they’re on. In recent times, projects for various developmental purposes being undertaken in most countries in the continent suggests the possibility of a new and growing Africa. But more appropriately, that the young people of Africa would arise and take what’s left of their countries and churn it into something wonderful. It’s amazing how some young people across the continent have taken to various wonderful innovations and exciting strides in business: Joel mwale in Kenya and Sandile shezi, science, art, music, international Politics etcetera. As opposed to the thought “what good thing can come out of the continent”.
The very weight of this reminds me of a scene I witnessed a few days ago , as I observed from afar. It was a typical day at work for this woman. She went on to unpack her wares as she arrived at her standpoint to sell. With the help of a passing gentleman, she gently put her pan on the table. She sells Koko (a local porridge made from millet, ginger, sugar), popularly known by the locals in Ghana. Highly purchased in the mornings by mothers for their wards as breakfast, workers on their way to work and frankly, every Ghanaian.
Strangely, one thing that drew my attention to her was the rapid change in the weather within a short time of her arrival. Not long after she set up, the clouds began to form. My curiosity increased the more as I kept asking myself what she was going to do, seeing it was about to rain. For a moment I thought to myself, ‘this woman has barely sold anything, and yet she’ll have to pack up because of the natural pending threat to her business’. Shortly as expected, the rains came down heavily.
Interestingly, this woman dashed out with her baby girl who was about 2 or 3 years old I think, sought shelter in a nearby kiosk and came right back where she sold. She only brought out a plastic bag, big enough to cover her pan and some other bowls she was using. I was stunned. As shocking as it was for me, I continued to watch. I kept asking myself what this woman was doing sitting in the rain selling. Reluctant to leave the rains and determined to sell, she continued to sit there without an umbrella.
For the whole thirty or so minutes I watched this woman, my whole view on determination changed tremendously. To me, the word meant much more now. As insane as this woman’s actions may seem to you, I think not. For me, it was raining, but what this woman saw was an entirely different weather. One that couldn’t stop her from doing business. No way. Her determined mind couldn’t allow her see the rains as an impediment to her business. What inspired her livelihood changed what she saw. While others saw rain and withdrew, she saw an opportunity to test the capacity of her determination to capture customers who drove by. This woman, like many others understand the need of making some money out of a day’s work. As meagre as the amount made in a day may be, they know their lives depend heavily on what they make in a day. So, be it insane or foolish you may think it be, I’d advice you be not quick to judge. But try to see life through the eyes of these people. Just as the archaeologist or the botanist, let’s go into the life and mind of these people, then you’ll know what it is like.
Typically, this scenario enforces my believe in the fact that Africa can make it as a people and a continent. I have come across many hardworking, determined and goal oriented people in my stay here. Not to mention the vast array of talents I have seen being displayed. Africa is ready! For most people out there who think that Africa is no good for business, well am here to tell you that there are young men and women who are doing tremendous things in their stride as entrepreneurs. Young people who are craving for one opportunity, Just to turn the lives of many around. Young people who have managed to make their voices heard through extraordinary feats in music, arts and Politics.
For all the young African entrepreneurs out there who are working hard to see their dreams and goals come alive, this one’s for you. For the ambitious and relentless young folks out there who won’t stop grinding until they make it, this one’s for you. And all other entrepreneurs out there in the rest of the world, keep doing what you believe.
Success is a daily journey.