“We will be better and braver if we engage and inquire than if we indulge in the idle fancy that we already know.” – Plato
Living in Africa is a paradox. On the one hand, we are blessed with great weather, abundant land and the comfort of family around us. On the other, we live in a global economy that has gone local in its downstream effects and our individual countries, while growing, are still struggling to make it on to the top table of the global economy.
Africa is growing. There is no doubt about that. What about you?
Many Africans are torn between leaving their countries and heading to Europe and North America or staying. For the record, I am inclined to stay but I have already left my country Zimbabwe and now live in South Africa. Does it matter where I succeed or fail?
Not really. The world is a village today and there is no reason why Europe and North America, whose economies were built largely on the plunder and pillaging of colonial economies or slave labour should not welcome immigrants. After all, North America for instance is immigrant country. The issue for many Africans is the accepted wisdom that the odds are stacked against them. Overseas we complain about racism and at home we complain about weak economies or stubborn dictators who stifle economic growth.
And yet, there are people who are going about their business and succeeding. We like these people at Black Diamonds magazine. Is it tough out there? Yes it is! Are there fewer and fewer opportunities? Well, no, not really!
Wherever an economy is struggling and there are all sorts of shortages, a vacuum that must be filled is created. Not everyone has resources but everyone is capable of developing an idea.
Make the time to sit still and observe your society. What is lacking that you can probably offer?
The most comfortable way of making a living is to get a job. Looking for one in a desperate economy is comfort zone thinking. Are you educated and jobless? Would you be able to offer tutoring for struggling learners? Could that grow in to huge business and eventually a franchise?
Some of the most successful people in the world happen to be called stubborn by friends and families alike. Until they succeed. We call them focused. Dreaming is affordable to all and there is no reason why you cannot sit still enough to come up with a dream that is based on your passion, skill set or spotting of a gap in the economy. Once spotted, go after the opportunity and aim to be the best at it in your sphere of influence whether that is local, regional, national or international. As Gregory Hines and Luther Vandross so eloquently stated, “love wakes me up every day!” While they were beautifully singing about a romantic interest, why would you not love your dream enough to finally achieve it?
Life rewards action. Wake up reaching for your dream every single day. Harness your energy in the morning, spring out of bed and take the plunge in to the business of working on turning your ideas in to actions. Acting might mean that visit to a bank manager, a business person, a mentor or putting on your running shoes to go chasing that Olympic dream. At Black Diamonds Magazine, we have been to the favela slums of Brazil, the townships of Johannesburg and Harare. We have been to Lagos, Nairobi, Accra and Tel Aviv and everywhere we see people surviving and others thriving. Act! Act now. It is the only way your dream has a chance of coming true. If you are not in the race, you cannot possibly hope to win it.