Wed, Mar 2, 2016
In Kampala, the capital of Uganda, a myth goes that starting up a business is meant for school dropouts and or failures in life.
A set of attitudes may fit you so well that you apply them most of the time. Even when they are misleading. Yes! even when they are misleading. Conformity is a severely retarding stronghold. Entrepreneurial ideas, what I’ve decided to call “big thoughts” are often met with this severely retarding set of attitudes among Africans. One has to have a strong temperament and resilience to face the prevailing myths about starting up businesses. In Kampala, Uganda’s capital, the myth goes that starting up a business is meant for school dropouts and or “failures in life”. Everyone here yearns to make it to school and make the best grades since it has been a widespread gospel that grades are the saviour of life. Others elsewhere go ahead and state that venturing into creation of businesses is a last resort when all other plans in their lives have failed to yield the expectations. Such kind of belief systems have not only given entrepreneurship a negative image but also built a strong conformity syndrome among Africans.
Decision making is woven into the fabric of our skins, or better said decision making is the air we breathe. The difference between given choices and others is that some are made consciously while others are made unconsciously. At the end of it all, one can never run away from making choices! This absolute reality about decisions has within it, an embedded war zone. This war zone does not leave out the big thoughts. Africans have a diversity of thoughts that they have been engulfed in the throes of indecision. When an emerging prodigy of entrepreneurship synthesises a brilliant idea, they are faced with an eagerly waiting set of multi-pronged choices to make. A choice on whether to engage others, a choice on whether to invest their all, a choice on whether to get a loan, a choice on whether to research more about the idea, a choice on whether to believe the prevailing myths about entrepreneurship and the list continues. It is further bewildering that the present choice comes with its opposite which could be rather appealing too. This overwhelming task of making choices has suffocated thousands of big thoughts among Africans because it has sustained indecision hence time wastage.
Big thoughts together with the accompanying enactment plans come to us from the mind not the brain. When the mind has a deficient awareness, the brain won’t transmit helpful knowledge. This implies that Africans should enrich their minds with a diversity of entrepreneurial knowledge so as to sustain the big thoughts they have. Alongside this mind enrichment, Africans should increase their awareness about the inescapable virtues of decision making and other dynamics involved in entrepreneurship. Big minds should be built starting from the grassroots, with infants and then carried on to the adults. This calls for the involvement of African governments, African homes, African schools and the will of the individual Africans themselves. Otherwise, the big thoughts of Africans shall always drown in the prejudicial myths about entrepreneurship.
Image Credit: Demo Africa
Edrine Habasa is an autodidact bridge engineer, dialectician and knowledge enthusiast. He's also a debunker of falsehoods as he champions the truth.