Is age a deciding factor for success in Africa?
There is a popular African proverb that says a "a fool at 40 is a fool forever". This in essence insinuates that 40 is the bench marked age for success in the African society, and sadly so.
While many may argue that there are no policy that limits or restrict the success of youths in Africa, indeed there are some underlying factors that contribute to Africans becoming successful after age 40.
For example, until June this year, to contest for a top political office in Nigeria, you must be over 40. The youngest African President in Africa at the moment is Joseph Kabila Kabange of Democratic Republic of Congo who is 47 Years old and there is a possibility that had he not seized office after the assassination of his father who was the previous president, he would not have had the chance to seek election talk less of becoming president.
In Africa today, people between the ages of 40 and 55 claim to be youths. Is this as a result of the fact that success is delayed and majority of those below that benchmark are either still struggling in tertiary Institutions/apprenticeship or trying to put their lives together?
Another statistics that is very disturbing is the average age of Billionaires in Africa; according to statistics, the average age of Billionaires in Africa is 62! Mohammed Dewji who is currently the youngest Billionaire in Africa is 43 Years of age and he ranks 20 out of the 25 Billionaires in Africa as at 2018 with a net worth of $1.4billion.
Isn't it disturbing that Africa, a continent of over 1.216 Billion people has only 25 Billionaire and the youngest among them is 43? China has 819 Billionaires and the United States of America boasts of 585.
Africa has the least number of billionaires with just 25 despite being the second largest continent in terms of population. Even Oceania and Antarctica with a joint population of less than 40 million have more billionaires than Africa. Oceania alone has 35 billionaires.
Should we be worried? I think we should, because this tells a whole lot of negative stories about our continent.
Alexandra Andresen from Norway is a Billionaire with a net worth of $1.4 Billion, on the same bracket with Mohammed Dewji, and she is just 22. Another Norwegian, Gustav Magnar Witzoe is 25 and has a net worth of $1.9B. This makes him wealthier than a dozen out of the 25 billionaires in Africa!
Yes, we should be worried and ask ourselves the ultimate question; "What is Africa not doing right?"
Maybe with this answer(s) we will be able to put our acts together and not only become relevant but also record more successes among youths in Africa.
Sadly, Mohammed Dewji, Africa's youngest billionaire was abducted on the 11th of October 2018 outside a swanky hotel gym where he was going for his routine morning workout by unknown individuals; we pray for his safe release.
Mohammed Dewji, 43, was reportedly abducted by gunmen as he entered a gym in Dar es Salaam.
Header Image: The Black Juice