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Making it in Africa

by Shola Ogunniyi

Knowing what to do In life and where we fit in, is an age long journey. For some, they have someone to figure it out for them or they had it figured out as early as after puberty stage while some still struggles even after adolescence. World Health Organization says adolescence ends at 24.

In more matured climes, folks at this age are already buying homes, cars, getting married and with kids and with some level of financial stability. However, must folks in Africa are still begging their parents for loose change to cut hair, mummy’s phone to flash girl friend or daddy’s car to drop of a friend.

Why this discrepancy?

Systems? we do not have a functional system to support SMEs or one that student can borrow from to ensure they have quality education to university level or adequate training that will put food on their tables and provide for a family, these has greatly increased crimes rates and delayed marriage or resulted in non catered for children in most part of Africa.

So how can the younger folks make it in Africa ?

  1. Rich /Institutional parents
  2. Strong business connections

A rich parent is like an institution, cause your last name opens doors for you and if you do not have access to the venue for the door to be opened, a phone call can open a doors to opportunities on arrival.

If you do not have or inherit these 2 then you need to accumulate capabilities, deep domain and cross industry knowledge. Sister, read, read and read. You need plenty of intelligence with emotional intelligence also. Intelligence is the ability to learn, understand and apply the knowledge. Some are born smart, but keep learning everyone learns and assimilate at various degrees.

When you have strong cross sectional overview of life, technology and business doors will be opened for you. First degree is now pure water in Nigeria, get a second and possibly another in different fields, these guaranties you get business(es) and teaches you how hedges your risk on the ones you have.

Have seen many village boys and girls manage multinational companies with no business contacts, except through the accumulation of capabilities.

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