Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The African Entrepreneur

Long before Entrepreneurship and MBA students got their certificates from the Harvard Business School and the like,the sons of black men down here in Africa were exhibiting rare entrepreneurship through their natural instincts for survival and for comfort.

The young and the old down here were solving their own problems the African way (which more often than not proves to be the hard way).This stint of entrepreneurship in our blood has trickled down generations,and today we see this third world continent humbly gathering its kinsmen to come up with long term solutions to its problems. Their techniques are odd are their methods,non-electronic,thus such strategies are considered crude.

A typical example I would want to cite is the “Perching” issue on our tertiary campuses. “Perching” for the sake of my foreign readers, is a system where by a a bed supposed to be occupied by one person is shared with another fellow. As such a normal student-size bed built to hold the body of one student ,now has to do more work by carrying two. Its sounds crude,unhygienic and immoral,huh!But compare this evil, to that of forfeiting further studies in college just because one could not afford to pay for hostel accommodation near-by. Between these two evils,I personally think the former is a sweeter pill to chew. Somebody, sometime, somewhere, either forgot to increase the accommodation capacities of our halls of residence ,the young African in his quest to gain knowledge was told to commute between a far away village and his campus.

To the group of brilliant students hit by this problem which came as a result of someone's carelessness,this came as a shock. They therefore took the bull by the horns and solved this problem in their own way. Thus the birth of a brilliant solution that has solved the student accommodation problem at least half way:”Perching”.

Today I know of lots of people in very respectable positions who perhaps would not have made it had it not been for this novel and creative idea. So “Perching” although is frowned upon,I see to be the only way a maximum number of poor African students can reach their least until whoever caused this very problem comes to his right senses and begins to come up with a long lasting solution to this problem (Though I seriously doubt it is going to be any time soon,call me a pessimist...I care not!).

So then this ad-hoc solution I see to be the brain child of our African ingenuity and in-born entrepreneurship skills. I stand to be corrected but had this problem hit a different continent in the same situation,they would have found it somewhat difficult to solve.

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