Tuesday, October 20, 2020

A young people’s motivational event coming to Gaborone

Would it not be easier to attain life’s goals if one had a personal cheerleading squad or a cabaret band, to applaud and make nice songs about you, while you slog on? A praise poet and two skilled ululating women would be nice. African royalty has been onto something all along!

The answer, according to the motivational industries, is to learn to internalise the praise poets and cabaret singers.

Speaks Volumes, a local company whose tagline is, ‘energise, enthuse and inspire,’ is headed by Lerumo Mogobe, of Lerumo Mogobe Legal Practitioners, and Hope Kontle, whose two speakers have to date been engaged to talk to variant audiences on issues ranging from Emotional Intelligence to Multi Streams of Income.

Upcoming is a motivational conference labelled, Dreams 2 Reality, targeted at young people between 14 and 22. This particular age bracket was reported to have low motivational levels in an article published in New Scientist in 2004. Tests conducted on 12 teenagers and 12 adults while they played a gambling game showed that the brain circuitry, in motivation to get rewards, is under-engaged in teenagers and so it explains why they need extreme stimuli to achieve the same level of brain activity.

Kontle told the The Sunday Standard in an earlier interview that “what would make the workshop appealing to a teenager is the fun, loud and in you face manner that we (the speakers) deliver the message.” The conference also infuses comedy and music in its programme.

A similar motivational company based in Johannesburg, 5 Slice, will be working alongside Speaks Volumes on 4th and 5th of August at the Gaborone Dreams 2 Reality conference and thereafter for dates in a few cities in South Africa.

I had the opportunity to see Speaks Volumes interact with teenagers at one of their school dates, at Gaborone Secondary School. They talked about financial literacy and entrepreneurship to the students, whose teacher announced that the presentation was a preventive measure for students being idle and unemployed after they finished the fifth form.

Having left secondary school, almost a decade ago, I was amazed at how some of the students resembled a pack of disgruntled workers, refusing to be interested in what the two men in dapper suits were telling them about being entrepreneurs. The loud approach Kontle spoke of seemed to work as some were drawn in by the constant loud affirmations and an interactive poem Mogobe and Kontle had them recite as loud as they could.

The content of their talk was comprehensive and detailed the truth behind living ones dream, which is constant (sometimes thankless) hard work, identifying ones own goals, and the importance of courtesy. Another point raised by parenting journals on motivating teenagers, is to address them as whole people rather than children or delinquents. Which is how the speakers conducted themselves by explaining why the students needed the talk and not scolding when some students chose the role of spectator.

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The Telegraph October 21

Digital edition of The Telegraph, October 21, 2020.