‘Africa awaits its creators’ – from Africa Unite, by Bob Marley
Behold, a generation rises! Just this last week I was afforded the rare opportunity to see into the future and let me just say, thefuture looks more exciting than at any time in our history. The current state of the world is but its birthing pains. It is all so incredible to see that, the anguish that followed the 2008 recession, is finally giving birth to the most resilient generation to have ever walked the face of the earth. They must as well be, what with the state the world is projected to be! The Western world has largely glossed over this generation, resorting to calling it names because they did not understand them. Unfortunately, this generation in those parts of the world became lazy; they became entitled; they became whatever else millennials are said to be. Would it have hurt if the name callers had stepped down from their high horses and learnt to understand this generation? Why were they afraid of that which they did not know? Is it possible that this maybe the generation that the world has been waiting for? To be honest, the characteristics that defined millenials did not matter to me until this past week. Until then, I never felt any which way about this matter. But now! Well, now things are different. In a big way too!
Now we have youngsters like Trevor Rukwavu and a lot others who I all met in the past few weeks. They are bold and articulate. They are innovative and are always searching for solutions to the challenges they face in their lives. They are not waiting for someone to come and rescue them. And having seen what they are capable of, I cannot help but understand why the western world decided to beat them down instead of propping them. In this world, a man whose agenda is to have no agenda, is the most dangerous man because, you just never know what he is capable of. Especially if your capability and capacity no matter how much you tried, could not suppress him. The best you can do is to make him believe that he is not worthy, that he is useless; that he is entitled, and a lot other things the millennials are called. And once you have done that, it is up to him to decide if he will buy into your perspective of him or, he would ignore you and continue doing what he is doing. Unfortunately in the western world, the millenials bought into the name calling. Not so with Africa’s millenials!
They have a different perspective all together. Perhaps it is because they have been disappointed by the current way. Maybe it is the real hunger they grew up in, but whatever it is, Africa’s millenials are a force to reckon with. They seem to be carving their own way through the world in a manner that only they understand. They are creating their own networks; they are building their own extended supply lines; they are creating their own project and governance charters; they are designing ingenious indigenous business models, etc. What’s more; they are employing a heuristic approach in their methods and this is assisting them to constantly adapt, innovate and create new avenues for collaboration. It is as if they have thrown all they have into what they are doing. Naturally, this should be all too exciting. It should be exciting to see the synthesis rise from the ashes of a thesis and its antagonist. For those who are familiar with this dialectic that has been attributed, erroneously to Hegel (Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel,) this must be a moment that happens once in a lifetime. For the longest time, two of the three necessary sides to a dialectic were given the most attention in the world. Until now, we have only had the opportunity to engage with either the thesis or its negative. However, with Africa’s millenials, it seems the third leg of the story has finally presented itself. It has come into being as a living byproduct of the action between the abstract and its negative. And just like before, it is only fair that effort be expended into learning more about this synthesis because, essentially, this is the new thesis. And unlike in the western world, the hope is that this synthesis be allowed the chance to explore and interrogate its own vastness. This is how history is created. And that history is now being penned by Africa’s millenials. They are answering critical questions that speak to their being. They are saying they are, therefore they are self evident, then what? Who knows the truth? Who holds the key to this truth? What is the function of this truth? Is it really self evident?
It is from attempting to find answers to such questions that the real test for Africa’s millenials, begins. To their advantage, they have their western counterparts to learn from. They know what happens when you let a group of people preside over privileges and rights that concern an individual. The result of such a state is a massive bureaucracy with very little room for private expansion, growth and ownership. That is a recipe for a state sponsored slave existence. The proper word is fascism, where someone makes you beg for sustenance. All of these things, Africa’s millenials were born into. It is what they have known all their lives and now they want different. And guess what? They are proactively creating that ‘different.’ They are neither waiting nor calling on anybody else to do it for them. The result of their effort is the future that I say I was privileged to see. If you think that this is impressive and out of this world, wait for the generation after this one. They are generation awesome! If you want to know more about that generation, listen to lil’Einsteins tomorrow morning. Would it hurt if we all paid attention and learnt to understand this generation? After all, this is the new world. This is the Southern world!
*K. Gabriel Rasengwatshe is a business strategist, author and presenter of Gabzfm Business Hour, on Wednesdays, 6pm-7pm. Gabzfm.com.