Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Financial Teamwork: Something to Introspect About 

For the past couple of months, I have watched in great awe as Batswana rallied behind the local businesses under one slogan, #PushaBW. For those who are still not cognisant in any way of this tagline, #PushaBW is a campaign initiated by the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre encouraging people to support local manufacturers by buying their products. 

Most recently was another #supportmybusinesschallenge, which challenged one’s social media circle to support their small business. These campaigns are noteworthy as they also help foster the spirit of teamwork, which is what I would like to talk about today.

It is without a doubt that Batswana have come to a point where they appreciate the value of teamwork. I believe this has been the missing piece to grow our business ventures from infancy to maturity. In my view, it takes more than supporting each other’s business. It requires combining resources and skills to create a sustainable and globally competitive company.

Today, I challenge you to genuinely self-introspect in your own little space – are you a team player? Particularly on issues relating to money, be it business or any form of wealth creation. Would you own a small piece of a big pie or a large portion of nothing? 

Surprisingly, history tells us that Batswana thrived in the collaboration. The old forms of cooperation that were common amongst Batswana were MafisaMolaletsa, Majako and Motshelo. The latter is the only practice that is still alive, and the rest died a silent death. 

The Mafisa system allowed less priviledged households to access cattle from well-off families in return for looking after their herds. On the other hand, Majako allowed poor people to trade their labour in exchange for a share of the harvest. Motshelo and Molaletsa also served a similar purpose, to uplift each other.

Although most of these traditional practices did not involve money or were not profit-making, in essence, they reflected the value of what I call financial teamwork. First, there was the acquisition of assets, either cattle or harvest accrued to the volunteer in return for their contribution or labour. Secondly, it ensured that all parties involved benefit, which ultimately improved their standard of living. 

These traditional systems can still be applied today to uplift each other financially. As individuals and entrepreneurs, what is stopping us from combining our knowledge and resources to build something great? Your guess is good as mine, nothing, but ourselves. In Ecclesiastes 4:9, the Holy Bible says, “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labour”. Let us put our money to work, as a team. The COVID-19 era presents a ripe opportunity to self-introspect in that respect. 

Disclaimer:  Otisitswe K. Tawana-Madziba is the founder of Fin-Edu. For comments, kindly send an email to [email protected] or visit www.fin-edubw.com

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