Before we get into the festivities for the day, let me say a public congratulations to the founders of Ushahidi for winning Net Square and please stop by White African and express your love and support.
Africans collectively are probably the best educated group of middle managers the world over. We love employment.Entrepreneurship is for these crazy Westerners. Employment is OUR natural habitat.
When we are born, we all want to work in some big corporate office and wear a very expensive suit and just enough cologne so that everyone can whiff the money as you walk on by. We are taught to expect the long days in meetings, the powerpoint presentations and the water-cooler-oops-this-is-Africa-where-it-doesn’t-work-so-let’s-say-the-
tea-room-where-you-boil-some-tap-water-with-some-fantastic-tea-leaves while you complain about the pain in the Gluteus that your boss is being.
Right next to this love of employment is a hatred and fear of entrepreneurship. Africans don’t like risk and taking chances. We don’t care if the top 50 billionaires are predominantly business owners who created new niches and sub-niches in the marketplace, we reason the 500 poorest folk were probably trying to do the exact same thing. We hate the fact that entrepreneurship means responsibility, especially when we fail…boy do we loathe and dread failure.
And so the typical African likes to stay in their cushy office and make fun of anyone who might try something as crazy as entrepreneurship. The key to this one is quite simple:
Marvel at whatever job title the African may present to you and always keep in mind the story of someone who started some really stupid business that ended up failing. This will amuse the African and remind them why they do the 9 to 5 thing in the first place.