5000 Blog Hits: A Toast to Destiny!

When I felt compelled, ten years ago, to cancel that flight just four days from date of departure, I should have known I was being set up. Like everyone else, I wanted to immigrate to the UK and make my ‘pound’ of fortune. I had even dropped out of university, intending to carry on when I got there. It was a perfectly logical move considering that virtually all my siblings and their families lived there. But it was not meant to be. And the question I had at the time was why I could not bring myself to do this. This was an all expenses paid relocation, not even a cent was required from me, so why did I feel this check in my spirit?

Well I know now. One word. Destiny. And this blog had a lot to do with me discovering my destiny, which explains why I am writing an article in celebration of 5000 hits. Oh I am so excited! Let me explain.

When I started this blog, it was really out of curiosity to find out what blogging was all about, so I decided to write a couple of articles centred around what mankind could do to alleviate undesirable conditions, to promote growth and development and also to inculcate a sense of purpose, vision and destiny in the minds of people, particularly within the African context. That was as far as I could see at the time!

Talent vs. Purpose

I have always known I was a talented writer because I wrote my first book, called Dracula at the age of seven, complete with pictures! By the time I was in grade 7, I had written a full fledged thriller novel. Along the way I notched up a couple of impressive accolades as well. At that time talent was at work. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my talent nor why it had been given to me. I certainly never imagined that my talent was the one thing that would eventually open the door to my destiny.

As I continued writing on this blog, I became more aware of the issues I was writing about and realised that I had created a platform for myself and others to share our views and hopefully change a few mindsets. But I also realised that I needed to start thinking about the need to dispense my thoughts, philosophies, faith and all things related through a formal structure so that instead of just writing about them, I start adding actions and implementing my solutions.

In retrospect, I realize that it was at this point that I transcended talent and walked into my purpose; the true purpose for my talent and for the blog. It was all meant to make me a change agent. Writing on my blog revealed my purpose but more of that later.

Exercise Your Gift in Love

The point I am driving home is that if you are determined to establish your purpose and destiny but cannot seem to figure them out, the best starting point is to do what you love. You are not necessarily doing this for the money; you are just doing something you know you are talented at and that you love. Start doing that very thing. If you stick at it long enough you will begin to discover that your eyes will be opened to how you can use your talent to develop your purpose. Once you have established your purpose, it will then take you to your destiny. This is very important.

A Toast to Destiny

So I had become very clear about my purpose in life. It didn’t matter what I did or where I did it and who I did it for; the bottom line is I knew I was born to change the game and to inspire others to change their own game through the sum total of my work. This was my purpose and this is still my purpose in life; to change the game and to raise game changers. That can be broken down into different sections but I will not go into that. I am just trying to make a point.

As I began to think of ways to implement and live out my purpose using, not just my writing talent but every other talent I had, I became aware that I had to move on from purpose to destiny. I knew my talents. I knew why I was here. But where was I going? What was my destiny?

Game Changers

It was then that I decided to found an organisation called Game Changers for purposes of facilitating my destiny. Game Changers is my destiny because through the work I am doing and that I will continue to do using it as a vehicle, I will utilize all my talents, my knowledge, experiences and wisdom undergirded by purpose to live out my vision of changing the game, inspiring and raising game changers.

Game Changers is not my career; it is my destiny. There is a big difference between the two. A career is what pays your bills. Destiny is what you were created for; the sum total of your talents, abilities and efforts all bound together by your purpose in this life. When you are living out these things fully, you are living in destiny.

I see an opportunity to bring answers to Africa’s needs, particularly with regards to poverty eradication and economic transformation.

Game Changers’ Philosophy

My philosophy is that in order to see this kind of transformation, which should establish Africa as a prosperous continent, we need to change the way we think, one person at a time, particularly at the very influential levels.

We start of by developing people personally so that they are liberated from a poverty mentality and start believing in themselves instead of waiting for politicians to set them free. This is called Personal Development. Politicians are no better than the rest of us; they are just elected people but they are the same people we grew up with. How do they suddenly hold the answers to every problem we have? See my point? What they need, together with the rest of us is Leadership Development. This means we develop and propagate leaders out of ordinary people in addition to  teaching people the mechanics of leadership. There is a difference between Leader Development and Leadership Development.

As people begin to take charge of their lives at the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical levels, and as they train themselves to exercise leadership over their finances, careers, social responsibilities and organisations that they lead, we will begin to see a move towards a prosperity mentality.

Tied to these is the need to observe and uphold Human Rights and Good Governance. You can’t have good governance without upholding human rights; it would be an oxymoron. A good government upholds human rights, particularly the sanctity of life. As good governance flourishes and the citizens of a nation are developed in their thinking and leadership philosophy, we will witness more entrepreneurial activity which eventually leads to economic transformation. Just create a conducive atmosphere where people are not afraid to pursue entrepreneurial projects in anticipation of monetary gains and Entrepreneurial Economic Transformation will flourish.

As we develop at every area, the net result is that African Transformation will take place. There is no African Transformation without African Prosperity; that would be false transformation.

So Bon Voyage

This is my own story; what is yours? As you read, it really all started with just a talent which led me to my purpose, which then took me to my destiny. I feel like I have just started my life in earnest.

So bon voyage as you seek out your own destiny but remember it all starts with doing what you love, what you are gifted at and before long your purpose will be revealed and it will take you straight to your destiny!

And to every reader who has ever placed a hit on my blog and thus helped me achieve my goal, a heartfelt thank you for your support. I wish you all the best in your own endeavors.

The Ultimate Entrepreneur

There are many brilliant entrepreneurs in this world and a few names immediately come to mind. You have Bill Gates, the man who brought the personal computer to within reach of every person. What about Warren Buffet, the smartest investor around and the holder of the title “Apostle of Risk”? I am reminded of Sir Richard Branson, the first man to build a space ship for commercial purposes and an empire that has got its fingers in records, airlines, gyms, telecommunications and virtually every other industry you can think of. Over there in Mexico is Carlos Slim, currently the richest man in the world with a personal fortune of $69 billion.

All these people are exceptional entrepreneurs.

In Africa we also have our fair share of entrepreneurs, some of whom have gone on to make the world’s richest list. Aliko Dangote squeezed his juice from the sugar cane industry and now has an impressive $11,2 billion stash up there in Nigeria. We have the mining magnate, Patrice Motsepe in South Africa with a ‘modest’ $2,7 billion to his name. Time and space will not permit me to talk about the Strive Masiyiwas, the Cyril Rhamaphosas, the Miloud Chaabis, the Sawiris and a host of other excellent entrepreneurs making their indelible marks across the African business landscape.

The Ultimate Entrepreneur

Because of my fascination with all things entrepreneurial, I began to rake my brains trying to determine who the ultimate entrepreneur could be? How does he (and he represents both male and female) talk, think, relate to people and make his money? What sets him apart from the other very able entrepreneurs in this world? Is it just his personal fortune or good deeds done for the benefit of humanity? And should I seek an audience with him if at all possible in this life, so that I can get titbits on how to get close enough to where he is now?

Then it dawned on me. God. He is the Ultimate Entrepreneur. He is the Ultimate Investor. He is the Ultimate Businessman. How could I have struggled to see something so obvious? Is it because it is only so to the discerning eye? Maybe. And I have my reasons why I say he is the Ultimate Entrepreneur.

The Ultimate Creator

We know that by definition, an entrepreneur creates new products and sells them to the market or improves on existing ones. Following that line of thinking, I realized that God created the heavens and the earth, everything that walks on its surface, the creatures in the sea, the birds of the air and his ultimate workmanship, man.

Those who would reject God as Creator constantly run into Him, trying to explain the complicated laws holding the world together. When I look at creation, I am inspired to reach deep within and produce something that can benefit mankind the same way everything around me was created for our benefit. I have to provide a solution to society. That is what entrepreneurs do and in that regard I am inspired by the Creator Himself!

The Ultimate Manager

Jesus once said that he must work because His Father was always working. What a business principle! God created the universe, galaxies and beyond yet He is still working? We are told that new galaxies are still being created and we can never know how many there are because, let’s face it, where does space end? Can we see into infinity?

A good manager tends his business from conception to fruition. He masters methods and strategies to grow his business, multiply his resources and thereby create more for everyone. He doesn’t fold his arms just because the money is rolling in but seeks new avenues of expansion and works at becoming a better manager with each passing day. I would like to learn as much as I can from this Manager of the universe about managing complex business processes and still stay sane!

The Ultimate Investor

One of the most fascinating things about the way God created everything is discovering that he did not need to create everything all at once from the onset. We are told that all He did was create prototypes and put within them seeds that contained more prototypes that contained seeds that contained more prototypes to infinity. Instead of creating an apple tree forest, He would have created a few apple trees and they would have bloomed and flowered, producing apples that carried seeds of other apple trees. What it means is that if you were holding an apple seed in your hand, you would effectively be holding a forest. Talk about Return On Investment (ROI)!

The same applies to us humans, animals, birds and every living thing.

I would like to master this art of investing that sets in motion self perpetuating annuity-based streams of income while I seek out more.

When that lazy servant hid the coin in the ground, Jesus tells us that the Master was very angry with Him because He at least expected him to put it in the bank and earn an interest on that coin. That tells me that God never throws away resources; He expects a return on everything He deploys; everything. Why then do I have such an ignorant attitude towards resources that I blow every little cent I get on myself and soon I am broke and bankrupt?

I have so much to learn from this shrewd Investor.

The Ultimate Strategic Planner

The earth was created with so many minerals and up to now we are still digging for them and discovering more deposits daily.

To calculate the needs of the entire created population and set in motion laws that would make sure we survived for generations upon generations smacks of strategic planning of the highest imaginable order.

Are we talking feasibility studies, development of the business plan, symbiotic relationships that would ensure the survival, perpetuation and progression of every species? Maybe we should think of the highly efficient computer that is our brains, enabling us to come up with new strategies ourselves and an ability to comprehend processes, situations and future possibilities allowing us to plan in advance. How much strategic planning went into this project earth? When I think of it, I feel the need to invest so much energy in research and planning so that I emulate this great Strategist. If He needed to plan to the last detail and He is the Omniscient God, how much more should I, a human being, implement strategic planning? I am very convinced that if I follow His processes I cannot but succeed in my own business ventures.

The Ultimate Giver

I believe that for every entrepreneur, the icing on the cake has to be philanthropy. There is a reason why some get more talents and abilities than others. Not everyone is born to be a highly successful entrepreneur but those who are have this mandate to create a market for others to sell their skills and thus make their own living. They become financial parents to others.

And when they are wealthy, they must not forget the poor and disadvantaged in society because in most cases monetary resources are crucial to any projects addressing such.

And that God is a Giver is evident. Somewhere Jesus says that God makes the rain to fall on the fields of both the wicked and the righteous. We all breathe the same air, drink the same water and walk the same earth, which is why I can’t understand tribalism, racism, xenophobia and all the other manifestations of bigotry witnessed in our world.

God just gives and I want to emulate that. I want to make dreams come true. There is a young boy somewhere in Radijoke or Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein(Yes, this a real town name, literally translated,  “Two Buffalos Shot ‘Totally’ Dead with One Shot Fountain“) with a dream to play football but unless someone opens an opportunity for him, he will die a herdboy. Can I be that person?

It is my strongly held opinion that true entrepreneurs recognize this great mandate and responsibility towards fellow human beings and actively participate in their core role as the drivers of human perpetuation.

There are many other entrepreneurial traits that convince me that God is the Ultimate Entrepreneur but I could simply never exhaust them. I am talking about extraordinary vision, perfect timing, an innate ability to read seasons, the ability to nurture investments; the list just goes on to infinity. When it comes to business, entrepreneurship, investments and everything that go with this, I have to confess that I know no better person to learn from than this Ultimate Entrepreneur.

Inhibition

I was chatting with my friend, Tapiwa, on Skype the other day and we ended up talking about how perfectly acceptable it was for a woman to date a man twice her age and for a man to date a woman ten or more years his senior in the UK, where he resides. I wanted to know why that was acceptable because, you have to understand, I live in an African society where such scenarios are taboo, so I asked him to explain.

He told me that in the western world, the medical, technological and psychological advances have released that society from limitation-based thinking when it comes to such issues. So I asked if the people who married in such conditions where as happy as any other and he answered in the positive. We ended the call cordially but I was left with lots of questions in my mind. Being the analyst that I am I began to create scenarios in my mind to try and understand why it was difficult for me to comprehend what my friend was saying, yet he was perfectly at peace with it and in fact would even encourage it as long as the two where consenting adults who were fully aware of what they were doing. There really is no law against such.

Jay and Hala

So I created two characters in my mind, call the gentleman Joconiah and the lady Halakasha. That way I know no one will say I am talking about them!

So Jay meets Hala and they take a liking to each other. The only problem is that Hala is 35 and Jay is 25. They are both aware of the African Secret Service (ASS) watching and waiting to pounce on them should they allow themselves to fall in love and go public with their affair. What to do, they ask themselves? They are convinced they have something beautiful going on and there is every conceivable kind of potential for them to help fulfill each other’s destinies but will their parents understand? What about their friends? Their church?

Deciding that the risk and the potential backlash from society are too much, they make the painful decision to terminate the relationship and wait for the right one to come. Again.

Do you know what has just happened here? Inhibition. They got inhibited by society from going for the prize that they both knew so well awaited them. And they lost out. If on the other hand Jay and Hala were to meet in a society like the UK as my friend tells me, they would go on to marry and live happily ever after and spend many evenings gazing at the setting sun together.

Continuing with my line of thought, I then asked myself a question. Is this fair, that society can actually determine where you can and cannot go whereas in another different society there is no such? And coming home to Africa, does being an African then limit me in doing certain things that my peers would be so liberated to do in the societies they are now living in? Where does that leave me? Am I disadvantaged by my motherland therefore? Should I just break rank with societal thinking and do what I know to be right or live in the safety of society’s acceptance, no boats being rocked while inside I am dying for adventure and to live out my dream to the fullest? What would I do if I were Jay?

Would I succumb to this animal, this beast, this dragon, this hobbit, this ghost called Inhibition?

Definition

Inhibition is the act of inhibiting, which in turn is defined as:

  1. To restrain from free or spontaneous activity especially through the operation of inner psychological or external social constraints
  2. To check or restrain the force or vitality of
  3. To reduce or suppress the activity of
  4. To retard or prevent the formation of
  5. To retard, interfere with, or prevent

The scenario discussed above is just one of many different kinds that society presents us with.

It is my strongly held opinion that when it comes to matters of your destiny, your dream and your vision, only you, ultimately are responsible for their coming to pass. People can encourage you, but only you can make your dreams come to pass. Only you can work in a focused way towards the realization of your goals; only you.

As a young boy or girl, you promised yourself certain things. You set certain goals for yourself. With time you grew up and became an adult. My question is; at what point did it dawn on you that it was never going to happen, because at that very moment you got inhibited. If you were to meet your younger self and have a heart to heart discussion, would you be able to look yourself in the eye and say, “I quit because there were too many inhibitors.”? If I where to say that to my younger self( captured in a green blazer, when I was 15 in the photo), I believe he would say something like this, “We don’t play here, we work here! I didn’t sign up for this, go back to work! We don’t play here!”

I believe that it is worth our while as human beings to retreat from all the business around us and have a candid discussion with ourselves to assess if at the rate we are going, we will ever accomplish our goals. While at it, we should also ask if we even still believe in ourselves and our dreams or we have stopped and are now just living, waiting for life to take us where it will. Have we been permanently inhibited by society? Failures? Partners? Workmates? Bosses? Broken hearts? Fear?

Why not invest some time on reflecting on that dream, that desire, that goal, that vision and why in the first place you wanted it? Rediscover your dream, your process and its importance to you. Yes, look at what has inhibited you so far but the best thing you can do is to remove yourself from that toxic environment inhibiting against the process taking you to your goal and if you can’t, then taking the inhibitors themselves out of your process and moving forward for, at the end of the day, you cannot suffer inhibition!

Sex Appeal

The sad thing about sex appeal is that it is one of the most misunderstood concepts.

Why do I say so?

Because generally the religious community will have nothing to do with it, let alone mention it verbally while secular society, especially the younger generation view it as a weapon of mass destruction.

And I am saying that is a very basic (mis)understanding of the concept. So, let’s unpack it.

Sexual Energy

Sex Appeal is simply the ‘oozing’ of Sexual Energy, which in turn, is that driving power, that dominating and creative force, that hungry and powerful drive, that passion and energy that would push us to be productive in life. And most frequently it is expressed through the physical act of sexual intimacy. For this reason, most people believe that sexual energy is measured solely by how often one engages in sexual activity. This is an erroneous assumption as it reduces sexual energy to the physical level only, without taking into account the emotional and spiritual aspects involved, yet it is precisely those factors and not just the physical energy, that give sexual energy its massive power.

That sex has energy behind it cannot be disputed.  See, sexual energy can be controlled and subdued for a time but its very nature causes it to be ever seeking means of expression of which the most common one is sexual intimacy. But this is by far under-utilising the massive resources available in this kind of energy.

To understand the power of sexual energy, just look at the entire entertainment industry. Virtually everything that goes on in there is usually marketed as sexy or using sex appeal.

Man’s Eternal Quest to please his Woman

From the beginning of time, man has always sought to please his woman. A man would risk limp and life hunting wild and vicious beasts and bring them to the doorstep of his wife just to hear her acknowledge him and tell him how awesome he was! These days, men no longer go fearlessly into the bushes to confront elephants, buffaloes and bush bucks but they definitely go into the marketplace to get the same result. And what is the one thing they always end up looking for to be the cherry on top of their accomplishments? In most cases, a beautiful woman. A lot of guys who are honest will tell you that they want that sports car so that they can be a chick magnet. Donald Trump, on one of his “The Apprentice” shows stated, “Sex has cost me a lot of money.”

In his book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill states, “It is this inherent desire of a man to please a woman, which gives a woman the power to make or break a man.” and in another place, “The emotion of sex contains the secret of creative ability. Destroy the sex glands, whether in man or beast, and you have removed the major source of action. For proof of this, observe what happens to any animal after it has been castrated. A bull becomes as docile as a cow after it has been altered sexually. Sex alteration takes out of the male, whether man or beast, all the FIGHT that was in him. Sex alteration of the female has the same effect.

There are now over 7 billion human beings on the face of the planet and regardless of whether your views are creationist or evolutionist you know that it all started with a pair. This fact alone demonstrates the tremendous power of sexual energy.

 “A man may attain to great heights of financial or business achievement, solely by the driving force of sex energy…” Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich.

Why is Sexual Energy Important?

The power of sexual energy lies in its ability to inspire serious creativity and a strong work ethic, when properly harnessed.

According to Napoleon Hill, who is regarded as an expert on the subject, sex energy is the creative energy of every genius. There never has been, and never will be a great leader, builder, or artist lacking in this driving force.

The difference between geniuses and the rest lies in their ability to focus and stimulate their mind through the creative faculty of imagination, which in turn is driven by sexual energy. Other drivers of imagination include mind altering substances, love, music, fear, autosuggestion and so on. But in terms of effectiveness and power, none matches sexual energy.

The mere possession of this energy is not sufficient to produce a genius. The energy must be transmuted from desire for physical contact or intimacy into some other form of desire and action. This can in turn be music, art, building wealth, etc.

What Napoleon Hill calls “Sex Transmutation” is the act of building up, storing and channeling sexual energy into one’s work, business and life performance. Doing so allows one to accomplish a level of focus and creativity that would be impossible if sexual energy was simply thrown out via excessive and directionless sexual release.

According to Adolph K. Reekie, the fall of the Roman Empire was largely attributed to its own decadence. Its leaders fell because they were drained of their energy through excessive promiscuity, allowing them to become weak and easily conquered.

Using Sexual Energy Intelligently

By intelligently reserving and delegating your sexual energy, you will have more energy, be more creative, be more focused and concentrated, perform better in your workout, attract more positive people socially, get more work and play done than you would otherwise have imagined.

The key is finding the right goals. Sexual Energy is most effective when focused on activities that improve your chances of fulfilling sexual desires. Anything that makes you more powerful, dominant and confident is a good place to start. This would usually be in one of 3 areas; working out, developing a creative talent and building wealth.

According to experts, goals that appeal to your personal preference and involve creative expression, complex strategy, or the expectation of a large payout in the future are ideal.

The way I see it, a lot of people are in their jobs to pay their bills but the jobs themselves hardly elicit the use of sexual energy. What this implies is that since bills need to be paid, work will still have to be done efficiently but we need to embark on other projects into which we can channel this tremendous resource so that instead of existing we start living! And in those areas, we have a real chance at making a huge impact through focusing our sexual energies.

The Season of Growth

The season for growth is upon me and I am excited
For I have longed night and day, in winter and in summer
In my seasons of pain and toil, in my season of hope and restoration
To see the beginning of this season, the season of growth.

There is no pain of past memories in my heart anymore
For they have been washed away by the healing waters,
The waters of regeneration; the coming to pass of dreams and goals,
Swallowed in laughter and friendships forged
There is no more loneliness.

I fought back like a lion and the heavens smiled on me,
For I began to rebuild with hope and stabilized my life,
But now the season for growth has begun

It’s a season to see dreams germinating and visions growing,
A season of attaining to comfort and new possibilities,
To acquire new possessions and to possess new territories,
To forge new alliances and to ease myself into my chosen path.
A season filled with growth and opportunity,
A season to reward and to help, to uplift and to inspire,
A season to plant and to tend.

The season has come to have my own aboard
To travel and to visit friends, to bring family together and to heal relationships,
A season to overcome fears, to believe and to see clearly,
A season in which “it all finally comes together”,
A season of peace.
And after that will be the harvest.

By Raymond Kasinganeti
20 August 2007
The season of growth

I Yet Dream

I’ve been to hell and licked the pots clean, yet I still dream
I’ve worked like a slave and lived worse than a servant in a foreign land
But I still dream.

I will be as the proverbial phoenix,
Which rose from the ashes and lived again.
Like the eagle that I am,
Early shall I rise to behold the breaking of a new day in my life
And it shall be soon.

I shall witness the floodgates of prosperity
Overwhelming the walls of limitation that I face each day.
Against my efforts and faith in God,
They shall be as dew evaporating in the morning sunshine.
Indeed they shall flee as the young deer before the lion.

My story is yet untold for it has yet to unfold but it will be told
And it shall be an inspiration to many
Because in it the poor and down trodden shall see
The possibility to conquer their own mountains
By starting with nothing but faith and a dream.

My story will be preached from the mountaintops and in the valleys
And many shall take up arms and to their own wars go,
To decimate their own fears.
A revolution shall unfold because of these firebrands who,
Like myself and others before, dared to believe the impossible.

For, like the Lord said,
To the one who believes,
Everything is possible.

By Raymond Kasinganeti
17 January 2006
Written in the midst of anguish and frustration.

African Transformation III: The Case for Change

So, having researched and acknowledged the myriad of challenges Africa faces, we have to start asking ourselves this question. Can the face and story of Africa be changed and if yes, why do we say so? And that is the question to be answered before we get to the how part.

I believe that the story of Africa can be changed and is changing. There is anecdotal empirical evidence of this change throughout the African continent but that will not do the whole continent any good if that positive change affects those few bright spots. Africa must needs be transformed as a whole for us to proclaim total liberation and success from our painful past.

I did a bit of research about nations that have changed and how they did it. I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how possible it is to be transformed from a nation of poverty to one of prosperity. That alone gives me hope before we even get to the more intricate issues of the African resilience, endurance and survival instinct in the face of formidable challenges.

So let’s begin.

The Korean Case

One of the most intriguing but tragic stories of our time is that of the Korean people. It is important to note that the Koreans were really one people sharing 5000 years of history and culture, who became victims of a proxy war between the Capitalits and the Communists.

According to Wikipedia, “The Korean War was primarily the result of the political division of Korea by an agreement of the victorious Allies at the conclusion of the Pacific War at the end of World War II. The Korean peninsula was ruled by the Empire of Japan from 1910 until the end of World War II. Following the surrender of the Empire of Japan in September 1945, American administrators divided the peninsula along the 38th parallel, with U.S. military forces occupying the southern half and Soviet military forces occupying the northern half. The failure to hold free elections throughout the Korean Peninsula in 1948 deepened the division between the two sides; the North established a communist government, while the South established a capitalist one.”

So that’s how one people became divided into two mortal enemies to the present day.

In his book, “The Shackled Continent” Robert Guest paints a horrendous picture of the dire straits Korea found itself in.
“Korea, for example, was annexed by Japan in 1910 and freed only when America dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While they ruled Korea, the Japanese colonists tried to destroy the local culture and to cow the population into servitude. They banned the Korean language, barred from universities and systematically desecrated the country’s most sacred hilltop shrines. They shipped young Korean men to Japan to provide forced labour in mines and munitions factories, or conscripted them to serve the Imperial army. They drafted more than 100,000 Korean women, some as young as twelve to serve as sex slaves in military brothels. And the ordeal did not end with liberation. Soon after the colonists left, Korea was plunged into a civil war that cost a million lives and split the country in two.”

That really is a tragic story but here is the interesting thing; at the end of the Korean Civil War in 1953, South Korea was as poor as Ghana, which declared independence from Britain in 1957. As at 2004, South Korea was twenty times richer than Ghana. Just fifty years made that much difference!

The point I am trying to make is that no matter how oppressed and plundered we might feel as Africans, we have no excuse for not rising out of the ashes and quickly too. It’s really up to us to formulate policies and implement programs that are carefully thought out and that can bring true transformation to our continent. The South Koreans did it.

Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore are all ex-colonies of Japan that have gone on to become spectacular success stories. What is our excuse?

What is even more interesting is that fifty years after the end of the Korean civil war, South Korea is at least ten times richer than North Korea. The problems of North Korea are well publicized; famine, hunger, dictatorship and the list goes on. While South Korea adopted a Capitalist approach, North Korea adopted Communism and the results are there for all to see. Whether Communism or Capitalism works is neither here nor there.

Whether in Africa, Europe or Asia, ultimately, it is in the power of citizens to pull themselves out of the quagmire of failure and into prosperity through the kind of philosophy, values and culture that they inculcate into their thinking and implement.

Congruently, change is possible in Africa but we have to change the way Africa thinks.

The Case of East and West German

As a result of the Cold War, Germany was split into East and West. Fifty years later, West German was four times richer than East Germany.

The Case of Botswana and Zambia

At independence in 1960, Zambia was Africa’s second richest country and Botswana had virtually nothing until the discovery of diamonds after independence in 1967.
Nationalization of copper mines and bad economic policies resulted in Zambians progressively becoming poorer after independence as compared to before.

“When diamonds were discovered in 1967, a year after independence, Botswana was among the ten poorest countries in the world. Now, because it supplies 22% of the world’s total output (in value) of rough diamonds, it is a middle-income country with a GDP of nearly $14,000 a head at purchasing-power parity. Diamonds produced by Debswana, a joint venture between Botswana’s government and De Beers, the world’s biggest rough-diamond trading company, account for a third of the country’s GDP, half of its public spending and three-quarters of its foreign earnings.” http://www.economist.com/node/14707287

And it can be argued that the secret was good governance and efficient fiscal and monetary policy implementation.
So there we have it; two countries in Southern Africa with completely different economic trajectories. I know this is a very simplistic view of the issue but globally it supports my argument that through implementation of sound policies, the story of Africa can change.

The Case of Israel

As late as the 1940s, Jews had no country of their own. They were scattered throughout the world and in most cases were not wanted there.
In order to fully comprehend the miracle of the resurrection of Israel, we have to take a crash course in the history of its troubled past.
According to the Torah, God promised land to the three Patriarchs of the Jewish people, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. On the basis of scripture, the period of the three Patriarchs has been placed somewhere around 2000 years BC.

The first Kingdom of Israel was established around the 11th century BC. Subsequent Israelite kingdoms and states ruled intermittently over the next four hundred years.

After the fall of the Northern Kingdom, the Muslims conquered and occupied Israel for a period of over 1500 years. After that, the region came under Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Sassanid, and Byzantine rule. In the year 635, the region, including Jerusalem, was conquered by the Arabs and was to remain under Muslim control for the next 1300 years. Control of the region transferred between the Umayyads, Abbasids, and Crusaders throughout the next six centuries, before being conquered by the Mamluk Sultanate, in 1260. In 1516, the region was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, and remained under Turkish rule until the 20th century.

Because of persecution and rejection wherever they went, Jews longed to return to the land of their inheritance. The nation of Israel was indeed founded but not before the Holocaust claimed over 3 million Jewish lives. To fully understand this atrocity and its effect on the Jewish nation, consider that the population of Israel stands at just over 7 million today. You can be sure in the 1940s, it was a lot less.

On 29 November 1947 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending the adoption and implementation of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union as Resolution 181 (II).

On 14 May 1948, the day before the expiration of the British Mandate, David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency declared, “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel”

In 60 years, Israel has had to endure 7 wars including one a day after declaring independence. But just 60 years later Israel has risen to become the regional superpower in the Middle East, is a nuclear power and is at the forefront of technological advancement.
Israel is producing the highest number of patented innovations annually in the world, more than twice what even the USA is producing. All the big technology companies want to be or are in Israel, including Google, Microsoft and Intel. Even warren Buffet, the apostle of risk aversion and one of the wealthiest men in the world has invested in Israel.

Just sixty years to establish a country from scratch to a success story the world over!

Conclusion

I believe I have made my point.

To change Africa, we have to change the individual blocks building it; yours and my country. If we can change our way of thinking as blocks building individual countries, we know the transformation of Africa has started in earnest.

Many countries have changed their story. A people, based on attitude, culture and ideology,can either harm or enhance the destiny of their nation. Africa’s countries are no exception.

The call is for citizens to seek greater participation in influencing policies that shape the future of their nations instead of leaving it to politicians. A lot is at stake here. If we can transform first, countries and second regional blocks, we can, third, transform Africa.

South Koreans changed their story out of the ashes of civil war. West Germany is presently Europe’s economic superpower. Botswana is one of the most stable countries in world. Israel has built a superpower out of nothing in just 60 years and South Africa has cast aside the throngs of apartheid and maintains its status as the economic powerhouse of Africa, contributing more than a quarter to Africa’s Gross Domestic Product and leaving the rest of the 50 plus nations to share the balance.

Africa can be changed. But our countries need to change first. And for them to change, Africans need to change the way we think.
What happens at the microcosm can be projected and can happen at the macrocosm.