So Unilever is looking for brilliant advert ideas from students in Universities. Many people perceive the higher learning environment as the place where most things happen and the place where great ideas emerge, universities are often seen as the bridge to a better future. This gives me the opportunity to argue that people are close-minded particularly academics and business leaders in the world, for instance look at the likes of Cassper Nyovest in South Africa this guy is a successful hip hop star without having a mere certificate.
As I was busy in the internet I happen to come across a post on Facebook about Unilever where they are looking for a great idea advert from students in Universities across Africa. what worries me is the fact that Unilever open opportunities for those who have the advantage of making it big in the future, what about those who finished their matric seating at home because they are being denied access to higher education due to lack of funding by the government. They are not giving opportunities to students in FET Colleges, this makes one think about the quality of education offered in FET Colleges but that is a discussion for another day. Unilever is perpetuating the perception that Universities are a platform where ingenious ideas emerge, they are not recognizing the depression they cause to the unemployed youth in the country. These are some of the things that result to suicide to those who are unfortunate not to get NSFAS.
When I went through the competition brief I find out that there’s nothing that someone who completed a grade 12 cannot do. According to Unilever they want participants to write an idea of an advert of about 250 words that explores the need for physical closeness. As I read the brief this thought came in my mind Are they saying you need a degree in order to be creative in life? clearly they not interested in fighting some of the socio-economic issues in the country. Its not only students in universities who can be creative in life, our people in disadvantaged communities can also come with innovative ideas, but because they are being denied that kind of opportunity to present themselves they end up hopeless and engage in crime and drugs. Considering the youth unemployment rate in the country one can conclude that they should’ve open opportunities to every young people in the country.
I say give opportunities to the less fortunate and see the difference you can make in their lives. Challenge them with this kinds of competitions and see the number of young aspiring entrepreneurs you inspire. Such competitions are platforms where young people can be responsible, present themselves and learn to be pragmatic in life. These are opportunities that let young people identify their talents and expertise because they test their creative skills. It is with great disappointed to find out that Unilever the number employer in the county is hindering those who cannot get a job the opportunity to present themselves in this Africa Idea creation competition.
Although I’m on one of the participants in the Unilever competition, I still think they didn’t do enough in terms attracting the young, innovative, creative and enthusiastic to get great ideas. In doing so they have not make a difference to those who were told to take a gap year and find themselves. They did not make a difference to young people who drop out of varsity because of whatever reasons. They are neglecting our brothers and sisters who suffer from poverty in the townships and the rural areas. I will say this again Unilever is perpetuating the perception that universities are a place where successful and intelligent people are found.