Why do I write

It goes without saying that you never know that you can pull off something until you try it. I eat humble pie admitting that I was one of those kids in school who promised no potential in any talent when growing up. In my mind I always asked myself what talent do I possess which ultimately lead to frustrations and envy that bring depression and belittling oneself.
I tried everything my peers were good at from soccer, rap, fishing, hunting, you name it, only to find out that my performance was flawed. Some of the guys used to look into my innocent face and tell the white lie in order to keep the vibe going. Because I was naive I kept believing I’m doing my best and kept on enjoying mediocrity at its best. As you grow up you begin to judge yourself and realize that you not doing the right thing in what you enjoy the most and decide to stop because it brings nothing but embarrassment to you and the people who fond for you.
I used to read sometimes not by choice, but because we were compelled at school to try and understand the common tongue. Then I realized that I can do what the authors are doing which is playing with words to produce meaning. But I have no intention of emulating the greatest writers in history, I write because I can’t conceal my thoughts and believe that writing will be an outlet to what I’m feeling inside. I write because I can only express my feelings more strongly and accurately than vocally. Writing is part of communication and using the right kinds of words to write brings connection between the author and the reader.
I write because it’s awesome and brings pleasure to play with the power of words because written words speak to the mind, I can’t help myself but share my thoughts on what is happening around me through the written word. I write because words are used to store history and where are we without our history. The written words can be used to express a command of respect and compliance, looking at the likes of the constitution and the holy bible. I write because writing is one of the abilities no one told me I’m competent at but me.
Writing is a productive hobby that not only expand your vocabulary but improve your logical reasoning and intellectual creativity. The art of writing makes my thinking visible and express the person I am.

Gender equality: Does it have to be one or the other?

Men are abusers. Men don’t take responsibility for their faults. Men don’t have the capacity to raise a child unless there’s a woman involved. In every successful man there’s a woman involved. Men always want to be superior to women. Men always want to take the lead. Men are not wise enough to create a harmonious home. A child is not in safe hands should the father win the custody case. And so on and so on all in the name of framing a man the bad guy in society.

As I type this I’m suffering from indignation from the series I recently deleted in my hard-drive after watching a couple of episodes because I knew I wouldn’t survive the other seasons of a show that has a derogation agenda towards the male gender.

It seems like we are building a society where the masculine trait is being diminished with all sorts of negative stereotypical claims with the intention of making the opposite sex appear holy, perfect, compassionate, loving, wise and heroic. I mean there’s no doubt that gender inequality exists in this world, but do we have to rob men of their native good qualities such as wisdom, caring and respectful with the cross-purpose of fighting gender inequality?

This stereotypical habit has now become a norm that even dominates the entertainment industry in such a way that one can predict what would happen to a TV show. We are now being painted as the bad guys who lack conventional consciousness in society all in the name of ensuring that we share the same opportunities with our opposite sex. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a firm believer in a world where gender inequality doesn’t exist. I also long for a world where women take as many leadership positions as men. However, it seems like we are fighting this inequality by relegating the male trait to a place they should endure the burden of negativity.

It appears we are uplifting women by degrading the males with all sorts of negative stereotypical views that derive from generalisation. Of course, some women are victims of sexual assaults, physical abuse and gender inequality is high but let’s not fight such despicable things by generalising that all men are the instigators of such crimes. We have events such as your Mother’s Day and Women’s Day celebrated every year with the intention of empowering women but men seldom share the same experience come Father’s Day. You can all call me ignorant, but I never heard of Men’s Day.

FINDING THE FRIEND WHO OPPOSE MY ARGUEMENTS CHANGED MY LIFE

 

Growing up I didn’t appreciate the idea that people have a different view of what I believe in. I would often raise a point to my peers only to find out their penny of thought contrast my arguments which made things difficult in our relationships in terms of trust and support. I use to think they hate me because I often take the roads that are less traveled and my point of views was usually not following the bandwagon. Personally, I don’t enjoy discussing something I barely understand for the sake of fitting in.

It’s typically that when you join varsity you tend to meet different people with different backgrounds, fortunately when I registered at Varsity I happened to meet my friend who sees the world as opposed to my perception. We spend most of our time discussing current issues of national interest such as your fees must fall and in our discussion we challenge each other in such a way that we end up frustrated. What really intrigued me is that we tend to ponder about our earlier discussions and later confront each other in order to determine who needs to eat the humble pie by verifying certain facts.

Constantly doing this exercise allowed me to be open minded and accept other people’s opinions. It made me realize that if you constantly doing the same thing you will never change your mindset. I’m now an open minded person who see multiple opportunities because of allowing alternative ways of doing things in my mind. It’s fair to deduce that my opposing friend gave an opportunity for the mind to transform for the better.

 

 

 

A call for free higher education is reckless

Its time students become rational in their demands and demonstrate their understanding of how the world economy work around them. Demanding free education during threats of economic downgrading status is inconclusive to the government’s critical purpose to grow the economy and growing economy means attracting foreign investors in the country. It’s fair to say that allowing free higher education will increase the chances of economic downgrade which will leave us dry and unattractive of foreign investment.
Students are constantly singing the tune of free education with no substantial plan in place to implement it and without consideration of the consequences it will have in the economic status of the country, such a phenomenon raise eyebrows to the competency of our future leaders. It seems like the initiative of fees must fall has gained more solidarity members who dearth strategic thinking on the problem they are facing. Perhaps they are rejoicing the act of being activists or unnecessarily disrupting academic activities and burning university property with the purpose of achieving “Free education”. There is more salience in the phrase of “fees must fall” but other dimensions such as how and where can those funds come from goes unheeded.
We often see students going around holding billboards written the “black child is oppressed”, such actions prove that the movement is not authentically for fees must fall but for other issues because the government does provide NATIONAL STUDENT FANANCIAL SCHEME (NSFAS) to those who are poor and those who do not meet its requirements are now funded and are categorized as the “missing middle”. Moreover, there are bursaries provided by the public and private institutions to financially needy students all around the country, it’s fair to state that anyone committed in their education can ensure to get themselves one. Given such alternatives one see no reason for students to play the “race card” and talk about economic background unnecessary.
Considering the low percentage of the upper class in the country there is discrepancies between the number of students who disrupt classes and cry for fees must fall and the rich households in the country. One can question the existence of the fees must fall movement given that it affects the minority who can afford to pay their fees. It cannot be regarded a national issue given that more opportunities are provided by the government to those who can’t afford to pay their fees. It seems like students are gullible to join movements that absolutely have nothing to do with them for the sake of delaying academic activities.
The students must act with rationality and demonstrate what they are learning at academic institutions and critically analyze the hype of free education. Free higher education will take place however the word “quality” will be diminish because there will be less funds to provide the university services such electricity in academic activities, the Wi-Fi service, staff remuneration, security services to name a few. And such a decision may lead to talented lectures leaving and seek better opportunities in other countries because reduction in payment will take place provided that the government will be financially responsible towards universities. It should also be considered that some universities do have enough residences so they rely on off campus accommodation, the question is will the government afford to fork out millions and cover such services.
It is understandable to raise voices on the issue of fee increment and insourcing but it must also be noted that the higher education department decided that university must not surpass the 8% fee increase. Furthermore, some universities if not all are in the process of ensuring that they end the outsourcing of its workers. Hence going around calling for national shutdown and running around with billboards that don’t fit the context of the issue raised is a waste of time.

In conclusion as students the nation is looking up to us for solutions to future problems therefore let’s not disappoint ourselves and the nation at large by acting irrationally to become heroes on the issue of free education without considering its consequences in the wealth of the nation. It’s better to contemplate the issue of fees must fall with its effects and how will it occur in that way we will prevent the loss of university property and more time will be spent in finding solutions rather than crying to the government as if he’s the God to our problems. In the current generation free higher education is not feasible considering the financial constraints the country is facing let’s not waste our time running in the streets for something we know very well it be cold in hell before it happens.

Spending time with my privileged friends

 

I guess it’s true when they say your upbringing affect your character which consequently determine your decision making in life. The surrounding environment you grew up in may affect how you see things and how you orchestrate things like planning for your future and how to react to unexpected challenges life has to offer.

As they say, the future holds no guarantees one can assume it’s the reason me and friends at the campus like to jump into the imaginary world and talk about how we like to see ourselves in the next five years or so. Some people say we crazy because we talk about weird stuff and neglect that life is all about reality not “dreams”. The name of the activity (which is what we do) is called “Give us the unexpected to talk about” of which we practice every Monday where one member of the crew must come up with a topic we can discuss and share our thoughts about it and give recommendations where necessary.

Well, one day we bounced off in some topic which says “what would you prioritize in this country should you become president”, of which some people find it boring and irrelevant to be a hot potato among young people. I started as its one of the rules in the crew that the person who came up with a topic in the last discussion is the first one who share his thoughts on the next given topic. My ideas were strongly around prioritizing education, improve government spending in a social grant to reduce poverty and promoting entrepreneurship. The person came after I became the devil’s advocate on the matter of social grant, he pointed out that we can instead use that money for job creation. He concluded his argument by stating that an increase in tax can attain free higher quality education.

The third guy touched more on attracting foreign investment and ensuring that energy is stable to support the business sector and using the social grant money to improve entrepreneurship. In that moment I felt stupid because the idea of improving social grant to fight poverty seems general and not well thought because it has some detrimental consequences, such as encouraging people to be lazy because the government gives free money which could deter life improvement. As always I decided to be adamant about my claims and avoided arguing further.

It didn’t end there, the last person I thought would side with my thoughts in this matter had the distinctive opinion which focused on job creation among the youth to fight poverty. He dismissed the idea of the social grant by stating that it’s a burden to the government and the one of free higher education because “it’s unfeasible considering the economic condition of the country”. However, he supported the idea of entrepreneurship as a tool to fight poverty. That came as a relief in my mind because I saw that we had something in common which is “entrepreneurship”

What I noticed is that all these ideas given by my friends were from a privileged perspective because, to be honest, my friends do not understand what poverty means. They don’t know the NSFAS application form, their parents pay their fees some of them drive nice cars which are why their opinions do not mostly accommodate the poor they think breaking out of poverty is a walk in a park. I felt very challenged at that time but when I realized that the people I’m talking to are from the middle class that hasn’t tasted the life of being poor, I was satisfied with my thoughts and decided not to justify any further because sometimes you understand somethings when you experience them unlike when you picture them.

I assume my friends need to be reminded the saying that says “never judge a person until you walk a mile in their shoes”. Because it’s the experience that causes people to be biased in some particular situations.

Ali Baloyi is a student at the University of Johannesburg, you can follow his “craft” at Alibaloyiblog.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Are we valuing the Americans so much

 

When South Africa was transformed to be a free country in the year 1994 it was a time for us to inspire others as Africans, it was the moment when a diversified society was formed after decades of apartheid in a country that was colonized by white people according to history. Apparently, that is not happening at a time when we should embrace our humanity as Africans, instead we aspire to be the “Kanye West of South Africa” or the “South African Barack Obama’’.

The point is we South Africans have the tendency to portray our much celebrate people in the American way instead of being proud of our unique talents. The worst part about this is that some of the people we look up to relish being fake Americans with no shame at all, that leaves a room for one to wonder that even if he/she can make it big in life they got a long way to go until they enjoy who they are, because being an American is the accepted standard way of appreciating your accomplishments. It has been a trend to simulate our Singers, actors, political leaders and other influential people to their overseas counterparts.

Well, I was taught that when you see a problem you must not dwell on it rather look for its cause and come up with a solution. The problem here is not us per say, the media is the instigator of such fuss about the Americans. Needless to say, I’m not implying that our brothers and sisters who aspire to make it big in the United State they are making a mistake by dreaming to be celebrated there. However, we should not glamorous the American life as this “Heaven” that we all wish to occupy one day.

You want to know why because it boosts their GDP revenue in such a way that their produced materials have more value and sell at ridiculous prices. Perhaps we should copy their methods of patriotism and not help them succeed.

Most people know now that its election time in the United States particularly young people, it’s funny because 80% of young people in SA have not registered to vote (including me) ahead of the local government elections but we know who are the two presidential candidates who are contesting for the White house thanks to our beloved media. There is even a special broadcast of the Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump battle for the next president of the United State, (you can tune to ANN7 channel 405 every Friday at 15:30 if you want to know what I’m talking about). Not to say they are not concentrating on our politics but a special broadcast of another countries problems is not necessary.

In a nutshell, let’s proudly celebrate what we produce in the South African way and not try to emulate the Americans because doing so undervalue our abilities and diminish our talents. I’m with the view that we have the greatest talent that needs to be treated with the respect it deserves so that we can enjoy it, the reason being that it’s our culture and Culture define our roots.

Shat out to Hlaudi Motsoeneng  90% is lekker.

Let The Graduates Solve The Dilemmas Of The Country

 

I know on my first article I argued that we must not perceive Universities as the home where great ideas are found. With that being said today I will be suggesting how these universities can help our country succeed, some of you might find this article bias and say I contradict myself in my ideologies which is not true. This article is however aimed at students in Universities because, firstly they are educated which means they can take calculated risk, secondly they are trained to use technology to analyze the business environment, additionally they also understand how the world works around them. Thirdly their ideas are likely to be executed given the fact that they can do research about them. Besides, there are many ways to kill a cat.

With unemployment rate in the country increasing every year, I think it’s time the government make entrepreneurship a mandatory course in schools and Universities. Some of you might say this sounds like a cliché, as it is a mostly used statement when addressing issues of overcoming unemployment. I would appreciate if you stick with me in this article as I highlight some of the ideas that I think mighty be productive.

Unemployment-stats

Photo taken from the timeslive website (timeslive.co.za)

I propose we institutionalize entrepreneurship from basic education to universities. How though, entrepreneurship must be made a compulsory subject in high schools as this will enable the community at large to have more insight in the field of entrepreneurship. Universities  must develop a policy whereby in each and every faculty in every graduation an entrepreneur is born. This means that they must make entrepreneurship mandatory course in each faculty, this applies to professional careers as well, such as Medicine, Law, Education etc. Thereafter these entrepreneurs in their respective faculties must come together with creative ideas and build a profitable enterprise, they must create a company that will give people jobs and contribute to the economy. As our country have 26 Universities it would be a positive movement towards fighting the country’s biggest problem which is unemployment.

Imagine every year our 26 Universities baking 26 Entrepreneurs with creative ideas that could lead to tangible results in society, amazing right? I know. As learners from high school make their way to the life of being a university student, it will be easy for them to come up with innovative ideas because they will now have a solid foundation of what is entrepreneurship, what are the requirements of building a successful business. They will also be able to think critically and identify real opportunities that are unique, for instance trying to come up with a product/service that could be a long term success, something that is hard to copy and cannot be substituted. While they are studying in Universities they will develop more entrepreneurial skills and the capacity of being able to think out of the box. They will be able to do this because they will then have wisdom as they will be preoccupied with entrepreneurship.

Such an execution needs funds therefore the government must come to the party to ensure our prospective entrepreneur’s business goals materialize. With the billions of taxes paid by South Africans per year it is possible for the government to diversify some funds and invest in this process. Since we are skeptical when it comes to risking money to star-ups businesses, the government together with academics can take control of such a resource. They can decide which business has more chances of success and from that they will be able to inject money to ensure that our people get jobs. As these business are at their initial stage it will be a good idea that we get our graduates who don’t have the so called “experience” to work at these enterprises. This will be a cost-effective approach given the fact that we don’t have to have to waste a lot of money paying our graduates as they will be starting their careers, furthermore they will gain valuable job experience considering that they will be exposed to practical job experience where they don’t waste their time doing less challenging tasks.

Producing entrepreneurs every year seems unrealistic, to circumvent that we can give our graduates the freedom to execute their ideas. For instance, not giving them too much pressure to start their enterprise, we can however give them a minimum of five years to start their businesses. We can also give them the freedom of being creative by that I mean avoid giving them briefs on which businesses to start and unnecessary requirements for good businesses. Giving them freedom and power to make their goals a reality we will be making the next Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page as a country. We can at least produce 5 to 10 businesses in every five years that seek to fight unemployment, and also improve the economic status of the country.

The ownership of such companies can be split in a 50% stake, where the government own half of it and the founder make use of the remaining 50%. The decisions that the government make in the business must strive to serve the interest of the people, for example making sure more poor people are employed and nepotism is prevented. The government cannot interfere with the functioning of the business as this will lead to a lot of problems such as underperforming of the enterprise and changing how the business operate. There must be transparency in terms of profit made to ensure that the profit end up at the South African Reserve Bank, we don’t want a situation where public officials take control of such funds as it may lead to corruption. Such business cannot be sold they belong to the state; the founder cannot sell it rather they will have a recommended amount of profit prescribed by the government in case they decide to pursue other business opportunities elsewhere.

In conclusion I believe entrepreneurs can be made if we instil the idea of entrepreneurship to everyone, as it will stimulate the formulation of different ideas that can be use collectively to benefit society at large. If we all have the same vision, I doubt the country will suffer from economic issues. Combining our efforts together will be a productive move towards fighting the unemployment headache, considering fact that greediness will be eliminated so that everyone benefits on the resources of our country.