I was privileged to sit down and watch a series of presentations from young scholars at the University of Botswana.
These young people had indicated that they’re in their final year at varsity when I asked them to help in providing counselling to their peers.
When I posed the question; “What are you going to do next month when you’re done?”
There was silence, for the first time that day, they did not have a concrete answer to what their lives had in store for them.
This is the reality of so many young people, not just in Botswana, but in the Southern African region.
There is nothing more painful that sitting and waiting to see what the world has in store for you.
That’s just the problem, you sit and wait.
Many others have tried and fought against the “we don’t need more staff” or “we have enough volunteers” or “you have no experience” and still, the world fails to provide them with the opportunity to be great. I have tried myself, engaging with youth initiatives and figuring out what alternative path you might take for the mystery that is success.
There is red tape, the stigma associated with being young, the notion that you should only do one thing as if humans were put on this earth to be accountants or administrators for life.
How does it happen that we inspire others to do social good when we ourselves could not do the same when we started out?
How is it that we expect someone to be a procurement/medical/finance officer for ten years and move on to do the very same function in another entity with no prospect of development or career planning? Is it the right kind of hire when you expect someone to add value and develop your entity’s function if they have done the same thing over a few years.
As a young person, you are told to dream. To look out for the possibilities you have been provided by the state, parents, school and even prospective employer.
Yet that is shattered the moment reality kicks in.
What is the relative difference the likes of Mark Shuttleworth, Jan Koum and Zibusiso Mkhwanazi had?
Nothing. except for curiosity.
Education, Science, IT and many other fields that drive economies are a result of Curiosity.
No coder will tell you that they were not interested in solving or breaking down systems, no Doctor will tell you that they did not think about the “how” when someone was healed or recovered from an illness, no Chief Executive will tell you that they were not curious enough to find out how they can make a business better.
Curiosity is the key to research, bringing about new knowledge and encouraging people to empower themselves.
Curiosity drives passion and leads to achieving the dreams you’d have never thought would occur.
I am yet to find a job description or opportunity that has “curiosity” as a requirement.
With these challenging times in business, activism and politics; it is a scarcity unknown.