South African entrepreneur Vusi Thembekwayo has challenged local educators, policy makers and employers to employ new thinking in order to address new problems the country is faced with.
Thembekwayo, a renowned international speaker worries that while Botswana is currently abuzz with the idea of a Fourth Industrial Revolution, and yearning to become part of it, the developed world is far ahead and already talking about the fast coming Fifth Industrial Revolution.“Africans love buzzwords, they always talk and take forever to do what it takes to achieve what they dream of. The truth is, we don’t have our own agenda. “We are always trying to play catch up,” he said at the recent National Human Resource Development Conference that was themed, ‘Competitive Human Resource – a Leading driver for the Economy in the 21st Century.’ His view is that while Botswana has her eye on the opportunities that are availed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the country also needs to be thinking about whether or not the economy enables it to be.
“Europeans and Americans beat us at this not because they are smarter than us, but because their economies are far more advanced and far more developed,” he says. It is high time that Botswana and other African countries set all that they know aside and admit that they do not know. Secondly, be willing to learn, try and fail. “Our countries are notorious for pushing away people who try and fail. But we need to understand that entrepreneurship is all about trying and failing.” He wondered why people performed well while they are employed in the corporate world only to fail when they start their own businesses. “You are the same person, with the same skills, same training and education, same knowledge and ideas that you were using while in the corporate world to succeed.
“Why is it that when you are on your own you fail? This is because of the way our economies are set up. Once you leave the corporate world, your risk profile goes up,” he says. He strongly believes that as long as there is no room for fresh ideas and innovation people will not innovate. The two-time world public speaking champion says contrary to popular arguments that entrepreneurship should be incorporated in curriculum at lower and higher education in order to change the odds, entrepreneurship cannot be taught. “You can’t teach entrepreneurship, but yes, you can teach enterprise,” he says, adding that the knowledge of business is not business.
For example, he says no person can be taught how to act and behave when their financier comes to repossess their property because of a default of payment. He believes that for Botswana to fully embrace entrepreneurship and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, there is need for fundamental shifts, where for example, tech entrepreneurs are not expected to make profits on the first day or first month or even first year of business. “This is simply not possible,” he emphasised, adding, “Until we fix these things, we cannot build an economy for the future.” Thembekwayo, a venture capitalist regarded as one of the richest Under 35 South Africans believes this is why some of the world’s best entrepreneurs do not have a college education.
“How many Mark Zuckerburgs do you have in Botswana? They are plenty, it’s only that you do not know about them and they have not been given the opportunity to thrive.” Thembekwayo says Botswana needs to take a bold step to shift and change the status quo. “How do you industrialise, how do you automate, how do you talk about robotics and artificial intelligence if you can’t meet some of the most basic things like ensure provision of electricity for all,” he quizzed. “If we talk about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, these are the questions we need to start framing.”
He urged Botswana to educate young people for the future and ensure that they can think independently and come up with solutions, rather than educating them to test whether or not they can pass an exam.
Meanwhile, Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration Minister Nonofo Molefhi said on behalf of Vice President Slumber Tsogwane that government is committed to overhaul and mordernise the curriculum so as to respond to the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as it will facilitate higher levels of research, development and innovation.
Church distances itself from Pastor who livestreamed his suicide
Head Pastor at Metsimotlhabe Holiness Union Church France Koosimile has distanced his church from Phenyo Godfrey who committed suicide live on social media a week ago. Speaking to this publication this week, Koosimile said Godfrey was never a Pastor at Holiness church as assumed by many.
Godfrey, who goes by the name Bishop P Godfrey on social media, allegedly shot a video of himself committing suicide on Sunday evening. According to a few friends and those close to Godfrey, the deceased was from Molepolole and has been identified as a pastor at Holiness Union Church in Metsimotlhabe.
On the evening of Sunday last week, he went live on Facebook and proceeded to put a rope around his neck. He was seen in the short video hanging by the neck until he took his last breath. TO READ THE FULL STORY, BUY THIS WEEK’S (11 August 2021) PRINT EDITION OF THE MIDWEEK SUN AT A STORE NEAR YOU.