Innovation, the way to beat staggering unemployment

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I am unemployed, so what?

In Kenya, the unemployment rate soared to 39.1% in 2017. This clearly shows a good number of Kenyans are either jobless or looking for jobs. The latter becoming the deadliest pandemic that has engulfed the staggering numbers of graduates trickling out of colleges.

Joblessness in a country is attributed to two things which, according to my own perspective, need to be addressed. One, the leadership of a country which makes and implements policies. If the leadership is of sound mind, the policies will be impeccable and will enable the subjects to lead better lifestyles. In a country where tribalism and nepotism heavily weigh on its driving force, this is unlikely to happen. That is why advanced democracies will always ensure their people lead beautiful lives.

The second aspect is self-motivation. Even though this can be said to stem largely from the systems people go through, the possibility of this being something innate is very high. Whilst we are wired differently as psychology, biology and science will claim, some aspects of human beings cut across- such as the powerful power of our minds and the ability of the brain to expand. To add on this, we have been blessed with similar features such as eyes, ears, nose, mouth et al even though with varying functionalities.

Without going out of my course, these two things contribute highly to the lives of people of a certain country. The system models us to be whoever we want to be. However, without a deep and clear understanding to the onus of the system, which is to enable us to be what we want to be, our dreams will be shattered as we shall be walking on a boulevard of broken dreams. The system is just a joy stick that should help an individual explore their exponential potentials.

Contrary to this responsibility of the system are people who believe the system is everything. The danger of conforming into the dictates of the system fully is that you’ll solely depend on it for everything. In most cases, the systems gives you just enough for you to understand your journey. The light, however, is too weak to guide you to your destiny. Therefore, there is a dire need to understand that you’ve a role to play in finishing your journey.

As science opines, our brains have extra ordinary abilities equal to 14 super computers. Imagine that. We’ve always marveled at how sleek computers work and wondered who the witch that made a computer was. This clearly shows the ability of our minds. Our minds expand with each new lesson they attend. And entirely learn to reproduce what you train them to do.

Coming back to my point, it is not an easy task dealing with unemployment issue. But it isn’t hard either. In tracing where the rain started beating us, one will discover that many graduates graduate with a mind of going to get employed. That is what the system largely prepares us for. We tear through books and theoretical knowledge in our course books in anticipation that there are jobs waiting for us post school. But there is always one question that we hardly ask ourselves- where are these jobs coming from?

If every student is concerned with getting a job, who is concerned about creating them? As you ponder over this lovely question, Kenya’s high unemployment rate can be cured by young enterprising minds. These creative, innovative minds full of self-motivation and risk taking will solve the puzzle of unemployment by joining hands and creating opportunities for themselves.

One is going to ask me what I have done now that I seem to be a guru in the field who is giving such potent advice. Truth is, my mind has never settled on being employed. On entering college, I was daddy’s boy who used to be provided for in every little thing that I needed because money was not a problem. Being in such a situation did not give room for me to attempt stepping out of the comfort zone and travelling on the back of a rough world.

Riches, in the greatest and saddest debacle of my life, came tumbling down. Once a prestigious family got trapped in bankruptcy leaving us in dire need of salvage. The redemption from such spoon feeding did not come from outside as I wished but from within.

In my sophomore year, I turned out to be not only a brilliant kid in class but also in life. By attending motivational talks held within the school, my mind opened like a chaste bud popping open into a lovely flower in the morning sun. My journey started from volunteerism to leadership, to entrepreneurship and evolved over time. In the same year, I managed a community organization known as Health Respect Kenya, then as president, with other 9 fellow students. This was the biggest achievement ever in my life as it helped me break from the chains of dependency.

The possibilities became endless when I started risking and getting out there to do things. I learnt how to make and sell liquid soap.

There was no stopping for me from then. Cooking and selling chapati in Karatina town for three straight months was the best and most memorable activity I ever engaged in. I recall local women coming to watch how we cooked as others solicited cooking lessons at their homes. This was closely followed by kahawa and mayai boil.

My leadership roles expanded in my third and fourth year. Having successfully run organizations, clubs and societies, I landed many positions. I served as a vice and chairperson of Journalism club. Later in my fourth year, I also served as the chairperson of the Students Electoral Commission.

In between I blogged and wrote the hell out of me. While commenting on topical issues, I popularly got nominated as a writer and most influential student of the year. It was a humbling experience bagging the trophies that I now keep at the table next to my bed. Every time I go to sleep, every morning when I wake up, they always remind me that I was made to be great. A man of grandeur. It all starts with self believe, trust me.

That is my short story. This is just an illustration of a self-motivated individual who takes risks to see what is out there for themselves. Without forgetting, it is always an honor when some of the students I mentored in Mzangila writing Masterclass and Mzangila Mentorship class call me and say they are better people courtesy of my lessons.

For a country to enter into a progressive loop, its people must strive to be innovative. Innovation is not destined to particular parts of the world. But it stays still inside each individual until we decide to rattle it out and bring it to the world arena.

The problem, however, can be traced to the love of things that can get us instant or quick money with which we use to sort our daily needs. The need for quick sources of money not only blinds our ability to innovate or create new sources of money but it also suppresses our ability to stay patient and inject commitment.

As you’ll learn, commitment and patience are the bedrocks of any venture- be it marriage, job, new business, or school. Without these two, it is unlikely for one to achieve any desirable output. But in a country such as ours where our brains are focused on getting rich overnight, the quest to sit down and work on the many excellent ideas we possess gets flushed down the toilets.

In my readings, I learnt that people become more vigorous when faced with eminent or threatening situations. When pinned to the wall, it is the time that we discover our hidden potentials. This is true, though there are two rampant ways in which we handle tough situations. One lot becomes subdued completely and gives in to the situations so that they take complete control over them. These kind of people become vulnerable in the face of challenges. Stress, depression and even stroke courts them and rapes them throughout the period. Instead of gaining strength to contend with the harshness of life, their strength dwindles and they become wrecked.

Lucky are the ones who become brickle. They gather strength and fight back. They often discover that their strength is immeasurable. Many innovations have been done during such biting circumstances. These are people who see opportunities where other people see a mess. Instead of joining the complaining wagon, they become part of the solution.

With such kind of positive mind, they’re always quick to find solutions to abate trouble. And this is the kind of mindset that every other person should have. To stop complaining and see the positive in every situation. One thing with a positive person is that they never see challenges as threatening. In one way or another, they know they will come out of them because they always do.  They take time to study the problems and find their roots.

It is in silence that we find the answers to our problems. But do we ever take time to sit in silence and ponder over life? With all the technology surrounding us, every part of our body is busy tending to it. We never sleep enough. We never abandon our phones so that we can have a touch with the real world. We never give ourselves space to figure issues facing us in life. When we’re faced with shit, we call our friends and cry to them over the phone. How then are we supposed to gather strength to fight back by our own?

To abate this looming unemployment crisis, we should strive to create more opportunities. I urge that each one of us takes entrepreneurship lessons. Business lessons will always open your eyes and see the world from the angle of the value of money, how it can be made and how it can be sustained.

Some will say everything is not about the money. Of course it is about the money. The numbers never lie. The only thing you need besides money is discipline. A disciplined wealthy person lives a good life. If it is not about money, then it is about remaining poor, unemployment, misery and a restarted economy.

Taking that free online course on entrepreneurship can change your life. Listening to a motivational talk on unlocking your potential is a way to end your day. Teaching yourself financial management using your phone and google can enable you to manage your wealth more responsibly. A book every week can give you a new perspective about life.

Taking risks will teach you how bad they can be, but will equip you with lessons on what to never repeat. Each simple step you take teaches you a new lesson- how to do something, what to never do again, where to get your raw materials, which office to get your business permit. It is not the knowledge that brings success, rather it is the experience that brings true success.

So are you ready to walk on unchartered waters and work on something instead of saying you’re unemployed? Are you ready to come out of your comfort zone and seek advice on how you can run some business?  No one will knock on your door to bring you your deserved future, the future lies within you. Till the day you decide to open that door within you, your life will never light up.

Success, as I define it, comes with small successful steps made on a daily basis. These steps should be consistent and arranged for carefully. During this process, challenges will keep coming your way in a way that makes you think someone is directing them to you. But you need to overcome them. Every time you fight and win, you grow stronger muscles until a time when they won’t shake you. This, to be true, takes sacrifices- time, money, resources, and everything you got.  No one ever did this and failed.

All I’ve been talking about can only be achieved by just taking one decision. Just one. And that is deciding to do it.


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See you on top.


Mzangila Snr

Where shall we go, we who wander in this wasteland in search of better selves?

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About Mzangila

Mentor, media consultant, photographer, editor, poet, writer, and counselor.

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