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“Is Africa’s story untold, or only partly told?”
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“Is Africa’s story untold, or only partly told?”

Metolo Foyet, 20, a Correspondent from Cameroon now living in Niger, rejects negative and defeatist attitudes about Africa’s potential. She offers an inspiring view of risks worth taking in order to build society. 

“The story of Africa is untold!” is the new dish on the continent’s talk menu. It is a piece of bone-in meat sliced on air and paper. In the course of a discussion, a relative was chagrined by his contacts’ stances in a group chat and lamented about how Africa’s story is so untold.

Isn’t the story rather incompletely told? Doesn’t Africa suffer from the evils from which it is cornered? They are also parts of Africa’s story. Uniquely underlining Africa’s negative narratives is not a synonym of failing to tell its story. It is however discriminatory, for the continent’s positive narratives must also be highlighted to satisfy equitable and complementary grounds.

Africa is so rich in resources that no informed investor would miss the cake. We complain about being neglected. Aside from protesting on #blacksocialmedia, we must do the one thing that we refuse to do: find solutions to what we complain about. Our complacency and assimilation of Africans to negative accounts – “African standard/time/way…” must stop in order to converge with and fortify our claims.

Some of our low-paid skilled labour goes overseas to get value for their skills because entrepreneurship is not promoted and our policy makers do not make real policies to keep those brains, who end up building foreign states, helping them take care of their businesses and doing the jobs nobody wants to do. Many of us do not act but rather sit and talk about how things “were, are and ought to be”, not thinking out of the box, or that there might not be any box at all. We buy on credit, thus hampering the circular flow of income and negatively influencing the economy. Businesses survive through profit not hope: Africans, stop purchasing on credit.

Cultivate the habit of execution. If branding Africa matters to you, get yourself a strong motive that will always bring you to reason whenever you feel like giving up. You have an insignificant task, complete it. You gave your word, keep your promise. Stop making “being black” a burden and focus on making a lot of money, enough to make the change you want to see.Make enough to invest in what you care about; irrespective of others’ discount.

You can decide to train people in whatever you are good at and create value.

You can do a bit everywhere as a jack of all trades and connect to a bigger picture as a serial entrepreneur.

You can act, or else be okay if the rest of the world looks down on you and your complaints.

Stay hungry and foolish. No matter how far you reach, keep aiming higher. Do not coast on former glory for the rest of your life. Challenge yourself even after success. Do not sell your company to retire and hit the beach. Comfort is a liar that gives room to laziness, procrastination and arrogance – so stay hungry, for good is the enemy of great.

Only through relentless drive to overcome the temptation of satisfaction can greatness be achieved. Take risks. Life is much broader and more interesting than playing it safe, than the “good grades – job – marriage – kids – retirement” formula. Striking out and taking risks that the world finds foolish or insane is a necessary part of great success.

Do a thing called “what you want”. You want black lives to matter, stop talking and find a way to make it matter by creating and implementing a solution towards that end. You feel something is wrong, fix it. You hate your job, resign. You think you are a God, you are right, you are. He/she made you to his/her own image: just act so.

This is not what you signed up for? Turn around to be the bad guy. Paradoxically, today, bad guys are those who realise the system is corrupt and thrive to do the right thing rather than going along with the crowd. Crazy is the new normal. As Anaso Jobodwana said, “follow your dreams to the fullest. Make sure they are crazy enough for people to think they aren’t achievable; that will be the extra drive you need to make them come alive.” How much more dreary would our world be if nobody took risks and achieved feats? They call you dreamer, but guess what, you are the ones who don’t sleep.

“Stay hungry, stay foolish” remains a timeless call to action. It challenges us to pursue our wildest ambitions with tremendous enthusiasm, without regard for the status quo. Therefore buddy, the solution to your complaints is financial freedom. It is a mad show out there. And since life is a joker, be mad as well and joke, but seriously. It is not harder said than done. It is simple. Just do it.

photo credit: Roland Urbanek Map of Africa via photopin (license)

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About me: I am a social entrepreneur with focus on education, agriculture and cybersecurity.

I have a track record of adding value to organisations by delivering innovative projects that engage stakeholders and expertise in public affairs, strategic communications, translation, research and development, product design, grassroots development and project management across the not-for-profit and private sectors.

I paint, write, and am an environmental, travel and sports enthusiast. I envision a career in the public service, especially the UN.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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