“No one else knows exactly what the future holds for you, no one else knows what obstacles you've overcome to be where you are, so don't expect others to feel as passionate about your dreams as you do.”
― Germany Kent
Stories, storytellers and the prevalent opportunities to bring these two elements together. The week commencing 12 November 2017, Zimbabweans from across the world and political divides were glued to their TVs, social media feeds and every media outlet in between, watching intently at the events unfolding in the nation’s capital. First it was the tanks rolling into Harare, then it was the news anchors clad in military attire…and…and…and.
I remember staring at my mobile screen as I watched a young man on the back of a ruling party pick-up truck wearing ruling party branded regalia, calling out to people on the streets to prep for a road trip to Harare. But this wasn’t just any road trip! Folks were on their way to topple a president using their voices. Enough was enough – something had to give!
This is one of many citizen protests that have shaped the political and socio-economic discourse on our continent. From the streets of Cairo and Tunis, to Nairobi and further south in Harare and Johannesburg, the under 40 is no longer seated in a corner under the watchful eye of the neighbourhood uncles and aunts. The African millennial has to a degree been let down by a system it anticipated would foster financial emancipation and democracy, packaged in a box of hopes and dreams that come true if one merely exerts themselves. Now they must tell their stories; tell their stories because their lives depend on it, and the world is listening!
When I formed Narratives Inc., my desire was to create a curatorial process to helping African millennials articulate their vision and their goals. In my Quintessential F walk – and now having since authored “Reinvented: Challenging insecurities to live authentically through faith”, I’m privy to countless requests for guidance on figuring life out; a quest which also automatically extends into an inherent need to manifest creativity or package skills into something that can be sold as a tangible good or list of services. The enjoyment for me involves helping people like myself figure out how their business plan or creative idea can morph into something that not only meets a need in their communities and marketplace, but also resonates with their pursuit for purpose.
The joys of being an African in the millennial generation for me lie in the fact that, never before have we have been given various platforms for expression, which can also convert to viable enterprises and sources of income. Gone are the days that being a doctor, lawyer or accountant were the only acceptable career options. I went to Uni in America as a pre-med student and 15 years later I am carving my space in PR & Comms, helping corporates and individuals craft their communications strategies and tell their story in a manner that serves their brand and personal goals. Narratives Inc. is in every essence of its name, about telling the story of the young African business owner, creative or professional. It’s about articulating our various yet distinctive missions as we navigate life, define our goals and redefine our evolutionary process.
“Millennials don't want to be managed, they like to be led, coached and mentored. This generation is on fire and ready to go. Are you ready to change the world?”
― Farshad Asl
I get excited when I see young people do big things, undeterred by geographical and cultural boundaries. I spoke to a young Zimbabwean the other day who wanted to order my book all the way from Italy and know of another who recently went on mission work in Cambodia, all the way from Toronto, Canada. I met a young Batswana entrepreneur, Tumelo Sealetsa of Boswa Energy, who’s on the fast track to being one of the top personalities to watch in the energy sector. Our very own Simba Mhuriro was recently featured by Forbes Africa for his exploits, also in Africa’s energy story.Wherever you are, whatever it is you are pursuing and however big or small you view your achievements, there are stories there that need to be told. And it’s our responsibility to ensure that political and societal platforms in all their diversity, understand that our views matter. Supporting our initiatives is the future of our continent and each young person in their own right, carries the potential to become a thought-leader in the global socio-economic and geopolitical discourse.
What’s your take on the story of the African millennial?
What should we be doing to shape our continent’s success story?