The African Employer
This is a guide to surviving the African Jungle….the corporate one, with loads of indigenous businesses and African owned businesses, a lot of people are choosing to ditch conventional employment to try their hand at working with like minded others….hooray for growth and here’s a guide for keeping it real….
A recent encounter with some sinister brand of Africans led me to wonder what manner world we want to create for our children, and this took to the Mothership as I like to call it – Africa. You see, our world is made up of a range of nations and Africa is a whole fusion of diversity and a thorough spectrum of cultures and opportunities. In this regard, we must realise that it is us who make up these nations and these groups and effectively, our individual and collective contribution determine whether what we send up into the skies is a fragrant frankincense of a mere stink of bad governance, corruption and mayhem made real! We boast of feeding the world and owning its resources, how much of this do we manage and how much of our “command’ results in food on tables and clothes on backs.
I was told a while ago, that as a woman in business you have to work twice as hard to be considered half as good…. Needless to say all challenges add Africa to their list and so it is for the African business woman. This blog will explore on the needs of Africans and their need to progress in business and it will address with passion the cries of the rising Nubians
that are chartering new areas and making a footprint in the corporate world as well as waging genuine wars with economies and political impediments to sustainable livelihoods.
I had a run in with an amazing visionary, who dreamt of running a bank and owning a fair section of the universe. Awesome I thought…however…lets re-visit the little things….food on the table, clothes on backs, education funds and meeting a wife’s needs beyond bedroom banter. Armed with the proverbial first degree, a bit of travel and some work experience in a multi-national in Africa, like most young people Rugare Ncube chooses to chase his dreams and forget about the things that count! Whilst owning a bank is a noble thought the motives and methodology leaves so much to be desired, I cringe when I hear the word “a black –owned bank!” How do you move a Pan African agenda when your household is in lack and debt, how do we take our “African Crisis” out of our own kitchen cupboards first before we change the country and consequently the continent?!
Have no fear, I will not bludgeon you with cute little write ups about how to make your cooking oil run further and your sugar take you longer to go through in the cruel winter! No! We do however need to be honest with each other about the little things that go – BUMP in the day time! Things that creep in and silently slaughter African businesses, misconceptions and false subscriptions to the pan African Agenda as well as that good old historical crutch called politics. Keeping it real!
As an introduction we will discuss rule number one of working for an African business- make sure that you are signing on to an actual business, not a vision or an dream and need I say not a projected project where the funds ‘ will come’ and “ be generated” to meet running costs and cover salaries. Pioneering is good, but make sure if you are willing to go that route then you must be informed of the risk and the liability of the project prior to your lifting a finger to do any work. It is a common thing to utilise well known or respected individuals with their own resources to build individual businesses. Totems and background are a favourite for untoward employers…get a contract!
As a professional be aware of this and safeguard yourself from building someone else’s dreams at the expense of your income and integrity! If the business has no safety net to pay you in the first month and or you are being pushed to ‘create” your salary be mindful. Google your prospective employer and cross check any online claims with phone calls, visit and consider awards, accolades as well as lavish or over the top achievements. Chances are most employers will have tasted the good life and know how to appeal to ambitions accordingly, do not fall prey. Social Media is being manipulated to waylay well- meaning employees You might not only be considering working for an entity that cannot sustain you or as I discovered with Rugare Ncube, a charismatic Zimbabwean, raised in the same City of Kings, of polished accent and well-presented family – you could be aiding a seasoned con- artist achieve his untoward purposes! So remember Rule Number one – Check out the Boss and his/her business credentials – are they legitimate players in the game?