By Wellington Zimbowa
IN every dark cloud, there is a silver lining, goes the old adage. No matter what gripping situation an individual, company or country might find themselves in, there is always an amicable end, many a time.
In suffering, there is hope; in pain there should be endurance. Even in death, there is life!
Put the Zimbabwean situation in the matrix. For decades, the socio – economic and political fabric has been ravaged by the surmounting challenges.
Social and moral decay is deepening daily due to the free falling economy. As a result the cost of living has shot to astronomical levels subjecting the entire population to untold suffering.
Basic commodities such as mealie meal and sugar are now providing thriving business on the black market while there are out of reach of the ordinary people.
Every business sector in the country, be it health, industry, agriculture or transport is tethering. While there have been loud concerted efforts by the current administration to salvage the country from its malaise, the picture on the ground is still very gruesome, if not getting very worse.
Families – the basic unit of the society – are starving, squabbling and smashing as the pressure is becoming too unbearable. Not only is it hard to run a business these days, but even families as well.
Talk of putting food on the table, school fees, clothing and other ancillary requirements, rentals all pegged in United States dollars, despite government having outlawed its use in most cases.
School leavers and graduates are grappling to secure a decent living since most companies are closing shop or downsizing. There is literally low or non – existent economic activity to integrate thousands of graduates churned out, yearly from our universities.
However, in as much as life has become too bitter a pill to swallow for many, there is still hope. Simply put, the current situation is just a phase in the cycle of the great story that will come out of Zimbabwe.
The glory side of this harsh phase is that most Zimbabweans have become very entrepreneurial and innovative.
Look at the many start – ups that have since crossed the borders spreading their success stories across the continent and even beyond.
There is a story that is worth sharing and perhaps which should spur you on in unleashing the giant in you.
Once upon a time there was a man who for years had been a vicar at a certain local church. Although he had no academic or professional qualifications, he was just good.
The Vicar General, his boss liked him very well but when he left office for a new Vicar General this long serving vicar had to be dismissed for lacking education.
This was a shocker that painted a bleak future, since all his life, the dear man’s life revolved around the church, where he came as a bachelor, starting and raising his family.
A smoke, he thought, would pacify his anxiety although he had never smoked all his life.
He walked around the small shops in the area looking for a cigarette to buy, but alas, he couldn’t find any. An awakening realization struck him!
If he had spent almost the whole day failing to find anywhere, in the neighborhood, to buy cigarettes, how many people were facing such a challenge daily.
Thus with the meager package he got, he faced the risk head on and started a small tuck – shop selling cigarettes and various smoking accessories.
There was utterly an untapped market and the reward was big. Fast forward, one day when he went to the bank for his routine depositing schedules he had news awaiting him.
“Sorry Sir, the Manager would want to see you first,” said the bank teller to the now ordained entrepreneur.
Shivells went through his spine for he thought he had done something amiss, but in the comfy office, the manager was gladly waiting to see one of the bank’s rated customers with a sound bank balance to advise him of upgrading his account.
The ordinary account that was no longer viable for the large amounts being generated and it didn’t have the requisite benefits for his class.
He explained this to the awe – struck ‘Mr. Entrepreneur’ asking him to fill in certain forms and append his signature so as to facilitate the upgrading of his account.
‘I am sorry, I can’t write,” came the response from the vicar turned businessman. The manager couldn’t believe that such a liquid person could be illiterate and he earnestly asked how it could be so.
“If I had been literate I am sure I could not be having this kind of money,” before narrating his story.
The morale of the story is that problems can be the springboards for total success if one decides to counter face a challenge head on.
The Zimbabwe SMES International Expo, which is celebrating its 10th Anniversary, is a high profile platform that showcases and connects local SMEs to the global market, is a testament that Zimbabweans are now very innovative.
Friday last week was a public holiday, the National Youth Day, which is commemorated on the 21st of February.
Government, through the Ministry of Finance is financing a youth innovation hub, as announced in the 2020 Budget by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube.