Think! 100% made in Kenya

The story is told of a woman who was typing in the office and each time she makes a mistake she would remove the paper and begin with another one. Everyday she discovers that she will end up wasting a good number of the office paper. One day she got so frustrated that she didn’t know what to do, but must do something to save her job. She began to ask herself questions: instead of throwing away a whole paper because of tiny mistake, why not

find something to correct the mistake and preserve the paper? And thus correction fluid a.k.a Tipp-Ex fluid was invented.

I was on board the Kenyan Airways on my way to Kenya, let’s say in search of another story for this edition of the magazine – what did I find? During one of the in-flight service rounds (don’t ask me what class), I got two packs of nuts. They tasted really nice. Apart from the taste, what stood out for me was the inscription, “Out of Africa” on each pack. The nuts were processed and packed in Kenya. I checked into my already reserved room in Nairobi only to come across another food for thought. I saw the word “Think!” written in red ink on a piece of tissue. Moving closer, I read “Think – 100% made in Kenya from 100% Kenyan raw material” holding the white nice and soft tissue in my hands, I started thinking …..

The next morning, I was admiring the city center from the porch of my room when I saw some inscriptions like “don’t stop dreaming’ and “vision” on buses. These citations inspired me to start thinking….. I marveled at this display of initiative and creativity. There is no doubt that Africa is the most blessed continent in the world – yet the most impoverished. Sons and daughters of foreign nations have come and profited in Africa, yet most Africans would do anything to ‘escape’ out their countries in search of ‘greener pastures’.

Graduates flee from their countries to other continents. They end up doing odd jobs in foreign lands because they would not dare create jobs for themselves in their own countries. Enough of the excuses! Who said Rome was built in a day? No matter the so called economic problems and political instability, I think Africa and Africans have great potentials, lots of untapped resources, unrealized dreams and untold stories. The economic stability and security enjoyed by America and other developed countries of the world today is not because there are no corrupt citizens or forms of instability like is experienced in most countries in Africa but because some individuals some years back decided to change the tide, they decided to do things differently.

“Ideas are the root of creation” Ernest Dimnet
“An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.” Don Marquis

They decided to live a different life and pay the price to get there. The place of greatness and success requires a great level of sacrifice on our paths if success we must achieve. Let’s face the facts – a man is saddled with problems and resorts to indulge beer and then his urge gets him drunk – no matter how long it takes to come back to himself, those problems that drove him to drink would still rear their ugly heads. The answer to financial security is not escapades but deliberate, well-thought through adventures into the land of creativity and discoveries. I heard a man once say that there are two kinds of jobs: its either you do mental job of a menial one – so what’s your choice?

“Capital isn’t so important in business. Experience isn’t so important. You can get both these things. What is important is ideas. If you have ideas, you have the main asset you need, and there isn’t any limit to what you can do with your business and your life. There are any man’s greatest asset – ideas” Harvey Firestone “

Africans no doubt are hard working people – the other day I had to get to work earlier than usual and was surprised to see different cadre of individuals already pursuing their normal routines – from the truck pusher to the bus driver, from students to market traders, this sort of got me thinking ………….

Why do we talk about poverty and very low per-capital income in the nations of Africa? No matter how hard or odd the jobs we daily observe are, we still run along and do them anyway – if we are hardworking and the results of our labor is not favorable, then maybe we have been working hard on the wrong things! Some of us are probably in professions that we do not like because our parents made career choices for us. On our own, we daily make personal choices as well because life itself is all about making different choices. So what we keep doing with our time and ideas daily is based on our choice – given the few available jobs in the nations of Africa and beyond, we still make our choices daily.

“…each is given a bag of tools, a shapeless mass, a book of rules; and each must make – ere life is flown – a stumbling block or a stepping stone.” R.L. Sharpe

The answer to the rate of unemployment is to create more job opportunities across Africa. All over America and Europe, there are lots of entrepreneurs and partnerships focused on solving the various needs of mankind. Those materials and finished goods we import and spend our resources on are made by entrepreneurs – like our opening story, the idea of making the Tipp-Ex started with one woman who decided to take advantage of a missing tool to birth an invention. Today, we all a beneficiaries of various inventions by various individuals.

“All achievement, all earthly riches, have their beginning in an idea or a dream.” Napoleon Hill

There are still a whole lot of inventions to be made – and we are all responsible to research and make new discoveries. We are the ones that would solve the problems facing our continent. The reason we don’t get lots of exports and food from agriculture is because the farmers are still using very primitive technology – there are no enough individuals focused on industrial revolutions of our agric-sector. We have very few textile industries in Africa, yet our fabrics are greatly sort after – it’s high time we shift our focus from oil and politics! The financial breakthrough we daily seek, the financial freedom we frequently speak of is not farfetched – it is in our ability to think!