Everyday I read the news, stories abound of corruption, murder and intrigue especially in the realm of business. It is becoming normal to find people idolising corruption as a way of getting to the top and achieving recognition.
Interestingly, a good number of the so called business ‘idols’ that we are exposed to have links to syndicated corruption mainly in cohort with Government officials. Some are just fronts of politicians who attempt to make it difficult to trace the looted wealth back to them. Lots of people set out to do good and have all the right intentions, however, along the way, they are slowly led to believe that they are lone rangers and everyone else has fallen for the illicit schemes that characterise a good number of the ‘Get Rich and Famous’ stories.
This is a sample of stories on theft and corruption that one is faced with each day;
It is generally believed lately that one can’t do business successfully without friends and connections in high offices and places. You will always find people who do all it takes to hob nob with the high and mighty so that they can guarantee their success even when it means going against their preferred lifestyles. When I quit drinking alcohol and bar hopping eleven years ago, a good friend of mine asked me how I was going to survive in business without ‘networking‘ every evening.
Strive Masiwiya a reknowned Zimbabwean Entrepreneur and founder of Econet Wireless once stated, “When I was starting out in business, nearly 30 years ago, I was made to believe that the best partners, were those people in powerful positions, who had the ability to open big doors …. I came to realise that I had to play by and succeed, by a different set of rules. I could not, and would not choose partners, simply on the basis of their ability to wield influence, or to sponsor my activities.” This statement is very revealing and sums up the plight many entrepreneurs face seeing their dreams dashed because of failed attempts at dealing with God Fathers.
On the evening of the 28th of August 2014, thanks to my good friend Felix Kitaka aka Mutambuze, I had a chance to attend the launch of the Bankable Society a membership based lifestyle and business community of people that leverage certified character, business profiles and documented savings as qualifications for trust ranks that earn members credit facilities, investment opportunities, low interest loans, access to men and women of repute as well as profit sharing. The society enables people of all walks of life who cant afford to get loans from financial institutions or even those around them to form groups, develop a business idea, make contributions in whatever form (financial and non financial) and proceed to realise their dream. These groups are then extended financial credit with no conventional security save for their values that align with the society’s core values.
By the time of my departure, I realised that the dream I always held of seeing an upright, prosperous and industrious society is still possible. Prosperity doesn’t have to come at the expense of morality and well being of others. We can all do good in this world and reap after sowing good seed. The vision of this group is simply “To build a society of reliable and relevant individuals.” A further look at their core values, “Just, Productive and Orderly” blew me away and I realised immediately that I had found like minded people. While others are ready to trade eight hours of their day for a salary all their lives, I am of a different school of thought and as a result, when I see the massive opportunities for exploitation that do exist, I feel inspired to either pursue them or help others do the same.
Going back to Strive Masiwiya, he says “The best partner for you, is not some big powerful politician, or someone with a lot of money, or some big international company. The best partner for you, is someone just like you, who has the passion for entrepreneurship, that you have. Who has the skills to compliment, what you do best, and is willing to work hard, very hard, alongside you. It might be a man, or a woman; black or white, even from a different, tribe or nationality from you. What is key is to align your values, and respect each other’s space. Never mind the money, the power and the influence… Its not a factor.”
Had you given up hope? Have you surrendered your values because you were led to believe that being upright and trustworthy will never bring food onto your table? Don’t lose hope, there are many like you out there who believe in uprightness and are willing to prosper following humane values. Join the Bankable Society today just like I am going to do now. If you arent in Uganda and buy the idea for your nation, feel free to approach these guys and start up your national chapter of the Bankable Society.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “There are seven things that will destroy us: Wealth without work; Pleasure without Conscience; Knowledge without Character; Religion without Sacrifice; Politics without Principle; Science without Humanity; Business without Ethics“
Together we can achieve prosperity in a just manner and thus put a human face to the cannibalistic capitalism that is becoming the norm world over. The choice is yours and mine.