Open your wings and es­cape th­ese cages

CityPress - - Business - Muzi Kuzwayo busi­ness@city­

The qual­ity of soil plays a big role in the growth of the seed. If it is poor, the crop will fail. Pol­i­tics and eco­nomic pol­icy are the soil that nour­ish the land, and the young peo­ple of the na­tion are the crop that must be nur­tured. The pol­i­tics of our coun­try right now rep­re­sents that bad soil, and so our young peo­ple are the late bloomers be­fore a se­vere drought.

A peach tree will never bear a pear, and our politi­cians, both the liv­ing and the com­ing, are now con­tam­i­nated to the core, and have been con­demned to the fate of worms.

Vain, vi­sion­less and with tongues that only spit in­sults, they lack the vo­cab­u­lary to mo­bilise the na­tion for the com­mon good.

So, if you do not ask your­self whether your child should es­cape the clutches of our coun­try’s id­i­otic politi­cians, then you are an ir­re­spon­si­ble par­ent.

South African politi­cians were Don­ald Trump be­fore Trump was even aware that he was Trump, which is why our coun­try still suf­fers from acute racism and xeno­pho­bia.

We did not build a wall; we in­tro­duced the “unabridged cer­tifi­cate” and other fas­cist ad­min­is­tra­tive bur­dens to keep “them” away.

South Kens­ing­ton, Lon­don. I have a mee­tand-greet ap­point­ment with a for­mer South African who left the coun­try when he was only 21 years old.

Many black young peo­ple had just left the coun­try in large num­bers, go­ing into ex­ile.

PW Botha had just be­come prime min­is­ter. My com­pan­ion found the stu­dent pol­i­tics at the Univer­sity of Cape Town ap­pallingly con­ser­va­tive. To­gether with his friend, they tried to start their own left wing po­lit­i­cal party, hop­ing that the “silent ma­jor­ity” of the white stu­dents would sup­port them. They were hor­ri­bly wrong.

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing his en­gi­neer­ing de­gree, he left the coun­try and moved to Aus­tralia where he started a wine com­pany. Short on cash and long on dreams, he found an in­vestor.

“I was a deal-taker, and not a deal-maker,” he told me. “They called me a guava, which stands for ‘grow­ing up and very am­bi­tious’.

“I had debt and so I was work­ing for the bank, the tax­man and I was do­ing far more work than my busi­ness part­ner.” He felt abused. He came back to South Africa for a hol­i­day and went to see his fa­ther’s friend, Un­cle Harold.

“Steve,” Un­cle Harold said, “Stop work­ing for the bank and the tax­man. Go and work for your­self.”

He re­turned to Aus­tralia and sold his shares in the busi­ness, paid the bank, set­tled his tax bill and moved to Cal­i­for­nia to learn more about agri­cul­ture.

Armed with greater knowl­edge, he went back to Aus­tralia and started a busi­ness of help­ing those who wanted to start their own wine farms. He now had the ex­per­tise of run­ning a busi­ness and some cash.

His Lotto ticket did not come with the earth­worm hid­den in Aus­tralian soil, but when he met a young woman who wanted to start her own make-up busi­ness. He backed her and in­vited some of his South African friends to come on board as share­hold­ers.

South Kens­ing­ton, Lon­don. Steve has just sold his com­pany to a ma­jor cos­met­ics firm for hun­dreds of mil­lions of US dol­lars. A call comes through. It is his busi­ness part­ner, the “girl” he had helped 15 years ago. She is con­firm­ing that all the con­di­tions that had to be met for the deal to be ef­fec­tive, have now been hon­oured. “Great,” he says. In 48 hours they will both be rich beyond their wildest dreams.

Steve is com­ing home to South Africa this Christ­mas.

Open your wings, and es­cape th­ese cages of ig­no­rance. Kuzwayo is the founder of Ig­ni­tive, an ad­ver­tis­ing agency

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