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Author Archives: Dumirocks

About Dumirocks

Grew up in a village and maybe it might interest you that I went to a rather ill-resourced school. Despite all that I saw my ambition and drive journeying me to one of the most prestigious and highly respected University in the country, the University of Stellenbosch. Not only is it a leading academic centre of learning, but it offered itself to be my knowledge partner. With that, let me introduce myself. I am a young, dynamic and energetic student. I am in my final year of study and I would like to have a career in Auditing. I am actively involved in my academic career, first as a student, secondly as a student leader and perhaps lastly as a community development leader. Community, youth and leadership development are close to my heart. I am inspired by the idea of being an agent for social change. Leadership and community development is so central to me that I completed a six months credit bearing course in Leadership and Community Interaction at the University of Stellenbosch. Oh, well at the beginning of 2012, myself and other four former school mates convened and identified a need for education upliftment project in our community. To address that social-ill we started a foundation that will deal with educational disparities, leadership and entrepreneurial development, career guidance and public speaking. I most value education, Social responsible leadership and a pursuit for Justice, peace and reconciliation. My type of South Africa is one that is economically liberated and crime free. In most cases, if not in all, I autograph my work with enthusiasm, excellence and impeccable integrity.

You(th) we need you to vote……

As citizens of this democracy, you are the rulers and the ruled, the law-givers and the law-abiding, the beginning and the end.
Adlai E. Stevenson
 
It is well documented in the history books that this liberation came at a cost of human life at worst. We were indeed liberated for a cause. A cause to honour freedom and all the responsibility that comes with it. One such responsibility is the duty to participate in democratic processes.

As the current year draws to a close, the coming year promises to be a fun in the political landscape. You might be aware that 2014 is the year in which we as a country will be electing a new leader, or a new ruling party. A leader who will take our South Africa to a path of prosperity, a path that will ensure that every human being concede equal citizenship no matter the abuse by those we seem to elect.

For the status quo to prevail someone with a powerful voice as yourself will need to take an apathetic stance and choose not to partake in this crucial activity bestowed by democracy and freedom. Within your inner being, therein lies a powerful force which can see a ruling party relinquishing its robes to that party you might have voted into government or (if you are happy with the ruling party you just keep the status quo and vote for it).

As one scroll down feeds on social networks, one gets a sense that those who are active on this platforms and also happens to be a large population of our country, the youth are not so much concerned about exercising the right that many people died for, the right to vote. Young fellows, lend me your ear, however disillusioned you are about the prevailing state of affairs in our country, deciding against voting is committing an error in judgement, an injustice if I may tell you.

As you head toward the ballot box next year, keep in mind many people who laid down their lives, so that me and you, can be able to exercise this democratic right called voting. Be an active citizen, vote well because the truth of the matter is that this is a privilege that most people in the world are deprived of. You could have been born in a country where absolute monarchy is still the order of the day….. just give it a thought?

Cometh the hour, put down your smartphones and vote. I have heard many people saying they will not be voting. Now saying that you will not be voting is tantamount to irresponsible utterances. I suggest that instead of abstaining altogether from voting, you rather spoil the ballot.

It seems sinister on the surface to spoil the ballot, but is equally powerful as electing a particular party or a particular individual. Spoiling the ballot for me in particular means that there is no alternative party that I trust with my cross. I can also argue that, by opting for this seemingly no-brainer exercise called spoiling the ballot, that seek to communicate to those in power that as much as I would like to vote, there is no party that speaks to my needs and I am quite discontented by the prevailing state of affairs.This too is a loud voice, it is louder than those vuvuzela at a soccer stadium between the two Soweto giants.

Therefore, young soldiers, it is an irresponsible thing to utter something as “I will not be voting”. the dangerous aspect of this talk is that your silence might hinder the change that a certain political party so desperately need.

Without your vote, our democracy is hollow. As a matter of fact, never discount the value that your single vote have. It remains a potent tool in our democratic state to effect change (…and in Justice Malala’s word) “and a new order which will make a real difference in your life”.

Until 2014, let freedom reign…!!!

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Fostering entrepreneurship, whose role is it anyway?

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Patrice Motsepe (Appropriated from Graysaber.com)

 

Whose responsibility is it to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst young people? I can submit without any shadow of doubt that entrepreneurship is a life blood of society. For citizens to prosper in any given territory, a country needs to offer itself as a supporting base and enabling environment for entrepreneurship. For this to happen, a society will need to reward innovative thinkers, identify mavericks and offer them all the support necessary for entrepreneurs to prosper in their quest.

Cameron Herold in a Ted Talk he delivered in Boston in 2009, he argues that parents must take it upon themselves to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship in their children. He couldn’t be further from the truth – just imagining the multiplier effect that would emanate from such a teaching, should every single household engage in it.

An article published by Finweek on the 14th of February, and titled “An academic role in fostering entrepreneurship”;Constant Beugre (cited) said that she is of the opinion that due to lack of entrepreneurship courses in African universities, these institutions should be involved in training people to create new ventures.

Now what I find rather fascinating about Beugre’s submission is that she holds a view that suggest that academic institutions should play a role in training new breeds of entrepreneurs.  It is particularly interesting to me on two grounds, first, how do you convince young people to not join big companies and start their ventures instead; and secondly what form of support mechanism would these universities offer these young people for them to be successful as entrepreneurs in the face of great uncertainty.

There are obviously reasons that prevent any aspiring, young entrepreneur to enter the market. Factors such as the following springs to mind: stringent labour laws, government policy bottlenecks, lack of funding and lack of environment in which “a noble business failure” is celebrated and seen as a valuable learning experience.

I also hold a similar sentiment by Beugre that academic institutions should offer a training ground to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship. A leading research university In South Africa, The University of Stellenbosch is offering that pad where student entrepreneurs can test their ideas. To delve further into the Stellenbosch case, the university recently launched an initiative called the launchlab, an incubation hub where student entrepreneurs can make use of at a nominal fee.Furthermore, to prove that the University of Stellenbosch is indeed playing a role in fostering entrepreneurship, its technology transfer company in association with the university centre for leadership development (The FVZS) run a business idea competition on an annual basis where students are invited to enter the competition by submitting any ideas they have. They need not submit business plans, just plain ideas.

Moreover, three students, (whom I desire not to mention for anonymity reasons) started a pitch in event, where students are invited to pitch their ideas to panel of judges. The person with the best idea stands a chance to win cash prize to turn his idea into a tangible form. There is no reason to doubt that students making use of these initiatives will leave Stellenbosch University very equipped to run their own enterprises.

Let me invite you to ponder on this, South Africa has 23 public universities (and some of them do offer entrepreneurship courses), another two in the pipeline, and some 50 public Further Education & Training colleges, what would happen if all these institutions replicate the model employed by the University of Stellenbosch and its students? How many well-equipped risk takers can come out of universities year in and year out? I can only think of a snow-ball effect!

Are we then safe to conclude that the institutions of higher learning have a rather positive role to play in fostering the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship? I think so!

I dream of a South Africa where innovation and entrepreneurship is admired, business failure encouraged and government policy bottlenecks relaxed! I dream of an innovative country.

“Dare to innovate”

Twitter: @Dumirocks

©2013

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2013 in Business

 

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The Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

I love poetry. This thing get me going, it gives me perspective about many stuff in life. It is the greatest teacher, a consoler and a motivator. This is what William  Hazlitt think poetry is. After the quote, find one of my favourite poems by St Francis of Assisi!

Poetry  is all that is worth remembering in life.

 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
 

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in General

 

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We are youth with great potential

There is something that people say about young people in South Africa. You know what they say? They say that we (youth) are passive, complacent, and apathetic in addressing the issues that affects our lives directly. Perhaps, they are right, perhaps not.

Aristotle once conveyed something that troubles me. He said something to this effect “The young are permanently in a state resembling intoxication”.

Let me show you why I struggle with comprehending the legitimacy of the quote cited in the preceding paragraph.

I am not defending young people due to the fact that I am young, I do so purely because I am of the opinion that young people are playing their part in making this country a better place. Whatever issue that troubles them, they face it head-on by coming with creative ways to solve the issue they deem to be pertinent to them. They come up with initiatives that dispel the myth that seek to undermine the positive contribution they make. Some come up with initiatives that confront the issues of poor quality of teaching and learning in their communities, while others come with projects that offer young people to embody the spirit of entrepreneurship and the other significant low number of other young people introduce initiatives that encourages people to think outside the box, challenge the status quo and question what is being conveyed to them as unconventional truth.

Ordinary youth of South Africa are doing extra-ordinary things to better the lives of their peers in the society they reside in. In the community of Klipgat (A township, north of Pretoria), a group of young people started an organisation that help learners of that community with subject in Mathematics, Science and Accounting. Another group of students at the University of Stellenbosch started an initiative called Pitchin (@Pitchin_SA), where they offer an enabling platform for students to pitch their business ideas. These are just few of the stories about ordinary young people who passionately want to see South Africa thrives despite all the challenges, be economic, or political.

Looking at this, can we then deduce that Aristotle was wrong in saying that young people are constantly in the state of intoxication. If he was indeed right, then he was not referring to youth of a beautiful South Africa.

It is for this reason I say that South African young people are a youth with great potential. 

I am greatly inspired by those who display a character of selflessness in shaping this beautiful nation.

Until next time, I still speak my mind one thought at a time. 

Dumirocks

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2013 in Leadership

 

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We need to start taking NGOs a little bit serious

Not long ago, in 2011, I co-founded a company and named it Dynamic Dreamers. We later registered this company in terms of Companies Act 71 of 2008. Now, you thinking that I must be pretty comfortable in life because of this venture I started. Not really. In fact, I am as poor as a church mouse. No, the company we started is what is called an NPC (non-profit company). Neither their founders nor directors get the share of donors money other than what has been set aside as their salary as agreed by the parties involved.

A little bit about my company (if I can call it that way). We are a group of passionate young people who believe that behind the cracks of poverty lies a great potential, if nurtured can turn into a shining star. We operate in the education space with a mission of improving the quantity and quality of passes in the community in which this company operates. We want to empower the youth of this communities in a number of ways, with a long term view of making this young people responsible citizens of South Africa. We are in the process of achieving this amidst all the challenges we face in our endeavour.

As we sit and chart a strategy of how to make this NPC a leading company in this sector, we often confronted with amazing ideas, some ideal, some not so achievable. The challenges I encountered in this line of work taught me a great deal about people management, project management and more importantly crisis management. I have grown a great deal in the process, it gives me real pleasure.

One of the things that I dream for this company is that I wish to see it being a self-sustaining entity that can exist without any of its current founders and directors. I wish to see Dynamic Dreamers NPC being an entity that can at least employ about five people in the community in which it is based. If we do achieve that; five less people will be outside the joblessness trap. How idealistic is that? This is the question I asked my fellow co-founders and stakeholders in the company. We dwelled on how we can make this a reality. I will leave that for another day.

Just imagine how of a difference can NGOs make in addressing the issue of unemployment if the government and private sector took them a little more seriously? I am of the opinion that in addition to 1000 new businesses, a 1000 new NGO’s can also combat unemployment. Let me show you how NGO’s can help in eradicating poverty while creating employment. If the state could channel a certain amount of money to every NGO and this NGO’s ensure that they spend this money appropriately, the change that we wish to see can erupt.

If one NGO employ about five people, depending of course on personnel need and capacity, and there are about 2500 NGO’s for example, automatically about 12500 new jobs are created. These 12500 new employees are positively impacted by this and they can improve their skills and experience in their field of interest. As these NGO’s grow, more workforce is being added on, while the reliance of government funding decrease. This is achievable in number of ways; because the NGO is now developed and well-known, resource mobilisation will be pretty much easy.

There is no doubt that if Dynamic Dreamers is well known, and the impact of it is seen is the breadth and length of South Africa, its resource mobilisation will be difficult. When this happen, these NGOs can host round table debates on the issue of their interest and sell tickets to those interested in these debates. How much can be made assuming that whatever topic to be discussed is value-adding? Another way of making money and making these NGOs self-sustainable is by selling apparels bearing the name of the NGO. Instead of asking for R300 or R50, why don’t you make high quality hoodies, Golf-shirts, or Coffee mugs which can be bought by the public? Voila, another employment opportunity for a local woman or man who is a dressmaker. Another 2500 people who will depend on 2500 NGOs for survival are now economically emancipated. These extra 2500 people are service providers in these NGOs. In a short space of time, bearing my assumptions in mind, we already have created 15000 jobs in the NGO space alone. Is Progress inevitable?  

Lastly, private sector can also play a role in the creation of jobs in this sector. As far as my knowledge is concerned, I understand that companies need to adhere to triple bottom line reporting, that is profit, people and earth. If the Social responsibility department of each company adopt an NGO, sponsor it, while employing someone who will be based in that NGO representing the company in question as an officer while ensuring that the funds invested in this NGO are not being misappropriated and abused. If this can be a reality, In addition to that 15000 jobs, additional few hundred jobs are being added on to this figure.

We all have a role to play in making this rainbow nation a thriving one and the responsibility to create sustainable jobs cannot solely be left to government and big business. Good people NGOs are businesses, it is just that there is a lack of will, time and expertise to develop this NGOs into institute that can change the lives of our people in a profound way.

I am not naïve to think that what I have presented here is totally idealistic; in fact the possibility of this happening is as difficult as proverbial fly trying to push a dunghill. But spare a thought of its viability thereof?

It is for this reason and this ideal that make me think that we need to take NGOs a little bit seriously. Run them while adhering to code of corporate governance and sponsor them while checking from time to time that our money is being used for the purpose it is intended.  

I am a dreamer and a strategist and I am going to work hard in Dynamic Dreamers NPC to ensure that we do create 5 sustainable jobs in our community, while building it into a self-sustaining entity.

For more information on Dynamic Dreamers, please click here!

Contribute positively!

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Lack of sight, extra-ordinary vision and an absolute legend!

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I am one dude who greatly respect people and love listening to their stories and the way they view things. I like conversations. I like robust debates especially ones that will challenge me an expand my intellectual capital. To feed this hunger, I started listening to talk shows, speeches, and listening to motivational speakers. But let me tell you my perception about motivational speakers. I think they are bunch of enterprising people who have realized that a mankind is playing so small that it is prepared to pay them for being lazy. What an amazing business opportunity, don’t you think?

Even though, I listen to these people, I pay little attention to what they say. What I actually do is to observe how they deal with anxiety and how do they deliver their presentations, for I believe that one day I will stand before investors and convince them to buy in whatever weird idea I have in my mind.

He has skydived from a height of 10000 feet, he is a landspeed record holder at 322.5km/h, he is a Cape epic cyclist, an iron man racer, a marathon runner and a world  and he was a member of a cricket team that won a world cup in India in 2008. (something that the Proteas would envy)!

What if I told you that this man achieving all this remarkable things is blind?

Hein Wagner graced us with his presence at the Aweness camp at Stellenbosch University one Saturday morning. You know, I am not one for motivational speakers, but hey, Hein is a true motivator, he is an absolute legend. Despite his difficult handicap, he is able to achieve all these things I never knew that they existed as adventures. What’s extra cool is that he plans to raise about R10 million for his organisation. He says he is going to that by piloting a boeing 747-400 from London to Cape Town.

His talk was incredibly moving and he presented it with tremendous sense of humour. He was interesting to listen to, except that he leaves one with great guilt that you are actually playing small in your life.

What I found profound were some of the words he said during his talk. He said the following:

“I’ve never seen so many beautiful looking people in an audience before, you all look amazing!”

 – “I see I’m running out of time so I’ll finish up now.”

 “The feeling I had walking off the field after we had just secured the World Cup, is something I would never ever exchange, even, the ability to be able to see.”

I guess, this is what the first year needed to kick-start their academic career.

In closing, he said, “I am blind, What is your excuse?”

Peruse his website at http://heinwagner.co.za

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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What’s your story?

Within each one of us, there is an amazing story to tell. Every individual is unique. Set of skills, character, personality and values distinguishes us from the rest of the animal in the human kingdom.

I am probably breaking the rules here. What encourages me to do this is one question that was posed to me when I went to an interview in one of the leading accounting firms in South Africa. The question was “When is the right time to bend the rules?” At that moment in time, I was confused, I did not know what to say, I wanted to impress the prospective sponsor. The first answer that came to mind was “under no circumstances, should anyone bend the rules. It is wrong. It unacceptable” obviously I was lying. The truth is with every rule, there is an exception.

I am narrating this because I have just bent the rules. In no way am I an official blogger for the camp I am currently attending. I am so inspired I cannot resist the urge to write a blog.

This camp is called Aweness Camp, and is organised by the University of Stellenbosch for its first generation students. This camp attracts many people from different background, with unique skills, talents and stories. How often have you looked at a person and judged based on how they appear? I did, and I am guilty as charged.

What I learnt in this camp is that there is a fundamental error in looking at a single side of a story. Each individual is unique (I am repeating this for the umpteenth time now), and they have an amazing story to tell. The sweetness of that story can only be tasted if we allow our egoistical self to listen to other people.

I also realised that people who have achieved a great deal in life is those who have seen CRAP in their lives. I am using the acronym CRAP here to define Criticism, Rejection, Asshole and Pressure.  They have failed in life; they have got rejected while pursuing their wildest dream. They only achieved whatever they set out to do, because they have persevered, they were bold enough to follow their dreams through. These are individuals that inspires the living CRAP out of me!

All In all, it takes boldness, bravery and courage to talk about shit you experience in this amazing journey you call LIFE.

What is your story? What defines you? Let’s chat.

 

Be inspirational…….

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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