A Walking Generation: Every Generation Needs A New Revolution

If one takes into account all the talk and noise from our leaders, it’s understandable for one to be convinced, depending which side you’re on, that we’re at the dawn of a time of delivery. It is worth noting that the expectations we have are justified but as the same time they require one to be reasonable. It’s becoming clearer that in this system we live in that one has to think differently and shift his or her source of expectation. It requires one to have an enquiring or educated mind that can clearly distinguish between what’s been said and what’s been done, and what needs to be said and what you need to do.

It’s important that we move away and cleanse ourselves from a system or culture that holds us back – the culture of entitlement. We need to understand that politicians will say what they need to say to achieve their desired outcomes and as much as we cannot totally dismiss their mission and vision but we need to know what is it we can do on our own within that vision to achieve our dreams and change our lives for the better.

The New Growth Path says it must provide bold, imaginative and effective strategies to create the millions of new jobs South Africa needs. Whether the NGP will achieve its objective remains to be seen but we, the young people, cannot wait for the NGP or President Zuma to save us. We must welcome their intervention and their efforts but they should meet us halfway. We look forward to a time when our economic system will finally be able to deliver jobs and sufficiently fight the scourge of poverty but we can no longer sit and mourn. It’s time we roll our sleeves.

Thomas Jefferson once said every new generation needs a new revolution. It is evident that our revolution won’t be on the streets, but within. It’s a revolution that requires us to shun ignorance and to be the seekers of knowledge and understanding… to embrace curiosity, chase inspiration and be obsessed with ideas.

Our qualifications alone don’t seem to be delivering us and maybe the world or employers are looking for something extra. It calls for us to be an educated generation way beyond class room; a confident, creative and passionate generation. It is said that a tree does not move unless there’s wind. Maybe our wind is too weak and needs a little push. We are not and can never be a lazy generation, and we need to show that through our actions and behaviour.

I propose four steps we can take right now Read the full story

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Why We Should Be Proud of SANTACO

With all the jokes, ridicule and cynicism, the giant step taken recently by the South Africa National Taxi Council, SANTACO, to acquire or invest in its own airline should be congratulated for what it is, inspirational and powerful. It has to be, without a doubt, one of the proudest moments regarding entrepreneurship or small business sector in South Africa. This very successful taxi industry, the one that we, as black people, built from scratch in difficult times under the horrible rule of apartheid into what it is today, contributes astronomically to our economy. It’s an industry that has taken numerous households out of poverty and sent their children to some of the best schools. It is an industry that we should all be proud of for its achievements and we shouldn’t, in spite of some challenges, doubt their abilities as they take this giant step.
The cynicism thrown at them is, I must say, understandable considering the reputation they carry. Reputation is, as they say, a cornerstone of success. It should be noted though, that this reputation this gigantic industry carries is not of failure but of appalling customer service. The taxi industry should definitely be ashamed of the service they offer and one wonders how much success they would bring if they really put “customer first”. The behaviour of the taxi drivers, especially in Joburg, is absolutely horrible and cannot be condoned but we also have to understand it doesn’t represent taxi drivers all over the country. In my small town, Centane in the Eastern Cape, it would be an absolute shock, for example, to see a taxi driver shouting at a passenger. Here in Joburg, I’ve personally witnessed a driver slapping a passenger for commenting on the way he was driving.
With good leadership, excellent business practice and great vision there’s no reason why this airline can’t be a success. The market is there and the market is not merely taxi commuters but all the middle class. In South Africa we like to ridicule anything new and perceived to be substandard. When the Kulula airline was launched jokes aimed at mocking it were flying around but now even top business people make use of it. Santaco Airline will have to do what’s necessary including complying with safety requirements, hiring experienced staff and the best CEO they could find. This is one best story in a long time. It’s an inspirational African story that we should all celebrate and learn from.


Chuma Kave

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How they introduced me to Africa


Lwadilik’ udonga was this amazing IsiXhosa novel by Chinua Achebe. I read as a kid. This novel introduced me a world that was beyond what I knew, tribes I’d never heard of; interesting names whose meaning I never knew, like Okonkwo, Umofia, Nwoko, and a country called Nigeria. It was something new, something exciting. The story was captivating.

Years later, I learnt that this classic novel was originally entitled Things Fall Apart. Nigeria was actually not the very first African country I’d heard of, Ethiopia was.  I was told: iEthopia yindawo yabantu abalambayo (Ethopia, a place known for its poverty and famine).

Skinny kids used to be the butt of jokes in my village. “It’s like you’re from Ethiopia,” they would say. These were the early 80s. The first school I attended was named Tiyo Soga Primary. I never knew who this Tiyo Soga was, and nobody bothered to tell me until I learnt in my early twenties that he was one of the greatest Eastern Cape pioneers that ever lived. Read the full story

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Love is like an Egg


As kids growing up in the village, love, romance and relationships were never subjects that were defined. As a boy, one of the first rules I learned about relationships is “intombazana akufuneki ikuqhele,” meaning, never be too friendly to a woman because once you do, a woman will take an advantage of you.

This was an interesting lesson until it was contradicted by an IsiXhosa novel called Soze Kubenje Ngakuqala (meaning ‘It Will Never Be Like Before’) by Angelina S. Dazela. This was a beautiful story of love, passion and adoration of women. This was a little strange to us, as little boys… that a man could express his feelings this way. The way our teacher, Mr. Jack, taught the story, you could tell it was beyond just a classroom lesson, but a life lesson on love and relationships.

It is story of a couple that was so in love, it seemed they couldn’t be separated. The man was so in love, he was able to accept the woman with all her faults and shortcomings, and the woman adored the man for all his love, strength and character.

It was beautiful. It was written in the stars. Their relationship continued until the woman met another guy whom she felt was more good looking and maybe better than her current love. This broke his heart. She left. But, things didn’t last with her new love and she crawled back to her old flame. He told her: “Ndisakuthanda, kodwa soze kubenje ngakuqala…. kuba kaloku uthando lufana neqanda olibeke phezu kwe tafile, oyakuthi ngokulinikela umva uve ngesandi ngokuthi qhufu ube umthubi sowungaphandle.” (I still love you but things will never be the same because love is like an egg that you put on top of the table and once you turn your back on it, you hear by the sound, and the yolk will be already on the floor)”. Read the full story

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I Never Hesitate to Try


To me it represented power, courage, walking tall, and faith… but above all, it represented the answer I’d been looking for. It was a quote that landed in my inbox as a young and confused intern at an advertising agency, TBWA Hunt Lascaris, years ago.

I was confused because advertising was my love, or so I thought. Self-conviction? Confused because I grew up believing I was a special kid – I couldn’t figure out the real ME.

I quit my internship. You see, I never wanted to study Marketing at tertiary but I never knew what I wanted to study. I studied Marketing because it was “available” and Business Economics was my favourite subject in my matric year. Not once have I worked as a marketer!

The quote by Henry C. Link: “While one hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.

To say I treasure this Read the full story

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Ukuzigqatsa should be Encouraged

Can the way we behave in our adulthood have anything to do with our upbringing? How we love to pull down those who seem to stand upright to our level! How we frown upon those who have the spotlight! Some point at jealousy or plain nastiness as the cause, and even though I cannot stand against those views or feelings I ask, “does it in anyway have to do with this system or culture we grew up in?”

In my primary, junior and even my high school years, standing out was shunned upon. It was “inappropriate.” If you were the first, you always listened, always had answers, always followed instructions, you were labelled “uyazigqatsa”. This created a system or a culture that said to be regarded as proper you have to fit with the crowd. It said “it’s only acceptable to be in our level.” In high school there was a new term with a new meaning – “ukuboniswa,” which means ‘you have visions’. This was discouraged, shunned and frowned upon. If you walked differently, dressed differently, behaved differently or believed differently they said “uyaboniswa”. One wouldn’t freely talk about having big ambitions of being an astronaut, a best-selling author or aspiring to follow any career path that was deemed as unusual, without being told “uyaboniswa”. This meant that for you to fit in or to keep it real is to stick to what is known and accepted.

Thank God I grew up a rebel! Anti the norm, I believed in my own path, my own standards. I did everything from ringing the bell, to getting good grades, Read the full story

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The Walk of a Trusted Mis-Leader

His character, confidence, life and words have captured hearts and minds of those who follow him, with trust and conviction that his walk in front is no doubt where they are supposed to go. His followers agree, as they look at him, admiring his walk. After all, “true leaders are born, not made.” This is the leader they’ve been waiting for. The Chosen One!

In the midst of this walk, some within the group notice the leader’s walk is no longer the same, and that the route he’s taking is not what was promised. The leader promised a smooth road where everybody would fit in and walk side by side with comfort. As the leader takes this different route he turns around, smiles, and assures everyone that this is the right road.

They believe him. They trust him. The leader knows this.

As the walk continues, the leader seems to be walking differently, and unlike before, he hardly ever looks back to see if everyone still understands where he is taking them and why. This is confusing.

Watching from a distance, you can see discomfort in this group of followers. As a matter of fact, you could split it into three different groups, with some still walking in the same pace and dragging their feet. In this observation you can see: Read the full story

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What Mama Never Told Me About Money

By Chuma Kave

Growing up in an environment that was and still is surrounded by lack, poverty and to whatever life offers, I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home that was considered ‘affluent’ in rural standards. Any home with a teacher, nurse, policeman or a store was considered affluent and commanded certain respect within the community. Mama, as single parent, raised us within this environment… to be confident, driven and refuse to conform to standards, norms and expectations of the village. Even though we were rural educated, she insisted we believe in education and its possibilities, to never allow the walls of the village to block our view and insisted we read books, magazines and newspapers from an early age.

Mama tried everything to raise us well as men of value, character, ambition and purpose. In all this love and deep appreciation of what Mama did, sometimes I feel there’s one lesson I missed. Money!  Sometimes Read the full story

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I Wish You a Job

As we witness yet another year dawn, we are still struggling with harsh realities of unemployment. Poverty is still in our homes and our degrees and qualifications are not saving the situation. They say South Africa’s general rate of unemployment is 26%, a round number of about 6 million. Among the youth, that rate is double.

Looking at our situation, it’s plain to see that these are the times that call for one to examine the shoes one’s been walking in. Our traditional ways of seeking jobs are in crisis and the sooner we realize this, the sooner we stop depending on the classifieds and job seeking agencies. Career experts estimate that at least 75% of job openings are never advertised. We have to believe there are jobs out there, even when the world screams “another job bloodbath.” When I woke up to reality in my tertiary years, I had to apply these tools:

Mind Shift: While I was doing my final year, I read a quote that says “getting a job is a job itself.” Then, I wanted to work in advertising. I spent hours researching the industry, top agencies, top personalities, CEOs, founders, success industry stories and successful campaigns. In order to get a job, I had to know and understand what I was looking for. Within two months of leaving school, I got my internship at one of the top advertising agencies, TBWA Hunt Lascaris. This was not an advertised job and I did not come from an advertising school. It was an unpaid post. I realized earlier that to move up in life, I had to take different steps. I had to do some things others do not find exciting.

Volunteering: It’s hard to suggest or recommend volunteering to a hungry man and it’s harder to suggest it to an “educated” man who believes the world owes him something. I was told that volunteering will not only give me the experience I need, but it will put be in a better position to be hired; that one has a better chance of being hired if one’s doing something than doing nothing at all. Volunteering might not sound appealing to some people but I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. I volunteered for about six months before I was offered a job as a Breakfast Producer at Metro FM.

Ideas: When I decided to leave everything and focus on my passion – radio – I spent time listening and studying DJ Fresh. I studied every link, every feature, his approach, his personality. I studied his ideas. I approached him with my ideas. When he allowed me to contribute ideas on his show, it gave me such confidence that if I could keep up, I could produce for anyone. Later, I approached Glen Lewis. I asked to be his intern and offered him my ideas. He told me that good ideas should never be ignored. In his words, “If your ideas are good, an arrangement can always be made.” Glen made the arrangement. I got hired. Sharing ideas does not necessarily mean they will be used as they might not be suitable for various reasons, but they put you at a better chance of showing what you can do given a chance. Sometimes we have to sell our passion and skills more than our qualifications. And if you come up with one idea, you can come up with many. The bottom line is we should never be scared or too educated to share ideas.

Curiosity! It allows us to go beyond what we see and seek answers to those questions that may seem mysterious to a lazy eye. Curiosity has allowed me to do so many things I was never trained for because I wanted to know “how do they do that?” Curiosity allows you to jump out of your environment, see possibilities and test your limits. Curious people are interesting people. Sometimes being “interesting” is the plus factor you need when selling yourself. I don’t know what makes you interesting, but for me it is information. I read a lot. Being informed is never to show off but to build myself, to follow, to understand the world, to formulate ideas, hold conversations, build relationships and be a confident person.

I wish you a job. I wish you success.

By Chuma Kave
Founder – Rebels of Poverty
Radio Producer, Radio Lecturer, Blogger and an aspiring Social Entrepreneur

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When They Were Kind Enough

The braai gathering with my friends, or shall I say, homeboys is always stuff to look forward to. It’s not something regular as it normally happens once in four months. This is the moment where we let loose from our hectic daily professional lives and chat, debate, laugh at everything from politics, women, marriage, village life back home etc. This is the time where we always reminisce about childhood in our different villages, games we used to play, men of the village our customs and traditions.

Saturday night was no different. We did what we do best, meat, alcohol, soccer, debates and laughter.  We reminisced about a bus called Blue Line that around this time, December, used to carry people from Cape Town to Transkei villages and vice versa. We were surprised by how kind this bus service was to our people. It used to deliver people to their homes and it could give you a lift, all the way from Transkei to Cape Town with a promise that a relative, based in Cape Town, will pay when you arrive. Read the full story

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