A culture of entitlement
The Namibia statistics Agency recent unemployment rate scared me. Unemployment rate went up marginally by 2.2% to 29.6 % out of a total labour force of just under 1 million.
Yes, there are variables in the greater scheme of things such as education levels and a skill mismatch. But how many young, mostly black youth are afraid of failing in a business venture that fulfils a need. Could a culture of entitlement be at the core.
Is it that the fear of failure is a terrible thing that it does not warrant a try? Where failure resides, creativity dies. Would newly educated graduates students rather opt to be civil servants instead or fight it out in the market?
There is nothing wrong with having a guaranteed pay-check. But when government jobs become scarce, and brown envelope tender-preneurial cha-cha ladder climbing is clogged to the bottom. They seems to exist an idea that to be an entrepreneur there should be a back-handed contact somewhere down the line. And those that do, get the job and let the crumbs fall where they may.
With Private-Public Partnerships becoming a new trend, genuine government and private enterprise collaborations are yielding results to the socio-economic upliftment. Creating employment for youth, many whom are sole breadwinners.
This change in attitude on both sides leads to a meeting a demand for different skill sets. No matter how much milk you pour into a pail the cream will always rise to the top. True entrepreneurial pursuits that fulfil a need and provide innovative ideas will be recognised for their quality work.
While some government institutions purses will fall victim to their laissez-faire attitude towards keeping up with the times through cost effective technological innovation.
One such institution is the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation. On the same night that the NBC was unveiling its financial plans for the year. The Film-makers Association of Namibia(FAN) held an industry mixer where those in the different sectors of the industry meet. The time around the mixer was giving feedback to a group of young entrepreneurs who have a prime time slot on NBC with a 30 part series called “Fashion Fiend.” The more experience mentors gave advice to the young team on how they could improve this product, a fashion and beauty magazine show.
It lacked in crucial areas but the young entrepreneurs took a bold step and produced the first season. For no profit, the NBC excuse is that they have a free platform and should be grateful. Is that the right kind of thinking? Many have arguments for and against. But surely the cultural commodity of telling our own stories( not necessarily through a fashion show) is something that the NBC should show more vigour. Or will all those empty channels they have lined up filled with amateurish content with no financial motive even though demand as in the case of “Fashion Fiend” exist.
A reason I would understand why professional content producers choose not to waste money on something that never pays.
That is part of the entrepreneurial spirit that the “Fashion Fiend” makers I am sure will figure out because it could appeal to a broader viewer-ship and them cashing in. But why should the NBC not treat content producers in a fair exchange of value for money.
It would be interesting to see how the expanding of the NBC’s capacity of 13 channels and broader coverage will facilitate this particular industry. A relationship that will rely on other content producers looking at the manpower and an already strained post-independence infrastructure of the NBC.
These Private-Public partnership on the back of waning government jobs ought to cultivate entrepreneurial attitudes leading to pursuits that solve problems and create meaning employment.
A culture of entitlement is not the attitude to have. Freedom means work. It is not how you start but how you end.