Own Your Life

 If I was a young,unemployed South African what could I do to better my situation right now? I mean in a practical sense what would be my first step if I wanted to  be able to put food on the table regardless of my current level of education?I pose this question obviously within the context of high unemployment among young people in this country (more than 50%) and a pathetic national education output,so though I enjoy the intellectual challenge of solving (theoretically at least) problems like these,no one can deny that their import goes beyond the theoretical.

The first step would be to sit down and draw up a plan,now a good plan consists of a first step that is immediately implementable in the young person’s current circumstance with all steps leading on to each other until the ultimate goal is achieved.This means that a properly formulated plan is guaranteed to succeed as long as one is not lazy.The question then is;what should be the first step in the plan of such a young person?

I will assume that our young person has no income at all (no grants) and has an average pass in their matric,in that case the first priority would be to get some sort of income.There are suprisingly many ways to get an income in this country (warning:EASY SHOULD NOT BE INSERTED BEFORE INCOME IN THE PRECEDING SENTENCE!!!) and one of the ways that helped me when in a similar situation recently was registering with many labour brokers,there are many one-day,one week e.t.c temporary jobs in this country and you can get as much as R170 for one days work.So go to your local library and register online with a labour broker like fempower (I used to get a few unskilled jobs to do with them).

They are other things our youth could do:offer to do people’s gardens,sell softdrink and beer bottles,fix appliances e.t.c I know all of these are temp jobs and so pay very little but that does not matter to our ambitious young person because they know that this small income can be used to get an even greater one. The next step is to not waste the money gotten through these means on alcohol,cigarettes,clothes e.t.c but to use it to get even more money.They are many things one can do to accomplish this:pay for time at an internet cafe and apply for many more jobs,buy products from a network marketing company to resell,buy cheap factory products to resell,start a blog and market products from amazon,kalahari,clickbank e.t.c for commission.Whatever you decide to do,keep in mind that starting from zero income necessarily means your initial profits will be relatively limited because low capital businesses usually have tighter margins but if all your profits are saved and invested in businesses of ever increasing margins and if you do not give up at the first sign of trouble,then I guarantee that you will eventually leave poverty and without ever needing a tender or a grant.

Always keep your plan in mind,this will see you through the times when things seem hopeless.Do not expect any help from anyone,you are on your own and whatever promises people make to you are worthless until they deliver,and remember that your future prosperity is limited only by the things that you are willing to do (or not do) now so work hard.

I hope I have said enough to convince you to start taking charge of your destiny (if you haven’t started already),remember:stop complaining,make a plan and stick to it.It’s all up to you.

p.s:If you have any other suggestions on how young people can better themselves I would appreciate it very much if you would leave them in the comments section,let’s help as many people as possible!!           

Revelgen 2014-08-18 11:16:31 AM
Good article Mpiyakhe. Totally agree. However, I think the root of the problem is summed up in this wise statement: 'Attitudes are more important than facts.' Until the attitudes of 'no hope' or 'entitlement' or 'I'll depend on the State' or 'I want to be a manager' change radically, many young Black folk are dooming themselves to a bad future. When people realise that they have to start low down, just to get on the first step of the economic ladder, and that it's not demeaning to do what you recommend, only then will we see a large increase in people 'owning their life.' And by the way, I am not being racist when I mention 'Black', just stating truths I have personally observed (and have been distressed by).
Joe Black 2014-08-18 11:34:04 AM
The greatest resource a young person has is time. And the greatest tragedy is when this time is wasted. The way money works... If you save/invest even very little from the moment you leave school and just have faith in the power of interest on the saved/invested money then in 10 years time one can build up quite a sizable portfolio. If I could give any advice it would be to invest savings in money market unit trusts as soon as one meets the minimum initial amount condition. Money market unit trusts give better returns than most long term fixed bank deposit options, are extremely low risk and stable and generally when rates goes up then the rate at which it grows also goes up. Plus if you need the money you can generally get access to it within a week at the most. All in all an extremely agile basic investment option. Then when an individual thinks they can take on a bit more risk there are some higher risk unit trusts which can make your money grow very quickly over long periods.
Siebert Mazus 2014-08-18 11:53:59 AM
Mpiyakghe wrote: -If I was a young,unemployed South African what could I do to better my situation right now?- If I were a young, unemployed South African right now, I would blame my parents for being irresponsible in bringing me into the world without the means of me having a good education, neither any future. My parents made sure that they only had two kids and made even more sure that that both of us could have a proper education; even before we were born. Don't blame society for your lack lack of education. Society doesn't owe you anything. Society owes you nothing.
No Ohno 2014-08-18 12:36:38 PM
Great post, Mpiyakhe. I think the most difficult to deal with is the many years it takes to work yourself out of misery. But, like you lay it out, if you do not start, you have no chance. If you do start, you have a chance.