“Africa’s resilience and creativity are enormous. We have a rising and energetic youth population. Our dynamic entrepreneurs are using technology to transform people’s lives. We have enough resources to feed not just ourselves but other regions, too. It is time for Africa’s leaders-and responsible investment partners- to unlock this huge potential.”- Kofi Annan
The United States–Africa Leaders’ Summit was an international summit held in Washington D.C. from August 4–6, 2014. Leaders from fifty African states attended the three-day summit, which was hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama. The summit primarily focused on trade, investment and security of the continent. The former POTUS discussed majorly on ‘Investing in the next generation.’
The common way which all of you might suggest in investing in the next generation basically is by injecting tons and tons of money to promote education, entrepreneurship and talent-based academies, to say the least.
But one simple way we can achieve this goal is by Mentorship.
“As young people struggle to come up in the world, they feel they need someone of accomplishment to take them under their wing, guide them, open doors for them. Success, they feel, is much easier to achieve when someone successful shows them how.”- Sunny Bindra in Who is your ‘Invisible’ Mentor?
Over the course of my life, I have been assigned many mentors- most of whom I thought were basically Eps (Enemy of Progress). Well, life changed; and here I am talking to you about Mentorship. As a youth, I feel like the society is doing so much to ensure that we grow up in mind and stature- (Luke 2.52-He increased in wisdom and stature). There is just so much effort being done on the other end that we fail to see and acknowledge.
In the university where I am enrolled currently, I have been assigned a mentor – again. But this time, it’s not the same old story read again, it’s a different one. Many times we are given the opportunity to be mentored, but we fail to reciprocate.
As the youth of this generation, we also need to invest in ourselves. You don’t expect to be spoon-fed until you reach God knows which age. We really need to invest in ourselves. Investing in yourself as a youth is as simple as taking responsibility. Taking responsibility for yourself and your surroundings, be it at home, at school or at your workplace. Take responsibility for your health, your finances, and your actions.
The minute you take responsibility for every decision you make in your life, you can then decide to explore new ideas and new beginnings. If you’re good at photography, explore the world of art. Visit the dusit D2-Art Exhibition for example. Your youth is the time where you explore the hidden energies in your body, mind and spirit; after which you find a calling. This stage is when now your mentor comes in.
He/she may give you advice on different things like networking, finances, career choices etc. Once you show the desire to do something or have something, you are bound to achieve it through proper guidance. One of the people who would give proper guidance based on how they know you are your folks. Your folks are your ultimate mentors – more like invisible mentors. Before you consider having an independent consultant, stick with the one in your local vicinity first.
So for that reason, we need a whole new dimension shift to look at this – not as a role of the society only, but also the role of the youth themselves to invest in themselves as the society invests in them.