The simple purpose of The Young And Old podcast is to raise a generation of world-class performers. We as Africans have done well in sharing and upholding our stories of the independence of our nations. We have excelled in putting the spotlight on the great personalities that led to African is capable of running its own affairs. I believe those achievements cannot be undermined for any reason but it was for a season. Those eras represented a season of political independence.
The next era we have to create is the season of economic independence and to achieve that we have to make an intentional effort in making young people aware that there are role models for them in every field we can think of in achieving this goal. We have to make young people aware that these people are not only from a common background, race, gender or tribe. They come from various places and that is why they are capable of becoming whoever they want to be. This doesn’t mean the journey is going to be on a silver-platter, what it means is that we must be determined to make it work. Gone where the days were the heroes you can find in your books and being mentioned on public platforms were political achievers only. We are now going to make it known to young people that there are achievers in various disciplines like business, health, education, infrastructure, etc. These are people we have to talk about and give them the platform to share their stories. And not just share their stories to only a few or clique but to the general public were young people can get easy access. Like John D. Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein among many others, there should be African achievers that we can talk about them and share their memories to generations unborn and they do not have to be political leaders per se. They should show our diversity.
With these thoughts running through my mind for years, I could not stand waiting for someone from another continent or country to come to tell my African stories for me. For this reason, I started The Young And Old podcast, where achievers from various fields can share their journey to success so that success won’t be like a nine-day wonder for young people rather they can have the courage to say if Dancegod Lloyd (a dancer from Ghana) is able to take his dancing talent global and train young people to walk in his footsteps then I am well able to do likewise. If Akin Adesina can win a Food Prize Laureate then I too can be a laureate winner. If a female doctor like Dr. Miriam Merad from Algeria can tackle difficult problems like finding a solution to cancer then any African lady can go face-to-face with difficult issues. Like Odunayo Eweniyi from Nigeria, cofounding a technology company that encourages people to save and invest as they meet their financial goals.
Personally, I believe African stories are not often documented and shared to our youth. Even when you think some are being shared, it’s usually a few group like technology and business that you can hear of. I believe there are more innovative and successful Africans in various fields that need to tell their stories.
For a person like me who likes to learn from others in whatever field I’m interested in: I am likely to get more western information than an African one. Lest I forget, context is key in our situation. What worked in America doesn’t necessarily mean it will work in Ghana or Nigeria. People including myself sometimes pick ideas from other places and want to implement them in our localities, only to realize that they are different horizons.
It’s more likely for a success in Kenya to be replicated with the same result in let’s say Botswana than Estonia success in Togo. An example like MPESA, is one of our stories.
The interesting thing about this mission is not only to share views from one perspective but to get it all round, that is why I named it The Young And Old. The older people can share their experiences and show the younger people what the road looks like and the younger people can tell us how they are overcoming some of these barriers and what some new ways of overcoming the obstacles are. Wherever you are as an African, know that we are in the phase of raising world-class performers. The problem isn’t that we don’t have any, neither is it that we are incapable but that we have never been so intentional in doing it as our forefathers did for independence. If you think there are no opportunities, then create one. If you create one and it is successful or fails, try another one. Don’t give up because you hold the key to many unborn generations. I end with a popular quote by Marianne Williamson:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”