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Who are ‘the people?’

By Kudakwashe Mhaka

Success only comes when one deafens their ear to criticism by people. People can be so demotivating whenever a project is proposed or a new idea is introduced to the extent that many dreams have been bottled up due to different contributions by people. Growing up, almost everyone has had an idea they thought to be lifechanging and innovative, but, sadly, parents or close friends shunned and dismissed it as useless or, rather,‘crazy’.This act of setting bars to the limits of imagination of a child right after they pop up their first idea has reared a mediocre generation. A lot of people laugh at their childhood thoughts for being outrageous and immature while some are fortunate enough to realize they had buried impure gold that just needed to be polished before it could be presented to the market.

Honestly, it sounds funny when the little ones try to mastermind in overheard adult issues by suggesting correct and obvious measures to the situation in an irritated tone that wonders why the ‘big guys’ did not think of the idea first but, in an ecstatic way that displays their excitement to be part of a serious matter.     Contrary, the complexity of the application of the measures to the situation will be conspicuous in the child’s line of thinking. Smart children probably believe adults complicate their lives for nothing and are just too proud to admit and follow advice from youngsters. On the other hand, some children allow such scenarios to depict their thinking capabilities and they underestimate the power within them to the extent that even in school these children think lowly of themselves and do not actually believe it is them when they provide a solution in class. They always nominate other students as being eligible for certain posts and never themselves. It is devastating to realize that teachers label such children as being lazy and arrogant while these children have great potential that was just caged in the early years.

The circle that a child is introduced to while growing up influences and moulds the child’s character that will be visible to whoever will be encountered in future. Parents or guardians are the first and strongest influence. Children from supportive families have an upper-hand view of life and believe they can do anything regardless of the consequences. They are more than ready to shove in the amount of time required to invest in an idea because they have their family as the backbone. Even if things go otherwise, they know they find solace in the family and that alone gives the satisfaction of at least having tried. Friends are also important as they somehow know what a person does outside the scope of the home. Religion also plays an important role as it guides and shapes the line of imagination by factoring out some wrong thoughts and executing the remaining right ones.

The major contrast in the characters of children who were raised in supportive backgrounds against those who were silenced and diminished highlights and provides hints to the overlooked noun ‘people.’ Which people hinder success by their contributions? Which people should the deaf ear be turned to? According to my own research and evidence demonstrated by my story, these people are in the circle of acquaintances a child associates with and shunning them would be disrespectful in every way. Pursuing a dream that has been criticized already draws speculations and attracts different African proverbs like, ‘Those who eat alone die alone.’ This draws a lot of questions as it takes different dimensions. Is Africa still staggering economically because we are each other’s obstacles? I believe this is an overlooked factor contributing to the button stick of poverty that has been passed on in different African homes in spite of the gap recovers like education and women emancipation campaigns. The love for each other demonstrated by siblings in many households and the desires of parents to see their children leaving footprints on the planet Earth makes the question even more complicated as the ‘people’ remain unidentified.

The tongue has the power to build or destroy the next person. A popular saying goes, ‘If your mouth were a knife, it would cut off your lips.’ Sometimes there is an ignorant side on the impact of our words to the next person. Most African autobiographies of successful people almost share a similar background of discouragements by close people in their lives and the success only comes after defying the standards. This revelation should help us as Africans decide where exactly we want to feature in the success stories of our own people. Many at times the idea of going abroad in search of greener pastures is brought by the void caused by unappreciative and belittling views Africans have of each other. The other disappointing contribution made by close people is demanding the limelight when one story becomes successful. All of sudden everyone has a memory with the successful person and want to be viewed as the stepping stone to the person’s success. Of course, innovation is sweet when it is not being done for recognition, but the human part of it could do with a little bit of appreciation. After finally reaching to the conclusion that there are no external people being introduced to our failures as Africans but ourselves, l figured this revelation has to be broadcasted so as to break the chain of poverty in Africa and save our generation and the generations to come.