I grew up and still live in Namibia. A country of roughly 2.3 million people, Namibians and expats alike. We are a semi-arid nation in Sub-Saharan Africa; small, yes, but like most people across the continent, we have big hearts. And that is one thing I love most about my people, how welcoming and loving we are. Why are we welcoming? I really don't have the exact answer for that, but maybe that's because once upon a time when my country was fighting for its independence from white-minority apartheid rule South Africa, most of our leaders of the independence struggle sought refuge from other African countries; from Zambia to Tanzania to Ghana to Angola. The list is endless. So, maybe we understand what it is like to need, that we even understand illegal expats living in our country. They are our neighbors. Friends. Co-workers. Classmates. Lovers. They are fellow human beings.
Well, enough about my beloved country. I love her, but I need to leave her.
Here's my story.
I'm 26 years old. I have tried most things entrepreneurial that I possibly could. It's something I had always wanted to do; to be an entrepreneur. Eight years later, I'm still at ground zero. Defeated, but not out. I tried it all. First, it was a clothing brand that to all accounts was one of the most recognizable clothing brands not associated with a musician. Along came what to date I still feel is one of my most brilliant ideas, a mobile ticketing slash advertising platform. The idea never materialized to anything, it's still a great idea on a piece of paper. No one believed in it to fund it. Maybe I didn't push it enough. Or maybe it's not economical, and honestly just not worth anyone's efforts. For now, I guess we would never know. And then I got funding from a guy who is one of the few people I feel truly understands me, my best friend who would remain nameless. At this point at least, since I didn't get his permission to use his name in this story. I used those funds to start what I thought was a niche market; a kids-catering transportation company. We ended up closing shop because we were paying out more than what was being paid in. In the end, as great an idea as I think it was, it would be best suited for a highly populated metropolis, NOT Windhoek, Namibia of roughly 350,000 inhabitants.
But eight years later of miscalculated risk taking, little to nothing to show for, and university credits and no degree to show my beloved mother; I have decided it's time I went back to school. It would be expensive, and I sure as hell do not have the money for it, but I have decided that I'm only going back to school to a first world country. A first world Western country to be exact. Why there you ask. For obvious reasons. I'm wiser now. Calculated, yes. But, still I dream. My entrepreneurial dream is alive and well. And at 26 years old, security is key, too. Major Key!
Thus far I have been admitted to schools in New Zealand & Holland. I'm waiting on Canada. Hopefully for the good news. Contrary to what we are hearing in the news of late from the likes of Donald Trump, Nigel Farage & Boris Johnson, the Western World remains a beacon of hope; open to the idea of immigrants coming into their countries, work hard, and live out their dreams. Holland, New Zealand & Canada are some of those Western Countries that make it easier for non-citizen graduates to work in their countries after graduation.
I'm looking at completing a bachelor's in Business Economics. After graduation, my hope is to work for an international organization. Gain experience. Then, someday again, have a crack at these ideas that are always lingering in my mind. And maybe one day, open a venture capital firm in Sub-Saharan Africa that is truly invested in making sure kids with great ideas at least find the first hurdle in any entrepreneur's race an easy jump; capital investment.
Namibia compared to most African countries, truly is a shining city on the hill. Our GDP per Capita is somewhere north of US$5,000.00. But like most African countries, the distribution of our country's wealth is disturbingly uneven. And is true of most African countries, opportunities are different for different people. Either racially, like in Namibia's case; a racially diverse country; or by class; or by ethnicity. And with all these hindering one faces, and just how much opportunities are already far and wide apart on our continent, sometimes we just have to go searching for it somewhere else.
Do I know if it will all work out? Not at all. Is this the right way to go about it? Hell if I know. But, I just wanted to share my story; maybe the last personal one, as I'm a very private individual. But this is only my first of many stories on Akoma.
And with that said, wish me luck, guys.