Isaac Oboth, 26 years old Ugandan who is the CEO of Media265 and a recipient of the Young Achievers Award is clearly one of the few young entrepreneurs on the continent we must keep an eye on. Having survived a very demanding early life, young Isaac runs a very successful TV production company which he started in 2011. Here are three 3 reasons Isaac gives as to why many people choose to settle for less.
1. PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO TAKE RISKS
Young billion and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg once said that, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk,” and it seems our rising Ugandan entrepreneur would easily identify with this statement. Isaac who lost both parents at an early age of seven leaving him with only a brother had to engage in all sorts of business ventures as early as 16 years old. Isaac in speaking to BBC disclosed that the pivotal point for him in life was when his brother Ivan walked up to him in school one day and informed him that he had to start making money for himself. He then began making rock buns and selling them to school children. Isaac later described the biggest risk he ever took as when he decided to quit college to pursue his business ideas. A risk which has paid off wonderfully, he added. Many people are afraid to take risks in this part of the world. The best way to remain stuck at one place for a long time is to refuse to step out of the comfort zone. If you do not want to settle for less, then step out there-even when you know you are stepping into the unknown- just do it.
2. PEOPLE ARE COMFORTABLE WITH THE STATUS QUO.
In explaining this particular point, Isaac cited an example of his childhood friend Gideon. He explained that Gideon his friend sold charcoal and worked to provide his family’s basic needs. He doesn’t expect to be rich from it. He recounted, ‘back in Maseno, I asked Gideon for a number to remain in contact but he responded, “Why do I need a phone. All the people I know live here”. According to Isaac, to break the hold of satisfaction with the status quo, young people in Africa must be prepared to seize control of their destiny, they must develop a different mindset and attitude that is completely different from that of their parent’s generation and be prepared to see beyond meeting their basic needs of life. They must believe in making a meaningful change in society. That way, you can move on to do great things in your generation, he stressed.
3. PEOPLE REFUSE TO DREAM BIG
As a Ugandan, I’m aware that Africa had big dreams before. Nearly 60 years ago, our leaders promised that independence would bring wealth, prosperity and stability. It didn’t but a new African generation is working from the premise that it’s the grassroots that matter most. I am trying to start to produce an ambitious TV series calledDiscover Uganda hoping for it to be screened around the continent. That is how far we should begin to see if we are going to really make the break we all desire to see in our societies. In concluding, he stated that his vision for the continent is one that is not corrupt. Where business leads the way, where people get work on merit not because of how well connected one is (nepotism). We must all take inspiration from the story of Isaac to break new grounds and maximize our potential.