Who is looting who?
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The recent surge of unrests in South African have made it difficult for me to write from a space on neutrality and non-emotion.
What makes it even harder for me is understanding the responsibility I have with having such a platform for my voice. It would be irresponsible of me to articulate my political views, as this is neither the time nor the platform.
With that said though, what I am unapologetic of however, is my stance on culling of progress for South African entrepreneurs. This week, has weighed heavily on my soul.
Although, in my personal capacity, I have not been directly affected by the unrest, my business and other various business interest have. I have a production partner who has lost everything, years of saving up and purchasing equipment to enable him and his team to produce world class content, GONE. The pride he had when he moved into his brand-new offices in Johannesburg has now been overshadowed by the grey cloud of hopelessness that hangs over his head.
I have a close friend who recently invested in a Soweto-based eatery that was also affected. Being present for the inconsolable version of him over the phone transformed my fear and worry into rage.
Being an entrepreneur in South Africa puts you in a position of being involuntarily molested by a system that expects you to give and provide, while not really caring about how you sustain and grow your enterprise.
Being an entrepreneur in South Africa, better yet, being a young black entrepreneur in South Africa, thrusts you into an ecosystem, where, if you are not politically-affiliated the hill you must climb is steeper and the red tape you need to pivot against, much thicker.
When all is said and done, who is going to be responsible for this purge?
Let’s be honest. It is going to be the South African entrepreneur. The pressure of rebuilding this country and economy will be set firmly on our shoulders with the support of government-funded publicity campaigns.
How is it normal for entrepreneurs in this county to be the most valuable,yet undervalued members of our society? With working tirelessly to save jobs while swimming against the tide to keep our businesses afloat, leaves us in a space of hopelessness. The recent happenings in this country have forced me to question why I even do what I do.
Entrepreneurs are not politicians. Issues with politicians should be addressed with the politicians themselves. We are business owners who are working with the government to curb the unemployment pandemic through unearthing sustainable solutions to meet the country’s development goals.
The looting is a direct attack on South African entrepreneurs who have not caused the current state in which our country is in.
It is very difficult to not engage from an emotionally fuelled space.
At this moment, I feel defeated, disappointed but no less determined to pour my soul into the seemingly thankless contribution towards bettering the state of my country’s economy. Right now we have no choice but to rebuild.
Sibulele Siko-Shosha is the founder, creative director and TV executive producer of the Dumile Group.
* The views expressed here are not necessarily those of IOL or of title sites.
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