Many black people in South Africa are still silently enduring oppression and racism both in academia and the corporate world. In 1994 Madiba said, “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world. Let freedom reign.” Unfortunately, these words never came true.
Even though our country has a black president, its economy is still in the hands of white people. In large companies and leading academic institutions there are very few black people who hold executive positions, yet there are many unemployed black graduates.
In many professional environments I have been to, I have always noticed that even highly educated black people tend to be underestimated and treated with disdain. This has implanted fear and self-doubt in the minds of many black people. Most of us blacks are reluctant to start our own businesses and be in charge because we fear that things will go wrong. We don’t believe in our hearts that we have the potential to change the world.
It is important for us to realize that we don’t need a white man to succeed in life. We are free to do anything we want. Let us create opportunities and stop folding hands and expecting other nations to employ us. We need to inculcate a culture of leadership, innovation and business savviness among ourselves. If we can do that and become employers of the future, other nations will respect us and stop treating us like skunks. Education, leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship are the keys to a black man’s freedom.