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  • Mugerwa Umaru

Understanding Success

Understanding Success:

Many questions have always been raised on what to do with the escalating levels of youth unemployment. The truth of the matter is, neither parents/ guardians, the government nor civil society has a definite solution to the problem. Parents just want to see their children get into productive employment after school, no matter how.

As the public continue to blame the theoretical education system, politicians and the civil society have not absconded from the duty of criticising how the government has failed to create jobs for the youth. In return, the government responds by fire-fighting, I.e. making un-researched politically branded interventions managed and supervised by political cadres whom by any measure are less informed than the clientele they intend to serve. The Entandikwa Scheme, Bonna Bagaggawale, NAADS etc have all failed, but; why? Of course, by default corruption takes a big share of the blame. Many things have gone wrong but we can't keep lamenting, life continues.

Many households have lost the war against unemployment and poverty owing to the wrong perceptions they have about success in life. What is success? How do you measure success and when do you know that you have succeeded? Many people think that success is all about the bulk of money one has (Wealth) whereas it is not.

That is why; we fight tooth and nail to see that our children at least completes university level education with a hope that they will then be able to achieve the success we presume to be.

To me, success is not about material wealth or how much cash one has at hand. It is all about knowing The Almighty God, a decent source of livelihood, Happiness, Contentment, Self- satisfaction, Good Health and good family relations. Many times people kill in pursuit for wealth that they will never make use of. They just want to have too much no matter whether they will ever need it or not. If you agree with my understanding of success, then you will join me in preparing a new greedy free generation. There are many ways of succeeding in life, however, in Uganda we think that all must be through academic excellence. It is not. By nature, The Almighty God rewarded the human race with different levels of skills and talents. One doesn't require a degree to become a Wyne Rooney, Jose Chameleon, Kiprotich, Shakira, Shaggy, Serena Williams, etc.

So, it is up on individual households to identify and promote the different talents that your children hold. We should not just force our children through education if it is not to benefit them. At times, your child just needs basic literacy then branch off for a course that will give them a decent livelihood through their lives. If I found out that my kid is more comic and good at drama but very poor in academic class, what I would do is; Identify a school that can help promote his/ her talent, convince them to stay in school to complete senior four, then take them to where they can get the real hands-on skills in say screenwriting, stage playing, comedy, filming and cinematography etc. In the future, if they so want; they can proceed with education through a mature arrangement.

Though personally I am a Manufacturing Engineer, I still have it that all I wanted was the film industry. I still promise myself that one day; I will have to go back to where my heart lies. My friend Heather Ditillo has two young boys Thio and Logan. Aged about 14, Thio loves Hockey. The parents i.e. Jeff and Heather have spent years driving miles on highways in Colorado just to drop and pick Thio from his Hockey trainings. A lot of money has been paid to trainers for that purpose. The boy has not disappointed, he is one of the best you can find in his age class. Not only that, one of the two boys indicated that he is interested in catering, he went for some few lessons and now he is considering it for a full time career when he is of age! On my last visit in 2013, I found that Thio has assembled a desktop computer using skills he had acquired from a tutorial he picked from YouTube. He was about to assemble a second one for his brother. Remember, he got the skills from You Tube.

When I was discussing with Heather on how I was about to start a school of creative arts in Uganda, I learned that Thio had been attending some video and audio editing lessons. He offered to come in and give some lessons to my class on his visit in summer then. What do we learn from Heather and Jeff's family? They support children to explore their talent. Jeff, an IT expert working with the world’s leading satellite company (Digital Globe) is willing to support his child try catering if it is what he likes. In Uganda, a father would force you to be a teacher just like him.

We can't overcome unemployment if we continue pressing the wrong buttons. Let us enhance our children awareness about different existing career pathways, help them understand, give support to explore their talents and lastly help promote them. Key point to note is, giving them basic literacy is not debatable. My heart cries whenever I see the extra ordinarily talented young boys we had at school who were a class above when it came to football. Today, they are nowhere to be seen whereas may be they would be among the stars shinning in the European leagues. They did not get the support when they needed it. For those who can excel in education, let us give them the support and those who can succeed through talent, give them the courage and support.




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AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBengaliBosnianBulgarianCatalanCebuanoChichewaChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEsperantoEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekGujaratiHaitian CreoleHausaHebrewHindiHmongHungarianIcelandicIgboIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseJavaneseKannadaKazakhKhmerKoreanLaoLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalagasyMalayMalayalamMalteseMaoriMarathiMongolianMyanmar (Burmese)NepaliNorwegianPersianPolishPortuguesePunjabiRomanianRussianSerbianSesothoSinhalaSlovakSlovenianSomaliSpanishSundaneseSwahiliSwedishTajikTamilTeluguThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduUzbekVietnameseWelshYiddishYorubaZulu

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