Thursday, March 11, 2010

SPI PDMM - What a start!

By Boldwill Hungwe - PDMM Knight Scholar and experienced Zimbabwean journalist

Upon arriving at the Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership to revitalise the entrepreneurial spirit in me that has been dormant for a couple of years, least did I know that it does not take a huge gong to provoke it. In fact, I grew up being told that you can only be a successful entrepreneur or manager if you are exposed to an affluent upbringing where Dad comes back at sunset from work, carrying a briefcase and ask you to park his car in the garage carefully, not to knock down his golf clubs.

You needed no one to tell you that you are going to run your own business in the not so distant future. It was hereditary-from parents to children. But my parents had no car, a golf kit nor even a tuck-shop to run. My Dad, a Pastor, has spent most of his gracious time telling people to be comfortable with whom they are. We were actually told by our elders that the only goal we could reach was a tertiary institute and probably, if God allows, to be a nurse or teacher despite having other aspirations. Running your own company or assuming a managerial position was a pipeline dream.

I remember one day when I awoke from this mindset after reading one of the motivational statements that was said by Dr Myles Munroe (a motivational speaker from Bahamas) that the “world’s greatest wealth is the cemetery-where many big dreams never found their fruition”. Coming from a learning environment where the teacher is the “king” and dictates your learning process and defines you career path, discovering whether you are a leader or entrepreneur took a miracle. No one even told us that by running our backyard vegetable gardens that was the first precise step towards running a business.

It needs such reputable institutes like Sol Plaatji to help people discover their potential and who they are in the world of business. The first day I attended a lecture, I discovered one of the most important attributes about Sol Plaatje Post Graduate Diploma in Media Management curricular. The class is yours. It’s just like “being given money to go on a shopping spree”. The critical part is the choices one makes thereafter. At the same time the Lecturer helps you to navigate through the revealing modules, because obviously we know our destination, but someone else knows the route and terrain.

When I went through the first module with Francis at one moment I thought “business has some spiritual aspect to it”. Analysing some of the case studies, you make some of the most critical decisions about your own life. You are taken through a cleansing process that exposes you, breaks you apart and starts building you anew. The interesting part of the course is that you will be self-evaluating yourself, repositioning your attitudes and redefining who you are as an aspiring manager or entrepreneur. It’s a total change of mindset. And this comes not from anything out of this world but by learning from the mistakes and successes of other prominent business people around the world whom you thought are the “untouchables of this world”.

I have known Francis as veteran African journalist and an avid follower of Formula One, but his teaching method is such a peculiar art and he has taken me into this “business journey” where you certainly have to be rebaptised. In life you just have to be at the right place at the right time. Francis, thanks for the introduction. I feel at home.


francis mdlongwa said...

Boldwill: I am so humbled...thank you! Francis

Post a Comment