CAN THE REAL FREEDOM FIGHTER PLEASE STAND UP?
(Not a political post, or is it?)
The EFF has been in the news quite a bit lately. All for the wrong reasons. I do agree with them on one thing though. After political freedom comes economic freedom and you can’t have one without the other. How they have gone about achieving that is where we part ways.
Then there is Vusi Thembekwayo. If you don’t know who he is, Google him. A young South African businessman that is making a huge name for himself, in spite of his lack of privilege. He is also taking the time to teach and inspire young, and older, entrepreneurs in South Africa. Now that is an economic freedom fighter I can get behind.
People must understand that the more we are reliant on the government the more they control us. They want an uneducated populace and one fighting with itself. It distracts us from their looting and ineptitude. Only by taking control of our own lives, relying on our own means while creating wealth can we become economically free.
Taking wealth from one group of people and giving it to another creates nothing. It also teaches nothing. 80% of lottery winners are in the same or worse position 5 years after winning. Wealth knows no colour, class, or nationality. It will only flow to those who have learned to acquire it and keep it. (I am excluding theft from this discussion as you can make more money out of jail than in jail). Every single South African should be fighting for their economic freedom.
This is where the entrepreneur comes in. There are many ideas of what an entrepreneur is and everyone has their own take on it. Here is mine. Examples of entrepreneurs are people like Vusi Thembekwayo, Richard Branson, Elon Musk. Unfortunately, it is only the successes that are highlighted. The youth of today believe it’s a simple matter of finding an idea. Have someone GIVE you the money because you deserve it. And you will make your millions and become a playboy of note.
Very few tell the story of how hard you need to work. The stress of almost losing everything 100 times a week and the inevitable failure. The lack of money and the pain of learning painful lessons and disappointing those around you. I once read that being an entrepreneur is not so much about the money but about who you become in the process. I love that. I look at Vusi and I understand that.
There is another aspect of the standard definition of an entrepreneur where I differ. An entrepreneur is defined as someone who can leave their business for a year and it will not suffer. This is definitely the definition of a business owner but an entrepreneur, I’m not so sure.
I see people get up in the morning, go buy some vegetables, and then sit in the sun the whole day selling their wares. I see people walking in-between cars selling phone charges and beaded artwork. These are only a few examples. Are these not entrepreneurs? They have decided to not sit back and rely on the government. They put food on the table, put kids through school, and contribute to a better life for those around them. They know they want something better. They have become economic freedom fighters.
There are also those that have started small businesses that employ 5 to 10 people. Consider this. There are 11 jobs, including the entrepreneur. Assume each of these are looking after 3-5 people at home. That’s a total of around 50 people that don’t need the state to assist them. They are adding value and pay VAT. They are each earning a salary and may also pay PAYE. The business may be paying income tax. VAT is then collected when they spend their earned salaries. This money passes onto the next entrepreneur who has added value. The knock-on effect is huge.
These are the real economic freedom fighters and they are my heroes. I salute you. Viva le entrepreneur, Viva.