Abdalla Al-Baalawy – It is convocation season and many young and energetic people are receiving their diplomas or degrees and looking to do amazing things with what they have worked hard for. Many of you young people will eventually become leaders, lawyers, scientists, engineers, artists, or anything that you dream to be. In this exciting time, I have one advice for you that will change your life and might just make your life much more rewarding than what you have planned to do right now. The following advice is simple to understand, but very hard to follow through with: think about taking your skills to any African country that you are comfortable living in.
Many of you might be thinking that I am crazy for advising you to do such a thing at this point in your life. You are young, just graduated and are not looking to struggle through life in an African country. You are looking to travel, meet new people, or if you have been lucky to secure a ‘safe’ job, stay put in your country, work to earn some good money and settle in your new life.
I am advising you to do the exact opposite. Don’t settle for a comfortable life. This point in your life is your chance to do something adventurous, risky and exciting. It is a point in your life where failure is acceptable and actually desirable (you do not want to fail at the age of 40 with a family to take care of).
Africa is a continent full of business and investment opportunities and is lacking people with skills that many young people in western countries have. Your degree/diploma might be worthless in western countries, but is a gem in an African country. An employer in Africa will not just appreciate your education, but also pay you much more than any fast food restaurant will pay you to flip their burgers (which many graduates sometimes end up doing). You could also just become ‘the employer’ yourself and start a business through the numerous investment opportunities just waiting to be exploited.
So challenge your young and energetic self. Don’t get caught up in the 9 to 5 and the ‘norm’. Do something different and look to make your life much more worthwhile in an African continent that is relishing for an educated mind like yours. Get on a plane to an African country with the few dollars you have in your bank account and take my advice. I guarantee you that you will email me one day in your mansion off the coast of France and let me know that going to Africa and building an empire was the best thing you have ever done in your life.