Over the last few years, a lot has been happening in this our country of Zambia. Enough drama that, people elsewhere, would only see in a lifetime.
Life for the ordinary Zambians has become unbearably hard. The pinch is being felt even for the fairly well to do. You see, when you have a lot of people living below the poverty levels, the rich will not be spared because the have nots will ask from those that have. That is why it is difficult to live a life of endowment in an impoverished land, unless you do not possess a heart.
If you do possess a heart, you will keep reaching out to help – if not one, then the other. You will constantly keep sharing. The Bible puts it this way “He who gathered much had nothing left over and he who gathered little had no lack”. At least that is the way things should work.
There are some, even in families, that feel that they should be the only ones to prosper. This mindset is not good. As long as your neighbor is in lack, then you will not enjoy what you have gathered. Let us try and give each other a hand up. This is also the reason why we buy from those ladies selling cassava or bananas on the road, even when we do not need them – to be of help to them.
Returning to the happenings in the nation, we have had the issues of
One does not need to be a keen observer to note that the country is in a state of flux. The situation that we find ourselves in is not good. A lot of the issues we find ourselves faced with can be taken in hand if the relevant authorities would speak or act timeously. Why do we wait for a situation to deteriorate before we begin to speak or to act?
I would like to share a very important lesson from scripture.
Never Allow Vacuums
1 Kings 1:1-6
Now Kind David was old, advanced in years; and they put covers on him, but he could not get warm. Therefore his servants said to him, “Let a young woman, a virgin, be found for our lord the king and let her stand before the king, and let her care for him; and let her lie in your bosom, that our lord the king may be warm”. So they sought for a lovely young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The young woman was very lovely; and she cared for the king, and served him; but the king knew her not. Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king”; and he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. (And his father had not rebuked him at any time by saying “Why have you done so”
The lesson in this is what I would love for us as Zambians at whatever level, to learn from.
While David was busy with Abishag – he was not doing what he was supposed to be doing, passing on the baton to the rightful person as per God’s instructions. Because of this, someone else who ought not to ascend to the throne made HIMSELF king. King David only had to ‘SAY’ something to stop Adonijah from doing what he was doing, but he did not. David had the authority. He was the king! Adonijah saw the vacuum and decided to fill it.
In the matter of the gassings, we have had a deafening silence from those with the authority to speak or act and control the situation. Because of this, the situation has been getting progressively worse.
Leadership has not been provided and so others are arising to provide that leadership because of the vacuum. We heard Dr. Nevers Mumba rising up and providing leadership in this regard. He issued a statement and then declared a fast for Sunday 16th. If those that ought to do not provide the leadership, someone else will.
Then we heard the Government declaring a fast for the same day and now shortly after that the churches have made another declaration for a 3 day fast 20th to 22nd February.
This matter requires not only prayers – but requires action as well.
The Vigilante Groups
Judges 17:6 states…
In those days there was no king in Israel, everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Chapter 21:25 repeats this.
I live in what used to be called Valley View but is now known as Mutendere East. This used to be an area where 5 acres plots were allocated to some people but the MMD cadres overrun, took over peoples plots of those that had not yet built or taken possession, demarcated those plots into 12 X 15 meter plots and sold them to the very willing public. I give this background because I am literally on ground zero with regard to observing what is going on.
Every night, you hear the noises of someone being caught and burnt or the vigilante groups of drunken youth going about looking for someone to lynch. I am almost sure that what is going on here is what is pertaining on the ground in other parts of the city and the country.
People are being killed every day – merely on suspicion of being a ‘gasser’. The other day, a lady (Mika Mwambazi) was stopped on Great East Road by a group of men that looked like they were high on something, demanding to search her vehicle. Fortunately for her, she drove off but not before one of the men shattered her rear windscreen with a brick. She probably saved herself from a gang rape or even being killed. She drove straight to the police station and reported the matter. I wonder whether the police did anything about this.
The vigilante groups are taking matters in their own hands because they see a vacuum. If we are not careful, those vigilante groups will occupy our streets and turn into a law unto themselves. They will turn into criminal gangs and will not be controlled. Why are we not curbing these activities now?
Why must we, as citizens leave in fear in our own homes and in our land?
Where is the voice of authority in all this? May those in authority please occupy their space well and take charge?
Mob Action – Our Responsibility
When a suspected ‘gasser’ is caught guilty or not, a mob descends on them and takes the law into their own hands. This person is beaten to a pulp and burnt by the mob – men, women and children! Since when have Zambians become bloodthirsty people? They bay for this person’s blood and are actually proud of their accomplishments after the deed is done.
Dear Zambians, if this issue needs to be sorted out, we must get to the root of the matter. The only way we can do so, is by interrogating the very people you are killing. So even when these people are arrested by the police, you follow and torch the police post.
What sort of thinking is that?
If a mob can lynch people based on mere suspicion, then we are all (including those lynching others) vulnerable to that same suspicion and subsequent lynching. If only those in authority could speak to the public and educate them, they would understand. Please occupy your space, speak out.
Effect of the burnings on the Zambian people
Let us not, for a minute, think that our society is going to be left unscarred as a result of the mob actions we are taking. We laughed the South Africans to scorn over their xenophobic attacks. We thought that they are heartless people. What is the difference with what we are doing?
Our national conscious will become seared and killing will become the order of the day and will become meaningless. Most of the people being killed are innocent. Their blood will cry out from the ground to their Creator.
We shall not come out clean in this whole thing.
Those in a position to do something – please speak out; do something before we go into deeper trouble than we already are! There is a spiritual consequence to pouring out blood. Let the church rise up strongly and condemn these acts, let the political leaders speak, let the police speak out and act, let the public speak out. May the voice of reason rise in Zambia!
Division along political lines
The country is deeply divided along political lines. Everything seems to boil down to the fact that one is either in support of the ruling party – the Patriotic Front, or in support of the main opposition – the United Party for National Development.
As Zambians, we seem to have lost the capacity to reason as we support our preferred parties and candidates. Even when they do something wrong, we seem to support them blindly. Even when the other side does something that is right, we boo them.
I have seen a trend on Facebook where we have some people that continuously pour scorn on the ‘other side’ as if their life depends on it. Views of their naysayers are deemed to be nonsensical and not to be entertained at all – even if they are logical. Remember that we are a multi-party nation and people are entitled to their opinion. It is not he that speaks the loudest that carries the day. Remember that you are not the ultimate repository of wisdom, yours is just ONE of the opinions. When you do express it, please do so in a less derogatory manner otherwise you begin to sound like a clanging symbol.
Rather than just pouring scorn on the other side, debate and show cause as to why your view should carry the day. That is maturity. Let us not do politics like that fellow citizens. Let us not fall into the “we are always right” trap and point fingers at one another. Let us reason together. Let us occupy this space like mature people.
May those that are heading their parties give guidance to their members.
Division along tribal lines
I am of the view that this is a tool that is being used by politicians to support their candidature. My appeal to Zambians is that, let us not allow this. Outside of the political arena, we do very well as One Zambia, One Nation.
I would even go as far as to say – let us decampaign anyone promoting voting on tribal lines whether they are in our preferred party or not. Let us agree that Zambia is bigger than any political party. The political parties found Zambia and they will most likely, leave it. Before the political parties were, Zambia was.
Let the voice of reason prevail in the nation!
The Seer 1 Saga
In Africa, we are a deeply spiritual people – whether Christian or otherwise. We believe in “something.” Africans are by their very nature superstitious people. This then is the reason why someone will come and say to you that when you see a cockroach in your house or a fly sitting on your wall, it could be a force of darkness sent against you. You must bind it – and since you have no way of knowing whether this is true or not, you go ahead and do so. We also believe that to ‘sit’ or occupy a certain position – Chieftainship, Ministerial post, Presidency or even at CEO level, you must be protected and re-enforced with certain powers.
The problem with this is that when you go to get those powers, you will rely more on those powers than on your ability and capabilities in order to deliver. You feel that the ‘powers’ will see you through. Needless to say, that your delivery will be below par.
We heard Seer 1 stating the fact that certain people had gotten powers from him and that he would name them unless they returned the powers.
So far, I have only seen one fairly unknown person mentioned.
Why did Seer 1 not engage these people privately before coming to rant in the public? Why did we, as Zambians, pay so much heed to this incident? The whole nation was interested with these goings on as we were baying for the revelations of those that went to get powers especially by those looking for the downfall of some of those that we hope will fall. Even I held my breath!
How many man hours were lost in the process?
The Law of Correspondence states that “Your outer world is a mirror of your inner world”. It is also stated “As it is on the outside, so it is on the inside”.
If you took a typical poor man and gave him a million dollars, it is more than likely that within five years they will be worse off than before, in short they will have lost all the money they were given. Why? Because the Law of Correspondence can be summed this way, “your outer world always corresponds with your inner world”. If you give that poor man money, although his outside may be rich in appearance, he does not have the corresponding intrinsic wealth on the inside that would help him retain that wealth. Money always follows value? Remember the previous laws we studied? The Laws of Belief, Expectation and especially Attraction?
Nature cannot be cheated. You may temporarily change the circumstances outside but you cannot change the true value of something except it is altered internally – with significant addition! So, sooner or later, the money does not stay, there must always be a balancing of the equation, nature abhors a vacuum! If the value within is less than the value without, money will leave (hemorrhage) until there is a balance.
In short, the poor man will waste his money on things that do not see a return on that investment until they become dead broke and back to square one. Why? Because they do not have the value factor that keeps the money coming back and even attracting more money!
Have you ever wondered why whenever people borrow to start a business, the failure rate is extremely high (at over 90% default on repayments and repossessions at almost the same rate)? The answer lies in this law. The business simply hasn’t yet manifested the potential wealth into actual external value that generates the cash flow necessary to pay off the loan.
In short, they are not yet tested. Their value is yet to manifest. Meantime, the loans become due within 30 days of borrowing, which is too soon.
So, in simple terms, no matter how much money you give a poor man, as long as they do not drastically alter their inner values and being (remember Be – Do – Have), they will always inevitably get back to being broke and poor!
Interestingly though, this illustration is also true with rich people. If you took your typical self-made millionaire and strip away all his wealth and then drop him in the middle of the poorest neighborhood with nothing but the clothes on his back, guess where he will be in another five years?
You guessed right, he will either have gotten back all his wealth or else will be on the way to doing so. Why? Because of the same reason with the poor man, his intrinsic inner values are greater than the outside, and this means that the money and wealth must start flowing on the outside to correspond and match with the inside.
Truly the roots determine the fruit. Riches may come to anyone, but only wealth stays with those that have the true inner corresponding value that keeps it. This is why personal development is so important. You want to be wealthy? Then begin to change your inner world! You must unlearn everything that you knew before and then relearn what will get you on the journey toward lifetime wealth.
Begin to think positively, think rich, and mimic the habits and behaviors of the rich. Learn and do exactly what they do. In fact, Anthony Robbins shows that if you mimic the activities of successful people to a tee, it is only a matter of time before your replicate their results.
This is truly proof that the Law of Correspondence works! Your station and position in your life is in correspondence with your inner world! Is your inner world inundated with messed up poverty programming? Are you a victim of your environment? Is your background such that you have chosen to hold on to all that bad thinking? Or are you going to do something about changing it right now?
Again, if you want to change your outer world, change your inner world!
It is the law of correspondence that showed me clearly that our wealth and riches do not require outside circumstances – no, they instead require inner changes that get us started on the “be-ing” what we want to see. If we want wealth, then we need to get thinking like the wealthy, then we also need to add value internally.
So then, your future is in effect a blank cheque, you get to decide how much you want on yours. Do you want to remain poor, in effect; keep thinking and doing whatever it is you have been doing in your past. But if you want to become rich and go on to become wealthy, you have what it takes – change your thinking, change your inner value!
Unless you crawled out from under a rock, I am certain you have at least heard about this particular law as it was made famous by a special documentary presentation entitled “The Secret” which was launched on Oprah, not to mention the fact that it has been peddled by virtually every bookshop under the personal development section!
In the same book and documentary, one law that is studied at length is this “Law of Attraction”. This law is not new as it has been discussed by many and is also tackled fully by Napoleon Hill in his groundbreaking book “Think and Grow Rich” and “The Law of Success”. In fact he is the first one to present it in a detailed way and then Norman Vincent Peale came and elaborated on this concept further with his own bestseller “The Power of Positive Thinking”.
There is an underlying pattern.
What you allow your mind to dwell on – expands. It starts with thoughts; these thoughts become feelings (we know all this because we tackle it under the Laws of Belief and Expectation). When we dwell on and think so much about something, it will dominate all our thoughts, these thoughts affect all our actions which affect our results.
But there is something even more subtle but is very true, if we think about something all the time, we then tend to speak about it as well. When it becomes an obsession, then in time we give that item enough power to literally materialize!
In Matt 12:35 Jesus declares literally that if one has a heart filled with evil, it will “fling” forth evil whilst a good heart will bring forth good things. The Greek word ekballo signifies bringing into existence through ejection, as in forcing out, expelling, plucking out or thrusting out! Now think about it for a moment. Proverbs 18:21 declares that death and life are in the power of the mouth. Here the word used for “power of the tongue” (yawd) literally means an open hand! This signifies a hand that has ability to manipulate and either draw or send away whatever is spoken.
Think about it!
God created all humanity by His Word. We are created in the image of God thus we are technically gods but with a small “g”. If God could create by His Word, then we can to a minor degree create by our words.
When we speak by faith that which we believe and mean it, then it immediately has power to manifest! Not only will it manifest, but it will even draw all resources necessary for it to take place. Jesus says…
Mark 11:23 (NKJV)
23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says’
Notice the word “says” occurs three times? Nothing is by chance in the Bible. The fact that Jesus declares repeatedly “says”, tells you that what we believe and speak, shall surely happen.
Now, the strange part about this Law of Attraction is that it too is neutral, if your belief system is negative and tempered with much negative thoughts and experiences and you believe these negative thoughts, you will attract the very thing you fear into your life. How many times have you heard people say “Just as I thought!” or “My worst fears have been fulfilled!” You have heard of “self-fulfilling prophecies”, right? These are statements you make or think about yourself (whether positive or negative) that in time happen exactly the way you say it.
You always attract what is in harmony with your thinking or thoughts! It seems our minds emit “vibes” or “energy” in the ethereal plane that has power to lock in with like-minded energy which in turn begins to move “things” from the “unseen” world into the “seen” world.
Why does God ask us to pray always, to make supplications, to bring petitions before Him? Our prayers bring into play this Law of Attraction and work in conjunction with God to bring about the good we seek. On the other hand, if we always focus on the negative, speaking failure and misery, we activate these energies in the ethereal plane (heavenlies) and sooner or later, they materialize.
And by the way, when speaking these words, if you pray from a negative standpoint then the words you pray manifest, even if you don't want that. For instance, if you are ill, don't pray or speak words like "I banish sickness and cancel death and decay from my body - in Jesus' name!" Instead pray or speak words like this, "I call healing and invite life, health and wellness into my body - in Jesus' name!"
Since all is neutral in the universe, the very words bring about their manifestation - so be very careful with what you speak even in your prayer time.
In order to attract the right things, you must become the right things! Be what you want to see, think what you want to see, feel what you want to see, speak what you want to see and sooner or later, you will attract and thus become that which you want to see!
Next week we will be looking at the Law of Correspondence.
In the 1960s a teacher was given a roster showing the actual I.Q. test scores of the students of one class, and for another class a roster in which the I.Q. column had been (mistakenly) filled in with the students’ locker numbers. The teacher assumed that the locker numbers were the actual I.Q.s of the students when the rosters were posted at the beginning of the semester.
After a year it was discovered that in the first class the students with high actual I.Q. scores had performed better than those with low ones. But in the second class the students with higher locker numbers scored significantly higher than those with lower locker numbers!
Isn’t it amazing that many people end up settling for what life and their environments throw at them instead of what potential they have inside? This challenge is what has made the majority of people live lives without expectation, settling for events and circumstances to do the bidding. This is further exacerbated by the comments and opinions people have of them, as if opinions ever mattered to an achiever!
Reminds me of an interesting cartoon I saw the other day that shows a fourth-grade boy standing toe-to-toe and nose-to-nose with his teacher. Behind them stares a blackboard covered with math problems the boy hasn’t finished. With rare perception the boy says, “I’m not an underachiever, you’re an overexpecter!”
See, average folk always seem to care much about what people think, and what the news and economic indicators say. They are always worried about failure, and they tend to get worked up with what would happen if things did not work! Their focus is so placed in the negative that they inadvertently activate the Law of Expectation which basically states…
“Whatever you expect with confidence – will happen!”
So therefore what people say about you has an effect, but what you say about yourself has quadruple the effect. Listen, what kind of internal dialogue do you have within you? Is it positive, filled with expectation and always willing to see the brighter side of all events in spite of whether it is a step forward or a drawback?
Mindsets or Paradigms
Steve Covey of the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” fame defined this term as being how one looks at something which then goes on to affect the way they think and subsequently act. Many people never achieve much in their lives because they have mindsets that are fixed on the negative. They go a step further and always expect failure even before they start. This has even been justified by quotes like “hope for the best but expect the worst”! What a terrible quote! I would rather say “Expect the best but have a contingency for any eventuality”.
When you create a positive statement like that, your mind starts to see things differently. This then means that instead of saying “I am broke”, you say “I am temporarily set back”. Instead of “There is no money” say “There is plenty of money and I just have to figure out how to get it to come to me”. Instead of “It is impossible” say “It is difficult but achievable with the right knowledge and experience”.
Never allow yourself to be a haven of negative thought as this will always activate the negative side of the Law of Expectation. When you feel hopeless, it always affects your belief cycle which inevitably affects your output. This hopelessness is most prevalent in the hearts of those that are financially challenged or what the world calls “the poor”. I do not refer to poor in spirit, but poor in means. We all have the capacity and abilities within us to become wealthy if we choose to. If our desire is to amass wealth, then we need to work on the Law of Expectation so that we always are able to utilize it thoroughly.
Be especially watchful of what people within your environment (friends, relatives, news, people around you) always say about money and ideas to generate money.
Instead of allowing these negative words around you all the time, find people that are positive and likeminded, probably a club, or group, or team, or what Napoleon Hill calls a Mastermind Group and then connect to them, speak and share with each other, form a team and work with each other so that you negate the comments and info that your environment keeps throwing at you.
How? By your actions and results because you know better! Next we will be looking at the Law of Attraction.
An American scientist once visited the offices of the great Nobel-prize-winning physicist, Niels Bohr, in Copenhagen. He was amazed to find that over Bohr’s desk was a horseshoe, securely mailed to the wall, with the open end up in the approved manner (so it would catch the good luck and not let it spill out).
The American said with a nervous laugh, “Surely you don’t believe the horseshoe will bring you good luck, do you, Professor Bohr? After all, as a scientist …”
Bohr chuckled, “I believe no such thing, my good friend. Not at all! I am scarcely likely to believe in such foolish nonsense. However, I am told that a horseshoe will bring you good luck whether you believe in it or not.”
In many ways so it is with any area of your life. When you believe, it works! This is no strange notion even in the medical field, for there you have what is known as the Placebo Effect. This is when the patient believes so much in the treatment that they improve and even heal in some cases in spite of whether they receive real medicine or even water! The thing is that once they believe in the process of recovery, their mind locks into the idea and thus the healing process starts!
You always become whatever you believe you are!
There is a concept known as the Belief Cycle. There are basically four items in this cycle commencing with Belief, Potential, Action and Results. This is called a belief cycle because it feeds on itself. In short, if you do not really have much belief in what you are doing, that has an effect on the potential within you. That in turn feeds into the kind of action you dispense, which gives you so-so results, which then confirms what you have been believing all along, that this whole idea you are trying doesn’t really work, which then reduces you beliefs which affect your potential and then the whole process spirals downwards to a point of no action anymore!
On the other hand, if you are full of belief and really expect the best; that will feeds into your potential which gives you the ability to take massive action which leads to massive results which then confirm your beliefs, which then causes your potential to increase, which leads to even more action! This causes an upward spiral and feeding that leads to great success!
The Power of Belief is so strong that most sports men and women including Olympics athletes are taught how to realize their full potential through a method known as Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP).
We have learnt that the results we see always start in our minds, so how do we change this. NLP teaches what is termed the Four Point Formula For Success.
1. Know your outcome
Specifying precisely what you want is vital. You can use the outcome frame to fine-tune the desired outcome and satisfy the well-formed conditions.
2. Take action
Unless you take that first step, and then the following ones, nothing happens to help you towards your outcomes, no matter how clearly they’re defined.
3. Have sensory awareness
If you have the awareness to see, hear, and feel what isn’t working, you can modify your behavior to steer you towards your desired outcome.
4. Have behavioral flexibility
This point ties in beautifully with the NLP presupposition that ‘In interactions among people, the person with the most flexibility of behavior can control the interaction.’ Or you can say, ‘If it isn’t working, do something different.’
If our thoughts determine our results, then we need to focus on them and alter them. This process is actualized in the mantra “Be – Do – Have”
Be – Your internal state of being must see the result you want. If you cannot see it with your inner eye, then you can never achieve it at all. The process of success hinges here. Change thoughts – change results. Small hinges swing huge doors my friend!
Do – You must start to do all the actions that will lead to that desired result. NLP calls this process as “taking action”. Unless you take action you cannot tell whether what you believe is even possible. With action comes the much needed feedback that helps you make fine adjustments toward your destination.
Have – Finally it is inevitable that you will achieve what you desire, it MUST happen!
In closing, let me quote favorite statement…
“Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass!”
– Paul J Meyer
Change what you believe and you will achieve what you conceive. Next we will examine the second law of money, the Law of Expectation.
One of the greatest laws of nature that is felt daily and is exhibited throughout our lives is this law, the Law of Reciprocity or the Law of Sowing and Reaping. The Bible states that as a man sows, so shall he reap. The entire universe and all areas of man obey this one law. You reap what you sow! Every cause has an effect and every effect is brought about by a cause. So, if you want to be rich, that is an effect, that effect can only come about if the right causes are pursued and fulfilled. So, the big question, what are the causes that one can do to bring about success and wealth?
All results in our lives regardless of whether they are positive or negative results are always born of actions that we execute; all actions are born of feelings we have; all feelings are born of emotions we harbor, all emotions are born of thoughts inside our minds (or hearts)!
Thoughts have the power to create or destroy. The Book of Proverbs states that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. That is so true. The thoughts that you allow to occupy your mind most have the most power to manifest in your life. Jesus stated that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and out of a good heart come forth good things whilst out of the evil heart are flung forth evil things.
Interesting eh? That means if your heart is preoccupied with evil things, evil thoughts, destructive thinking and low self-esteem, then your results will be the same. Why? Because all your actions will be born of what you feel inside!
Ever heard the term “he looked like he was rained on”? How is it possible that thoughts can affect posture? Well, it is very true that thoughts can and do affect posture, and posture in turn affect feelings and emotions.
Let me tell you a story.
In the Discovery Channel’s The Dog Whisperer there was a dog that seemed so low and unconfident, always walking about with its head down and tail between its legs. It always kept in corners whimpering. When the owner took this dog to the Dog Whisperer, he simply took a small tether and tied the tail facing upward and to the head of the dog. Amazingly, within three days, this dog had completely changed its behavior. Even after removing the tether, the tail remained high, the head up, was more interested in the environment and was no longer cowering in corners. This is a classic case of how posture can affect attitude.
Ever noticed how in the army and in general etiquette classes they teach you to walk “with your head high, chest out, and arms straight”? It has been shown that posture has a way of increasing confidence and thus increasing output. This is the reason why when you wear a new shoe or clothes, you feel great. The happy good feelings affect your mood, your gait, your work and even your overall output – it improves.
In the same manner, don’t just think about money and generate money thoughts, but start to feel right about it. Get rid of all the negative thoughts you have come to associate with money. In Africa one of the most common thoughts is that money only comes through witchcraft and sorcery, or through luck, or that it is only oppressors and corrupt people that become rich.
We have as people developed very negative associations with money and that has also translated into language. Statements like “I am broke”, “there is no money”, “things never seem to work for me” which then culminates into habits like hoarding and saving money for the sake of it with no specific aim to invest as well as being a miser.
The poverty mindset (always feeling like what you get today is purely from luck and may not come back tomorrow) gives birth to being a miser and hoarding. It also brings about an inability to invest and deny yourself today in order to benefit tomorrow, instead choosing to live for now rather than for tomorrow. This is the major reason why many poor people live and spend their money on liabilities instead of assets that can generate more money tomorrow. They also need validation from people outside to feel worthy rather than self-validation.
Internal dialogue that is positive yields positivity, so watch what you tell yourself.
Remember, every result was born from out of your thoughts, thus if you want to reap a harvest of money, change the thoughts you have now by changing what you allow into your mind daily.
In the next blog we will examine the second law of money, the Law of Belief.
One of the most cardinal factors that can ensure our shot at success and see it manifest is by having the right mindset. This word “mindset” is also known as a paradigm, a term popularized by the late author Steve Covey in his runaway bestseller “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. For those not familiar with the term, a paradigm can be defined as the way one looks at something that will then go on to affect how they think, say and behave. In Charismatic Christian circles I would term it a stronghold.
There is nothing more powerful than how one sees themselves as perception always determines reality. Better put, attitude determines altitude. Your mindset (paradigm, stronghold) will always affect your thinking, how you think affects your feelings, what you feel taints your language (words), how you speak determines what you do, what you do has major impact on your results. Thus, the choices we make in life always stem from our mindset. So put it this way, thoughts – feelings – action – results.
Now, if we want to be successful in our endeavors, we have to get our minds to think right. It is very important that we get your mindset into the right mode for money creation and money retention. Hence it is not just about creating the money through activities, but it is also creating the mindset required to retain the money.
Money has its own laws too and if they are understood, obeyed and utilized, you will most certainly see more money come into your life and be retained. As we go about in life building and establishing our financial future and wealth, we need to also utilize the laws of money so as to retain that money once it comes our way.
With that said, here is an overview and summary of the 18 Laws of Money and a brief explanation of what each law is about. We will then be running a detailed series on each one of these laws.
1. The Law of Reciprocity
You reap what you sow! Every cause has an effect and every effect is brought about by a cause. All results are born of actions, all actions of feelings, all feelings of emotions, all emotions of thoughts! Thoughts have the power to create or destroy.
2. The Law of Belief
You always become whatever you believe you are. In order to achieve anything of substance, you must transit through these three states. Be – Your internal state of being must see the result you want, Do – You must start to do all the actions that will lead to that desired result, Have – Finally it is inevitable that you will achieve what you desire, it MUST happen!
3. The Law of Expectation
Whatever you expect with confidence – will happen! It is for this reason that you need to deal with changing mindsets or paradigms. A Paradigm is defined as a way of seeing something (normally limited) that influences how we act, think and behave. Many are loaded with what is referred to as an “Employee” paradigm that stops them from ever pursuing and achieving their dreams. Environment also greatly affects how we view money and how we behave like in front of it!
4. The Law of Attraction
You always attract what is in harmony with your thinking or thoughts. Take Stock, All the achievements in your life? – Take credit for them, All the failures and shortfalls? – Take responsibility. In order to attract the right things, you must become the right thing. Be what you want to see – never the other way around.
5. The Law of Correspondence
Your outer world is a mirror of your inner world. The roots determine the fruit. Your station in life is in correspondence with your inner world. Again, if you want to change your outer world, change your inner world. The future is in effect a blank cheque, you decide how much you are worth and that is what life will hand to you!
6. The Law of Abundance
Money is in abundance and more than enough exists for us all, but to acquire it, one must observe and follow the laws governing its acquisition and retention. The universe is laden with all that God prepared beforehand and provisioned in your future. It is abundantly there, all you need to do is take action, and the resources will come!
7. The Law of Exchange
Throughout life, we exchange our labor for goods and services. Money is the medium of exchange by which this transaction is done. Money is the measure of value people place on goods and/or services. Your labor is viewed as a value/cost to someone else. The money you earn is the measure of the value people place on the abilities, skills, goods or services you offer. To increase the income you earn, you must increase the value you are putting in. Leverage your earning ability by improving yourself continually.
8. The Law of Capital
Your greatest assets in terms of cash flow are your physical and mental capital. Your most precious resource is your time. Time and money can be either wasted or invested. Learn to budget your time like money. Use a diary and a planner. Wherever you invest your time most is where you get the greatest return. The best investment is always to increase your earning abilities by investing in yourself (3% of your income). Always look for ways to increase your Return on Equity or Energy (ROE). This is done by improving your mental and emotional capital.
9. The Law of Time Perspective
The most successful people learn that the greatest achievements come from day to day activities aimed for the future – not for the immediate. Sacrifice today and be rewarded tomorrow. Be willing to accept that some actions today will only begin to bear fruit 10, 15 or even 20 years in the future. Others set in motion actions that they may not even see the results in their lifetimes.
10. The Law of Saving
Only by saving regularly will you have set up the foundation that leads you to financial prosperity. Never spend this money on anything other than investing it – period. Pay yourself first – secure your future. Invest where your money is safe and guarantees good returns. Increase your financial education in order to know how best to invest your money (Increase your financial intelligence).
11. The Law of Conservation
It is never how much you make but rather how much you get to keep that determines your financial future. In order to determine our accumulated wealth we need to do the following. Firstly – Work out your net worth (Assets vs. Liabilities – If positive or negative then that is your current value). Secondly – Divide that value by number of years worked. This is how much you have accumulated. Happy with the result? If not, then change what you are doing right now.
12. Parkinson’s Law
Expenses always rise to meet increased income! Financial independence and financial freedom come when we violate Parkinson’s law. Your expenses should never rise at the same level as your income, this is a sure fire way to secure your financial future within your working lifetime. Always invest 50% of the difference in extra income to maximize returns. Live on the remaining 50%.
13. The Law of Three
There are three legs of financial security, these being savings, insurance and investment. To be safe from financial volatility, always have between 2 – 6 months of normal expenses in liquid form – easily cashed out savings. Insure yourself adequately to cover yourself against any eventuality that you cannot pay for out of your normal account. Invest by accumulating assets until the passive income from them far exceed your regular reciprocal income.
14. The Law of Investing
Investigate before you invest. Always learn about what you plan to invest in before you do so – develop the habit of putting off financial decisions for 3 – 7 days before committing. The only thing that is easy about money is losing it. Only invest with experts who have a proven track record of success with their own money.
15. The Law of Compound Interest
Investing and compounding that investment over time will eventually make you rich.
16. The Law of Accumulation
Financial freedom is the result of years of accumulating small but vital actions/efforts over time which few ever see. As savings accumulate, your momentum will increase rapidly over time. (The start seems insignificant but with time the results are massive.)
17. The Law of Magnetism
The more money you save and accumulate, the more money you attract into your life. Money always goes where it is appreciated and properly utilized. A prosperity consciousness attracts money like iron filings to a magnet. It will always take money (value) to make money. What is money to you? A means to solve problems? A source of comfort? It is the means to and a remuneration for the giving of value through goods/services to others – the better, the more you accumulate
18. The Law of Accelerated Acceleration
The faster you accelerate toward financial freedom, the faster it comes toward you. 80% of your success will tend to come to you in the last 20% of your time invested – meaning only 20% of the results will be seen in the first 80% of the time invested! This is the reason why many quit early and fail to achieve success. Most people are always three feet from their proverbial gold when they throw in the towel.
If you have been following this series than you know that this is the seventh installment of the series “The Realities of Entrepreneurship” and today I would like to look at another aspect that really takes a toll on most entrepreneurs and is perhaps the foremost internal reason most quit.
You will Question Your Sanity
(In case you missed the first six parts, please click on the links for them at the end of this article.)
For the most part, when one chooses to go into business for themselves, it would mean they go against the grain. There are many stories of people that were in good jobs with great prospects for promotion and growth, yet chose to give it all up to launch out on their own.
There are also those that get “shoved” by circumstances out of their comfort zones (jobs) and into uncertainty. Once they begin working toward establishing their businesses, job opportunities show up. In spite of such a scenario, they choose to continue in their new found endeavor!
When such choices are made, they go against the norm because jobs have a guaranteed, predictable income that comes at a predictable time. Yet, they choose to forfeit that and focus on building their business. Once such decisions are made, the resolve to stay the course and that is when almost all obstacles, challenges and setbacks literally get unleashed upon this new business to the detriment of the proprietor.
Even though it is expected that when you launch out with something new, the Law of Chaos will come into play (see previous article that elaborates further what that law is) and seemingly derail most plans, the entrepreneur has to weather the storm and stay the course. This is something most find very difficult.
It is here that one hears those inner voices speaking very loudly and asking you whether you are sane! You will often wonder why you chose to take this route. And even as you go through these challenges, you will also be reminded by those closest to you of your predicament.
Statements like “I told you that these kinds of businesses don’t work”, or “why don’t you just go back to your old job, at least then you used to be able to….” (fill in the blanks), or “look at your friends with real jobs, they are not suffering like you are!” and many more such negative statements.
When challenges that come with business really grow in their intensity, such as going for months without proper steady income, mounting debt (will speak about this in detail in a future article), lockouts of premises and the like, this is when you will wonder why you even started.
You will indeed question your sanity!
Did you know that these challenges and the questioning of your sanity will also occur in pretty much every other endeavor one may take especially those that challenge us to bring in our best game? This includes marriage, ministry or even embarking on projects.
As you may imagine, once you question your sanity, chances of quitting become higher. You will wonder what possessed you to even embark on such an undertaking. It is during these “trials” that most people throw in the towel. They simply allow the circumstances to overwhelm them to such an extent that the only logical conclusion is to stop!
Well… you do not have to quit.
If you ever find yourself in such situations and feel excessively overwhelmed with a strong urge to quit, here are some antidotes that I have used myself in those countless occasions when I too feel like giving up.
#1. You must know your why (Purpose)
This is the reason why something exists. Why are you doing this business? Why must you succeed? What are the implications of giving up?
#2. You must have a detailed mental picture of what you want to achieve (Vision)
This is what you intend to become in the future.
#3. You must plan your course of action well (Strategy)
You need to work out the journey in terms of a step by step plan from where you are now to where you would like to be in the future (your vision). This process of planning and anticipating a) your course of action b) resources required and c) how to get those resources is the difference between success and failure.
#4. You must have an iron-clad resolve to stay the course (Commitment)
The universe has no time for dabblers and experimenters. It is looking for serious people with determination and discipline. The world spits out time wasters and celebrates those who are resolved to achieve their goals.
#5. You must keep your eyes on the prize (Focus)
As the writer of “Think and Grow Rich” Napoleon Hill says, “whatever you focus on expands”. If you operate with laser sharp focus, you will more likely achieve more than if you are scattered in your efforts.
Catch the first six installments of the Realities of Entrepreneurship series by clicking the links below.
The Realities of Entrepreneurship #1: What is the True Story?
The Realities of Entrepreneurship #2: It Takes Time – Part 1
The Realities of Entrepreneurship #3: It Takes Time – Part 2
The Realities of Entrepreneurship #4: Brace Yourself for High Doses of Failure & Rejection
The Realities of Entrepreneurship #5: Things Never Go According to Plan
The Realities of Entrepreneurship #6: The Challenges of Being a Pioneer
I am just from watching the eye opening documentary of the above title and was frankly shocked at first. It took me a while to compose myself and get my thoughts together after seeing such a shocking documentary about something going on quietly in South Africa today that I frankly wasn’t even aware of until one week ago when I read a relatively shocking headline which at first I thought was one of those bad internet jokes circulating on social media. The headline was suggesting that the South African government has begun the process of expropriating land from white farmers and redistributing to black South Africans.
I thought it was a joke because we all know what happened in Zimbabwe. To put it mildly, it did not work. However, when I watched a report by Tucker from Fox News, then I knew it was serious. But what I did not bargain for is what the Afrikaners are calling “Plaasmoorde” or Farm Murders which have been ongoing for almost 20 years. The saddest thing is that these murders have increased in frequency to almost one every day. They target rural isolated farmers and commit some of the most barbaric acts in the murder of these poor white South Africans.
I then took some time to watch all the various news reports from different sources about the situation. And I must admit that it hasn’t really gotten the attention one would expect. But then, if one thought about it, neither does the xenophobia which still goes on today in South Africa, though not at the wide spread rate as we saw a while back.
Back to my topic, it was in all this that I then chose to watch this seemingly well researched documentary that was posted on YouTube about the same terrible plight of Farm Murders going on I South Africa today. And with President Cyril Ramaphosa responding to a “threat tweet” from the master of Tweeting his mind, President Donald Trump, this makes for a very fresh and relevant topic.
After taking time to let her documentary “sink in” so to speak, I then now had the time to respond to some of the points she raised and also give my views on this documentary.
I have given the link here so that more can watch and see for themselves what is going on in South Africa today, which is rather sad.
But even after sharing the link, I must hasten to add that Miss Southern glosses over so many things and leaves out so much in her documentary that I would be doing terrible injustice to your readers if I did not highlight the pros and cons of this documentary.
I have also chosen not to label any attacks on her as an individual, or even speak about her "controversies" surrounding her brand of "activism" as these are honestly beyond the scope of this blog and will just muddy the points I am raising here, besides, objectivity dictates I stick to the topic and not the person, and that is what I do here.
Below is my take on the same. Read on.
1# I must commend Lauren for coming out in a precise way about what is going on with the Farm Murders. Something that is very unfortunate and terrible to say the least. Hearing some of those stories truly brought tears to my eyes. No human being whether white or black deserves this form of brutality going on in those farms against white farmers.
2# The attitude by those in authority is scary to say the least. And what is even scarier is the fact that there is so much sentiment for expropriation at whatever cost that no one is thinking beyond immediate satiation of a long standing issue. Indeed that gentleman from the ANC interviewed put it bluntly that the bureaucratic processes are too slow and they need to act fast, but at what cost?
3# If you push any people against a corner, the result is that they will push for self-defense, and with the Suidlanders advocating for civil war readiness, who can blame them?
4# Watching those squatter camps for white people who cannot access welfare on account of their race is appalling to say the least. Surely in this day and age, if government has the means, why not assist?
In spite of Miss Southern doing a splendid job with this documentary, she also pushed some downright scary notions in her documentary that cannot go without mention.
1# Her video has an agenda, pushing for apartheid all over again. She closes this documentary by suggesting Orania (a stronghold for Afrikaans and the Afrikaner identity by keeping their language and culture alive which welcomes anyone who defines themselves as an Afrikaner and identifies with Afrikaner ethnicity to live there) as a great option and even equates it with “Tribal Homelands”.
That is frankly an insult to the intelligence of all Africans who know the history behind those homelands or Bantustans as they had come to be known. Native South Africans were forcibly taken there to ensure they do not live in the city save as workers there. The conditions were economically backward, and this forced many to seek employment in the cities. This in itself posed a major challenge as many had no rights including travel, owning of property, movement and were paid very low wages. This is the history behind the rise of squatter houses or shanty compounds. Their history and background are very sad to read about.
Many nations including my own (Zambia) paid very heavy prices in terms of lives to see South Africa become free. The South African government sponsored the massacre of many Africans north of the Limpopo including Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Namibia and even Tanzania. We lost thousands of people through letter bombs, outright raids by the South African Defense Forces and mercenaries and even abductions which always led to torture for the purpose of extracting information on the works of the ANC. The price paid was very high.
As for South Africa itself, we can never forget Sharpeville Massacre (21st March 1960), Soweto Uprising (16th June 1976), the thousands of men, women and children of all races with the majority being blacks who were killed in many terrible ways by the government. She cannot gloss over such appalling things in the name of this agenda she is now pushing here.
2# To suggest the lack of crime is apparent is a blatant albeit veiled way of suggesting the presence of blacks is the reason for crime anywhere! That is such a low blow. I was actually quite shocked by her covert way of putting this across. Perhaps the irony cannot be lost when you realize that this documentary is being presented by a blonde white young female which fits the stereotype of the white savior complex. Anybody remember Louise Linton?
3# She highlights correctly the terrible crime of white farm murders, but then blatantly leave out the horrendous xenophobia that took place twice in South Africa and continues even now without being reported. She knows very well about the horrendous killings that were perpetrated by black township gangs who went about destroying, looting, raping, killing and necklacing so many black Africans of neighboring countries. She knows that even the SAPS (South Africa Police Service) literally stood by and watched without doing a thing until it became a continental and world embarrassment to all. Who would have imagined a day when South African blacks would turn on their very brothers and sisters who stood by them during the liberation struggle?
They say a picture speaks a thousand words; the worst example of such is the picture below. To imagine a member of the South African Police Service grimacing as an innocent Mozambican burns to ashes after being necklaced by an angry mob is nothing short of shocking.
4# She also glosses over the terrible crime rates in South Africa today. Yes the white farm murders are terrible, but when you contrast them with car jackings (that lead to murders), robberies, rapes, bank heists, highway heists and township murders, these PALE IN COMPARISON. The numbers of people being killed daily in SA at the hands of criminals is mind staggeringly huge. So, what she did was focus on a very small number and not contrast it with the reality the authorities are grappling with on a daily basis. This is skewed journalism.
5# Apartheid was a horrible system whose aim was to disenfranchise the black man. And it certainly did. The system ensured that black township kids never got the right education, were always second class, had no means to really advance and were most times under curfew or the watchful eye of the SAPS who patrolled their townships regularly looking for “troublemakers”. The few that tried were under immense pressure from peers and so many never advanced in education. Contrast that with exiles that had the privilege and opportunity to complete their education and so be better placed to take advantage of the later introduced Black Empowerment Program.
What we now see in SA today is the backlash of such a terrible system. When you oppress and kill hundreds of thousands of people systematically over almost 50 years, when you teach them repeatedly that they are second class human beings, inferior to white people, when you enforce that through repressive tactics, then this is the result.
Unfortunately, many of our South African brethren have seemingly gotten a reputation of carrying a “chip on their shoulders” and seeking “what is their right”. This is better known as an entitlement mindset. It is so bad that any South African whether white or black who is middle class, and entrepreneur or business man will readily admit (though not openly), that they would rather hire blue collar foreigners any day over their own fellow citizens. This is a tragedy.
So, yes Lauren has done a great job in highlighting such a terrible plight against these white farmers, but her documentary is seriously skewed and one sided and only highlights in a very focused way that ignores the greater picture purposely, the plight of one group of people (whose number is really small) in comparison to the gargantuan problems of crime and murder plaguing the entire nation of South Africa.
Let me say this here, any human being that can tie up a three year old white child to a table, repeatedly rape that child and then kill that child by wrapping them with newspapers and pouring fuel on the papers and burning that baby is worse than an animal. Any human being that can forcibly drown a twelve year old boy in hot boiling water is worse than an animal. These are demon possessed evil human beings with whom no words can describe their levels of brutality. I was very heartbroken to hear the case of the poor woman whose husband was shot dead at point blank range and even after the perpetrators were arrested, they were finally sentenced to 15 years! Fifteen years!? That is pure injustice at its worst. :'(
South Africa is a cauldron of simmering issues. I believe Nelson Mandela and De Klerk did their best under very very difficult circumstances to balance what were seriously opposed forces pushing for more radical approaches and solutions. Against all odds, the wisdom of Mandela prevailed. Today, a number of people advocate that Mandela was a sell out, a position I find very sad because if this man had taken any other position, who knows where South Africa would be today? It is this author’s belief that the wisdom that Mandela exhibited as a president is what led to what South Africa is today, a prosperous middle income nation.
Yes we admit that there are many challenges, but one must never forget where they are coming from, the complex social and economic challenges it faces and the daunting task faced by every government that comes in on how best to solve these challenges.
May we see the hand of God prevail in that nation and see the best of it shine through so that it continues to be a proof of a thriving democracy with institutions of governance that actually work – in Africa.
This is part of a series on 5 Reasons Why Africa is Poor (#1 Weak Institutions, #2 Culture, #3 Religion, #4 Geography and #5 Poor Governance) of which this one looks at the fourth reason, that being our geographical location and its real implications on wealth creation and retention.
According to Wikipedia, Geography is a field study of the lands, the features, the inhabitants, and the phenomena of Earth. Thus, modern geography is an all-encompassing discipline that foremost seeks to understand the Earth and all of its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but how they have changed and come to be. Geography has been called “the world discipline” and “the bridge between the human and the physical science”. Geography is divided into two main branches: human geography and physical geography.
Based on the above, we can see that Geography relates to four key areas of which we shall briefly study.
Natural and Human Analysis – This is the concept that allows for detailed study of various phenomena with relation to distribution and statistics. This discipline helps explain many occurrences and studies even assist in understanding better the patterns behind animal migration, disease spread and concentration, patterns and flow.
Places and Regions – This is a discipline that studies people, areas and seeks to understand the factors affecting sociology, cultural diversity, climate and even emigration.
Human and Land Relationship – How human settlement and migration happens and how land and natural resources play that role in bringing about these occurrences. Included in broad strokes are history, politics, sociology and nationality.
Earth Sciences – An all-encompassing discipline that combines physics, planetary science, biology, chemistry, geology and other scientific branches to bring about a greater understanding of how earth came about and is evolving even now.
Having looked at the full definition of what geography is, let us now see how this plays a role in perpetuating poverty.
For those who are avid readers and find the subject very interesting, I would also highly recommend reading the Pulitzer Prize winning book “Guns, Germs and Steel” by Professor Jared Diamond that carries this argument further.
The Challenging Factors
Our greatest challenge that we face and isn’t just common to Africa but other regions in the world (Latin America) has got to be location. The fact that we are located in the tropics isn’t without its great challenges, the results of which we are still battling with fully.
Our first greatest challenge lies in the environment. This is seen most certainly in the inability to keep and rear domesticated animals. A quick study of the temperate countries shows that domestication and mechanized farming was in fact the first step toward wealth creation and sustenance.
With domestication, that meant more could be harnessed for food, which then created value that fed their local communities. The regular precipitation meant that you had long periods of wet and moist ground which translated into more food security, better crops, less disease and abundance of food.
In the tropics this did not happen at the pace it did in these lands. Frankly, life is much harder here. Below are some factors that bring about the hardness of life.
Disease for Livestock
One of the most dreaded vectors that plague livestock is the Tsetse Fly.
Tsetse flies are regarded as a major cause of rural poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa because they prevent mixed farming. The land that is infested with tsetse flies is often cultivated by people using hoes rather than more efficient draught animals because nagana, the disease transmitted by tsetse, weakens and often kills these animals. Those cattle that survive produce little milk, gravid cows often abort their calves, and manure is not available to fertilize the worn-out soils.
The disease nagana or African Animal Trypanosomosis (AAT) causes gradual health decline in infected livestock, reduces milk and meat production, increases abortion rates, and animals eventually succumb to the disease (annual cattle deaths caused by trypanosomosis are estimated at 3 million). This has an enormous impact on the livelihood of farmers who live in tsetse infested areas, as infected animals cannot be used for animal traction to plough the land, and keeping cattle is only feasible when the animals are kept under constant prophylactic treatment with trypanocidal drugs, often with associated problems of drug resistance, counterfeited drugs and suboptimal dosage. The overall annual direct lost potential in livestock and crop production was estimated at USD 4.5 billion.
The tsetse fly infests nearly 10 million square kilometers in sub-Saharan Africa and many parts of this large area is fertile land that is left uncultivated—a so-called green desert not used by humans and cattle. This explains why generally you may see tracts of empty land that has not been fully exploited for farming.
Most of the 37 countries infested with tsetse are poor, debt-ridden, and underdeveloped. Out of the 39 tsetse-infested countries, 32 are Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries, 29 are Least Developed Countriesand 30 are among the 40 most Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs). Eradicating the tsetse and trypanosomosis (T&T) problem would allow rural Africans to reclaim areas of their continent and greatly increase food production. Only 45 million cattle, out of 172 million present in sub-Saharan Africa are kept in tsetse infested areas, but are often forced into fragile ecosystems like highlands or the semi-arid Sahel zone, which leads to overgrazing by animals and overuse of land by people for food production.
In addition to this direct impact, the presence of T&T discourages the use of more-productive exotic and cross-bred cattle, depresses the growth and affects the distribution of livestock populations, reduces the potential opportunities for livestock and crop production (mixed farming) through less draught power to cultivate land and less manure to fertilize (in an environment-friendly way) soils for better crop production, and affects human settlements (people tend to avoid areas with tsetse flies).
Tsetse flies transmit a similar disease to humans, called Human African Trypanosomosis (HAT) or sleeping sickness. It is estimated that 70 million people in 20 countries are at different levels of risk and only 3-4 million people are covered by active surveillance. The DALY Index (disability-adjusted life years), an indicator to quantify the burden of disease, includes the impact of both the duration of life lost due to premature death and the duration of life lived with a disability. The annual burden of sleeping sickness is estimated at 2 million DALYs. Since the disease tends to affect economically active adults, the total cost to a family with a patient is about 25% of a year’s income.
Disease for People
Two of the greatest killers of many in the tropics are Malaria and HIV/AIDS related opportunistic infections and diseases.
We all know how much these two diseases have ravaged the Sub Saharan African continent and robbed it of some of its finest sons and daughters. Statistically speaking, the numbers are numbing.
Malaria is widespread in the tropical and subtropical regions that exist in a broad band around the equator. This includes much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Malaria is commonly associated with poverty and has a major negative effect on economic development. In Africa, it is estimated to result in losses of US$12 billion a year due to increased health care costs, lost ability to work, and negative effects on tourism. The World Health Organization reports there were 198 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2013 alone. This resulted in an estimated 584,000 to 855,000 deaths, the majority (90%) of which occurred in Africa.
The net effect on productivity and output cannot be overemphasized here.
HIV/AIDS is a global pandemic. As of 2012, approximately 35.3 million people are living with HIV globally. Of these, approximately 17.2 million are men, 16.8 million are women and 3.4 million are less than 15 years old. There were about 1.8 million deaths from AIDS in 2010, down from 2.2 million in 2005.
Sub-Saharan Africa is the region most affected. In 2010, an estimated 68% (22.9 million) of all HIV cases and 66% of all deaths (1.2 million) occurred in this region. This means that about 5% of the adult population in this area is infected. Here, in contrast to other regions, women compose nearly 60% of cases. South Africa has the largest population of people with HIV of any country in the world, at 5.9 million at 2012 statistics.
When a nation loses so many people to such diseases, the overall effect is decreased production, loss of human resource and ideas. As I have mentioned in a previous article, the wealth of a nation is harnessed from two distinct sources, the first is natural resources which include minerals, soil and agriculture. The second is human resource which mainly lies in the ideas, skills and abilities of a given society.
When large numbers of the populace die through pandemics like HIV/AIDS and Malaria, there is no shadow of doubt the loss that occurs not just to members of the immediate families affected, but their workplaces and society at large.
This loss can be quantified in terms of income, entrepreneurial exploits, ideas that can better society, leadership, team members, synergy and productivity in various sectors. When this number is compounded over a decade, the losses are staggering.
When the above agricultural factors are added (the human factor) with environmental factors (drought and heat) the overall effect is that we see it get harder for peasants to farm. Subsistence farming is made harder because they have to use hoes instead of ox-drawn ploughs (oxen are often decimated by Trypanosomosis or drought) and thus greatly reduces yield and efficiency.
Furthermore, the semi-arid soils which are over grazed end up becoming poor for production and thus worsen an already bad situation. This means the planting of staples and vegetables becomes very challenging. Most farms will produce between 25% - 50% below expected yields, thus making the effort more than the result. For the peasants this means more dismal living. When this is coupled with an inefficient crop buying process, inaccessibility due to bad transport infrastructure and lack of access to financial services such as banking, the conditions that perpetuate scarcity are fueled.
This leads to dire straits which force many of the rural population to end up migrating into the urban areas seeking better life.
Since the cities are usually already lagging behind in provision of basic services and welfare, the result is shanty compounds (illegal township shacks), strained resources (clean water, sanitation, health care, education, policing etc.) leading to the poverty we speak about here.
There is talk about highly mechanized and scientific farming, yes that would be easy if the general conditions and factors were corrected first (strong institutions, effective revenue collection, professional civil service), but the cost of doing this is gargantuan, and since most governments in these African countries have very inefficient and porous ways of collecting revenue, they are left without the means to correct the situation – and therefore the poorest continue to suffer constant lack.
For these countries the situation is made worse by their location as they have to literally import everything. If they do not have high productivity in place and ensure they counter importation with a large export base, they then suffer then net effect of having more expenditure than income.
Transportation, costs for trade and exchange are always inherently harder for these countries. If the regulatory frameworks that govern various stakeholders are not strengthened through stronger institutions, the overall effect is the one we see. (More later)
You may have never realized it but this is perhaps one of the greatest factors that may either work to increase or decrease the equitable distribution of wealth in a nation.
I have shown that there are two types of resources, natural and human. We have shown how human resource has been affected by the geographical factors. There is no argument that they play a significant role in aggravating conditions that manifest poverty.
Natural resources also play a huge role. They are what are known as “intensifiers”. This then means that if the country has strong institutions, then the resources work to bring about great prosperity and wealth for its citizens. A great example of such is the Republic of South Africa.
They had very strong institutions and systems from earlier on that ensured that the environment guaranteed equitable returns for entrepreneurial exploits. This meant guaranteed growth and development for all and the results were then channeled into all the various social sectors.
You don’t need to be an economist to see the massive development that is in South Africa and their general services compared to other Sub-Saharan countries especially the poor ones.
If on the other hand the country has weak institutions, then this can turn that resource from a blessing to a curse. We can cite examples from the ten poorest countries and see this straight away. The two examples are Liberia and Congo DR.
Liberia has diamonds and we all know the famous film “Blood Diamonds” that showed how these were pivotal in perpetuating a civil war that was mainly about control of this resource. Congo DR has a collection of the most valuable minerals under one nation and yet – they are the poorest nation on the planet.
Below is a further discourse on the second nation.
The CONGO DR situation
Historically, this nation was exploited by King Leopold for rubber. The king turned this entire nation into one large farming estate. He used fear and extortion which included systematic chopping off of limbs as a means of instilling fear and thus had all able bodied men and women work his farms as slaves. The economic exploits of King Leopold can be seen in Belgium. Most of the wealth of that European nation was syphoned out of Congo without any care for the welfare of its citizens. The death toll from his exploits is numbered at about 20 million Congolese. Think of this number. These lives were lost over a fifty year period.
Independence and Military Rule
When Congo became independent in 1960 June 30th, Patrice Lumumba became its first elected Prime Minister and Joseph Kasavubu its president. Unfortunately this only lasted for one month before there was a military coup and he was placed under house arrest. He was captured trying to escape to Stanleyville (now Kisangani) and was tortured badly and finally shot by the leaders of Katanga province (his sworn enemies).
A combination of white mercenaries (Belgian, Rhodesian and South African) helped dispose of his body by dissolving it in acid.
This exacerbated the Congo Crises which lasted until 1965 when Mobutu Sese Seko finally took over and became the absolute ruler. This saw Congo degenerate into the worst run state in the world with its wealth being systematically plundered to zero.
Congo is estimated to have $24 trillion (equivalent to the combined Gross Domestic Product of Europe and the United States) worth of untapped deposits of minerals including the world’s largest reserves of Coltan (over 70%) and significant quantities of the world’s Cobalt. The primary resources extracted in the DRC include cobalt, diamonds, gold, copper, and oil.
Coltan is the key mineral used in nano-technology. If you own a smartphone, tablet, laptop, video games consoles or most electronic gadgets, then your gadget is made efficient by this mineral. This makes it the new “gold” as it is critical in ICT. It is however the latest addition to conflict minerals like Diamonds in Liberia.
As one can imagine, if Congo had strong institutions and regulatory frameworks backed by a legitimate government and good governance, there is no doubt it would be the richest nation not just in Africa, but even in the world.
Humanitarian and Economic Crises
In September 2010, the government banned mining in the east of the country, attempting to crack down on illegal organizations and corruption. During periods of violence, resources have been looted from the original collectors by both Congolese and foreign soldiers, and civilians or they are extracted by soldiers, locals organized by military commanders (much of the time Rwandan and Ugandan commanders) and by foreign nationals.
The actual miners who mine this mineral are paid very paltry wages of 20 cents a day (K2) for the work they do. Not only this, they have to leave their homes to work in these open pits. There is very little regulation and so anyone can go work there. The areas are controlled by gun totting rebels who work with local warlords who have the money to buy from the miners. They then supply the middle men who then export to Europe.
The humanitarian toll is appalling to say the least. Between 1994 and 2010, this region has seen over 6 million Congolese nationals killed. Six million! Think a minute about that number.
This is the number of Jews that were exterminated by The Nazi government and the whole world stood still and even made memorials to honor the dead and ensure it never happens again.
Yet, we have 6 million Africans die this way and do you hear this in the mainstream media? No! Even now we see more people being killed each day in these areas but you never hear anything at all. Check the news – nothing!
What are the results of all this?
As can be witnessed, the humanitarian crisis is beyond comprehension. The suffering of the Congolese brings tears to this writer’s eyes because this is all human caused. If greed were eliminated, if people genuinely wanted the betterment of humanity and their nationals, this would not happen.
What is even more appalling is that this situation serves the rich nations very well. As it was in the days of slavery when great wealth was built off the blood, sweat and tears of poor African slaves displaced from their continent, so is it with this situation that allows for unbridled exploitation of the chaotic mess that exists in Congo.
For greedy corporations that are looking for unregulated operations, Congo is their heaven. For you can remove as much as you want, mess up the environment as much as you want, and then bribe anyone who tries to ask questions. Where these three can’t work, you then sponsor a civil war so that when the humanitarian crisis ensues, you remain with carte blanche, free to do as you please with no repercussions for it.
This is what is going on in the Congo. This is what is happening to many countries where their natural resources have found weak institutions and bad governance.
When next you hear about the poverty of Africa, before you take on a high and mighty stance and wonder why we can’t get our act right, take another look at Congo, see their predicament and then perhaps you may understand and have empathy.
Indeed Geography does play a pivotal role in bringing about the manifestation of poverty, for you can have a nation with potential GDP greater than the most developed nations on the planet, but yet be called the poorest country on earth :’(
In the final article, we will be looking at Poor Governance, the final major piece of the puzzle that catalyzes the conditions that manifest perpetual poverty due to lack of an enabling environment.
Rev Walter Mwambazi
Author of "The 7 Principles for Financial Prosperity", Life Coach, Facilitator, Peak Performance Coach, Digital Marketing Professional, Network Marketer, Health & Wellness Consultant, Pastor, Copy Writer, Motivation Speaker & Writer.