Author: Banele Rewo
Title: Nomayini: The Mentality You Need Before Start Any Business
Publishers: Self Published (2020)
South Africa’s youth is disempowered particularly those in rural and township settings. The usual challenges facing the youth have been high levels of unemployment; lack of sustainable service delivery and increasing inequalities which have now been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Amongst such challenges how is the youth supposed to respond? What tools have the youth been given to be self-reliant or will they remain dependent on government support indefinitely?
In a relatable approach, Banele Rewo interrogates and offers solutions to some of these challenges. Nomayini: is a business strategy and self-help book written for young black men between the ages of 16 and 35, who want to grow their entrepreneurial mindset and better pursue their career ambitions.
A point of departure to crafting goals and embarking on the journey towards success is personal mastery. An individual must get to a point of understanding and acceptance of self, in order to be steadfast yet adaptive to changing environment. “Mind your brain” is a call by the author for the youth to be conscious of the relationship between the brain and mind. The mind should be the catalyst in deciphering what should be embedded in the brain, therefore being resolute on the content we feed the brain is essential. Filling the brain with unhealthy content clogs the pathways to creativity and good decision-making. The removal of the negative inner voice is another hurdle to overcome in building a better self. The author encourages to “convert the negative into actionables”. For instance, when your negative inner voice states “You are too fat you can’t even run one kilometer, but your goal is a marathon”, counter it with “I will walk until I can run”
For most youth lack of work experience is a huddle to getting full employment or starting a business. However, the author argues that your knowledge is your best currency, even if acquired from a different field from your desired dream job. Lessons learned from volunteering or part-time jobs shouldn’t be taken for granted as they are valuable building blocks to your journey. In getting any employment, youth must be cognizant that work that is challenging is work that brings out the creativity.
When youth do eventually achieve some form of success some may be prisoners of their own dreams. Lavish lifestyles and instant gratification become the dreams they are addicted to in the process neglect to cultivate good relationships family, friends and professional networks like “AmaGrootman” and “Susters” argues the author. These black professionals have climbed the social mobility ladder and are in good standing in the community however most youths fail to connect and sip from their cup of wisdom. In essence young men and women should select “growth” friends and networks that add value in their journey of success.
“Nomayini” refers to someone willing to do or accept anything to survive similar to a Nyaope (Heroin drug) addict. Hence the author’s analogy is that “your goals are like a drug”, we are addicted to success. However, the book title might produce some negative associations for some readers. Drug addiction has negative connotations in general. Therefore using such an analogy for an audience that is already exposed to a toxic drug environment may be discouraging and indirectly promote drug abuse. Furthermore, it might be misinterpreted and confusing on how drug addiction links with success.
Although the author fully encourages a “start badly and adjust” approach to success, the book does have some fundamental technical flaws. For instance, some chapters are unstructured and filled with disjointed ideas that may lose some young readers who are already navigating in their own maze of life. Therefore some of the longer chapters could have been broken down into small chapters for better consumption. Additionally, according to the book’s description, the target audience is young black men, questioning why all the other young black women in the township were excluded from the conversation; do they not also have ambitions?
Written with a form of Kasi philosophical approach and sense of urgency, overall Banele Rewo delivers truckloads of encouragement to youth that are anxious and depressed about their future. Decisive and unapologetic in his stance of #WeAreComingForEverything this offering amplifies the author’s unquestionable conviction for the black Africa child as seen in his social media posts and podcasts.
Ultimately the youth should start with what they have no matter how little and employ a #NeverGiveUp mentality. Hence this book is well positioned to ignite young minds to higher levels of critical thinking about self and foster a more educated, purposeful, confident, and self-reliant next generation of leaders and innovators to thrive in a post-Covid environment
Rolland Simpi Motaung 2021 © South Africa