Be. Honest. To. Yourself. First.

I need to make a statement, that’ll help you and your craft. Because really, I’m disappointed and feel that we are failing our journey to excellence.

A friend of mine sent me a message on Facebook asking me when I’m changing my profile picture…Honestly, I don’t like taking pics. As I went through my profile trying to find a pic I noticed something that sparked a conversation with self. I noticed that in 2017 alone I’ve liked pages of institutions that I believe in, brands that I thought I was loyal to, sportsmen that inspire me, famous musicians, celebrities and movies. I’ve liked games, books, and songs.

But for the record, I’ve liked pages of businesses established and owned by young people, young black people. Businesses that were built on sweat and great hunger to emerge, businesses that promised to open doors of employment for a lot of others, and further capable of taking other black kids from the hood to university. Businesses that had great potential to make sure that our “Buy Black” and “Buy Local” credo lives. These are businesses that would play an immeasurable role in building our own economy without having to wait for government funding, or even sponsors. Truth be told, its only a FEW number of businesses that need sponsors.

A whole lot more, just need our support.

The same support that only begins by a single click of a button when I LIKE YOUR PAGE. I need to see the same enthusiasm you had when you first told us about your business, actually when it was just an idea. How you envisioned it to compete with some of the well-known brands, and not just compete but outweigh and outshine them. The same enthusiasm with which we congratulated you, we still would love to keep congratulating you. We would still love to walk into your business and say “Hi, we are proud of you”. Even if we don’t come physically, by visiting your online page even matters most because that’s another way of marketing your business. You promised us that you’ve arrived. When you began having a couple of interviews you promised to lead and inspire us to even believe that we too can create something.

But that’s it. You just PROMISED.

I’m disappointed.

But, I haven’t clicked “Unlike” or “Unfollow” on your business. Nor in my mind and on my willingness to tap on my pocket to support you.

So, go back. See where you failed. Solve. Reinvent. Grow. And Collaborate.

Writer: Mxolisi Tshabalala    Photography: Steven Onoja