The Bold Don't Stop Building

The Bold Don't Stop Building

Sitting in the local Nando's, there’s a hesitancy in the air. You wouldn’t know it was there unless you were sensing it personally too.

As a customer goes to pay with his debit card, the transaction is declined repeatedly. Frustration turns to near panic. “My card isn’t working either!” he exclaims.

A friend steps in with cash to front the bill.

“I’ll get you back next time."

“Don’t worry about it."

As we sit and eat, the scene is surreal. The economy’s last strands of survival are deteriorating right before us. We can see a queue in front of the local bank down the road. All is not well in Zimbabwe.

On our way back to the office, we get a call from another business owner. He’s just landed a big deal. It’ll make his Quarter, if the customer is able to pay. He can on paper, he assures us.

But paper is only good if it’s accepted.

We're frustrated with the pace of business. It’s a tortuous enjoyment. The biggest Up followed by the harshest Down. Like the waves pounding the beaches.

The nation’s sentiment is more favorable to lack of efficiency right now. Everyone has an excuse for not being efficient because times are tough.

"Times are tough,” says the restauranteur. “They’re rationing flour and sugar like 2007. I have to adjust my menu daily due to what I can keep in stock."

These kind of daily challenges suck the motivation out of society.

And yet, many of us have already lived through this scenario once (circa 2007-2009). And that seems to offer a slim glimmer of hope.

No cash in the system. That makes it hard. But it also levels the playing field. There’s an undercurrent of waiting, watching and opportunistic hope. It’s not worn on the sleeves of the local entrepreneurs, but it’s there.

  • You can see it in the local Pitch Night events packing out the Rainbow Hotel conferencing facility (link) in Bulawayo.
  • You can see it in the new sponsorship deals for a handful of TV concepts.
  • You can see it in the momentum of a rockstar team rallying around their vision.

The bold don’t stop building. Even in times of extreme crisis. We can’t. It’s not in our nature.

(photo vianeil cornwall)