15th June 2024

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The Ghetto Strategies – By Dr Ted Msipa

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The Ghetto Strategies – By Dr Ted Msipa

The Ghetto Vibes

The late Zimbabwean musician and global icon, Oliver Mtukudzi, once sang a song titled, ‘I was born in the ghetto’ it is a gem that speaks to me as a fellow with working-class parents raised in the heart of the ghetto. The ghetto is an amazing place of innovative thinking and strategic mischief. This is why when you sit down and think deeply you will realise that most of the guys who made it came from the ghetto. A recent article in Forbes magazine indicated that only 15 percent of millionaires have old money but eighty-five percent have new money. Old money simply means inherited wealth and new money is money created in the present.

Defining the Ghetto

The word “ghetto” originally referred to areas in European cities where Jews were required to live. The term is believed to have originated from the Venetian Ghetto in Venice, Italy, established in 1516. My understanding of the ghetto is a part of a city or town, especially an impoverished area, predominantly occupied by a specific ethnic or racial group. My ghetto was occupied by us people of colour due to colonial prejudices. It was an area birthed out of economic disparity, discrimination, and social segregation. Maybe this ghetto instinct also helped the Jews succeed economically worldwide. I believe on record that most of the Jewish community’s success is a result of the blessing of Abraham, however, a blessing still needs a strategy to be activated.

A Helicopter Overview

I remember a certain guy I grew up with in the early eighties. He was Yotamu Phiri (not his real name) Yotamu decided to create a pool of beautiful girlfriends as we were doing our class seven. So he targeted the girls who were passing through our neighborhood to the next location. He would secretly unleash a team of young boys to harass the girls. Most of these boys were his kid brothers because he was from a polygamous family. The boys would attack the girls mildly, and then superhero Yotamu would rock out of nowhere to scatter the younger boys and offer the girls a safe walking escort home. The girl he targeted would naturally be grateful and accept his proposal. He systematically repeated his drill and before we knew it he had the loyalty and affection of most of the beautiful girls.

The School Fees Arrears

During our high school days our fees were next to nothing but guess what? A good number of us never completed those school fees because our parents had so many children. During our days it was normal for an average family to have 10 children. The majority of parents were baby-making machines. The thinking then was that children are an investment in your old age.

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The more you had the more the chances of them looking after you. Children were an alternative pension fund. How to raise them was never an issue since most parents would simply do the bare minimum. Food was a challenge, school fees were a challenge, and even accommodation was a challenge. We used to share the same room as four boys. The girls had to share our parents’ bedroom. So we studied the system of the school. In the first two weeks, the caretaker would be by the gate. We would cause commotion around the gate and as he pursued us, our other members would sneak into class. After many weeks the class teacher would announce your name in class if you were owing. He would then dismiss us. But as soon as he left class, we would enter and resume lectures. A host of other strategies were also incorporated into our systems but we always outmaneuvered the system until we succeeded. We learned survival techniques and strategies without even knowing it. 

We even had strategies on how to win soccer money games. We never stopped and kept moving. I stand as a respected leader and business strategist in this dispensation. However, I can easily trace my exposure to strategy from my ghetto years.

Strategy is the success key

The essence of strategy is creating your advantage in the chosen segment. Yotamu created an advantage in relationships and got the cutest baby girls. We beat the school payment collection system by using a nefarious strategy to avoid law enforcement entities. Other girls used strategies to lock men into marriage.  Now we all call them married women. How they did it does not matter, they are numbered among the married couples. Some used the strategy of stifling and starvation to get their man to commit faster. It does not matter anymore, the strategy worked and they are now in homes. It is what it is. Strategy is fundamental to organisational success. When it comes to strategy there is no substitute. Even God took 4200 years to finalise his dots on how to rescue humanity from the devil. I may not know you personally but the truth is that without a strategy you are busy going nowhere. Sooner or later you will get frustrated if you do not have a strategy.

Christ remains the Ultimate Leader. He stands alone in the universe. Follow him and the people will follow you. Rise and shine because your season has started.

On a different note, happy 31st Anniversary to the wife of my youth, Rev Patience Msipa.

Another Look at Money - By Dr.Ted Msipa

Dr Ted Msipa is Pastor, Author, Visionary and Public Speaker based in Maseru, Lesotho. He writes here in his personal capacity and view shared here do not necessarily reflect those of Africa News 24. He solves organisational development challenges and leadership challenges. Dr Ted can be reached on Coachted117@gmail.com or on +266 63177309.

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Standard Lesotho Bank launches groundbreaking M11 million cashback rewards for loyal customers footer
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