In an effort to radically shift the culture of employment in Botswana, Safayah Designs, Focus Surveys Botswana, 89 Fifty Communications, Career Coaching, Botswana Youth Jobs for Graduates and us, The Afrolutionist decided to collaborate to physical and virtually house unemployed youth to share available resources to boost their soft skills, enhancing their job readiness while we bring employers looking for job seekers. This is a first for the country, and a birth of a new culture where attitudes between unemployed youth and the corporate industries can potentially be shifted. Journey with us through our Afrolutionist Kevin Mofokeng’s take on the second day of the job readiness trainings and inspiring stories shared at this remarkable event.
The second day of the fair saw the youth coming in more numbers compared to the first day. The programme focused more on personal development techniques the youth can use to better their chances of being hired by potential employers.
To kickstart the presentations was Mmakgosi, who is a poet and a motivational speaker who took us through ‘Radical Resilience’. Before we go any further, we need to understand the terms; being radical is when you go beyond the norm or expectations of people and being resilient is the ability to manage to get up every time you fought a battle. On her presentation she took us aback to what she went through before she finally found herself, a very emotional and inspiring story. In regards to being a better person, you should not let your circumstances define you ‘if you are having a hard time finding employment, do not give up’ she added. She touched on how also the people you hang around with somehow have an impact in what you do as an individual, ‘surround yourself with people that can empower you’ she stressed. Having a support system of positive friends is one of the best amazing things you can do for yourself. She also touched on an important factor that caught the audience by surprise, “You need to love struggling, because struggles make you” she said. This is really true because if it was not for our struggles, we would not have come up with solutions that we currently have in place. She ended off her presentation by reciting a poem which captivated the audience.
Second to speak was Business Botswana’s Mrs Sethebe Manake who presented on the benefits of joining their hub. Business Botswana is a hub of the private sector, it helps with connecting people to those people who are not easily accessed. Being a member of Business Botswana, you reap a variety of benefits. Membership fee starts from P1400.00 every month. One major benefit of being part of Business Botswana is that you have a whole database of the business market at your disposal. “Majority of policies by government by Government don’t benefit the youth” she said in response to one of the question from the audience on why they are more interested in having the youth join them. She also encouraged the youth to manufacture products and/or services that can compete in the global market and also promote our country. Furthermore Business Botswana focuses on two aspects; representing associations and private companies who become part of forums that can help them grow as entities.
Maje was followed by Letsema Lei Gaefhele whose presentation was dedicated to the female youth. ‘Dumb girls guide to self employment’. Letsema is a professional makeup artist for her brand Makeup by Lei. She took us through how back at school she was seen as a failure, and most of her colleagues and teachers called her with funny names. She ended up making it to tertiary, and realised she is studying something that she was not passionate about. After she graduated, she then went for a part time job where she saved up her earnings to buy makeup kits to start off her business. “As an individual you need to work your on your personal brand” she highlighted. Personal branding is important because it sets you apart from the rest of the people.. She ended off by talking about self-investment; “invest your time and energy on yourself because not everyone will also, people will invest in you for their gain”.
Last to inspire the youth was Mr Molebatsi and Mr Bobo on Gaborone Toastmasters Club on ‘How to pitch a business idea’. As the youth, most of us are looking in the lanes of starting up our own businesses but how do we go about it? Mr Molebatsi came up with pointers to focus on when pitching a business idea;
- Identify the problem within your community
- Come up with possible solutions
- Make a market research
From the above pointers, then ready yourself for the pitch. When it comes to pitches, you need to prepare yourself. Preparation makes 50% of the pitch. At the pitch make sure your business idea is unique, you have to be different from all the other people who are fighting to get the tender. Credibility, enthusiasm and passion are critical when pitching a business idea. Mr Molebatsi also stressed the point of engaging the people you’re pitching to, “you want to see if people are in the same page with you”. Lastly when presenting a business idea, use the aid of visuals, these are your powerpoint slides. “Make sure your slides are simple and are not bombarded with too much information” he stressed. Good business idea pitches are always 6-10 minutes long, “make sure your presentation is brief to avoid being asked unnecessary”.
What seperated the first day from the second day of the Youth Jobs Fair, was the shift of hard skills to soft skillls: focusing on your branding and selling yourself. Sometimes, we as youth underestimate the power of interpersonal skills and selling yourself, as that’s what can trully seal the job.
Catch more of our daily updates on our social media handles @afrolutionist on Twitter, and follow Kevin’s journey throughout the fair on @yourprguy on twitter. You can find more information about The 2nd Annual Youth Jobs Fair on Facebook and Twitter.