Of course, I have said that this is a waste of billions, especially in the wrong investment. Of course, I have pondered the lack of electricity and poor internet infrastructure.
I have laughed at the fact that all the computers will be identical and that I just need to enroll this year for 50K so that I get a “brand nu” laptop. Of course, we would have more victims of scammers and more laptop thefts.
Don’t be shy. You’ve complained about this stuff too. Almost, off course.
Now, let me be that guy.
The guy whom you’ll take for a regime supporter simply because he showed you the end of the rabbit hole. The guy whose post you will not comment on because you know, deep down, that after everything that this country is, this post is probably one of the few that will give you a relevant future to look up to.
Let me take that back. No. Don’t trust me. I am not even at the University and I don’t run a company. At least, not yet. :)
But here’s the thing:
Every single post I have seen talks about how doomed the economy is, and that the money could have been used to cultivate genetically engineered giant wireless pawpaw to feed the population. Or that the billions could have been infused in startups that the country, without the loan, has failed to support. Or that we could have paid a necromancer to bring back the economy pre-Ahidjo.
You see, the thing is no one has ever built anything by complaining. Steve Jobs didn’t like IBM, he built Apple. Gates didn’t like Apple (sort of) so, he ripped off IBM AND Apple. Churchill didn’t want to waste time in school, he started a company. Fritz didn’t like his well paying office job, he did something.
Show me anyone who has ever build a product, or service or anything, and I will show you someone who used all that energy instead of complaining and made shit happen.
The computers are coming. This, my friend, is more certain than winter in Game of Thrones.
Let me be clear:
WHETHER YOU WANT IT OR NOT, THE 500, 000 COMPUTERS FROM CHINA WILL COME TO CAMEROON AND STUDENTS WILL OWN THE HELL OUT OF THEM.
Now that the facts of the situation are set in stone, let me let you also know that I don’t have the facts to explain the exact state of the economy and the real place where this money could have been spent.
See “Don’t trust me” above.
Actually, from what I gathered, there is no actual cash transfer. The loan is payable over 20 years ( yes?) and with interest (3%?)
Talk to the economists. I am just interested in what we can do NOW.
So, here, in no particular order are 33 ideas for the future for anyone who chooses to stop complaining and start seeing the future for what it really is: what you make of it.
Why would I not start with a subject which is dear to me? Before you tell me that you need the internet to browse, I would ask you the last time you actually went to a cyber café. And I would ask you if you don’t know people who have relevant points of view who lack computers AND the internet to say them. Now, they have computers. Which is more expensive?
Half a million young Cameroonians between the ages of 18 and 25 will get access to a world where they can purchase stuff online. (If you bring the internet argument again, we will have to fight. Enough.) I know people who have bought stuff from Jumia. And I know that YOU can become a merchant and sell stuff there too if you want. Wait? You didn’t know? Right. Now you have a computer. Google is your friend. We have mobile money and you have both products and skills to sell.
Personally, I have always preferred electronic education. However, we are in Cameroon. Already we know that the infrastructure to support the switch to such a format is not yet ready. You will tell me about the horrible Amphitheatre. Ashia yah. Now, you will be able to sit in that same Amphi and copy your lectures just like I am typing this in a restaurant without internet access #BringBackMyLights
Lecturers will take emails seriously. Just like all students who are now getting used to paying fees via mobile money. Don’t tell me you have not heard of the registration format for ENS this year. Where do you think the future is? Shidon for dey.
Yeah. This joke, my friend Gustav made and I laughed. Of course the computers will get bad with time. Some faster than others. Which means that electronic repair shops will be able to make some deserving cash from their enterprises. I mean, even now without many devices, they still make a decent living. Now, what would happen when you have more of those? I might actually change profession eh…wetin you think?
5. Graphic Design:
Almost everyone who has seen a doctored image knows. But what you might not know is that there are people who are paid because they master these tools (yes, Photoshop is not the only graphic design tool on the market) and they can create amazing visuals. One of the best graphic designers I know (who happens to be my friend) never went to school to be one of the best graphic artists in Cameroon. You have a computer now. You can have Valery Ayena’s body if you want. At least, on your desktop with your head on it. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.
6. On-line Education:
The difference between on-line education and e-education, is that on-line is full-fledged. Computers and internet only. With a massive influx of computers, many can now have access to e-courses and get certifications. Many of them free! Yeaup. Hubspot for example offers certifications in Inbound Marketing, Sales and other skills all for FREE. Platforms like Skademy, Udemy, Coursera, can allow you learn any, and everything you want.
If you mention internet here again, you and I are going to have to stop being friends.
7. Reading Culture:
I have more ebooks than I could ever read in a lifetime. I have more ebooks, than physical books. I bet even my buddy Mac has read more articles and newspaper journals on-line than his plethora of physical print bliss. I remember that the first truly Feminist text I ever read “We Should All Be Feminists” by Chima Ngozi Adichie, was offered to me by Mbu Waindim. Via Kindle. And I read it on my computer. Before my cousin bought me a physical copy. Imagine what would happen if we have access to journals and books and all that. Don’t you think having a computer would change the way you consume information?
If you can read that many books, from your computer, don’t you think a few more people would be tempted to write their own books? Are you really that pessimistic? I mean, all you need is MS word.
Or if you’re that stingy, use Notepad.
We all celebrate and use Facebook now. Before Windows 95, the internet was a very, very technical place. Let’s not even get into the rigid web 1.0 where you could not comment. Neither could you blog unless you had working programming knowledge. When Bulletin Board Systems and Usenet were ‘in’ . Now, you point and click and snap and chat. Now, you can talk, share, send voice note, images, videos, etc.
All this happened because people like you and I, saw that the internet could be more. A few of those had access to the knowledge, grouped together and build awesome platforms. From Apple Computers to Google. Teams of humans. Each person (with one brain), a computer and the desire to change the status quo.
Would you really say that among these half a million people, a few will not be empowered to make a difference? Really?
10. Citizen Activism:
My good friend and sister from another mother runs ElleCitoyenne.She takes a subject as unsexy as citizen’s participation and writes about it with so much passion that she has been able to garner the attention of media organizations, as well as influencers. This, is one, ONE Cameroonian,who writes, and talks about what she believes. With the aim of educating and engaging people in these subjects.
Don’t you think that rather than complaining and saying the obvious things about the problems we have in Cameroon, it would make more sense for us to take constructive, healthy action to educate and empower the real, government- you and I?
Don’t you think that some of these 0.5 Million people would now be able to voice their thoughts and pull global attention through the web? Do I have to remind you about how the Monique Koumate case pulled world's attention by the noise made online?
In fact eh, I have vexed. I will stop explaining here. But, have a look:
11. Content Creation
12. Big Data Efficiency
13. The death of traditional advertising ( finally)
14. Newspapers will now take the internet seriously
15. The rise of local networks:
16. E-publishing businesses:
17. Culture preservation: See Japan and America ( DC, Marvel, Mangas)
18. Audio books: The rise
19. Tutorials: The rise, of all kinds
20. Programming: The rise
21. Increase in the Cameroon’s internet footprint
22. Now, we get to focus on how to get internet.
23. Digital Census:
25. Live Streaming of events could now be an option.
26. Optimized Education
27. Hacking to expose security flaws
28. Maybe we will finally get YouTube to take us seriously
29. And PayPal
30. Work from home and stop looking for a job. Yes. Charlie Wandji’s 1task1job.com exists.
31. With the influx of new internet users, the service providers will have to make the internet better.
32. Maybe we will finally accept that illiteracy is the real problem. Let’s proceed by elimination
33. Everyone who will be a victim of a scam, will finally, FINALLY, be able to move on with his/her life and leave that fear behind. Wiser and ready for the next.
I will expatiate on the rest when I get your thoughts on the above. But, the smart person that you are probably gets the idea and will not need me to explain anything.
But if you do, let me know in the comments.
I don’t believe in complaining. I shun the ABC like Mr. Roland Kwemain says: “Accusing, Blaming, and Complaining”
The computers, will come. The country has issues.
What are YOU going to do about them?
P.S: I am building a startup that would focus on content creation. I think we don’t have enough content. I will run a crowdfunding campaign in a couple of months to raise the money to setup a studio and a team. The current team is already working on some really cool stuff. You should like my page for updates.
I am currently seeking for individuals, preferably students or young graduates- creatives- who love writing and social media.
And don’t forget to let me know if you want me to continue the list.