Education

The key of life

While reading my story you may have realized that without education, I would not be where I am today. Because I took my education seriously, I work as the Executive Chairperson of the Bigen Group of Companies today – an organization that specializes in infrastructure development on the continent of Africa. Bigen prides itself in doing good while doing business by improving the quality of life of people. If I had not obtained my PhD and MBA I would have not occupied this position.

In addition, I sat, and still sit, in both public and private sector boards. For example, I chaired the boards of Water Research Commission and the The Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority, both institutions ensuring the quality and quantity of water provisioning in our country of South Africa. We know that water is life, and humans, as well as the environment and business, depend on water for existence and sustenance. It has been a blessing to also serve on boards that provide services in the sanitation, agriculture, energy, housing, roads, rail and health sectors. All of these are possible because I took education seriously.

My challenge to you as you read this is, what are you doing to obtain education so as to be a resource to your community and country? If you do have some education, are you using it to improve service delivery in your country? Are you availing your skills and knowledge to empower institutions, governments, and other people? How do you share your knowledge and how do you learn from others to build yourself up? What are you facing that makes you unable to get your education or contribute your knowledge to improving others’ lives? I would like to hear from you and see how, with the support of many others, we might support you.

Please share your story with us so we may encourage others in faith.

I believe the more we share, the bigger the difference we can make in other people’s lives.

Some of our shared stories

  1. ACHIEVING GREAT RESULTS

    Why do others achieve big things while most people don’t? Why is it that even those who dream big, sometimes end up achieving small results? The reason is simple. To fly, an eagle requires two wings. Dreams, desires, visions or whatever you may call them, are like an eagle. For them to come to reality, just as an eagle requires two wings, two things should be in place. Motivation and self-belief.

    Motivation is like fuel to dreams, and an accurate self-belief is a vehicle. A vehicle can’t take you anywhere without fuel, and surely fuel in a bucket can help, but only to light a fire. A vehicle depends on fuel, and fuel makes a vehicle move.

    Self Belief as explained in the Bible (Luke 14:28) says, “Which of you, wishing to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost to see if he has the resources to complete it?” Most people want to achieve big results, but have very little, to no self-knowledge. To know what you are capable of, you need to have an accurate understanding of what you’ve got and what you are. Knowing what you are capable gives you self-belief (Romans 12:1-3).

    The story of Caleb and Joshua in the Bible gives a good illustration of my point. 12 people were sent to spy out a land to be conquered. 10 came out defeated even before they attempted the raid, but two said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” (Numbers 13:21-26) Being certain of what you can do comes from self-belief.

    How to develop self-belief:

    Self-belief is developed by –
    a) Celebrating your successes no matter how small. Every time you celebrate a success you are sending information to your brain that you are capable of achieving success.
    b) Being grateful for what you have and have achieved, rather than complaining about what you don’t have, or what you are not.
    c) By testing your capabilities. Try things out and don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is not fatal. Learn from your failures. Fail quickly so you can learn quickly.
    d) Develop a growth mind-set, not a fixed mind-set. A growth mind-set is one which says, I will get better at this, although now I know I am not. A fixed mind-set says, I failed at this, so I wasn’t meant for this. It is not every time that when you fail it means you should quit (Job 8:7).

    Motivation:

    The story of David gives us a clue about the power of right motivation. When David arrived at the battle front and found Goliath taunting the Israeli army. This is what he asked the soldiers; “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:25-26) The soldiers told him that if he killed Goliath he would be given the King’s daughter to marry and he and his family would never pay taxes ever again, and he will be made very rich. To have the King’s daughter and never to pay taxes ever again would get many people to miracles. When you have the right motivation to achieve something, you will certainly do. You don’t just need to be motivated, the motivation should be right for you. What motivates me may not be what motivates you. Find a good reason why achieving big things would be worthwhile.

    How to Develop Motivation:

    To develop the right motivation you need to –
    a) Clarify why you want to achieve what you want to achieve. Find something that really means a lot to you and link it to why you want to achieve big things. For some, it is to help their parents. Some it is to help others and the list goes on.
    b) Know that serving other humans pleases God. Most people don’t know that by serving others, through a great product or service, you please God. God is pleased with great service, and every time great service results in great results.
    c) Know that self-sustenance is the highest honour for any human being. I hear a lot of people rooting for Billionaires and Millionaires when they give their money to charity. While charity is good, God created every human being to have the dignity of being able to look after themselves. Empowerment is better than charity. Instead of giving people things, I would rather they are empowered to stand on their own.
    d) Know that God delights in the prosperity of His children. (Psalm 35:27) If people knew how much it pleases God when they prosper, most of us would not look down on prosperity, let alone the people that are prosperous.

    To succeed at anything, have a healthy dose of right motivation, and an accurate estimation of your capabilities. Have a vehicle (Self Belief) with a full tank of fuel (Motivation).

    Kenneth Mwale
    Author. Public Speaker. Pastor

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  2. Education is indeed a key to unlocking many and endless possibilities for a progressive, productive and resourceful life. I remember when I was growing up, I used to voice my ambitions loudly – for example, I hated touching coal as it would leave my little hands tainted black for days – I disliked it as it made me feel unclean. I would then say to my mother ‘I will not use coal in my house but electricity’. My mother would say “My child, say God-willing, as it is not up to you”. I agreed with my mother but added that I would ask God to give me courage, determination and commitment including mental capacity to pursue and finish my vision. The first prize for me was to go to university. I imagined myself in a black academic gown (by the way it was quite an achievement to be a university graduate in those days).

    I however got married immediately after matric and my husband had to commit that he would let me study further. He kept his promise and here I am today, having completed a Master of Business Leadership (MBL)Degree. Initially I had thought I was fine with my basic degree until I met well read women, then I realised I had actually not really studied much. My friends, Mamathe Phiri and Snowy Khoza, pushed me so hard to study further to a point where I then decided after three years, to register for the MBL. The journey was difficult and yet so fulfilling.

    Today, I am an Executive Manager, empowered in all spheres of business. This kind of feat is not easy to achieve without financial and emotional support of the family especially the spouse and children. Studying whilst wearing many hats of being an employee, a mother and a wife can be challenging at times but the positive outcome outweighs all the trials. I am grateful to the Almighty for granting me my wish of education, my friends who nagged me until I took a leap and my husband who was up for the challenge.

    Never doubt yourself, God has blessed all His people with immeasurable talents and resilience. It is up to us, how we use these gifts of love. So, it does not matter how old you are, education is the key to life.

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  3. I just returned from Atlanta where a group of young future leaders from developing countries were sharing their life experiences. I had the opportunity to share my life journey with them too. As I listened to their journeys I came to the full realization that without education, life will be more difficult. The educational journeys we shared pointed to the same conclusion that education is the key to life. For the majority of our stories, from walking long distance to school with empty stomachs, entering university with only bursary/scholarship fund paying only for tuition and books fees but no allowance for accommodation, transport, clothes and main basic necessities, struggling with ill-health with no medical insurance but still continuing with studying, parents being laid off from work or passing on or divorcing in the middle of our studies, to strikes at colleges/universities thus disturbing lectures and/or exams; all these built in us the spirit of tenacity, courage, resilient and hope to continue pursuing our studies against all odds.

    Today, some of us have become signicant people in our societies because we stuck it on regardless of the life challenges we faced along the way. Many of the young leaders whom I have met in my life in general, come from very difficult backgrounds, but today they have made choices to be significant in the lives of others. They are doing amazing things like innovating educational solutions that better the lives of young people – helping them to fund their way go to school or university. I thus believe that without going to school and/or university most of these young leaders would not be where they are today.

    My encouragement to young people is that you must take your education seriously using every opportunity you have to complete your college or university. In situations where you are not able to study further, you should consider finding something that you can do and still further your studies later on. Remember it is never too late to study further. I know so many people who studied very late in their lives and made it to the end. Today they are successful and some have moved to significant lives. Indeed as the Bible says: ‘people perish for lack of knowledge’. We also say as we speak generally, that ‘knowledge is power’ and ‘knowledge shared is knowledge doubled’.

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