If You’re Broke, It’s Your Fault (and other thoughts for young Cameroonians)

I’m one of you. I see it every day. I hear various forms of it. But it’s the same thing: excuses. Why you don’t have a job, why you don’t have money, how school is taking all your time, or how you want to have better grades.

I get it: we all have different scales of preference. We were born to different families, at different times, brought up differently etc. Your values, dreams and goals are shaped not solely by the environment in which you grew up, but by your DNA as well. Literally: you could have some of your parents’ predilections and this could affect your life in tremendous ways.

Nature vs Nurture.

What I have a problem with is when some of these declarations stop being what they are: EXCUSES and become a crippling way to accept the status quo of whatever situation you are in: REASONS.

I have complained. How if I had had the courage earlier to tell my parents I didn’t want to study Biochemistry I would have begun a career I love faster. Or how If only I can make time to write every day since I figured out I loved writing, I should have had books by now. Or how the reason why I am single is because I am tired of the emotional involvement that comes with being in a committed relationship.

Some of these are good reasons. Being self-aware of my own limitations has brought me closer to positioning myself to succeed instead of fighting battles I would eventually lose. Maybe I am just not persistent enough to address my weaknesses. But I’d prefer to stop having excuses to hinder my financial, professional, emotional and spiritual success that to transform those excuses into reasons.

Think about it. You’re in the University. Your parents paid your rents. You get an allowance (it doesn’t matter how small it is). You are young.

Now, if you are even able to GET INTO the university, in my not so humble opinion, you’re smart! You’ve got something. You can do something! Anything! That alone for me, is enough to tell you to shut the hell up when you want to start giving an excuse as to why you can’t make money or why you don’t have enough time , or even in the future — why you don’t have a job.

I spent 7 years in the University to get a first degree after switching degree programmes twice. So, I know a thing or two about failure, disappointment, self-doubt, and laziness. So, trust me when I tell you this:

If you’re a student in the University in Cameroon, and you’re broke (meaning you don’t have money to do whatever you want that is reasonably important for your well-being (I don’t mean buy a bloody car), then it’s your fault.

You caused this. You want this. Own it.

Why? Because the internet.

You have a physical location to stay. Maybe you’ll tell me you live in an uncomfortable environment. Or that the cousin with whom you live is a weirdo. Or that you live far from school. Bullshit. You have a place to sleep. In a University town. That’s like winning the urban lottery.

You have food to eat. If you’re reading this, you have internet. If you can PAY for internet, I don’t think you would sacrifice feeding to get online. Although that would not surprise me #lookenoughandyouwillalwaysfindanexcuse

Click Here To Cast Your Vote and Get a Ticket

The internet provides every single person with a platform that has no geographical boundaries. You can tell your story in whatever format you want-text, audio or video. You can share on all social media platforms (which are essentially free). You can even make a living by complaining about companies online to the point where they call you to fix your problem, and get you to attend an invite only event. If you’re as astute as Churchill Mambe, you don’t even need a degree to create one of Africa’s most talked about platforms- Njorku.

The idea that not everyone can write is plain stupid. I’ve always been vitriolic about this issue and I don’t think I’ll be changing my stance anytime soon. Everyone (unless you didn’t go to school, which is a valid reason) can write. What most people mean when they say this is that NOT EVERYONE CAN BE A GREAT WRITER, or write a moving piece, or something of the sort. And I don’t still quite agree.

Everyone has a unique set of experiences, perspectives and DNA. That’s the beauty of humanity- the diversity. Unfortunately, a lot of it plays against us. But it doesn’t have to. I enjoy having conversations with people with strong opinions- especially when these people have strong arguments to back them up.

I don’t mind being wrong- you just have to be able to prove it.

If you chose to tell your story through writing, you could win. If you chose to start a podcast (like my incomplete experiment here…) you could win, if you chose to make videos even in Cameroon, you could win.

The reason why we’re young, broke and pissed-off university students ( and graduates) is simple: we don’t want to work hard. And we are not patient. We don’t heed to advice. We don’t seek mentors.

There is no overnight success. There is no one hit wonder. Even Justin Bieber’s Mum had to upload videos of him before Usher noticed. It takes time. Lots of it. And as young people, that’s really all we have. Time to learn. To make mistakes. To absorb knowledge from books, mentors, experiences. Time to plan for the long term while keeping the short term in check.

I believe that the next 5 years are going to be critical for the economy of this nation. I also believe that those who shed their excuses, find reasons, work on their strengths, are patient, work hard and aren’t afraid to be themselves will be the ones to win.

To win, we need to play the long game.

Stop watching football matches all day long. Stop watching the Kardashians. Heck, I don’t have a TV. Then again, that’s me. I know what I want. If you’re okay with all that, and you’re not complaining, that’s awesome! You do you boo boo.

I invest my time in activities that would benefit me the long term. Take the Hadron Networking Event for example.

Visit Site

Speaking with the CEO yesterday, he raised the same issue I have been thinking about:

Why do technology startups remain startups and not become actual companies? 

That’s the bubble around the Cameroonian technology ecosystem. There are too many startups. Too many ideas leave from 0 to 1 (not the Peter Thiel type) and stay there. What’s the problem? How can this change?

Surely, we’ve not had the funds required to scale. Between the environment that is not yet ready or the lack of Angel Investors who believe in the dream, I don’t know which is worse.

The team at Hadron believes every company is a technology company. That the way things are done need to change if we want to move the needle further.

Personally, I believe every company is first a MEDIA company. But that is another story.

There is talent in this country. Lots of it. You may say that not everyone has access to the internet. But I leave you with only one question:

You, with access to the internet, with access to learning material, platforms to work from home, a window to tell your story to the whole world, to build a following and sell products , to run a blog/vlog and make money from it…what have you done with your internet access?

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Call To Action

Get your ticket to the Hadron Networking Event on the 15th December here. Visit the website to read more. I believe in them.

Website- Hadron SA
Facebook- Like The Page
Twitter- Hadron LLC
Event Page- Facebook Event
Tickets- See you there


Hi, I’m Tchassa Kamga. I’m passionate about writing, technology, social media, entrepreneurship and self-improvement. I offer social media, copywriting and copyediting services. You can reach me via Twitter and/or Facebook. On Instagram, I let my imagination travel on the pictures I take. And on Snapchat, I pretend to be famous.

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