“I wanted to create in real life what I saw in my mind” – words spoken by Lesotho’s own Kaizer Matsumunyane during a discussion I had with him recently.
Film Producer, Businessman and Lecturer, these are some of the hats donned by the owner of one of the freshest spots in town – “Café What?”. His journey portrays perseverance and exemplifies how, despite adversity and infrastructural obstacles, one’s pursuit of passions can, and does result in success.
We had a word about his journey and the challenges he has surpassed.
Q: Based on your roles as a lecturer, businessman, and a member of the Black Star Produxions collective, it is evident that you do not view challenges as a ceiling, and as such your journey is constantly evolving. What advice would you give to our countless young aspirant artists and/or entrepreneurs in Lesotho, who have been discouraged by barriers to market entry or otherwise, and are told that they are dreaming too big and none of it is possible in our landscape?
A: I think it’s really challenging and things can be hard. I’ve experienced moments of anxiety where I wonder ‘What did I get myself into?’ But that’s when I say, let me just keep going. We all have our plans in terms of the journey we take but things will happen; one may not reach the best of desires but can achieve other successes. I think here in Lesotho, while we sometimes do support each other, we don’t do it enough.
We are a very homogenous society which does not really celebrate difference. If someone wants to do something, people don’t really encourage it. I have one life. I don’t want to feel like I didn’t do this or that because of people.
Abandoning own goals because of others, or from fear of the unknown, gives the worse feeling. I would rather say I tried, than to say I was afraid. For me, I also have my family which is a great support system. I think on any journey, one discovers and learns something about him/herself, draws lessons and experiences growth.
Q: Limkonkwing University has addressed a deficit in our local skills sector, by providing access and exposure to programs that were previously unavailable. How do you think Basotho can foster and promote creativity, artistic expression and entrepreneurship, beyond formal classroom settings?
A: I think the problem is we start too late. We only introduce things like entrepreneurship much later in schooling. So for most of your life you’re brought up in a society that says an office job is the only way to progress.
I think we need to start encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. We need to teach kids from a young age about entrepreneurship; start fostering creativity and have creativity classes beyond just kindergarten. We cannot say to our graduates be entrepreneurs when all their education there was nothing to prepare them for entrepreneurship.
Read the full interview on lintlemothetho.com