The CEO of DreamOval, Derrydean Dadzie, has emphasised the need for stakeholders to create the right environment to help individuals create careers out of their passion and monetising it to make a living.
“This is a country [where] it is very difficult to make money out of passion, unless your passion is generic,” he noted when he appeared as a guest on Class FM’s World Affairs programme on Friday June 16 to participate in a discussion on entrepreneurship in Africa.
He told host Dr Etse Sikanku that he has met individuals with enthusiasm in various fields including martial arts who are “walking on the streets and can’t even compete in the Olympics because there is no infrastructure for them”.
“But if I were doing martial arts, let’s say in the United States, I could get a gym, train people, and charge them US $80 per week for training and still own a big mansion. I might not be a billionaire but I will be able to employ other people,” he observed.
Mr Dadzie, who has produced several innovations in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), was saddened that individuals he knew with passion for Taekwondo “cannot even create gyms that will offer them life [in Ghana] but they go to Italy, US, and so on and become ‘big guys’ with gyms” and make lots of revenue from their passion.
He indicated that in other jurisdictions, there are sponsorships and institutions which offer help for people with a broad range of passion to thrive and make a business out of their skills.
However, “in Ghana, we are more or less made to conform, so even when you are in school your parents are shaping you to conform to a certain dictate and not allowed to explore and put ourselves to use, we are limited and so our entrepreneurial instinct does not grow”.
On her part, Ms Esther Armah, a journalism lecturer at Webster University expressed her worry of a fundamental issue in Africa, emphasising: “We need to dismantle the colonial economy of creating employees versus creating thinkers.”
She said colonialism created an education system that was designed “to slot people into jobs but always serve somebody else and that they are never going to lead”.
Ms Armah noted that there are many individuals who want to become entrepreneurs with critical thinking abilities but get stifled by lack of tools “to make the creativity real”.
She said it was time for individuals in her field for example to embrace entrepreneurial journalism in Ghana and African markets to move beyond the status quo and think creatively and brainstorm on ideas as well as engage in conversations that link entrepreneurship to information and culture leading to an expansion of already existing limited models to create wealth beyond linear thinking.