Blowing up my candle will never make yours Shine Brighter

Last week, I was so disturbed by the reports of xenophobia that are being reported in several countries across the African continent.

Many of our countries have high unemployment rates and many of our relatives are unemployed, however, it is wrong to think that unemployment is caused by someone else (in this case a foreigner) being employed in a job that should be yours.

Except in the cases of family owned enterprises and corrupt practices of nepotism, jobs are never handed to us because of our bloodline. There are always a lot of factors in play.

We should never stoop too low to think that getting rid of someone in a particular job will get you that job. Ideally, job opportunities do not work like that.

I believe that even if all the foreigners left South Africa and the natives took over those jobs and businesses, they would not survive for more than 3 months. We already experienced this in Uganda in the 1970s when President Idd Amin chased away all Asians from Uganda and handed over the businesses to Ugandans. Those businesses barely made it past the first one month. So, getting rid of the foreigners is not going to get more South Africans jobs. That’s not the solution to the unemployment problem in that country. BLOWING UP ONE’S CANDLE WILL NEVER MAKE YOURS SHINE BRIGHTER.

Another common illusion is when people in leadership positions try to block the exposure and growth of those below them. I always get disturbed when I hear of a story of someone in leadership trying to block people under their leadership from accessing opportunities that the leader feels entitled to. It is sickening especially if such a leader is a Christian since as Christians, we are called to a higher standard. Jesus our ultimate leader and example was always looking out for opportunities for the people under his leadership to grow. One example that always blows my mind was when he told his disciples that they will actually do greater things than him. That’s the standard we should aspire to as Christian leaders.

This refection got me asking a number of questions:

Why do we feel that we are the only ones entitled to specific opportunities to the extent that we block other people especially those under our leadership from accessing them?

Why can’t we genuinely wish the very best for others? What causes this? Is it because we don’t think we can get better opportunities? Is it because we are just lazy to pursue other opportunities? Are we too scared that the people who at one point looked upon us will overtake us?

As leaders, we should not get caught up with past opportunities such that we get hold of them and block other people from accessing them. I believe we should be looking out for new ones. We should be asking what next and pursuing those while leaving way for the people within our leadership to grow. We need to be paving new paths for those we lead. As leaders, we should never get so caught up with the past that it becomes an obstacle to us pursuing the future.




Allan is a blogger, avid reader, statistician, businessman, and aspiring investor

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Allan Kakinda

Allan is a blogger, avid reader, statistician, businessman, and aspiring investor