Top politician, former deputy minister, philanthropist and IT specialist – turns out to be a great story teller
The Sunday Express
As has become custom – its newsmakers week every week at The Sunday Express – and if we were to be defined by the quality the guests coming through – then Seeing News Differently is definitely a tag made for the headlines.
This week – in came a special guest – former Congo Brazzaville Presidential candidate Roger Nzaba – who is also CEO & Chairman: PCA Group (Pty)Ltd: Owner of Itel Group Holdings: Patron of the Roger Nzaba Foundation and Goodwill Ambassador for the World International Film And Music Festival.
After a few weeks of planning for the interview – Nzaba made a scheduled appearance at our Rivonia studios – and discussed everything from current affairs news, African geopolitics and investments to clothing, mining, timber, oil, freight, furniture, and his all-time passion information technology.
But above all – he turned out to be quite a great storyteller – able to juggle questions in philanthropy and futurism.
“You see Africans have a great responsibility to take their own continent forward. We have some great minds, very brilliant people, but many times we seek foreign aid for the things that we can do for ourselves.
“We always wait for the west to lead us, and we seek help for the things that we can do. Even for those countries that are described as failed democracies – we must not lose hope. But it is our responsibility is what we must take – if we are truly going toi change the plight of the continent,” he said.
Many on the continent spent time doing things that did not better their lives and many times this was an issue of leadership – as the continent was endowed with oil, vast natural resources, and huge potential in global economics – but basics like tape water remained a luxury.
Nzaba described the journey that had made him content the presidential elections in Congo Brazzaville five years ago – and when he had come third – he realised that there was more to winning the contents – more than just winning the actual numbers on the ballots.
“Rember that Congo Brazzaville is richer than Qatar, and the country can produce about 600 000 barrels of oil per day, but the country is still struggling to stand on its feet. We have gone astray with our thought processes. We have fine skills, but skills have to be transferred to the people.”
I’m not saying let’s not borrow the good ideas from Europe, or China, or the Americans. But at the same time our own African solutions to world challenges have hardly been tested on the world forums,” said Nzaba.
He spent time describing his life journey – from being at the right place and at the right time – when he got in shipping and freight, to shipping aid to war-torn DRC- and through to negotiating with global information companies to bring manufacturing and computer hardware from Europe to Africa.
Through all his business and entrepreneurial journey he had lived through the motto of Pray and Work – Work and Pray – saying that the journey of business was full of bumps, hazards, and sleepless nights.
Through the Roger Nzaba Foundation they had managed to send up 250 previously disadvantaged youths to universities, and through to starting up a new electronics company with will push through with manufacturing electric components and products in South Africa for the sub-regions.
He also described his vast networks created through Itel Africa – to working with Huawei, Sansui, Logitex, Konica Minolta, and Sahara – saying that while most youths spent their time job hunting – much more could be gained from creating homemade gadgets and experimenting.
“Remember that it’s OK to be crazy and not to follow the crowd. Remember that it’s OK to think differently and it is OK to try, rather than not to have tried at all,” he said.
Stay In Touch with The Sunday Express For Details On The Screening Of The Full Interview on Jit Television on StarSat Channel 120
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