The Time Factor in Africa -Time for change
Money is an issue many people will not compromise on for any reason. However timing to most Africans is not really a big deal. Some believe that the issue of timing is a cultural thing – depending on where you come from.
Lateness to occasions and activities in Africa is regarded as normal where as in some parts of the world, timing is a top priority in most circumstances. This writer believes that being on time is not a western concept but a universal principle of life.
As the saying goes – “methods are many, principles are few, methods can change often, but principles never do”. If a principle such as timing is universal. I believe it is trans-cultural. It will work anywhere. Many attempt to hide their sluggishness and poor preparation under the banner of culture and give you strong reasons why they are never early for any event. When an event timed for 6 PM actually means 7, 7:30-8 pm, suggest that the society is losing a necessary ingredient for a prosperous life. We understand that top state officials show up hours after a program is actually due to begin which the strange notion that it shows their importance or dignitary status. What a shame. Ignorance must be cured by knowledge.
Time is a resource of inestimable value in capacity building and the productive future of any society. It is the efficient use of time, energy, money and all available resources that is vital for lifting Africa out of poverty. Africa cannot lead in any field when we blatantly ignore and abuse time in our daily lives.
We crave for more and more money to solve problems but abuse time at will and expect solutions. If making more money is our passion, then timing must be a top priority in all our daily activities. Make no mistakes about it, you throw time management out of the equation, you risk making very little impact in the global environment.
Some leaders in various fields in Africa such as education and ministry have made timing a top priority resource. The results are outstanding and they’re setting the pace for the rest of Africa to emulate.
To change our status, we need to pay the price for change. To be a high flyer, your value for time must change. Stop making excuses such as traffic jams, the weather and other reasons for lateness. Develop a new mindset to timing and our society would start being a more productive place. Timing is discipline and as Abraham Lincoln said –
“Discipline is the soul of an army; it makes small numbers formidable, it procures success to the weak and esteem to all”. The Bible also reminds us – Walk as wise men; not as fools- redeeming the times because the days are evil. Even the world will give way to a man who knows where he’s going and respect for time would be one of his abiding principles.