Chris BishopBy Chris Bishop|November 14, 2022|4 Minutes|In Editor's Desk

Editor’s Desk

Do rather than merely be

Good morning entrepreneurs of Africa. Let me qualify this column in terms of my state of mind.In short, I didnt sleep a wink last night; my football team lost in the last kick of the game to a very average looking Manchester United team; yes, I am grumpy as heck in the dawn of another week.

The teenager who scored the goal was a young Argentinian  Alejandro Garancho –who looks like he’s never shaved. He paid back his paltry $419,000 transfer fee, peanuts by the standards of the mega bucks Premier League, by finding the corner of the net in the last minute.

I am sure his mother loves him, but the lad has played a mere three league games for Manchester United and  that was his first goal that now equals his yellow cards.

What made me think, ahead of this column ,was the commentators were talking about 18-year-old Garancho like he was Eusebio and Pele all rolled into one.

Now what I hate is this rapid, paper-thin, cheap celebrity that everyone seems to be obsessed with these days. Building people up and taking great pleasure in knocking them down

Whatever happened to humility? By contrast, I got thinking the other week when one of my friends said derisively of the England World Cup Winner Geoff Hurst : “ You can see him running around the park most days.” It was said in such a way to imply that Hurst should be driven around in big cars to big houses flanked by his own bodyguards. The fact that he doesn’t, my friend was implying, he must be a mug as well as a football hero.

Now Hurst, a robust and deadly striker for West Ham, not only won the World Cup in 1966 but also scored a  hat-trick in the final – a feat that no other player has been able to equal in the last 56 years or ever for that matter.

Yet Hurst was a down to earth man. The day after he won the World Cup he went home to mow his lawn. When the triumphant team broke up he told manager Alf Ramsey he would see him at the next international.

“If selected Geoffrey, if selected” called back Ramsey.

The point is Hurst was a grounded, skillful and hard-working professional who spent his playing days polishing his craft. His humility makes his achievements shine ever more brightly.

Contrast that to social media where people are vying to show they have the most exciting life and promoting false achievement. A picture standing next to a famous person is just that, in my view. A useless tissue of unearned achievement that everyone seems to crave on social media.

My advice to entrepreneurs this week is to remember this: it is better to do something than merely be someone.