By D. Gumisiriza Mwesigye
It’s an empty nest now since the boys are at school.
Every time the holidays end, it is a few days in before I get used to empty rooms and a silence in one part of the house.
However this time, there is something that still rings in my mind even after I get used to the boys being away.
In this silence, I still hear their voices singing their favourite song “[ I Want To Be A] Billionaire”—a 2010 hit by Travie McCoy.
Oh, they sang their hearts out throughout the day any time especially the chorus.
Unlike Capital FM that plays the same tired playlist over and over, [a reason I ditched 91.3] I kind of always looked forward to the next time they would break out in song.
How they wanted to be billionaires “so freakin’ bad”, be on the cover of Forbes magazine, and hang out with Oprah and the Queen.
Maybe this is the message, I found myself thinking when Fathers’ Day kind of sneaked up on us. Yes, it did. Actually, I thought it was 23rd June but it fell on 16th, a week earlier. My bad!
Back to my billionaire-wanna-bes or rather billionaires-to-be.
The more I thought about it, the more it became possible to me that these boys are potential billionaires.
Not the 1986 kind of billionaires but those whose chosen fields will not only earn them piles of $$$ but whose ideas will impact millions of people.
You see, unlike what our parents advised us: Read hard, get good grades, and get a good job—we know better.
I would blame them less but that kind of advice is now as dead as a dodo. The glorified desk job is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.
The future belongs to those who think beyond good-grades-good-job to the ideas-problems solving-disruption.
The onus is on us as parents to inspire the aspirations of our children. And that’s my end of the stick. These boys are billionaire boys, it is my billionaire problem.
So, one of them wants to be an engineer. As they say, he is right on the money. For instance, there are huge infrastructure projects going on around the world.
Not only that but the world of science and technology is at the forefront of solving many challenges in society.
I advise him, let your ideas solve these challenges, impact millions and the $$$ will follow… and lots of it. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs/Steve Wozniack, Jeff Bezos became billionaires out of their ideas.
The other has an interest in farming. We can fly to Jupiter or plunge submarines into the deepest ocean but the basic instinct to feed is human.
Everyone has to eat, so the youngin will have his work cut out. I point out to him that agribusiness in Africa will be worth US$1trillion by 2030.
The figures may not make sense now while you figure out BODMAS. Keep focused on what you are passionate about. Look no further: Aliko Dangote, Africa’s billionaire, has huge interests in agribusiness among his several other enterprises.
And the one who surprised us. He wants to be a teacher. Being in the lower classes, he probably sees the teacher as his hero with all the answers to questions he has.
I know what our society thinks of the noble profession.
In fact, I always say, if I was to go back to uni, I would study for an education degree because I have seen how versatile someone with this qualification can be—the various fields he or she can plug into and get good pay.
But the lad is not off the mark… with Africa’s young and growing population expected to hit one billion soon, providing education services to these young minds will not only make him a billionaire but cast his legacy in stone.
The billionaire boys are coming… my billion-dollar problem is not the what or the when, it is the how and the why.