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Rejection

In the 7 years of Muwado‘s existence, there have been many people/organisations that have expressed interest/I have tried to interest in partnering to take the project to the next level. Seeing as I’m still mainly alone in this thing, it’s safe to say the struggle continues.

Some failed when we realised their vision for the project was way offside from mine. Even I wasn’t sure of the exact vision till last year but at least I knew what I didn’t want it to be. So we had amicable breakups so they could chase their vision independently.

Others pulled out because we weren’t at the level where they could reap the benefits they expected. Guys, this kind of thing is a marathon, not a sprint. But this is a general problem with investment in my kind of startup on the continent so I’ve made peace with it till our generation that’s been in these trenches is liquid enough to be the investors the continent needs. The ones in this category that annoy me are the ones that want controlling stake in your venture for measly amounts of capital. Greed is one of the seniorest sins, just saying.

Another category is my peers that understand the vision completely, have no money but are interested in partnering by bringing their skillset to the table so we can build the thing without capital. But adulting and its demands have a way of taking up their time to the point where you all allow that they can’t effectively be a part.

The last category is the impersonal grants, competitions and incubator arrangements. As someone that doesn’t particularly like paperwork, I find the application process of these ones tiresome because of how many questions you have to answer. The plus side is doing this repeatedly gives you a better understanding of your business idea and the impact you intend to bring about. The rejections are plenty here and eventually, you kinda get used to them. Kinda…

Sometimes, you come across one that seems like a perfect fit and you give it your all. This picture is of me pitching at the most recent opportunity of this kind.

Nation Media Group that has famous brands like NTV, The East African, Daily Monitor… has come to the realisation that their business model just isn’t working any more as the world changes with technological advancements as evidenced by their consistently shrinking annual revenue figures. Covid has accelerated this trend.

To counter this, they partnered with Innovation Village for a challenge to find fresh ideas they can take on to turn their fortunes around. I sent in my pitch deck and after being called for the next level where we’d be presenting our ideas to a panel, I went in all guns blazing, sweated my passion out on that stage and left feeling confident about my chances.

I didn’t make it.

This particular one really hurt. Partnering with NMG and their localised media experience in the region plus resources and manpower would have been the kick Muwado needed to properly shine.

Sigh.

Anyway, regardless we move. Trying not to take these rejections personally and keeping our heads held up high. Back to our slow and steady progress. Hoping that our moment will come and all this time and financial investments won’t be for nothing.

Hug your entrepreneur friends whenever you can. And to the friends and family that have listened to my endless KB over the years, I really appreciate you.

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Written by Rolex (6)

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4 Comments

  1. What happens in capitalist Africa is that multinationals through South African entities buy out projects like these and keep you on with the corner office and then set their own route, the CNN guy is still crying even when he is now a billionaire. What is that offer comes for Muwado from people you are sure have different objectives and they can pull all the political economy strings in the industry

Long-short story about Denis & Gratitude

International Queer Activist Sokari Ekine speaks on the current LGBT efforts in Botswana and Africa.