I would like to conclude, what I call, the capitals, not as in capital city but capacity at an individual, community, and national level to build. We started with Cultural Capital builds the customs or is founded on the customs, or behaviours or traits that are good to every society that each of our communities would like to reproduce and keep for the next generation and drop the negative ones. These are values of marriage, on relationships, on gratitude- the sense of gratefulness is expressed differently in each community, on chastity, on chivalry. These are things which are carried by the culture of a community and like I said at the beginning, those who keep them are like movie makers, they make a script of the next society.

Cultural Capital, often gives you a better setting ground for spiritual capital, so what does spiritual capital give you. It gives you a tenderness of the heart to deal with the issues of the world, the humility with which you approach life. Spiritual capital tells you that, ‘you are not the center of the universe’ or at least teaches you that. You are not everything! So do not puff up because you do not create life. Today you are here, tomorrow you are gone! That spiritual language is important to teach you to fear God, to fear your parents- to respect, the word is reverence, to not run away, respect of elders. Respect of someone who is older than you. It does not mean that you are not smarter perhaps you might be but the fact that they are older, they know a thing or two you may not know. Respect of parents, respect of teachers, respect of the social structures that have kept us together. Often that comes from observing the strength of the spiritual capital of that you have, which you understand or easily remember. We said the kennel and the husk. The Husk is the culture, the kennel is the real you, the message, the seed. Spiritual capital removes the tendency, especially in Christianity to confuse Christianity with westernisation. In other words, that to be a good Christian, you have to be a good European or American. That is why you see people changing accents or acting strangely, that confusion of Christianity and westernisation, I think, builds extremism because often, western civilisation especially in our time has often become decadent. Like the old roman civilisation, that sense of decadence that people see in dress, food, behaviour and the tendency to put 100% on the physical reality or wealth that we see often make some Christians either extreme – they do not want to deal with the world or we are not able to convince other religions because we are acting as westerners not as true Christians. So how do you convince me to abandon my culture which is the husk, and take your seed which would change me unless you separate the two. You show that you know where I come from, you understand both my cultural constraints and my strengths and convince me to follow you whether in faith, or in social movements or in political movements or growing a young economy.

Let me tell you young Christians who confuse westernisation with Christianity. Jesus was a noble. He expressed the highest sense of nobility, He was a gentleman, when you read the gospels and Paul’s letters, you do not find a sense of extravagance. He lived in an agrarian society and his examples were basic. He did not say become Catholic, Anglican, Muslim, He preached three radical things which still resonate today in the spiritual, cultural and economic world. He said you must love your neighbour as you love yourself, that is radical love! In other words, what you wish for yourself, wish it for your neighbour. Just imagine if all of us did that, our street would not have garbage. There would not be litter in front of our homes, there would not be jumping cues whether it is in banks or restaurants and there would be stewardship of national resources so that they can help each one of us. That is what Jesus taught us.
Second, He said,’ Love your enemy!’ Very interesting! If you love only your friend, what new thing have you done? Radical love is to say, I know you are my enemy but I am going to win you over by not acting crudely or doing things weirdly. We have seen some people who have led nations that way. Nelson Mandela loved his enemy more than his enemy ever wanted to love him back. Mahatma Gandhi, who led India to independence, Martin Luther King Jr., is remembered more than some fiery fighters who were good too-like Malcom X but their history is not told as strongly by that society as Martin Luther King Junior because they demonstrated Jesus’ love in their own cultures.
Jesus also taught about eternity. This is very interesting to me especially young people, not all the reality that you see is all that there is in the world. The reality you see, the plants, the vehicles, the buildings are created by someone or something higher than what is created. So, the creator is higher than what is created. In other words, he or she who writes the manual for this camera is more important than this camera. The can write more manuals. So I would like to encourage young people to know that there is a reality called spiritual reality. Just because you do not see something, it does not mean it is not real. Just because something is objective reality does not make it the only reality in life. I am not being philosophical; I just want you to grow up. That there is more to life than the material world. If you combine cultural capital and spiritual capital, then you get the third one- financial capital.

What is financial capital? It is money, credit, assets, buildings, equipment, business and these things give us the ability to spot opportunities and grow the wealth of our societies. We create jobs! For you to be able to see and grow the financial capital, it is important that you know who you are. A business is not started with money, it is starts with a thought, and where do thoughts come from? Spiritual and cultural! The rate at which we create or lose businesses, often is found in the other two forms of capital. I find that Africans tend to put a lot of weight on financial capital as if- yes, it is a big thing. Yes, our financial capital is locked in poor land tenure systems. If we cannot commercialise our land as assets because of multiple tenure systems, we are losing capital. If we do not build enough trust and confidence to get money from banks and pay back, we are losing financial capital. If we do not save enough we are losing financial capital. When you combine financial capital with spiritual capital and financial capital, it builds the necessary confidence especially for the African to know that we do not need anything. We have all it takes in natural resources, human talent and skill. It is just the way we are organised, and organisation is the key that turns everything.

That is why in our business at Tomosi, many years ago we looked around for what to call our vision and we said, MADE IN AFRICA! Why? Because a man or woman must make their home. If a man or woman does not make, they eat, they consume but they do not produce. We think that has been the state of Africa for the last 150 or so years. So just to say make, because the word make if I remember, in the Greek language is ‘Poiesis’. The original etymology of that word is I-make-my-own-home. I build my own house, so to make is a function of confidence not a function of the resources you have. It is a function of your spiritual capital, your cultural capital and it creates your financial capital.

The final and fourth capital I want to share with you is social capital. What is social capital? It is the value you get from positive connections and networks in your community, in your family, because we can choose friendships in a family but often we cannot choose kinship. We do not decide who we are born after, or with or before but we can choose in a family to have friends and build a relationship. Social capital is really your network is your net worth. So I want to ask you, using this channel to stay away from bad networks that build only negative because they do not build your social capital. Stay away from networks that teach you nothing and do not grow you. They diminish you, if something is not growing you, it is diminishing you. Relationships can build reputations or they can damage reputations and it is all to do with social capital. You find a sense of loneliness, yet everyone is online. How can we have billions of people online and yet we are lonely at an individual level. It is social capital that has no financial capital, that has no spiritual capital that has no cultural capital that makes you lonely. So expand your thinking see more than less in a world God has given you. So when we build the trust and confidence through the right networks for example the Somali community, mobilize money to do the things they need to do. I have seen Eritreans also do the same because often what forces us to act jointly could be cultural or could be circumstances. I believe that the right networks can build the right financial capital that we are looking for.

Finally, when you combine cultural capital with spiritual capital, financial capital and social capital, you build stronger societies and stronger nations. For example, President Museveni was in South Africa two week ago and he made a statement that “Uganda is at the equator, we literally can produce anything. Even a fool can survive in Uganda.” Uganda has some lazy people because of the environment they grow in. So I saw some people online saying, ‘How could you fly all the way to South Africa to speak ill about us?’ They do not understand the President is speaking philosophically he is cracking a joke but he is being serious. He is speaking about the African with a frontal approach not hidden in the back rooms where stuff is not said but you see its effect. He is an older man- a father- speaking to children of Africa. It is not him alone! Yesterday – I hope this helps you to understand that some of these jokes that are serious by the president. It is not him alone but leaders of a particular caliber. Yesterday I was reading letters written in the May of 1753 by Benjamin Franklin who is one of the founders of the American Constitution, 1753 May 9th, he is writing to a friend, the friend is in England, his name was Peter Collinson, lived in Peckham, South East of London. When you read letter between friends that id when you understand how people think. Benjamin Franklin says, ‘Somethings I cannot address on the pulpit. I should address them in the press. I am concerned about the English people who come to America, the colonists-but they are lazy because they have found the Mohawks.’ The Mohawks were living in the present day Connecticut, upstate New York and Mary land. ‘These Indian Mohawk nation only fish and hunt deer. They have everything at their disposal and our English colonists run there for free life-freebies!’ What Benjamin Franklin is not speaking about is that Mohawks had a much more united community around particular cultural values but his trouble was with the Germans. He is saying these Germans come all the way from Germany and they are so thrift, they save money, they work hard, they are not lazy but the English who came from a difficult country are here and very lazy. He says,”…but with us – he is talking about people like him who see reality of having to stop ‘laziness’ because of the nature of environment. He says, …”But with us are infinite Artificial wants, no less craving than those of Nature, and much more difficult to satisfy; so that I am apt to imagine that close Societies subsisting by Labour and Arts, arose first not from choice, but from necessity: When numbers being driven by war from their hunting grounds and prevented by seas or by other nations were crowded together into some narrow Territories, which without labour would not afford them Food.”

What is the story here? It is the rate of progress of societies combining the four things to notice the natural resources abundance and the laziness. It is not President Museveni. It is all leaders who notice circumstances. This is so many years ago when Benjamin Franklin wrote this. He is speaking about his own people just the way the President speaks about Africans. Did Benjamin Franklin speak about the English colonist who eventually built a bigger continent did it make Americans less able or as they say. ‘A friend who loves you stabs you frontal and the one who does not like you stabs you at the back!’ Should this make us less because President Museveni has sais we are lazy because of natural resources or should we wake up and say we have been blessed to fulfil a particular mandate on earth as Africans and we have all it takes. We should not be fearful of each other and speak to each other as brothers and friends. That ends the four capitals that I wanted to share with you. I hope you carry these lessons forward. God be with you. Have a great weekend!

 

 

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