Some advocates of entrepreneurship are guilty of writing nice sounding stuff that sound good but when critically evaluated, hold no water and fall flat. A recent comparison of investments by banker Jim Ovia and musician Shina Peters is one of such situations.
During the week, I saw the story of investments by Sir Shina Peter and Dr. Jim Ovia on my news feed. The summary of the comparison was this:
Sir Sina Peters built a house with N20m in 1990, same year Jim Ovia started Zenith Bank with N20m
The comparison was flawed because the writer wasn’t using the same parameters for both of them. For instance he was comparing Sir Shina Peters’ house with Dr. Jim Ovia’s Zenith Bank. Perhaps, he should have compared the houses of both of them to draw some analogies. But I didn’t even see the need for that because there was absolutely no basis for the comparison in the first place, as these are two unique individuals with different callings, make-up and preferences.
Below are a few questions that I have for the writer:
- Do you know the worth of the master tapes of Sir Shina Peters’ songs?
- Do you know how much his guitar would go for in the market? Last year I read that King Sunny Ade’s guitar was auctioned for N52m!
- Have you ever heard of Great Merchant Bank Ltd? This bank was established in Nigeria about the same time with Zenith Bank. GMB Ltd amongst others became distressed and went into liquidation as far back as the first quarter of 1998. All the investments of the shareholders went down the drain, depositors lost their cash, people lost their jobs. Of course as you can imagine, it also had negative spiral effects on so many people, businesses, service providers and government (in the form of tax). The truth of the matter is that not all businesses (banks inclusive) survive for obvious reasons.
- Do you know how much Dr. Jim Ovia has spent on his houses and on cars?
- Is money the best yardstick for measuring success?
- Do you know who is more fulfilled between both men?
I think people should desist from using extremism to drive home their points. Life doesn’t work that way. Entrepreneurship has its own merit and demerits. No matter how beautiful it’s painted, not everyone will go into it.
Even in more developed economies where there are incentives and support for business start-ups, it’s not everyone that is into it and some existing businesses even pack up there. With this kind of negative hype on Entrepreneurship, more harm than good is done. They raise people’s hope unnecessary only to dash it at the end of the day.
Every one owns it to him/herself to critically evaluate what they read and watch, this write-up inclusive.
This article was originally published on Emmanuel Isibor’s Facebook page and reproduced here with permission. – Editor.