Build a foundation before building a roof
South Africa in short, for all its pretenses and promises, is a white capitalist enclave where Blacks serve as plantation managers for European and Asian wealth. Where symbols and tokenism are totally disconnected from reality on the ground. And it is not always a case of lack of effort. ANC has tried many times and failed, to transform the economic landscape. But their primary problem is they lack the holistic education for the challenge. Most of all they do not understand their own culturally problematic mindset of most of the people they wish to transform. If you were to take 1 billion dollars and throw at the problem you will still fail to get a result. Money cannot add skills where there are no skills, and the greatest skill on Earth is your mindset.  
Take away industry from a race, take away political freedom from a race and you have a slave race — Hon. Garvey


In 1994 The Mandela Foundation endorsed this White woman as the official manufacturer of all of Nelson Mandela's "African" attire. As if they did not have a big enough economic footprint Mandela decided to also give them dominion over our African cultural dress. This is like giving the printing contract for Qur'ans in Saudi Arabia to Israel. She even exploited the endorsement to write a book about how she is able to make African clothes for the most famous of Africa's modern icons. Do not worry no Africans were empowered in the process. Like most African leaders lacked that consciousness about these things. So he thought the more inclusion the more he gave them opportunities that would facilitate a rainbow nation. Well, from 1994 - now the economy has moved in single digits. We have been oppressed for so long we just do not get it. Someone will ask "So what is the problem" no problem. No wonder the bulk of the economy (even in African culture) is owned by the minority. Mandela surrounded himself with people who knew how to secure a European dominant market. You could not get near Nelson unless you were White approved. Again, there is no problem. To suggest that Whites should not dominate every market space is racist. 


It is funny that to honor the new Zulu king they want schoolkids in South Africa to wear traditional clothes. On the surface, we pick up these token gestures and feel that things are going forward. But it is the exact opposite. Because while the spectacle is going on for all the cameras and press to see the reality on the ground is another thing. Since we started we have seen a total decline in the African industry. The foreigners are the ones with the skills at embroidery and fashion, they are being chased out of the country. Local fabric like DaGama (owned by Indians) is one of the last of the local fabric industries and they are fighting off China. Most are gone. As for local South African traditional culture, it is still animal hides, so how practical is that? Are the kids going to wear that to school in 2022? It is not that African clothes do not exist, it is that SA government has done NOTHING to protect and develop them. And then they come on the TV and rap about Traditional clothing day.
So which outlet in all of the 1000s of White-owned malls sells African clothes? We tried to sell to TakeAlot it is a massive challenge. We tried to sell to tourist outlets at the airport, but they are buying Chinese imports. So excuse me for treating the entire thing as a joke and very short-sighted and insincere. And that is a pattern in Africa. A lot of tokenism in place of really solid thought-out development strategies.
If Ethiopia was to talk like this at least Ethiopia has a clothing culture to back it up with. A garment industry to back it up with. Same with Nigeria and Ghana.


It is strange that Chinese and Pakistanis can enter South Africa in floods but talented Africans cannot. Below is a video of Yusuf, one of Nigeria's most talented embroidery artists who use to work for us at Ocacia but was asked to leave South Africa as they refused to renew his Visa. The Indians and Chinese get special consideration the skilled African artist get deported. Most of them leave without any visa in South Africa. These are the people sewing the clothes in the few dusty factories that exist. Praying that immigration will not raid them and send them packing. While America and UK are looking and hunting for skilled people to make up their great nations South Africa is doing the opposite. You will never find a foreigner even if they have South African citizenship in any public department. You are a Zulu-type native or Indian or White. While in the UK it is very common for people with African and Indian accents to be top representatives of the UK and USA in technology and medicine. Not in South Africa. So even the foreigners who have been made citizens are excluded in this xenophobic society.
Failure to integrate talented people into the country is pretty stupid, to be blunt. Because South Africa has the resources to nurture a new African renascence but not if it does not know how to manage the wealth of foreign talent inside and outside of its borders. The American model of inclusion is the reason why America is great. Take all the talent and make it American. South Africa is one of the most hostile countries when it comes to citizenship and permanent residents. It means only people with fake marriages slip by, while skilled investors get the boot. Had we not already been here we would never build our business in South Africa.   
So we watched immigration raid an Indian-run factory and take away all the foreigners who naturally did not have papers. Why did they not have papers? Because immigration is not set up to process Africans with these artistic skills. So they end up working illegally. And now that the foreign Africans are no longer working at the factory the owner had to close down. Local people are not into tailoring at the same level. They are not that interested either. So what has immigration accomplished? The closing of a South African business and the throwing away of skilled Africans. Skilled Chinese have no problems as their governments can negotiate collective visas. Pakistanis have no such issues as immigration selects them. So here we see a failure of policy to act in a realistic way to keep talent within South Africa's borders. And it is not hard to fix. And allow a detour, anyone can become and American citizen if they are accomplished. They have an entire policy of encouraging talented people to become American. Not South Africa. They (at best) want you to bring your skills for 5 years, invest, and then when the visa is up, piss off while they keep all the work you have done. Who is going to invest in that? 


So there is a call within South Africa to promote made-in-Africa. But if there is no postal system how are local manufacturers going to export Made in Africa to the broader world and be competitive? In 2010 it took the local South African post just over 7 days to get a parcel out of South Africa into America. Today in 2022 it cost 3 times as much and takes 3 months. Goods take 3 months to get here also. Yet while this is going on the same government that destroyed its own postal service is talking about Made in Africa. So they shoot us in the foot and tell us run. Chinese Aliexpress barely ships to South Africa because the postal system is finished. If you want anything from China you pay DHL more than the goods are worth or you ship it via the UK and pay all the way.  


South African tailor trained at OcaciaAt the root of South Africa's greatest challenges is a cultural one. Where the "black" youth have an entitled lazy mentality. They clearly want things that will not work for them. The tailor in the photo was trained for free but was not interested in coming to learn on Saturday. You see she did not get paid, so she had no interest. No matter that she would have gained critical skills. Eventually, she left sewing to washing cars and have a 2nd child that she cannot afford. This is one story of 100s. What about the person trained as a designer who refused to grow, preferring to sleep all day and chat on Whatsapp? The sewing room was all hers on Sunday, made no difference. Then finally a top South African designer called her up to be on TV and enter a challenge where she could win $47,000 and she turned it down saying she is not a designer and hung up the phone. Yet this is where she lives. And cannot even afford to look after her children.
These are only some of the stories. We call people to come and learn for free and they rather lie in bed with excuses. We invited people to join our company as partners and they rather be drivers for the local mosque. We ask models to come and get paid and they are too busy on Whatsapp with their friends to reply to our messages. This is just our local experience and everyone in business here will tell you the same stories. They are not interested in development. So the government, even when trying, is trying to fix something but giving opportunities that will only be squandered. They give start-up capital to fashion designers only for that money to end up spent on alcohol and cars. And part of the problem is the government has paper knowledge, they do not have any practical experience with their own people's mindset. But they are bound by silly notions of SA nationalism when they should adopt a Pan-African model and tackle these problems by empowering people like us at Ocacia who have both practical and theoretical conscious knowledge. 
Not interested in opportunities 
But then there are those gatekeepers that has an ego you have to climb over that would make Everest and K2 look like a hill. 


It is easy to say Made in Africa, it is easy to demand these things but there is nothing on Earth we can do unless we have the skills to do them. They could return the trillions of dollars made from slavery to us today and it would not mean we can do for ourselves unless we have the skills. In Durban, in 2022 we were approached by a TV show called Made in Africa. They were supposed to discuss fashion made in Africa. The organizers or the disorganizers had no organization skillsets and could not even book hotels, flights, or even reply to emails (not knowing how to open emails properly) and these are the people discussing Made in Africa. This is a perfect example of why we are where we are. Incompetence is not punished as they were funded twice so far for this project. Nothing about it speaks of professionalism. And despite claiming they had done it before struggled just as much the second time around. Ocacia was invited to participate and in the 11th hour they could not muster enough brain cells to book a hotel for us and update us with an email— So we canceled the circus show. If this is what passes for Made in Africa then Nairobi, we have an impossible problem on our hands. How can we get to finished goods when we are incapable of basic organizing and modern forms of communicating?  

And what creates people like this is that there is no merit-based system for vetting good from the bad. If you have an idea, no skills, no deeper insight but can apply to someone you know then you can get access to money to waste. These inexperience people running Made in Africa were so confused they were crawling all over themselves just to read simple emails and send out proper contracts. How can you send someone a contract yet it has in no terms regarding renumerations? Yet you promise to pay judges? How can you in the 11th hour be asking a company what is their website? How can 10 of the things you said you were going to do fail to be done? How can you be called made in Africa with a logo and a website that looks like it was done by a 15-year-old? The answer to this is because incompetence got funded to do something. Real-world Darwinism would never allow anyone so poorly developed to ascend to handle projects like this.