Graduation ceremonies for hustles are long overdue

High school graduates preparing for a procession. [XN Iraki, Standard]

Graduation ceremonies are no longer the preserve of universities. Even kindergarten kids graduate into primary school and later to high school.

The youngsters adorn the fancy gowns with fascination and awe. How many of them eventually adorn the coveted gown?

We may also ask how many kids who walk through UoN (University of Nairobi) Upper Kabete Campus heading to Loresho Primary School eventually get into that campus or any other university students.

In our generation, we saw those gowns only when our neighbours were graduating from university. We could ask loudly why these gowns are black in the tropical heat despite all the physics taught in Kenya. They should be white to reflect all the heat! 

Enough on gowns. We need graduation ceremonies as our hustles grow their markets and profitability and shift into the next level or category.

We classify hustles into micro, small and medium enterprises, depending on the number of employees. How many hustles graduate from one classification to another? How many graduates from hustlehood into corporations including multinationals? I have not attended such a graduation ceremony. 

Pure nepotism

Maybe I am not invited. The dream of graduating from one classification to another fires the imagination of the hustlers motivates them and is a source of pride.

We normally notice the graduation as the owner expands his or her premises, opens a new branch, shifts residence or changes his or her lifestyle, including the engine capacity of the car. 

A few start taking trips abroad and talking about birdies and bogies. Some could be quiet because their hustle graduated without growing organically. It was pushed by an invisible hand, either connection or pure nepotism.

Some hustles are sadly “ungraduate,” becoming smaller or running out of business. Covid-19 and the current economic circumstances could have ungraduated lots of hustles. But we should not celebrate failure. 

Other celebrations beyond graduations are common nowadays. They range from baby showers to Halloween, weddings, and other religious events. They are pauses in life, forcing us to reflect on where we have come from and where we are going. 

The centrality of economic issues, from last year’s polls to taxation and debts demands that we include the graduation of hustles as one of the celebrations. 

It is no small feat. And for a good reason. While students are supported by parents till graduation, hustlers often support themselves. Has your hustle graduated silently? Should you have had a graduation ceremony? Talk to us.