Interview with Praise Majwafi – business development director, property practitioner and entrepreneur.
Our Gen Z Immersion Experience is drawing near so we decided to give you a glimpse of the people who will be participating in it. Praise Majwafi shared with us what drives Gen Z professionals and consumers.
Introduce yourself, let us know how old you are and give us a little bit about your personal and your professional background:
PM: My name is Praise Majwafi. I’m 23 years old. I have a bachelor of commerce in business innovation and entrepreneurship. I’d like to call myself an agent of the creative economy and an entrepreneur.
I have done sales executive work with BlackBrick, working in the property sector as a property practitioner. I have other ventures that I have an interest in, such as iAfrica which is an online marketplace for African creatives. I am now a director at Gordian Fence which is a construction company that has a lot to do with security.
I am also part of the board of YPLAT (Young People’s Action Team) under Generation Unlimited, a subsidiary of the UN that is solely focused on the young population in UN charter countries. It’s a platform to get young people involved in executive decisions.
In your work and your daily interactions do you have any engagements with young people? What has the overwhelming sentiment about the workplace been amongst the youth?
PM: The job that has probably contributed the most to this response is the job that I had at BlackBrick. On a day-to-day basis, you see about 5-7 people coming in through the doors. One thing I can say about young people is they’re all curious but they feel very restricted which is very weird. They all wanna buy property, they all want to see themselves investing and attending these events but no one knows where to “buy the ticket”, essentially. It’s like you have this huge pool of potential customers that’s not tapped into but they’re all ready, you know. Like it is a ready workforce, it is a force that is looking forward to, you know, the positive elements of society but it’s so restricted.
Do you feel there’s a gap that Gen Z can fill in the world? Does this generation have something to offer the world of work?
PM: Definitely, yoh, definitely! I feel like Gen Zs are highly overlooked. I feel like a Gen Z employee is actually a pet because they come with the ability of doing the jobs of four or five people in that enterprise or in that institution. They are born a digital native, they are around digital tech, they understand it at its core. So you have a more competent employee. I think Gen Zs are gonna surprise a lot of people, they haven’t started yet, they really haven’t started yet.
What assumptions would you like to correct about South Africa’s Gen Zs?
PM: That South African Gen Zs are lazy. That is a huge misconception. I think there’s a huge difference between being lazy and not having direction, and a lot of them just don’t have direction and like, you can’t blame a person that doesn’t know where to go. You actually see it with their eagerness to study because a lot of them right after studying just go back to studying because they realise there are no opportunities. This is why I think they’re gonna shock the world – because you’re gonna get interns that have masters levels. It’s gonna be like the standard but they still have zero experience. They’re gonna have to do the time, unfortunately, in the kitchen.
What kind of consumers are South Africa’s Gen Z?
PM: This is my opinion when it comes to Gen Z consumers. I think because of the social pressures they’ve been under they’re forced to be emotional consumers because a lot of them don’t have financial commitments. That’s why the creative world is booming so much because it’s a world of expressing yourself. So in a world where there’s nothing to do or like, there’s nothing keeping you busy, I think that’s where you’d naturally go, you know, where you can be the best you can be.
In closing, how can this generation (Gen Z) be incorporated into the corporate workforce?
PM: I think the management levels of corporate should relook at having managers as trainers. That’s how young people will be better incorporated, I think, in corporate. I don’t think young people are asking to just be put in a corporate situation without training, but if there’s a training element put in place, it’s just gonna make that transition easier, I believe.
Invest in your people. Be the first employer to give them an opportunity to learn something in their industry.
Flux Trends is proud to announce the launch of the Flux Innovation Tour 2023: Meet the Solution-Based, Future Innovators Defining the New World Order.
Join us for this unique full-day tour that is designed to simultaneously shift your thinking and challenge your perceptions of the innovation process by – literally – introducing delegates to the future. Specifically, by introducing you to the young innovators, creatives and entrepreneurs building the future of South Africa, Africa, and the world.
Image credit: Harli Marten