Mickey Mouse vs Passion

“Reportedly over 600 000 graduates are unemployed. There are 800 000 job vacancies within the private sectors that obligate graduates to fill vacancies. With the slump in the SA economy graduates are subject to statistics of high unemployment rate.

“This can be attributed to ‘Mickey Mouse courses’ that do not benefit the economy of the country that students opt for in Universities.  Students who continue to choose these courses remain jobless,” says Cameroon Modisane, Audit Manager at Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors firm based in Sandton.

According to him “Mickey Mouse Courses” are: • Visual arts; • Music; • Dramatic Arts; • Computerized Art and Design; • Business Administration. • Fashion, hair and beauty; • Clothing Management • PR, Events Management and Marketing Management. • Travel and Tourism; • Communications and marketing; • Human Resource; • End user computing; • Social science. Multimedia and Graphic Design; • Internet and Web Design; • Television, film, media studies.

“Scarce skills needed in our economy are:  •Management, • Engineering/Technicians; • Law; • Finance; • Accounting and • Medicine. Around 11.2% of the adult population in SA has a tertiary education but some of those qualifications are irrelevant and ‘Mickey Mouse Courses’.”

It’s not so much of the facts at our disposal but the labeling of these courses as frivolous that sets the fire. We contribute to society in different ways and all these courses are beneficial to society at large. If it wasn’t for journalism or media for that matter we wouldn’t know what is happening around us, economically, socially, medically, lawfully etc.

Media is the platform for communication and Agenda setting. If it wasn’t for Tourism Table Mountain in Cape Town wouldn’t have been named one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Without Multimedia resources and Technology we wouldn’t have social networks that revolve around us to market our businesses and give them needed exposure. Without the internet we would be devoid of access to public information and communication.

The same goes for fashion that markets local brands internationally and contributes to South Africa’s global exposure.  Eg; David Tlale (local fashion designer) can be said to be the equivalent of Louis Vuitton (lucrative international fashion brand). He has fundamentally shifted mindsets and altered perceptions at the New York fashion week with his designs.

Arguably, the most high-profile film portraying South Africa in recent years was District 9. Directed by Neill Blomkamp, a native South African, and produced by Peter Jackson. The film was a critical and commercial success worldwide, and was nominated for Best Picture at the 82nd Academy Awards.

Other notable exceptions are the film Tsotsi, which won the Academy Award for Foreign Language Film at the 78th Academy Awards in 2006 as well as U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha, which won the Golden Bear at the 2005 Berlin International Film Festival. “Mickey Mouse Courses” balances the equation; variety is the spice of life.

It is also crucial to bear in mind that South Africa is a developing country. We need a variation of jobs regardless of its contribution to the economy. “The economy is based on South African production; if South Africa has poor production than the economy suffers. It has nothing to do with the workers because at the end of the day workers still pay taxes that goes to the economy. If the JSE goes down it means SA is not producing enough mine minerals, and that means we are not producing enough money in SA,” Precious Lefoka, Industrial engineering student.

The unemployment rate for engineering is reported to be 0.03%, one of the conservative courses believed to establish a “stable income” for a graduate. Should graduates opt for a conservative course they have no passion for solely to build the country’s economy? There is no purpose without passion.

Why would one opt to study medicine when their passion lies in fashion? What about the number of lives they would destroy in those hospitals solely by virtue of lacking passion for what one is doing? Are we supposed to string along and enroll in conservative courses we have no passion for in order for us to be seen as “smart” and significant to the economy?

Would this be the reason why we have poor education systems in public schools, because teachers opted to venture in a field they had no passion for to generate income? Majority of students in the faculty of education opted for this course “for the benefits of the fundza bursary and with less effort of just sitting and doing nothing in class.”

“Mickey Mouse” is a metaphor to make people happy. We are story tellers. We entertain people. We reveal what humans feel and that being labeled as Mickey Mouse epitomizes the energy that we’re about,” final year Film and video student, Katlego Kganyago.

The bottom line is people are different. We have abilities and passion for certain crafts regardless of how frivolous it might be perceived to be. Some people are academic, numerical, and artistic etc. One opts for a route that fulfills them and does what they do best. “Trust not what inspires other members of society to choose a career. Trust what inspires you.” – The Lazy Person’s Guide to Success.

Odwa Shumi

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