Why is it so hard to find a Black South African with a Tech JOB?
It’s a sunny morning. I’m on LinkedIn attempting to connect with individuals in the South African tech space. After inserting some criteria, it spits out some names and faces. I’m a premium member so I can write to as many people as I want. My request is simple. “Tell me about the technology sector in South Africa and whether there was difficulty in getting a position. What do you think about 5G?.”
I sit back and wait for responses from the 40+ people I copy and paste messages to. After a day or two, the responses trickle in.
“My brother, I have not worked in many years. This job I am showing here was an intern position I had after university but I was not brought into the company fully. I am looking for work”.
More responses come in..
“Thank you for your message, you are in America and you want to come here? Why is that? Maybe you can answer some question I have about the US.”
“It’s very difficult to get a job here. With your American education, you have a better chance at a job than me i believe.”
I don't know what to say to the latter response. I’m grateful that he connected though. But that is the beginning of what I will find to be a difficult task. Finding black people who are actually have jobs in technology in South Africa. The country has some of the best internet you can find on the continent. Outside of Egypt, I’d say its likely the most technologically advanced internet country in Africa as fiber can now be found across the country in mostly a commercial capacity with some homes also receiving the service. I reach out to the person who wants information on the US. We connect on skype and speak for 40 min. He is well spoken and sincere. 2 days later, I am inundated with request from other South Africans who I suspect have questions about emigrating to America. I later find out my name was placed in a message board as the person to contact about everything USA. They all want “a letter”.
Things get so bad, I’m forced to remove all the information from my LinkedIn profile for now. At least until things die down a little bit.
I’ll keep trying so find that one person who can truly be of value to me. Until then I don’t mind being of value to others. I wont lie, it is frustrating. It is time consuming and I do have fears that nothing will materialize but I will keep trying. I believe the future of South Africa is really bright and from South Africa like a sunbeam mass adoption of technology will spread across the continent like a wave. I want to be a part of it. I pray that God makes it happen for me.