This past Wednesday Forbes released the list of America’s richest self-made women and an interesting entry was Kylie Jenner (20), making her the youngest woman on the list. Congratulations are in order for the entrepreneur plus according to Forbes, she is well on her way to becoming the youngest self-made billionaire. At the virtue of the title, ‘self-made’ one has to stop and think. Well, Social Media did just that, @rgay tweeted;
“…her success is commendable but it comes by virtue of her privilege.”
As a young African woman trying to concur the world, I have to agree with social media critics to an extent here. My understanding of ‘self-made‘ is coming from the bottom with nothing to make something and usually, it’s against a lot of odds. Lists such as these confuse and frustrate entrepreneurs who have been grinding for years with no such luck. Jenner’s company is only three years old and she is heading towards billionaire status.
Speaking woman to woman, kudos to her, the girl has handled her business well but how about not insulting us hard-working ‘normal people’ who’re on a very uneven playing field!
Jenner comes from a rich family that in its own right commands certain power and influence, to say she is ‘self-made’ is infuriating to us simpletons who are competing without the same tools of privilege in this game of life. It’s no surprise Jenner is where she is today, I bet, when a Kardashian/Jenner clan member is close to finishing high school Kris Jenner asks what they are interested in and signs a heavy cheque as seed money or better yet just opens a trust in their name.
However for us normal people getting capital for our ideas is not as easy; first of all, you have to go to school for a lot of years and ultimately end up with a degree you probably never use to stand a fighting chance. Mind you having that degree does not mean employment or business opportunities are anywhere in sight. Lists such as these give a misleading outlook on life, one might feel their life is not progressing fast enough or they are not working hard enough due to such ‘self-made’ allegations.
It is unfortunate the world dropped Africa in this rigged game we were poorly prepared for and had little understanding of. The idea of owning your own company or being your own boss is one that came late for us but still, we aspire and remain resilient. One of the many qualities that make me proud to be African; we take great honour in fighting the odds.
Don’t get me wrong, no handouts are needed here!
Jenner has nothing to be sorry about. It’s not her fault she was born into the perfect situation and she was not content on just living, and so she built an empire!
It is just offensive to us normal folk when Forbes claims such outrageous things; they are many who have worked harder than Jenner in the last hour than she has worked this past year. An obvious case of circumstances, but still no excuse to blur the lines between great opportunity and hard work in people’s lives.