The business of ethics

My friend always says that to survive in emerging markets, you need a good dose,of vitamin P . Which stands for polital correctness. Taking your vitamin P means sanitizing your truth to accomodate the inept, the incompetent, overcoming bureaucracy with platitudes to meet your goals.

In a world where might is right, its the writers dilemma always what to say without causing ripples. Just this week president elect Donald Trump held a meeting with news media executives in what has been reported to have been a dress down on their coverage of the elections and him.

It must be something to be called into the room by the leader of the free world to get a dressing down for what you believe to be truth. Its no less dangerous in the corporate world and political realms of doing business in Africa.

But a writer must be honest, he is an observer, a survivor of the war that is the human condition. He must recount its horrors, its victories, its casualties alongside the fear of being misunderstood as well as reprimand. The writer is an artist, and art as a reflection of us can be both comforting and disturbing.

I take comfort in Chinua Achebe’s words in an interview, “those who tell you do not put too much politics in your art are not being honest. If you look carefully you will see that they are the same people whom are quite happy with the situation as it is..what they are saying is don’t upset the system.”

Its time though to upset the system that profits from corruption and unethical behaviour. We should not be at ease with the abuse of authority, and power. A time will come when you have to stand for what you believe in. Businesses are not immune  from standing up for right,turning a blind eye today does not immunize your business from facing the effects of poor governance, abuse and corruption tommorrow.