By: Thembelani Mkhize

Cartoon by Thembelani Mkhize

Paul Getty once said “if you owe the bank a $100 that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million dollars that’s the banks problem” which is quiet true if you think about it. If you think no one cares of your alive or dead try missing a bank payment on a loan. It’s no secret that most black South Africans are terrible at financial management; even I’m suffering the burdens of my poor decisions making when it comes to spending my money and what I choose to spend it on.

All banks keep record of our financial history in case we come knocking for a loan. It’s their way of knowing if you are trust worthy. Now looking at my financial history they wouldn’t even give me a loan if I pointed a gun at them but for those African people who actually try and keep their financial record clean it would really seem unfair that banks charge interest according to ethnicity.

This year I’ve managed to start saving and boy am I slapping myself for not starting sooner. My father used to have a newspaper headline stuck on his wardrobe wall that read “pay your Dept’s. And live happily ever after and funny enough I always saw it when I’d be stealing a spray of his cologne. My company BlackPage media group is growing steadily with an active overseas network and customer base so hopefully my credit problems will be sorted by the end of the year. My biggest concern is that when I go to my bank to ask for a loan even after I have settled my debts I’ll be charged a significant amount more than other ethnic groups just because I’m a person of colour. If I were to take out an insurance policy on my car I’d be charged more for living in the township like I was the one who came up with the idea of townships.

Logo by BlackPage media group

The way society looks it’s almost as if we were set up to fail and grouped into little square boxes on a patch of farmland somewhere but remember we made townships a cool thing when it was meant to be a place of isolation and seclusion from “a Better life”. This speaks volumes for our ability to turn a tough situation into a good one but the question is why we always have to suffer in the first place?

Some institute like to refer to us and our living areas as “High Risk” and I won’t lie I’ve seen someone get paid out loads of cash, then they drank it all away, and got the taste beat out of them so bad that they landed up hospital in less than a month (mind you the person had no medical aid). A lot of people think he’s an idiot but if he could acquire that much money I don’t think he was I just think he didn’t know. He didn’t know how to save, he didn’t know how to spend basically he didn’t know how to manage his money which made him a “high risk”. Now if he was taught these skill from an early age I’m certain his decision making would have been much better

Fair enough I’m not really a financial expert but to me this just looks like African people need to dig six feet deeper just to catch up with the average person.

One of the solutions to this crisis is to introduce financial management at the early phases of school. Teaching kids the importance of saving and the value of money is a vital lesson that we were deprived of even in our homes. For example a friend and business partner of mine Kgaolo Malatji taught it to me like this. “It’s way easier to look at your money if you can divide it whether you have a job or you are an entrepreneur”.

First write down your monthly expenses Divide your income into your savings and your expenses and investments. After taking care of expenses divide the rest by 50% for your savings and 50% investments whether it be in stocks forex or businesses. Leave some to your savings and try finding a hobby that will make you money instead of waste it.
A more complex solution is trying to create a banking system by African’s for Africans, our own financial institutes that caters to our needs which is an initiative that the IIMBEWU foundation from the Mpophomeni farmers market believes is as possible as the halal or kosher systems it only required sacrifice of the conventional methods and try to do things together. As the saying goes ‘you need money to get money” so having some laying around in your bank account is a good thing. After all we have a lot of financial catching up to do.

This article was published by the Meander Chronicle. For mor article by this writer follow the link below:

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