Anyway, money really it does talk; a very funny and complicated language that we all understand differently. Gone are the days when every cent that you got (be it from your mother, dad or whoever else felt generous enough to make your pocket / wallet shine) would be invested in something that you needed. Not wanted, needed Growth of black middle class is a phenomenon that shouldn’t really get our pulse racing. Contrary to popular beliefs, it certainly is not reflective to wealth creation but simply liabilities acquisition.
Blacks acquiring more credit from the banks to afford their new lifestyle are disillusioned if they believe they are better off than their poverty stricken fellow blacks, nor their colonised ancestors.
How times have changed and with it, so has the young black generation. Why is it that money makes the world spin so fast yeh? And by that I mean that people go mad, crazy and somewhat irresponsible when they’re all cashed up and feelin’ rich. Ang’anstendi. Especially black (or to be politically correct, ‘African’) folks and I’d like to divide them into three types of people. Let’s start with the young success story guy who grew up under tough circumstances, and by that I do mean, a 4 roomed house ekasi with his mom, siblings, and gogo in the mix.
Now this guy is the one that the family looks to for everything (and make no mistake when I say everything) from educating the younger ones, to buying groceries to extending his home. And in the midst of all this, ‘guy’ still has himself to look after.
Now this guy has his whole life ahead of him, big plans, achievable goals and it’s all good…in the eyes of the public. But the truth of the matter is that as educated and ‘responsible’ in terms of taking care of home, this guy is pretty efficient. Now when in comes to spending whatever that’s left of his salary he still has his own life to maintain and that means, a car, a townhouse kai-kai, and what happens, credit. Yes, he wants it all and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t. it’s important to him to drive that car and live in that complex and to have that girl on his arm and in his wallet.
That’s just how life is for him and his friends and when he goes to ekasi, he’s all that and a bag of chips, everybody ‘fluits’ and makes him feel like the ‘skhokho’ he believes himself to be
And then there’s uMySister, just as up-and-coming and also someone to be proud of in life. She’s got it all as well and it’s swell: nice house, supportive girlfriends (yah yah sistahood), flashy car and no ‘stable’ romantic relationship, (just a shag mate and smooch buddy here and there). She’s dead set on improving her standard of living, climbing the corporate ladder but spending less and less time on herself and more money on the tangible and perishable things in life. She’s a highly empowered me, myself and I type of girl and she doesn’t apologise for it. She’s looking for fun and excitement all month every month but what she doesn’t realise is that ‘the life’ iyam-costa (it’s a costly exercise) and so what’s the point of a Gucci purse if it’s always flat with shame and packed with maxed-out credit cards? Yah, I thought so too. It’s sad. So so sad.
And there’s this guy, let’s call him Siphiwe. Young, hot, up-and-coming success story. He’s all of the above but his perspective on the issue is somewhat twisted and weird. This is what Siphiwe says:
“Buppies (that’d be the young black professionals I’m referring to here) will probably get their knuckles wrapped over this opinion piece, but who cares nation building only occurs through confrontation. A true measurement of wealth is the creation and sustainability of it over time, it is not you buying a new 3-series and contributing 50% of your salary towards it in monthly repayments. Neither is it renting a flat in the northern suburbs, yet faced with a zero balance in your bank account. This smacks purely of imperialism under new guise. “
And this guy is right, because vele our fascination with titles or status only fuel our ignorance. Job hopping is the ‘in thing’ because we’re so much into debt that a promise of an extra grand here and there sees us handing resignations as if giving a child a cheap sweet. Ain’t nothin’ to it. We all wanna own that 1series, A3 Sportsback and whatever dream car poster we had on our walls. We live in an age of instant gratification as if abazali bethu never taught us anything. Do we actually listen and learn from what our parents teach us re: the value of money or are we just so desperate to please society that the lectures come through the left ear and exit through the right? Seems like it.
In the end, deny it or not, vele the microwave, the stove, the car, the townhouse, the wig, the clothes, the shoes, the fridge, the leather couches, the rims, (Im running out of space here) the ‘everything’ is on credit and that just spells debt and spells trouble and nothing else.
So in a nutshell, we’re all different and young black, working professionals but we all have one thing in common. We’re highly paid poor blacks. Let’s stop kidding ourselves here ladies and gents, the cost of living really is way too high and bear this in mind; if you can’t afford it on cash, you probably don’t need it anyway. At the end of the day, the bills (all of the bills) are addressed to you, end up in yourpost box and it’s your wallet and bank account that know the truth about you. Stop spending sweets that aren’t in your pocket bafwethu. The payslip should be a means to an end and not an end in itself. Fak’imali uzobona, the real world is a nice place, live in it. Insight and light.
Nokx loves you all. But most of all Nokx loves herself. Zwakala, let’s engage and lose track of time
Writer: Nokx Maseko.