I have heard it said before that one will rarely find bookshops at malls situated in areas inhabited predominantly by black people, in South Africa, and maybe by extension, all of Africa. This statement lends me to ask a question to my fellow black African folk: given a choice to either buy a book(s) or a
, which option would you go for? Feel free to respond via the comments section.
While choosing a Carvella, LV, Gucci etc, over a book is not in a bad thing in itself, I would like to think that a lot of you will get my point. If not, then maybe the following scenario will paint a vivid picture.
Luvuyo (not his real name), a university graduate with a relatively well-paying job, has a seemingly promising future. Those who know him will attest to his very expensive taste in clothing, and the fact that he always drives the latest “top of the range” Golf. He lives and works in the Cape Town city center, with a lot of his down time spent splurging at fancy hangouts in the city.
Unpacking Luvuyo’s budget reveals the fact he actually has no budget for such an extravagant lifestyle. What is worse is that his bank statements show him dipping into his overdraft every month. Luvuyo is incurring debt (also known as money that is not ours) to finance an asset (which in fact is a liability) whose interest is at a premuim rate of 18%.
Now, my fellow Africans, what is wrong with this picture? Kanye West, in one of his songs, talks about how he has always had a passion for flashing. I would like to think that this statement is somewhat true for a lot of us black folk in that we tend to “over invest” in things that will not necessarily improve our livelihood.
Upon further investigation, it would seem to me that this phenomenon exhibited by a lot of our people is based on our perception (or more appropriately, misperception) of social identity. We believe that our consumption habits determine our value in society. It therefore comes as no surprise that we are often more concerned about “kotini” than we are about investing in things that will ensure a fairly comfortable future for ourselves and our families, thereby uplifting our communities.
This change in mindset is especially imperative because this system of things is such that we (blacks) are often taking off on the back foot, where a lot of things are concerned. This is the reality.
Therefore, as a means to hopefully get you all started on working towards acquiring wealth, I leave you with The Rich Dad aka Robert Kiyosaki’s 15 Must Have Financial Education Lessons . I found this resource to be quite enlightening. As those in the Twittersphere would say #StayWoke