Many swim in debt

Columnist Phiri Cawe

Thembalethu Qolo, Nyanga

Lately, I have been having conversations with individuals and groups that could be referred to as semi-middle class or middle class.

And it amused me that the majority of them are indebted, not just in debt.

Economists say there is good debt and bad debt, however I quickly learnt why many of them are indebted.

In my pre-assumption it was due to peer pressure, “black tax”, the drive to achieve everything at once, and many other reasons that normally would come to mind first.

However , in depth of the conversation it came to my realisation that money was never a topic to be discussed and it must never be open for discussion.

In a way it also related to me as an individual.

From an early age money was not a subject that parents discussed with their children, so that culture is passed from one generation to the other.

Even the advice given is like “with money mtshana you must do this and that and never do as they do, mna I’m clever with my money” so it’s vague as that.

You have to fumble and find your own way to make sense of the advice.

Now if money is what makes the world goes around, shouldn’t we really take time and discuss it?

After all money is our medium of exchange on a daily basis.

The frame of reference used by the “semi middle class” is that they are fumbling now because when they were young, if they asked for money to buy branded clothes, for example, it was never discussed how money is generated or we can’t afford it.

They would be shouted at but in the end they would get money and they never realised the value of it. Now they have inherited this culture of not understanding the value of money. For this to change and start to see a real prosperity not financed by heavy debt we should start to speak about money, how to use it and how to save it.

I know for a fact it won’t be comfortable because it’s not something we are used to in the townships.

Let’s organise financial institutions to come and have a word aboutthe best ways to generate and spend.

I know it’s the week of love and romance but as we will be doing lots of spending, we must know the value of that spending and the effects of it.

I say that with the knowledge that shops will be aggressive in advertising, so be wise before you are indebted.

To those going to “Men’s conference”, don’t over spend.