Going back to the village is always reflection time. It allows me to reflect in a calm environment, which I do whilst watering my garden.
Coming home is also another reality check especially regarding my liability of black tax. I meant to post this later on during the year but seeing this on my friend status reminded me to do it rather earlier
For my readers that are not farmiliar with black tax, its the responsibilties on the shoulders of a working person from a poor to an average black family. The assumption of parental duties that revolves around money.
For alot of us, this often start at improving home. Ensuring that your homestead has access to clean water, improving other infrastructures as well as sending money home for the family to meet their daily needs.
The beauty of black tax though is, it stems from the african proverb that says “it takes a village to raise a child”. If it was not for black tax, some of us would not have been able to be were we are today. Someome somehow had to sacrifice something to ensure that our school fees are paid and this was mainly grandma or an aunt, or an elder siblings. ( I omitted your mum because for her it was her a duty to give you a better life).
I too did not escape the wrath of black tax. I had to pick up where my elder brothers left off. ( i will forever be indebted to them). I had to complete our boundary wall,build my mum a room and assume the responsibility of paying school fees for my niece and nephew.
The question is the how do you play your part while building a life of your own? Here is my journey over the last 4 years of my working life:
I incorporated black tax in my planning when I stared working. Its a reality that we must come to term with. I ensured before I got a car or a house of my own, my part of black tax was done.
Maybe done is an exageration. Showering in my mum’s incomplete bathroom over the December holiday reminded me that my break from black tax is exendend.
As mentioned earlier, I first begun on working on our house in the north and then took a break to start saving for my car. When I got my Jeep, I then embarked on another project to help fence our Mahangu field that we managed to finished with my incredible Brother. After we completed that, I then embarked on saving money for my lawyers and bank fees for my house at the coast as well as the kitchen improvement money.
With all that behind me now, I think its time I go finish mum’s room before my next break.
So how do you survive black tax?
1. Be proactive about it. People tend to appreciate when you give without being asked all the time.In addition, give what you can afford.
2. Do it earlier in your career when you have less committment of your own and are making less money. My family defnitely expects less from a trainee accountat rather than for a Qualified Chartered Accountant.
3. Invest in things that can help in breaking the cycle of poverty in your family. For me this was paying private school for my niece and nephew for better education. I also had to take out study policies for them to help fund their tertiary education in years to come. This is how I managed to study in Cape town despite my mum being a shebeen owner.
All in all, black tax are our roots. Unless you take care of your family, and do not nurture dependency symdrome attitude,you will be stuck in that viscious cycle.
Ps… my last personal project in my recent black tax break.
Embrace and Flourish.