Business

Friends & Friction: Giving is better than taking

2016-04-29 09:16

Wealth is not measured by the possessions that you have, but by what you give. All good businesspeople understand that an island of riches in a sea of poverty is unsustainable, and will eventually be eroded by the waves of time, and so they invest in their society as much as they invest in their businesses.

They build libraries, schools, hospitals and other institutions that help create a better society, which in turn gives them higher-quality customers.

Fulfilling the promise of a better life is not the responsibility of politicians alone, but of all members of society.

In the past few years, some members of the black community have received unimaginable sums of money. The suddenness of this has tricked us into thinking that this is how life is.

This is a unique situation because it is a correction of induced suffering, and it remains a never-to-be-repeated special.

In the euphoria, our society created false and unattainable standards of success. This has led to competition among neighbours, and even among friends and family.

A competitive spirit can be a good thing. It is what drives sportsmen and sportswomen to be the best at what they do. It creates champions at school and in business, but the kind of competitiveness that has gripped the black community is only leading to self-destruction.

Our communities are competing over the most useless things, such as funerals. We spend a fortune on the dead, leading to the living inheriting unnecessary debt.

Debt should be used sparingly and, better still, to finance wealth creation.

We are also competing over who gives the most money in church. This is nothing but bribery by pastors, as the millions that are poured into church coffers are for the acquisition of higher and better-looking pedestals for the leaders, who prefer to live in decadent luxury, purchasing mansions and private jets, while the wretched of the earth struggle to make ends meet.

The stupidity that our people are displaying knows no bounds.

Our children, izikhothane, are tearing their expensive clothes and washing their hands with whisky simply to get applause.

Old, grey and shapeless men are doing despicable things and posting their antics on social-media sites.

It is as if applause is a good dividend that is passed on to generations.

Now a new curse has befallen our people – that of the so-called blessers. They flaunt their meagre earnings, robbing their families of badly needed cash, for cheap thrills.

This is no way to build a society.

The black community needs to start competing over benevolence and charity.

Go back to your old school, offer to build a library and have it named after you.

Put aside a stipend to keep the library going.

If you are too shy to do that, then have it named after your parents, who gave you your education in the first place.

Find young men who are unemployed, pay them to create a recreational park in your area, and have it named after a teacher from your neighbourhood. Sponsor the orphanage in your area and start a bursary fund that will ensure the children get an education from the cradle to
high school.

If every black community – no matter how small – invests in the education of its children, the education crisis will soon come to an end.

On weekends, we should spend more time giving extra classes to our children and the neighbourhood; we should teach them about life and how to excel when they arrive in the adult world.

Black professionals must create holiday camps where they share their knowledge with the adults of the future.

If we do not care about our society, how can we expect others to do the work that we ourselves will not do?

Kuzwayo is the founder of Ignitive, an advertising agency

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June 18 2017