Tough love sometimes necessary

Should we pay black tax?

Black tax is the extra money that we as black professionals must give to support our extended family.

Others correctly argue that it is not an exclusively black phenomenon. Some people refer to it as a sandwich generation where one who is in the middle is supporting two generations financially.

Some have to thank their siblings for where they are currently. Siblings made sacrifices, went out of their way to get the best education and maintained the others. Does that mean it is a guilt trip for paying back for all they did for us? Could it be a sign of gratitude?

However, sometimes one may find that in the extended family you are the one who is employed or educated, and the rest are unemployed.

A person then ends up being a family breadwinner. Sometimes you are a high-earner and everyone else is not earning that much. The money they earn does not stretch for the whole month and, then you have to assist them to patch the gaps for them to survive.

However, sometimes you yourself have not enough money and no extra laying around.

The way you look, the way you dress, the car you are driving and where you stay, give people a false impression that you are rich, and you have to share your riches with them. Then they think you are not telling the truth when you say you cannot or is unable to assist.

It can also be argued that there is a lack of financial education. We are unable to save adequately for our own needs and for retirement. People tend to live beyond their means.

I have noted that you sacrifice luxuries and sometimes necessities to assist others, but you find that those people you are assisting, buy expensive clothes, eat nice food and drink alcohol, whilst you struggle. Then it becomes exploitation. Then one must learn to say no.

Throwing money at this situation is not assisting but is exacerbating the problem.

People should learn that we should not only expect other people to hire us. Entrepreneurship must be taught from home (charity begins at home) and furthermore at school.

I once made an example of the foreigners who are coming to South Africa and who end up employing us. When they came they did not have a cent to their name. Are we a lazy nation?

One of my friends is rich and generous. Once she employed her cousin’s daughter to work at her firm. This woman, after working for a few months, came with demands for more money and “accused” her that she was rich, but she did not want to pay more money.

My friend flatly told her “I am not the one who said you should refuse to go to school and to have children whose fathers are not supporting them”.

Sometimes you have to give tough love.