Changing the norms of my African parent

“If you want to be truly successful, invest in yourself to get the knowledge you need to find your unique factor. When you find it, focus on it and persevere. Your success will blossom.”

– Sidney Madwed

Most parents expect to reap dividends from their investments in their offspring. This is a rule of thumb in many parts of the world especially Asia and Africa. Nonetheless, parents don’t pay much attention to the financial burdens this has on their youths. It places undue pressure on them and their lives. Without a retirement plan, parents will continuously rely on this belief and create a cycle of hardship for their youths. This is why an investment culture needs to be embedded in many families.

As a young African man, I know what it means to earn and disburse nearly all my earnings to settle family bills. This is not to say I am insensitive to the needs of my family. If however, investing in family responsibilities limits my ability to plan for the future, it’s destructive. The average youth in Africa starts planning a family between the ages of twenty-five to thirty-three years. During this period, they decide to raise their own families and are expected to provide for their extended families too. Giving in to this norm; creates a cycle of financial struggle. Although, every parent dreams is for their wards to be their greatest investment; planning their retirement does more good. It paves a better path and allows these youths to plan effortlessly for their lives. This is not a blame game on our parents, they deserve all the love and care; most of them wish they knew this a long time ago. However, it should serve as a wake-up call. As a Millennial, investing your money wisely creates a level of financial freedom. You’ll also be able to save for your wellbeing and allow your children to live the best life; It transcends generations.

12 Comments

  1. A very interesting and truthful piece.
    There’s so much undue pressure placed on youths in this regard, especially for the men who are expected to provide for their female partners as well as their siblings and parents.

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