Written by: Siphiwe Chris Mathebula
Article source: JOY! Magazine
I often joke with congregants of my church about how we, as Africans, struggle with financial priorities especially after we land our first job. There is this unwritten rule and understanding that a new job equals a new car, even when it makes no financial sense. And a salary increase equals an upgrade to the model of the car you drive. There are many people who are caught up and trapped in this thinking and do not make financial decisions with the future in mind.
You cannot create generational wealth by investing in items that do not appreciate in value. The minute a brand new car leaves the dealership, its value depreciates. While, on the other hand, investing in a fixed property such as a house means you will be sitting with an asset that appreciates in value year after year. We need to focus on leaving a legacy for our children and our children’s children.
The word ‘legacy’ can be understood in three ways:
1. A legacy could be money or property that one receives from someone after they die. This speaks directly to the example I have just made of investing in a fixed property versus a car.
2. Legacy could also be a situation that has developed as a result of past actions or decisions. It is also something that is a part of your history that remains for generations to come. It’s very sad that in many black communities, children inherit debt from their parents. Estates will be owing lots of money, sometimes even millions. Inheriting debt is a legacy issue that is a result of past actions and decisions. And yet, that is not God’s plan for us. Proverbs 13:22, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.”
3. The third way of understanding a legacy is related to the footprint of our works and the effect they have on groups of people, systems, and our environment. This type of legacy is often associated with leadership.
Africa needs godly leadership
Our biggest disadvantage as Africans in the entire continent is the legacy that many of our presidents leave behind. It’s been said, “If you do not stand for something, you will fall for anything.” Every leader must have a cause that they stand for and should have a consistent and persistent message concerning that cause. Africa needs leaders who will fight until the end for a cause. Our world is looking for leaders who will fight relentlessly against crime, child abuse, corruption, drug and substance abuse, femicide, human trafficking, rape, poverty, xenophobia, and unemployment. All these examples demonstrate the level of trust (or lack thereof) that our African leaders have in their own healthcare systems. It is time that they realised that they must be prepared to be consumers of their own products.
Passing on the baton
The life blood of any country or organisation is in the grooming and mentoring of future leaders. In order to pass on the baton in time and build a legacy, African countries should establish water-tight constitutions, laws and systems that do not create room for eternal rulers. True leaders invest in people and not in accumulating material possessions for themselves. It is possible for us to build wealth for our children and our children’s children and our nation. All it takes is for us to be devoted citizens!
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Date published: 13/11/2023
Feature image: Image for illustrative purposes only. Artwork from www.rawpixel.com
SIPHIWE CHRISTOPHER MATHEBULA – Lead Pastor: Hope Restoration Ministries. Visit hrm.org.za
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