Pupils champion financial literacy

2012-07-05 00:00

REMEMBER the names of two bright KZN girls — Lindiwe Makhathini (18) and Melvis Mirazi (17) — who understand the value of knowing how to manage their money.

Mature beyond their years, these schoolgirls are already preaching the gospel of saving and investment to their peers.

“I don’t want to be employed — I want to create jobs,” Melvis told The Witness on the second day of the conference of the KZN Financial Literacy Association in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

Melvis , who attends Zwelibanzi High School in Umlazi, and Lindiwe, who attends Pinetown Girls’ High, are part of a Durban-based non-profit organisation, Young Girls Network.

Through a partnership with the Banking Association of South Africa known as “Teach a Child to Save”, they have encouraged scores of young people to learn how to manage their money better.

The girls delivered presentations at a “Child and Youth Finance International Summit” in Amsterdam in the Netherlands in April.

Lindiwe told The Witness that they made presentations on various topics, including stokvels, the “Teach a Child to Save” programme, mobile banking and the way in which banks and other financial institutions communicate with the youth.

“I have always wanted to be an independent woman … and the network and I share the same goal. I had an idea of starting my own photography business and the network helped me with this idea. I got more than I bargained for when I joined the network. It’s not just about charity, it’s about empowerment. I have learnt that in business it helps to save. Don’t spend beyond your boundaries and your business will always succeed — you will make a profit rather than a loss,” Lindiwe said.

“Through these programmes I have been able to encourage other pupils to save as well. Now we compete to see who has saved the most money, rather than who has spent the most,” added Melvis, who has ambitions of working as an investment manager with asset managers Allan Gray and one day owning her own business. She said the link between saving and investment in the business world could not be underestimated.

The director of the network, Ntokozo Zikalala, said they want to attend the JSE’s Financial Literacy Day, to be held in Johannesburg later this month.

She said the network encouraged girls to keep abreast of the latest financial information, including share prices and currency movements.

“Our slogan is ‘readers are leaders and leaders are readers’,” said Zikalala.

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