I had to smile about the story of Sibongile Mani, the student who accidently got R14.1 million in her student account, and went on a wild spending spree.
To Sibongile I can say, don’t feel to bad, at least 98% of all human beings on earth, would probably have done exactly the same, meaning, spend the money, even though it is not yours. As always money corrupts quickly and completely, and it is a drug no-one can resist, NO-ONE. So, almost all that crucify you now, would have done exactly the same.
Why I smile at this, Sibongile probably, with her daily struggles and upbringing of a hard life, also were possibly knocking capitalism, and striving for socialism, where everyone has to be equal, where the rich has to be brought down, where the rich is seen as all the evil and problems in the world. I don’t say she had these views, I just find that most of the poor long for this, and hate capitalism, and fight for socialism. I would obviously not know what her views are, or were, on this issue.
But, if it was so, it shows you how quickly someone can dump their longing for socialism, and absolutely embrace capitalism, and embrace it so quickly that it is no problem blowing money on the most stupid of things. Designer clothes, hair, R700 bottles of whiskey, handbags, phones, parties, living the high life. And that my dear friends is why capitalism can never be defeated, will never be defeated. It will always be a war between the rich and the poor, and the poor that make the cross over to the rich, will immediately switch sides and embrace capitalism themselves. And isn’t it amazing how quickly money can be wasted, and how it can loose its value. Where previously Sibongile had to turn around every Rand, the transformation from one way off life to the other was quite spectacular.
Think what Sibongile could have done with the money, that could have had value, that could have meant something. For how many millions in this country R700 (one bottle whiskey) is a fortune. How many wish they can have that much a month, yet Sibongile had no problem spending this on one bottle off whiskey. She received R1,400 a month, the value of 2 bottles of whiskey. I read this morning her grand mother asked why did she not buy or build her a better house. I agree, would the whole country not have understood more if she used that some R818,000 to give her grandmother a better house? That would have had meaning, and would have been lasting, and one could forgive that. Once a R700 bottle of whiskey is drank, it is gone, and has no more value.
And it goes further, everyone that read her story, come, be honest, almost ALL people that read that story, would have thought: “Man, I wish that (money deposited into my account) happened to me.” Am I right ? Or, some thoughts as to what you would have done with that money, if that happened to you.
One of my most favorite questions I always ask people is: “What would you do if you win a R20 million lotto today”. I always love to hear peoples response. To see that gleam in the eye, that smile on the face, that wonderful thought as to what can be possible, what can be done, what dreams can be realized, if that can happen. It is always fascinating to hear what people have to say, what they are going to do with that money.
And that dream came true for Sibongile, she won that lottery, and she showed what she will do with it. I actually think she was held back a bit, because she knew it was not her money, and maybe she could not get it out fast enough. I think if it was a real lotto win, I think she would have done way way more with it, than what she did. Sibongile, might I just mention, that the way you were spending, you would have lost ALL that money in a very quick time, and put you back to square one.
Just quick financial advice, Sibongile. Think if you invested R14.1 million, take no cent, say it can grow 10% a year, that will give you R1.41 million a year you can spend, that is around R117,000 a month. And think every month for the rest of your life, and then you still have the original R14.1 million. How would your life have been if you could get R117,000 a month, and do not put one drop of sweat or work for it. That is the power of capitalism and money, don’t waste it, and it can do many great things for you, waste it, and it is gone, like sand flowing through your fingers. That is if R117,000 a month is enough, Sibongile spend on average R11,000 a day = R330,000 a month, so she would have to cut down her spending by two thirds :-) Capitalism is so strong that in no time a rich person can get annoyed that s/he must live on a measily R117,000 a month, the thirst for more is there.
Amazing in all this, is that NSFAS who made the mistake in paying over the money incorrectly, did not really get to much flak, compared to what Sibongile got. If they did not make this mistake, then this would not have happened. Also, they dream if they are ever getting their R818,000 back, how do they expect to get it back from a student with no job. In what dream world do they live. So Sibongile swallowed 584 students R1,400 allowances on her spending spree. It is an amazing story really.
But yes, Sibongile can for her whole life look back to the 3 months, she could truly embrace the capitalist world, and taste what it brings, and why ALL people long for it, and work for it, and want it, and keep the system in place. There is no running away from it, it is not in human nature.
Sibongile, I wish you well for the future.