Slice of life: How my mom taught me to save

In high school I used to be that guy who put together events such as the Valentine’s Day bash, as well as the teacher and learner awards. In university, a friend told me that I should start a PR company. She was like: “You’re good with PR.” And I was like: “Huh? What is that?”

She explained and the idea lingered in my head for a couple of months before I started creating the social media pages for my company. Then I began putting myself out there to get work.

My friend who worked for KPMG asked me to put a year-end function together for their team. I did. Then the gigs kept coming in. But I was not serious. If money came in, it would be gone in a second. I was young. I was deep into the party life — a weekend was a weekend.

My mom rescued me by suggesting that I open a savings account. She is an entrepreneur herself. She sells food on the streets of Jo’burg. I started saving and at the end of that year, in 2017, I built a two-room at the back of our RDP house in the Eastern Cape.

We have now started extending the main house. My company is registered and I have saved enough money to employ a couple of young people to help me. Thanks to that conversation at Wits [University] I could help my mom and change the living conditions of my family for the better. — Buhle Mbhele, as told to Tshegofatso Mathe

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Tshegofatso Mathe
Tshegofatso Mathe
Tshegofatso Mathe is a financial trainee journalist at the Mail & Guardian.

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