Select Page

Uncle Royalty – A black tax story

Uncle Royalty – A black tax story

This is the day that Thabo has been waiting for his entire life, the day he finally receives his first salary. The big grin on his face, the walk of fame and fortune, oozing with pride and confidence as he makes his way to the bank. He is even giving high-fives to strangers in town, with the audacity to flaunt a wry smile and a wink to the pretty girl passing his way – he knows all too well she is out way out of his league.

At this point, however, nothing can get him down, not even the rain pouring down as he strides to the bank, he has convinced himself that it means blessings from above. Even the ‘rude gentleman’ who bumps into him and has the nerve to say “watch where you‘re going, idiot,” as his BMW keys fall right in front of Thabo. “That will surely be mine one day, parked inside my 6 door garage in my mega mansion,” prophesying to himself as he smiles and apologises kindly. The world is at his feet!

Suddenly, his phone rings and ‘private number’ has called for his attention. With his well rehearsed ‘BEE/Just Got A Tender voice‘  he answers. “Hello there Anonymous, how may I be of help?” “Hello? Mchana is that you? Why are you talking funny now? It’s your Uncle Royalty here, how are you my boy?” Sheer astonishment takes over. Uncle Royalty has never called or kept contact with him since he got handsomely drunk at his graduation party, not even once while he was in varsity.

Still trying to gather his emotions and find the right words, he pretends to be happy to hear his voice before responding, he cuts him off wildly before the words even come out of Thabo’s mouth.
“Listen here Mchana,” he says, “we need groceries at the house and the roof needs fixing because the water is falling down in the inside when the rain is raining. We also bought new couches last month and the furniture people said they will reprogress it if we miss a payment.” Feeling more broken than his English, Thabo responds, “but Malume I don’t earn that kind of m…” he interjects yet again, “Your Gogo needs new medication and your cousins are starting school now so we need money for school fees, uniform and teks-books. Sinking deeper into despondence and now at his mercy, he tries in vain to fill in a response – any response, “But Malume listen…” he cuts in yet again. “This is only the last thing now. The DSTV people need their money today and you know your Gogo loves Isibaya,” he insists. “Okay malume I hear you, but the thing is…” “Oh before I forget, it is Tokelo’s birthday tomorrow so we are doing something small but big for him. It’s okay if you can’t come but make sure the money does. “I don’t even know who that is,” he thinks to himself. “Okay Malume I hear you,” he tries again unsuccessfully, “but the thing is…” and he comes in again. “This is the last-last thing my boy. My car needs to go to service but you and I can talk about that next month. All I need is R500 for petrol and two beers for your favourite uncle.”

After feelings of shock and defeat, Thabo tries to salvage any form of courage to reason with him and he jumps in yet again, “I can’t hear you at all Mchana my airtime is about to finish. I just called to check up on my favourite nephew and I’m glad to know you’re good. Have a great weekend and thank you in advance,” he strategically hangs up the phone, leaving Thabo’s emotions hanging in the balance. The familiar feelings of helplessness and hopelessness creep in, because as much as he is demanding, he is family. They are all your family, including Tokelo (possibly), and they all need you, mostly your money.

At that precise moment, the rain begins to pour even harder, as he stands only 2 meters away from the ATM, wondering if it is even worth the trip. And just at the moment when he needs any form of inspiration to come his way, the same girl he winked at 5 minutes ago walks by. She is walking with her boyfriend, the one Thabo bumped into, holding up for her an umbrella, ushering her into his brand new 7-series BMW, taking her even further away from his league.
Thabo is substantially a good guy, with a university degree and great ambitions, yet the one thing that is necessary to attract and keep, a woman like that eludes him – Financial Freedom.

  • Do you have an ‘Uncle Royalty’ in your family?
  • What does black tax mean to you?
  • What would you tell your uncle or any family member if you were in that situation?
  • Do you directly or indirectly face the challenge of black tax? Please share your thoughts with us


A presentation by the IllumiNvture Secret Library

A Natural Light Magazine production

A Tevin NKS Story

Written by Tevin NKS

Edited by Tevin NKS/The Scribes Navy

ISL Publishing. All Rights Reserved