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Uncle Royalty – A black tax story

Uncle Royalty – A black tax story

This is the day that you have been waiting for your entire life, the day you finally receive your first salary. The big grin on your face, the walk of fame and fortune, oozing with pride and confidence as you make your way to the bank. You‘re even giving high-fives to strangers in town, with the audacity to flaunt a wry smile and a wink to every girl passing your way – who you know are all very well out of your league. At this point, however, nothing can get you down. Not the rain pouring down on you, as you have convinced yourself it‘s blessings from above, not even the ‘rude gentleman’ who bumps into you and has the nerve to say “watch where you‘re going, idiot,” as his BMW keys fall right in front of you. “That will surely be mine one day, parked in my 6 door garage in my mega mansion,” prophesying to yourself as you smile and apologise kindly. The world is yours!

Suddenly, your phone rings and ‘private number’ needs your attention. With your well rehearsed ‘BEE/Just Got A Tender voice‘ you answer. “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 you since he got handsomely drunk at your graduation party, not even once while you were in varsity.

Still trying to gather your emotions and find the right words as you pretend to be happy to hear his voice before responding, he cuts you off wildly before the words even come out of your 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, you respond, “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, you try fill in 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. “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,” you think to yourself. “Okay Malume I hear you,” you try again in vain, but the thing is…” and he comes in again. “This is the last last thing. 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, you try 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 your 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.

At that precise moment, the rain begins to pour even harder, as you stand 5 meters away from the ATM, wondering if it is even worth the trip. And just the moment when you need any form of inspiration to come your way, the same girl you winked at 5 minutes ago walks by. She is walking her boyfriend, the one you bumped into, holding up for her an umbrella, ushering her into his new 7-series BMW, taking her even further away from your league. You’re substantially a good guy, with a degree and great ambitions, yet the one thing that is necessary to attract and keep, a woman like that eludes you – 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? If so, share your story in the comments


A presentation by the IllumiNvture Secret Library

A Natural Light Magazine production

A Digital Scribes Templar story

Written by Tevin NKS/Digital Scribes Templar

Edited by Tevin NKS/Digital Scribes Templar

Undersigned by ISL Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved