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Man Republic: How a virus denied me my first chama windfall

 Saturday would have been the greatest day of my life (Shutterstock)

I am a dejected soul. Were it not for the COVID-19 scourge, Saturday would have been the greatest day of my life. I was to play host to a dozen young men and ladies, like-minded professionals who had come up with a brilliant idea of forming a self-help group. Let me explain:

At the start of this year, my friend Kidiavai Gaynut, a fine young man renowned for his constant state of equanimity called 12 of us to a New Year’s party, but it wasn’t a normal party. I noted at first that there was no booze, ladies were also conspicuously missing, apart from the ones invited. All signs of a serious endeavour.

Aim of the meeting? He was concerned by the fact that most of us were leading our lives ‘carelessly’, no savings, poor financial discipline and so on. He had therefore devised the idea of forming a chama to build a financial base and keep our financial houses in order. He went ahead to elucidate the benefits of such groups, the importance of starting small and the long term benefits of self-help groups, we obliged.

So it happened that out of the monthly share contributions, half the amounts would be channeled to a savings account while the other half was to be given to a member monthly. A great idea. Small pieces of paper bearing numbers were randomly prepared and I picked number four.

Now, I have always had a problem with this number four. It is my Achilles Heel. Call me superstitious but this number doesn’t usually go down well with my undertakings. Anyway, the first Saturday of April was therefore meant to be my day of financial breakthrough.

I was to receive a handsome amount of money to kick start my journey to financial independence. In fact, I was now toying with the idea of finding myself a lifetime partner. My aunts have been pestering me with clarion calls on the need to settle, this was going to be a pleasant surprise for them because I had always held firm to the belief that starting a family before being financially stable is improper.

However, with the current ban on gatherings, we are unable to go ahead with the aforementioned function. My frantic calls to the leader of our group to allow me have the money without meeting physically have been met with a laconic answer. NO!

I am now left wondering why this virus had to ruin my moment. As it stands, my Chama windfall will be postponed to the final position (way in December or even after) because the numbers, as they were picked, cannot be skipped.

But hey, let’s all stay safe by washing our hands thoroughly with soap, avoid touching your face, self-isolate if you suspect you have come into contact with an infected person, and generally maintain high levels of hygiene as advised by the Ministry of Health.

In the end, all our lives matter and the fate of this scourge is in our hands.


[email protected] @aseri_dick on twitter

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