Growing up, l never understood why my parents did not have a nice car and nice furniture, to be precise a big colour TV. I used to be shy to tell my classmates and friends at school that my father is a businessman because they would start questioning why l didn’t have a new uniform or why my tuck was little. Growing up as a border wasn’t easy at all. I remember when l completed my Grade 7, as l was waiting to be picked. I saw my father’s car coming and it made so much noise since it was an old car. He used to drive a Peugeot and it had one dimmed light and the paint was fading away. My classmates started dissing our car and making all the bad comments. I was very embarrassed, to say the least.
On our way, l asked my father why he didn’t fix the light or paint the car. He just seemed not to care at all. His response was, “I don’t have the money because I just bought another residential stand”. As a young child, I did not understand all this, I wanted him to buy a nice car, to spoil me when l am going to school. I thought he was wasting his money on unnecessary things that weren’t helpful to us his kids. I shared the same sentiments with my siblings because we used to discuss him a lot.
As l grew up and having more understanding of how finances work. I started appreciating all his hard work until today. He is an investor and takes advantage of every opportunity which comes his way. I will share the four lessons l learned from my father.
- Investing for the future
My father is a strong believer in investing in property. He would not let any opportunity pass him by. I did a count of all his properties and noticed l have a rich old man. He has over 5 properties, 2 commercial stands, a farm just mentioning a few. Though some of them are still just land, this is a valuable investment. I had a chat with my siblings that we are sitting on gold, we have to generate income from the land. A thought just crossed my mind why he never really bought expensive cars, expensive furniture because he was ensuring he is building generational wealth.
- Investing in business
School holidays for my siblings and l meant going to my father’s company or to the farm. I used to hate it when he wakes us up early hours to prepare to go with him to work. He always said this is your future you must know the ins and out of it. When he had his meetings with his business sponsors, he used to go with us. My old man is a negotiator he would just win tenders just like that. Home Security Professionals is the name of his company it started in 1988 and it’s still standing. The lesson l learned, is that, if you are committed and have a good network, your business will flourish. Even the bad economic situation will not badly affect your business, it can always survive it all.
- The importance of Investing in Education
No matter how bad the economy of our country Zimbabwe has been, my father made sure he sent us to boarding schools. We did not have the best shoes, or ENBEE school uniforms or a trunk full of food. However, when it comes to our fees, he used to pay on time. He provided the basics which were required for our education. Which until today l thank him for that because it had made me be more serious with my studies.
- A life of luxury is not a way of wealth creation
The last and most important lesson l have learned from my father is a life of luxury is not a way of wealth creation. Also, that living within your means is the greatest tool for generational wealth creation. We grew up living an average life in the high-density suburbs yet he could afford the rich-class lifestyle. His focus was on creating wealth for his children. It’s now up to us, his children to build the foundation which was laid, and let it multiply for the next generation to come.
My father is a hero and he has indirectly taught me these financial lessons which many miss. Many live for the moment and forgetting about the generational wealth. At the age he started acquiring properties, his peers were busy buying cars and renting in the affluent suburbs. This just shows me that life is all about the financial choices we make.
All the credit in this article goes to my father, Cowen Manyonga. I truly appreciate all these lessons baba, they have brought us where we are today.
A life of luxury sounds nice, but generational wealth sounds better.
By Tarie Manyonga