If you don’t flaunt it, do you even have it?

When it comes to race, there is one story I know, the black story. That being said, once upon a time there was a shirtless black man, wearing a gold chain and holding a stack of hundred rand notes against his ear – answering the ‘money call.’ His friend was seen throwing a few notes of his own on the ground and walking away, because who needs it? He already has so much.

As a person who has never had enough cash in hand (unless rent money counts) to turn into a cellphone, I cannot judge. It surely must feel good to have that much disposable income, but I cannot help but wonder if flaunting it is a prerequisite amongst the black community.

A few days ago a friend of mine told me that energies attract, that if you tell the world you are ‘made’, if you hang with a successful crowd, the world will reward you with the life you want. Is that perhaps the point I may be missing? Are my black brothers and sisters just pulling wealth into their direction?

The same dear friend tells me today that throwing 100s in the air is merely a form of advertising. The way it is done nowadays I cannot say I dispute this claim, however, what exactly is it that we are advertising?

Black people have been accused of being slaves to materialism, this coming from years of oppression and barely getting the chance to spend on more than what we need. We can thank years of slavery for that one.

Khaya Dlanga once wrote, “Black people were oppressed for many years. When we had nothing, we viewed success as having material things. We thought that only white people could have expensive things and we were denied what we wanted. Now all we want to do is work towards having those things.”

As I have already stated, as a black woman, the only story I truly know is the black story. I am not at any point dismissing the fact that other races have their own issues with materialism, I am sure they do but I have no idea where their story stems from. What I do know is that I would love to see a society that focuses on investing wealth into the community, into people, into building more wealth for each other and future black generations.

We may need to stop leaving ourselves open to judgement. Oftentimes when the money throwing statuses stop, the same people who seemed to worship you will be quick to say “uwile” (you have hit rock bottom) – and trust me, the market you are advertising to is always waiting on its hind legs for your downfall.

I like nice things, I love the things that money can buy as much as the next person. I talk about making money any chance I get. Money makes the world go round – or is it love, I cannot remember.

I guess the real point I am trying to make here can be better expressed in the words of George Lorimer, “It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.”