Money Smart Week South Africa (MSWSA) is an intervention by Government and the private sector to inspire people to become financially literate and to educate South Africans about where to obtain the right advice and information when it comes to money matters.
ProVerb, Nicolette Mashile, Aubrey Modiba and Dimpie Dimpopo are all successful celebrities with one important thing in common: They are passionate about helping South Africans become better educated about their finances. These are some of the money smart ambassadors working with the National Consumer Financial Education Committee (NCFEC) on MSWSA 2021.
Their goal is to make as many South Africans as possible aware about this free financial literacy campaign during March, to motivate and empower South Africans to become better educated about their finances.
With saving and budgeting being two of the hallmarks of financial literacy, we caught up with ProVerb, Nicolette, Aubrey and Dimpie to talk about the most important lessons they’ve learnt when it comes to saving and budgeting, and why it’s so important to learn how to better manage your money.
The importance of being financially savvy.
ProVerb (Tebogo Thekisho)
Having spent over 10 years as host and co-executive producer of South African Idols, ProVerb (Tebogo Thekisho) is a familiar face in many of our households. He says that becoming financially savvy is our best chance of achieving financial freedom. “If we are to break the cycle of poverty, then we have to empower ourselves and the next generation. Financial literacy is a powerful tool that is unfortunately not as widely taught in school as it should be. It’s up to us to learn and then to teach so as to take charge of the future”.
He says he has learnt to avoid debt at all costs, and to rather save for what he wants. “This has really served me well and kept me largely debt-free. As an entertainer with inconsistent income, especially now with the pandemic and income being so interrupted, savings have really come in handy,” he says, and reiterates the importance of living well below one’s means.
Nadiem Poen, the internet sensation known as Dimpie Dimpopo, has gained popularity over the last few years with his series of gig guide videos shared on social media. “Anything can happen in life. That is why budgeting and saving is very important. This pandemic has been a lesson for so many of us,” he says.
“A money smart decision I once made was to build my mother a house back home in Limpopo. At the age of 19, I got my first salary, so I decided to save up for a year and sacrifice a lot of things in order for me to achieve that” says Aubrey “Postman” Modiba who plays as a left-winger and left-back for Mamelodi Sundowns in the Premier Soccer League.
“Today I am proud to say that I did it. I really wanted to change the situation back at home and that is the best decision I have ever made. I am very honoured to be part of the Money Smart Week campaign, a campaign that educates South Africans about how to be smarter with their money,” he says.
In addition to being a co-host of the SABC1 talk show Daily Thetha and an actress on Generations, Nicolette Mashile is also the author of “What’s Your Move – A Collection of Financial Lessons” and the founder of Financial Bunny, a platform she uses to teach financial literacy to South Africans. Nicolette says that no one is born being bad at managing money.
“Ultimately every life decision you are going to make is going to involve money, indirectly or directly,” she says. Nicolette says that although money cannot buy you happiness, a lack of money means a lack basic necessities, and that access to money is access to a better quality of life.
Educating the next generation
When asked what financial lessons these ambassadors would tell their teenage selves, Proverb says he would teach the value of saving as opposed to instant gratification. “I would’ve taken better advantage of my youth and started investing early, even if was very modestly with my pocket money and taken advantage of compound interest,” he says.
“I am teaching my children the value of money, exposing them to investments, and they often attend property showings and auctions with me to learn the process and value of investing in property. We are transparent about money in my household and they have bank accounts to empower them to make financial decisions and learn about budgeting and saving,” says Proverb when asked what financial knowledge he is teaching his children.
Dimpie’s advice to South Africans, especially the youth of today, when it comes to developing money management skills and becoming more financially literate, is to set clear financial goals; to spend less than you make; to create a budget backed by a good strategy and to understand the basics. His philosophy may sound simple, but it means having what you need when something unexpected happens.
Other MSWSA 2021 ambassadors include veteran actress Lillian Dube, award- winning financial journalist and presenter Maya Fisher-French and Bongo Maffin’s Stoan Seete.
During MSWSA 2021, events will be taking place between 22 and 28 March which will see trained professionals provide consumers with comprehensive advice, information, and tips on a range of ways to better manage their money. Go to www.mswsa.co.za for more information.