What you need to know:
- Even if you know his Mpesa and bank pins, you’re very single
- Until the law of Kenya and your belief system recognise you as a couple, you’re still marking the ‘Ms’ box on official forms
I know it doesn’t sound like it, but avoiding bad investments with dodgy funds calls for the exact same formula as avoiding terrible manfriends. It’s an identical rule book—do with your money as you would with your heart. If only I had known that people had not seen CMA denouncing Cytonn’s shady dealings years ago, I would have written this article much sooner. Let’s get right into it, shall we?
If it’s too good to be true, it’s too good to be true. In this Nairobi – in this Kenya, indeed – we forget that there are a bunch of people living off posing alone. They look like they can afford their suits and their drinks and their cars, when in reality, their friends buy those drinks, they’re living in a bedsitter, servicing an Mshwari loan while trying to manage the inordinate monthly payment of a four-wheel something that they shouldn’t have bought to impress others.
Not that there anything wrong with bedsitters. Many of us start on one roomed-cubicles. But there’s something wrong with thinking that it makes sense to try and buy a lifestyle with your first salary? Remember, ladies, people have credit cards, and credit is ok, as long as it’s good credit. Look past the broad shoulders and into what actually divides his budget. It’s easy to fill out a shirt – not a mortgage.
Listen to the authorities at hand when they tell you that this is a bad idea. The way that CMA and finance pundits clearly outlined what made sense and what did not with this too good to be true sweet deal – is the same way the all-powerful, all-knowing Gossip Association will do this for you (not to be confused with the Woman To Woman Association, that’s a different article). Every man has a story about him. Every person once had a partner, or at the very least, has friends. And once you find a connection through a school buddy or a workmate, it’s easy to build a picture of what is likely to happen with your ‘sweet deal’, because quite frankly, people don’t change that much, unless they’ve undergone a brain transplant or a rare spiritual awakening. Gossip as an anthropological tool is necessary to make informed decisions. Use this tool well.
Don’t throw good money after bad. Just because someone has met your whole family, been all over your Facebook every #MCM and #WCW, been on vacation with you, knows the names of all your childhood pets (all called Simba) and comes to all your harambees for all your causes, doesn’t mean they you’re now in too deep to leave. If you’re not happy or it’s not enough or you’re in it because it’s too much work in your complacency to end things, you need to take a long hard look at yourself and your lack of willpower. Spending a lot of time making a mistake does not mean you have to continue making the error. Cut your losses before it gets much, much worse.
We all get a little bit scarred. Even with research, gut instinct, gossip, and caution, sometimes, you’re still on the losing end of the dividends. That’s ok. You win some, you lose some. You won’t always make the right decision. It happens to the best of us. Change your passwords, close your account, and move on to the next, hopefully good, idea.
Never forget: diversify your portfolio. You can’t put everything in one basket, unless one particular basket has proven to have long term productivity and profit, and even then, have passive baskets on the side. What I’m saying is – date as much as you can, with no commitments, until there’s an actual commitment. Until you’re married, you’re single. If you’ve met his mother and she loves you, you’re still single. Even if you know his Mpesa and bank pins, you’re very single. When you loan him cash for his ‘biasharas’, you’re foolish, and single. Until the law of Kenya and your belief system recognise you as a couple, you’re still marking the ‘Ms’ box on official forms. Act accordingly.