Money Classrooms: Which one are you in?

Written by on September 27, 2021

Thapelo Mokhali. Image: Supplied

Financial literacy is one of the leading stumbling blocks for many black people, especially in the townships. In the bible (Hosea4:6), God said “my people perish because of lack of knowledge.” Empowering the community with financial knowledge was the goal of Yahweh’s House International Ministries (YHIM) which hosted a seminar on Saturday, 14 September,2021 at AFM Hope church in Meadowlands, Soweto.

The seminar was in partnership with Old Mutual which had Thapelo Mokhali as their speaker on financial management and investment. Mokhail expanded on Old Mutual’s On the Money campaign, which you can read here.

According to Mokhali, as much as there are spenders and investors, there are also various classrooms we find ourselves in when it comes to money and how we feel about it

“Growing up we were never engaged or talked to our parents regarding what is money and how we can spend money.” Mikhail said.


People in this class are emotionally stressed about money and don’t talk about it.

Mokhali explained this classroom as, “once you think about money you become stressed, come pay day, you are stressed because you were never taught that before you receive money, plan for it…You withdraw money but don’t want to see the slip because you are waiting for your card to say insufficient, that’s when you want to know you don’t have money.”


This classroom is similar to the one explained before. However, the difference is that people in this classroom do talk about money but argue about it. Also emotionally stressed about money and has arguments about it.


In this classroom, people are not anxious or emotionally stressed about money, but there is little to no discussion about it. They are not aware of information that is crucial for their financial success (e.g. Bank fees on withdrawals or transactions). Basically, such people are unaware of how much is actually going in or out of their pockets.


Here, people are emotionally calm with a lot of open discussion about money. These people are aware of how much is going in and out of their accounts, they are not scared to confront those that owe them and they reach out to make payment arrangements with creditors.

Mokhali said, “These are mature people saying, yes I am working, my son wants a phone, I say not now, let’s put it in our plan. I will give you a responsibility and give you money and you save for it.”

Image: Supplied


Mokhali advised that we have to honestly talk about our financial situations with our families. We have to talk about how much we earn to our expenses so that they understand because “these are the things that if we grow up and don’t identify and rectify earlier, it can affect our relationships with friends, family and our partners.”

Image: Supplied

Pastor Gift Phoka commented, “Most black people are in the anxious classroom. Growing up, we were never involved in money discussions so we never knew how to manage money or what a budget is. That’s why you’ll find some people go crazy when they see money and others are scared of it.”


It’s all about how you use money, knowing what to do before the money comes in and sticking to it. “Grandmothers used to work in the kitchens and earn R700 but still take their kids to school.” Pastor Phoka illustrated.

Mokhali stressed the importance of a budget to move up the money classrooms.

He gave a simple 4 step budget guide:

  1. How much money is coming in.
  2. How much is going out.
  3. Group expenses.
  4. Monitor your progress.

Mokhali advised that one must not be afraid to discuss money with family as they are one of the top influencers on our attitude and actions with money. Furthermore, he said “It is important to draw up a household budget than an individual one and to include all sources of income.”

YHIM achieved their goal as those in attendance were educated. One of the community members, known as Gogo Khanyi said the talk was powerful, encouraging and she learnt a lot. A drummer, Tshepo, said the event was “inspirational, rejuvenating, relevant to current times and enlightening practical information.”

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