Mmegi Online :: Go ahead, join your motshelo
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Last Updated
Wednesday 19 September 2018, 09:36 am.
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Go ahead, join your motshelo

So, you have decided to join motshelo this coming month? Well done, for you are about to make a real mess of your life. I am not for that sort of thing– especially one by co-workers.
By Lerato Maleke Fri 19 Dec 2014, 10:16 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Go ahead, join your motshelo








Here is why: motshelo brings frustration and regret. It can reduce you to an empty can, and make you appear like an irresponsible mother or father.

Ever heard the cliché “money is the root of all evil’? Whoever said that must have had motshelo in mind.

The originator must have realised how something so sugarcoated as motshelo can put wives and husbands asunder, divide siblings and friends and bring enmity between families.

Let her who will hear understand my cynicism.

December 2013. I am anxiously waiting for my motshelo money. My calculations show that it will be something in the region of P10, 000.

There is a group of us – three really, as the other person pulled out around June. Throughout the year we have been lending out our initial P2, 000 contribution at interest.  By November we knew each one of us would be getting P10, 000. That was not to be so.

Dipuo* our co-worker on whom we had entrusted the funds had lent herself the money and was “still waiting” for her bank to approve her loan from which she would pay us when the company closed for business on December 20.

When we confronted her on the last day, she said she would be in town and would be calling us. The following day her phone was off. It would be so until we came back to work the following year.

Suddenly I saw my plans go up in smoke. I had planned, together with some friends, to go to Namibia then Cape Town for the Christmas and New Year Holidays. All that was ruined when Dipuo decided to chow our motshelo savings without our knowledge.

I can hardly recall the Christmas of that year. I can faintly hear the jubilation of people

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when newyear struck, but I was too absorbed in my misery; in my self-acrimony. 

How could I have been so stupid? Here I was having the most miserable time of my life, when Dipuo was having her best time with her family. I had no doubt she had bought them huge presents from our savings.

January came and my other colleague and I were in no mood for negotiations. Numerous threats had not worked, so we tried the courts. It was only after we served her with initial court process that she paid. Whew!

Unbeknown to us, Dipuo was a serial borrower and owed a number of other people. In the time she could not pay us, other people were hounding her to pay. So, it turned out, she took our money.

She essentially postponed her obligation to pay to another time. Unfortunately her muzzle of dishonesty was focused on us.

What embittered me most about the whole experience was the fact I had trusted Dipuo. She was nice. She was also several years older than I was, and appeared mature. How I kicked myself for trusting so blindly!

Such was our trust of Dipuo that when she said she had opened a bank account for the motshelo we believed her. But she had  not done so.

Now here we were: without money, bitter and foes with the one who started off as a friend. At home, my boyfriend was angry with me, for being foolish. “How can you be cheated by another woman? How could you trust her just like that?”

So, go ahead, join your motshelo, but please don’t ask me to be part of your group. Just remember to keep a clean damp cloth to wipe off those tears come December 2015.

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