BLACK TAX IN SIERRA LEONE

Black tax is a system where African/ black professionals are expected to cater for the rest of the family, whether immediate or extended. Such expectations are mostly placed on the first child of the family, but it goes for every young educated professional. In a country where extended family links are prevalent, you can understand how embedded the black tax system is for young professionals. No wonder everyone is in a rush to make the soft life rather than put in the hard work and getting the results.

In our African cultures, it is impressed on us from childhood, especially firstborns that the prosperity of our family rests on our shoulders. We are taught to be a piece of a whole, and our parents intentionally impress certain characters in us to make us feel responsible to honour the black tax.  Statements like “remember where you are coming from, and know where you are going” are re-echoed throughout our lives. With little or no preparation, the responsibility of providing for your immediate and extended family will rest on you immediately you can lift your head above water.  We take on these roles, sometimes unconsciously. We see it as a way of paying back our family for their sacrifices or so we think. Black tax is mostly driven by guilt because of how we were raised.

Black Tax can be just the feeling of entitlement or the expectation by some people who think they should have access to your finances. Through community words or action they will tag you “the umbrella in the family”. When you hear such sentiments, run, don’t get lost in them. Most times, they come from people who did not contribute in any shape or form towards your wellbeing, they never cared. The moment you make something of your life you are in trouble. They try to create a benefactor position in your life with statements like  ‘Na we men am ooo’ (meaning: we raised him/her). The black tax is one of the reasons responsible for low savings and capital accumulation by young people and hence they cannot make investments that will take them out of poverty. The recipients of black tax sometimes think you owe them. And so they’ll spend/mismanage whatever they receive from you. The sad part is they’ll come demanding your help because they know you are unable to say NO.

This system has led to a lot of financial and mental stress on young professionals since they most times find it difficult to say No. This is particularly so when the demand is coming from their parents. To be honest, most African parents are good at manipulating and gaslighting their children either for themselves or for other members of the household/community. So it is very important as young educated professionals we figure out ways to cope with this system. We should learn how to read and see through their demands and make informed decisions based on our budget.

LET ME SHARE WITH YOU SOME  TIPS ON HOW TO DEAL WITH BLACK TAX.

1. Don’t you ever make the mistake of giving them everything they asked for, they will think you have a lot and will come again.
Start by giving a fraction – half or a quarter of what they asked for.

 2. If you are finding it difficult to say NO, then focus on giving only towards important things that will make an impact on their lives. Focus on certain things that you consider serious such as health and education.

3. Choose one person in a family within the community at a time. If you decide to help that person make sure you let the rest of the household know that you will be helping that person and cannot be in the position to help anyone else within the same family for that period.

 4. Do not give immediately they ask for help unless it is an emergency. Always try to give yourself time to work within your budget to be financially in the place where you can help them without neglecting your needs.

 5. Try to know your limit financially and say No to anything above that limit.

 6. Now by all means try not to fall into the ‘nice person trap. You do not give to be recognized as a good person.

 7. Do not be a people pleaser because you will be left unpleasant. Those you are trying to please will never be pleased, and most importantly they can never please you.

 8. Try to say No when the manner they request is not right. If the tone suggests you have money and don’t want to give or you have money and should give them, then try not to give them, that’s the typical entitlement syndrome.

9. Try to emphasise your needs and let them know if anything happens to you they won’t be able to help you or your family.

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I truly hope these tips help you to navigate your way through the black tax system and just know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Try to help and give back to your family and community within your means. Black tax can take its toll on your life and well-being, therefore always be sure to put your needs first above all else.

© By Rahima Vandy Kargbo popularly known as dasalone-titi Rahima.

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

Leone’s Culture-Bringing Sierra Leone to the USA.

It is important we take Sierra Leone with us, where ever we may find ourselves. Let allow Sierra Leone to shine through us. Let it be the glow that lights our path as we find our way in the universe. @dasalonetitiquote

This week we are looking at a young woman in the United States making strides in building the image of Sierra Leone through clothing, fashion, and other accessories from sierra leone and other parts of Africa. We had an interview with her and we are excited to share it with you. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. You can reach her on her website and all social media handles

https://www.leoneculture.com https://www.etsy.com/shop/Leoneculture Facebook/Instagram/Twitter@LeoneCulture

Owner and Founder of LEONE CULTURE

Dasalonetiti- Tell readers about yourself.

Fatime: My name is Isata Fatime Gbakamara, I was born and raised in Sierra Leone West Africa. I travel to the United States at age sixteen. Went to high school and graduated in 2012. Enroll in a two years community college right after high school for an associate degree in health science. I started my career in healthcare with a big company in Virginia that provides internship training for new graduates. I had the opportunity to brush up my skills and was offered a job within the first week of my training. As a new employee I was excited because the company had so many opportunities for growth and scholarship programs for staff that want to continue their education.

African accessories

Dasalonetiti- Tell us about your life as a nurse?

Fatime; I enjoy working as a nurse. It’s giving me the chance to make a change in someone’s life and create wonderful relationships as well with patients, coworkers, and families of patients.

Dasalonetiti- what brings about the thought of entrepreneurship?

Fatime: Five years into my career as a nurse I met my husband Vincent Philip Ames. He is intelligent and career-oriented, always looking for ways we can improve our careers and lives. He had a collection of books about business especially ones that talked about becoming your own boss. I picked up my first book from his collection and I have never stopped reading. After three reads of different books, I grew interested in doing business. Some months into our courtship, he was willing to share his passion for business with me. It was an eye-opening experience because he has so many great ideas and he self-educated himself on many things. He was also part of an organization called the World Financial Group. He took me to one of their meetings, giving me the platform to meet with wonderful people, young entrepreneurs that are making millions of dollars not working a nine-to-five job. They own their businesses and schedules. At that point, my mindset changed.

Gara Tie Dye from Sierra Leone

Dasalonetiti – how did Leone Culture came about?

Fatime: On our way home from that meeting. We discuss what I learned from the sessions. But there was a change in life situation for us when we have to relocate to Florida. That process of moving stalled us a bit. Upon getting to Florida, we both attended our first business meeting in Miami Florida, 10x by Grant Cardone ” Powerful tool”. At the end of the conference, we got back on the road from Miami Florida to Pensacola Florida which was a nine-hour drive. We talked about different business options and business names, and that, eventually help me to figure out what type of business I would like to embark on. That’s how LEONE CULTURE was born. I wanted to give back to my country by helping our local artisans. After we locked down the business name that same week, my sister, who is also part of the business, Zainab Sandi introduces two business ideas to me. We ended up going with the first idea which we thought was great and bought our first product from Sierra Leone.

Neck piece handmade by her Sisters in Sierra Leone Bintu & Zainab

Dasalonetiti- How is Leone Culture doing sales wise?

Fatime: Well we can’t complain. Our first inventory from sierra leone sold out in a week. Mostly our buyers were family and friends. More orders keep coming in and we took the next step by opening an Esty Shop and get on all social media platforms. This venture was the scariest of them all for me. As there are so many ads about buying all sorts of things online. How would I survive? Was all I could think of, but I did not let it weigh me down. I started doing research about, who are my competitors. I realized each of them is fully established with a massive following, eye-catching products, perfect pictures, so many positive reviews in their comment sections. ‘I don’t stand a chance’ I said to my self. I started educating myself about advertisements and other details I needed if I should survive in this business. My husband decided to take photography courses, while my Sister in Sierra Leone Zainab Sandi was meeting artisans in Freetown and gathering more information about their products.

Fatime Isata Gba Kamara
Handmade Bags and Purse from Sierra Leone

Dasalonetiti- What are some of the Ups and down so far in the business?

Fatime: When we first made our social media appearance our sales initially went down and I kept wondering what was the problem because I was doing everything possible to get a kickstart on sales through social media. The thought of giving up came creeping in my mind. I decided to replace all these negative thoughts with positive proclamation over my business, by doing the self-talk like Leone Culture will rise to the top. I put my worries in prayers, follow a lot of business account on social media. Study their roadmap from their beginnings to where they are now. Within three months of being on social media, we receive our first sales. We started gaining more followers, messages started coming in about prices and shipping. We are on our way and will continue the hard work until Leone Culture is recognized the world over. That’s how big our dream is.

Ear pieces by Leone Culture

Dasalonetiti- What’s your advice for fellow Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora and at home?

Fatime: ”My advice to fellow Sierra Leoneans is to never give up on ourselves and our country. Let learn to work together and help support one another. Let not allow negativity to become the center of our lives, our story, and our journey to rebrand Sierra Leone. Negativity is what hurting our beloved nation’s performance and drive to go forward. If we as Sierra Leoneans make this commitment to work hard and become champions of helping one another, we would set something powerful in motion and Sierra Leone will rise again”.

Dasalonetiti- Share one of your guilty pleasure with readers.

Fatime: My guilty pleasure is me wanting to keep all the beautiful jewelry and neckpieces for myself (laugh)

Fellow Sierra Leoneans and readers, we have heard from the CEO of Leone Culture, who is flying the Sierra Leone flag in the USA. In the end, we have no excuse, you can be anywhere and lift the flag high. Change starts with ourselves. Please if you are in the United States and want items and accessories from Sierra Leone please contact her and get the total Salone experience. Buy from leoneculture on https://www.leoneculture.com

#itsthesalonewayornowayatall#

©By Rahima Vandy-Kargbo known as dasalonetiti Rahima

https://www.dasalone-titi.com