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Major Source of Motivation for Glory! Paying Black Tax is a Privilege & She Does it with Her Heart

First, one’s perspective of black tax matters a lot. I don’t view it as a responsibility. I see it as a privilege, and so I’m not bitter when it stretches me. Also, black tax can be a good motivating factor instead of a restriction towards achieving life goals.

BellaNaija.com

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If you’re only just joining our Paying Black Tax series, we welcome you with open arms. {Read previous entries HERE} You see, at the beginning of 2019, the BellaNaija Features team resolved to pay closer attention to the younger demographic of its readers. With stories and feature series that focus on young Nigerians between the ages of 25 – 35, we hope to provide a platform for young people to tell the stories that affect them – within a society that handed certain norms to them. Paying Black Tax is one of those norms. Young people across the country, and even beyond the borders of Nigeria have to send money back home. The reasons for this concept varies, but the recipients are constant – parents, siblings, cousins and sometimes, even friends.

We started a conversation about this in this essay here, and it was a subject that resonated with a lot of our readers. We invited you to share your Paying Black Tax stories with us, and you ever so kindly indulged is. For this, we are eternally grateful. 

Today we’re sharing Glory’s story. Glory’s story is particularly interesting because for her, paying black tax is a privilege. She loves that she’s in the position to support her family, and believes that she’s where she is today because she’s been motivated by it; so what’s the big deal in stretching herself for it?

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Tell us, what was it like, growing up?

I come from a family of six, with four children. My family wasn’t always financially challenged. In my early years (between my birth to maybe when I was six or seven), we could probably be classified as a lower middle-class family. We lived in a relatively good neighbourhood, attended good schools, and could afford some luxuries every now and then. For instance, I remember my dad taking us to eat out for Sunday lunch frequently. However, this financial situation began to deteriorate (since my adolescent/teenage years), with the major cause being a change in my dad’s source of income.

He didn’t have a regular job anymore, and so my mom had to pick up a major share of the responsibilities. This meant less spending on luxuries (for instance the sale of the two cars we owned) for more on necessities. The one aspect of our lives that my mom refused to compromise on was the standard of our education. She continued to put us in expensive private schools, and worked herself to the bone in order to pay our fees. Our extended family members were also a major source of help.

And what are things like now?

According to the United States poverty level threshold, I am a few points above the poverty line for a single person, which means my earnings are just enough to pay my bills, with hardly any leftover.

So what do you do?

I am currently a graduate student, and I also work as a Graduate Assistant at the University of Arkansas, United States. The school pays my tuition and a small monthly stipend for upkeep.

How it’s like, supporting the fam?

First of all, I’m not doing it all on my own. I had been supporting my whole family, but my junior sister recently graduated and got a job, so she now also contributes toward supporting the family. And, for me, love is my motivation for sending money home. I consider it a privilege and a honour to be able to help my family. Because, if I don’t, that would be additional stress for my parents, as they would have to source for it somewhere else. Neither of my parents have a major source of income right now, so my sister and I are the major contributors. Also, because my mother trained us to be close to each other, I don’t hide my earnings from her or the rest of my family. There is just that bond among us that compels us to share our lives with each other.

From as early as my teenage years, I have always had the desire to support my family financially. I always looked forward to the time when I would have the ability to do so. This was a major motivating factor in my drive to work hard to gain academic excellence. This desire was borne out of watching my parents (especially my mother) struggle so much to provide for us. As soon as I received my first pay cheque, I began sending money home. The way it works for me is I have a fixed figure that I send home at the end of the month immediately I get paid. I arrived at this figure simply by estimating how much money I have left after paying any necessary bills (feeding excluded). There has never been any case when I decided not to send money home, even when I was in dire conditions. And, honestly, it has stretched me in many ways. One major aspect is in my feeding, I buy my groceries with my credit card, instead of my debit card, so that I can free up money to send home. This has made me incur credit card debt.

Like, last year for instance, I needed to begin application for the next level of my study (PhD), and a major part of this is an exam I needed to take. I needed to purchase study materials for this exam, which would cost me $150. I had sent money home, so I couldn’t afford it, I had to buy it using my credit card, which increased my credit card debt. The good thing is, I don’t have to demand a certain responsibility with what I send, because I already know what the money would be used for: my siblings’ education and household care.

I won’t say it forced me into independence, but it was a major part of my motivation. I always had the desire to take up the responsibility of my siblings’ education from my parents, and I am glad that I have been able to do so. I have also always had a separate desire to be independent and make my own money. I think it (paying black tax) has been a major source of motivation for my achievements so far, and of what is still coming.

Final one: what’s it like, adulting, making a life for yourself, following your dreams, and paying black tax?

First, one’s perspective of black tax matters a lot. I don’t view it as a responsibility. I see it as a privilege, and so I’m not bitter when it stretches me. Also, black tax can be a good motivating factor instead of a restriction towards achieving life goals. These are the lessons I’ve learned. What I do is I simply stay away from frivolous spending. For example, I eat out/ shop for clothes only once in a while. Because, again, it’s a privilege. I love that I’m able to do it. Especially because of the fact that my mother can expect a sure source of income at the end of every month, without having a regular job. And the fact that I can see the impacts that the money is making on my family’s lifestyle.

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We hope that you are inspired by the stories, and maybe realize that you’re not alone. In addition, we hope that this series helps you find a way out of any sticky financial situations you may be in.

If you enjoyed reading Glory’s story and you’d like to share your story on Paying Black Tax, please reach out to us by sending an email to [email protected]

2 Comments

  1. Franca Okpiaifo

    November 5, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    I celebrate you my dear. Great reward is waiting for you.

  2. Oma

    November 7, 2019 at 1:45 am

    Sugar Aunty Glory making me proud since 19kpiridim.
    Welldone babes

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