This generation and black tax…

Black tax is a term derived from the African culture where a community or a society these being represented by parents or guardians of a child expecting payment for all sacrifices they did in the upbringing of the child. This continues to prevail in many cultures across the continent and parents expect children to look after the family when they have graduated and earning a salary.

Some cultures go on to assert that when a child starts working he or she should give their first salary to the mother or the father. Over the years this norm continues to evolve as children feel they are being made to pay back whereas some enjoy giving back to their parents. Black tax has been viewed by young people as something that parents should not demand from their children but it should be done out of goodwill.

‘Ukuzala yikuzelula amathambo’ so goes the Ndebele adage. This basically means that when parents raise children they are actually building a good investment that will be able to take care of them when they cannot work anymore. Another saying says ‘ukuzala yikuzembela’ also validating the essence of having or of raising a child to look after their parents.

Raising a child is a parent’s responsibility and it should not be viewed as a way one is expecting to ripe when one is older and earning a salary. Parents do expect a lot from their children like groceries, paying rates and rents and also paying for the other sibling’s school fees. This has been viewed as a good thing by many youths, the need to take care of them however it is seen as a form of burden to the children as they feel under a lot of pressure to impress their parents.

Giving back to parents and guardians is what some young people enjoy and feel good when doing it, however one would argue to say the biggest form of appreciating and giving back to their parents is through telling them how much they appreciate their presence through the word of mouth.

Withholding from giving to parents when one has achieved great things is seen as being stingy as parents sacrificed a lot to make the young people be what they are today. A story is told of a single mother who raises a family through selling in the streets, she wakes up in the wee hours of the morning to prepare her vending site, she makes sacrifices for her children to have the best education and be respected in the society. Surely this parent deserves to be taken care of by her children.

Raising a child is seen as the most difficult thing yet it all brings great results when the children have grown, appreciating the parents is the biggest form of gratitude one can do when they have a stable job and an income.

By Brighton Ncube

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