Accountants launch isiXhosa money series

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Rhodes alumni team up to bring financial literacy to ordinary people

Too many South Africans get themselves into financial trouble simply because they don’t understand exactly what they are doing. That’s the starting point for a YouTube series by two former Rhodes University Accounting students who want to see that change.

Robert Edwards and Onke Luzipho are now both qualified Chartered Accountants who started a project six months ago called Inyathi Imali (Buffalo Money) where they create podcast style discussions about money and finance, mostly in isiXhosa.

The first three discussions are Budgeting and needs vs wants (Inyathi Imali – Needs vs wants and budgeting – YouTube); Debt (Inyathi Imali – Debt – YouTube); and Saving and investing (Inyathi Imali – Saving and Investing – YouTube)

It is not financial advice, they stress, but simply an open discussion between the two friends, using real-life examples that are easy to relate to.

Luzipho now lives and works in Joburg and Robert in London, so GMDirect’s interview with them this week was on Zoom.

Inyathi Imaliis aimed at people with an income, or monthly allowance, but who do not have a real understanding of financial matters.

“Even when people have an income, they’re poorer than they need to be,” said Luzipho. “They’re still not getting to grips with their finances.

“We wanted a practical, easy to understand way to get these concepts across, and we came up with this idea of podcasts,” said Edwards.

The series on financial concepts as they related to life skills started to take shape. What they’ve done so far is a kind of test run.

“We wanted to get our content out to our target market so we could get feedback and adjust it,” Luzipho said.

What is their target market?

“Funnily enough, we were aiming at middle to lower LSM, but we’ve found people from all income groups have appreciated it. This series could be a tool for anyone – someone starting their first job, students, middle management or just any other ordinary person,” Edwards said.

They’ve already had requests to produce something similar in other languages, including Shona and Ndebele and say they’ll explore options to do that once they’ve fine-tuned their content and approach.

“Going forward, we hope to provide more discussions and potentially have people send us specific questions,” Edwards said. “We may also branch into other languages – but for now, we need to get this content out there.”

The project came about as a result of a shared passion for sharing information, and a cross-continental friendship that’s lasted well beyond their 2016 Honours in Accounting at Rhodes University.

Edwards is an Associate Director at Aalto Capital, a pan-European Investment Banking firm, where he’s been for two-and-a-half years. He is in the company’s London office and they do equity fund raising and mergers and acquisition (M&A) deals.

Luzipho has been a Credit Consultant at Investec Bank for over a year, focusing on credit risk management and working capital deal structuring for their clients. He’s based in Johannesburg, and previously worked at Deloitte for three  years doing his CA articles specialising in financial institutions.

Both have good memories of Makhanda – Edwards’s began when visiting his two sisters, who both studied at Rhodes.

Luzipho loved the fact that the town was relatively safe.

“You could walk anywhere, anytime.”

At Rhodes, Student Bureau Manager Desiree Wicks was Luzipho’s standout champion. He loved the campus culture of having fun while working hard.

“I think my only bad memory of the town is the occasional hangover!”

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