Of money, pain, joy and life

Imbawula, the popular storytelling platform has evolved over the years and recently, its latest incarnation, The Money Series, saw the stage set for eclectic, real life money stories, delivered by consummate storytellers. 

Money is as unavoidable a conversation as it is awkward. We would rather talk about our most embarrassing personal hygiene challenge, than go down the fiscal rabbit hole, lest we bump into some unpaid debts, deferred dreams and incorrect Lotto number combinations. And yet, money also means health, abundance, education, travel, shelter and independence. Sure, there are plenty of things it can’t buy – we struggle to think of any, but are sure they exist – but in the main, money can mean so many positive things: the perfect fuel to an amazing business idea; the trip of a lifetime; a plane ticket to see a new lover or a self-care day at your favourite spa.

Money was the overarching topic at a recent special Imbawula session, the first of The Money Series, in partnership with Nedbank. The series aims to lay bare our inspiring, awkward, painful, sad, exciting and triumphant stories about money, at a time of so much uncertainty and anxiety about all of our pockets, like the harrowing story of Ms. Naledi Chirwa – student, activist, organiser and actress – and our first storyteller.

“The series aims to lay bare our inspiring, awkward, painful, sad, exciting and triumphant stories about money, at a time of so much uncertainty and anxiety about all of our pockets”

Ms. Chirwa detailed in equal parts hilarity and deep emotion, her journey as a student activist navigating academia, riot police, romance, pregnancy, childbirth, young motherhood, depression and the pain of letting go.

Ms Akona Ndungane – a traveler, observer, advertising executive – and our second storyteller, chronicled lessons learned as a ‘debt collector’ (not the conventional kind, you will soon learn) and part of the black tribe travelling the world proudly and exuberantly.

Mr Xhanti Payi – an economist, writer and commentator – closed off the evening with a meditation on status symbols (a Volvo S40 plays a significant role in this narrative) and their connection to familial history and our sense of being.

The resident artist  Melo B. Jones kept the crowd entertained with her regular soulful BoomBaptist fare and for now, we give you some sights from the show (some more images on our Facebook page here . We will soon be sharing the stories on video and there will be some audio later in the series.

Images: Mr Siyabonga Mkhasibe

Imbawula: The Money Series is brought to you by Nedbank, in partnership with noted.man. 

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