It seems there are many people who will jump at any given opportunity to milk others of their hard-earned money by mainly using excuses that tend to emotionally manipulate people they are close to.
I am not talking about street-children or beggars roaming our towns and cities night and day, but another kind of begging by family members and friends who will stop at nothing to benefit from other people’s money.
It’s the educated, employed folks or business people who find ways of squeezing money out of friends or relations to fund personal projects that must, in all fairness, be funded by their pockets.
For instance, perhaps you could help me understand, why should a family that wants to build a tombstone for their departed beloved call for contributions from friends and other well-wishers towards the function?
We have seen it in the classified advert sections of newspapers where a family announces they are unveiling a tombstone and invites friends and relatives to the event, only to include bank account details at the very end of the notice asking well-wishers to make contributions towards the event.
I know it says well-wishers, meaning people are not compelled to contribute, but should sympathisers’ pockets really be drained, albeit voluntary, in the name of unveiling a tombstone?
Unlike other occurrences such as illnesses or funerals, building a tombstone is not and will never be an emergency.
A family that has lost a member has months, if not years, to plan for the construction and unveiling ceremony of a tombstone. And the good thing about tombstones is that they come in varieties to cater for all kinds of families according to their financial standing.
What justification, then, is there for this kind of begging?
Then, there are weddings which are also being handled like emergencies sometimes.
A couple wants to have a classy wedding when all their pockets can afford is a simple officiation ceremony that ends at a pastor blessing the marriage in the church.
In a difficult economy like ours, a couple such as this one expects friends and family members to cough up thousands of kwacha to shoulder other expenses related to the event—all in the name of family—because when they don’t provide the financial support, they risk straining family ties.
But classy wedding receptions don’t come cheap. They come at a huge cost that people ought to prepare for instead of ambushing relations with colourful plans that have no financial backing.
We all, once in a while, seek help from others; it is inevitable, but this can only be in sudden situations which need immediate action to deal with. People should be responsible enough to assess their finances and stick to standards they can afford rather than heap unnecessary financial burdens on others just because they are family or friends.
This parasitic behaviour ought to stop somewhere.