My Uncle, The Vrr Pha!, & The Ge of Consumption
This is a story old as time.
Uncle, Malome, Oom, uMalome: the brother of one’s father or mother; the husband of one’s aunt or uncle; one who helps, advises, or encourages.
The story of my uncle begins with a tale of being lost in the dark, never in my life have I found myself vulnerable like the time my uncle found me; recovering or dying a small death in my soul, an entrepreneur’s failure. 23. No back up. Besides my bachelors, down and out from the fancy Rivonia offices in Sandton back to nothing.
And here, he goes and seduces me into his schemes; a construction company owner says he can save me my troubles.
At that point, if Elon Musk showed up to my house talking about taking people to Mars on the first ever Mars colonial mission I swear I would have jumped aboard. Anything would’ve done me good. Anything looks and sounds great when you’re at your lowest; Justifiable of course.
One year later, with lots of hours spent on construction sites, from admin, accounts, book keeping, to managing staff, I still found myself back to square one.
This man had not honored his promise of investing back into my little start-up.
I had to pack up my bags and go home AGAIN.
THE VRR PHA! – GOLF 7 R
The Vrr Pha! -: ‘For those who do not know what Vrr Pha means, it is a phrase that is used to describe the sound that an engine of modern sports cars makes when changing gears. Vrr Pha is often associated with hot hatchbacks that have a direct-shift gearbox (DSG) – which means it takes 0.2 seconds to move from one great to the next, and is a dual clutch auto transmission, can be driven on both manual or auto.” Pat On Brands edited by me.
Not only did my uncle not honor his word, but he pulled a surprise move. Dude bought a Vrr Pha!, Cash…
A whole wow.
The “shockery” struck deep down my stomach, all the way to my toes.
The Age of Consumption
Vusi Thembekwayo did an analysis on South Africa and Greece, on how the fall of Greece was seen coming, and most of the symptoms, can also be seen on South Africa, and so it may crush or not, depending on what we do from there on.
“Growth in the South African economy has been predominantly consumption fueled. Thus, we have lost our competitive advantage in the production of goods. Malls have replaced factories. Car dealerships have replaced assembly lines. Plush office blocks have replaced the fog of textile, steel and coal industries that were once ubiquitous.
I am sure by now you already know where I am going with this, but read that quote again, let it sink in, and continue reading.
“In addition, we do not exist in an environment that is conductive to the creation of wealth. We are instead driven by a culture of consumerism as a mechanism to demonstrate accomplishment as opposed to building real wealth through building the economy”.
Who am I to judge my uncle and his car, he’s human, a typical black South African like many others after all.
But seriously speaking though – the value of that car at the time of sale was equivalent to a Fish & Chips franchise, or a solid capital into a startup, which does not happen to lose value or deplete your bank balance, but generates cash flow.
How many of our uncles unnecessarily own BMWs, AMGs and the rest?
How many of us are falling into the same trap?
Now picture this, how many “Fish and Chips outlets” are there on the road, pimping and blowing up DSG engines?
I’ll leave it there.
In the closing words of Vusi, from one writer to another;
“Until we get this in our heads I can never stop preaching this, for if I can change one person’s perspective, I would have done one good job.”
To all of you.
The future uncles and current aunts.
Moms and dads. ‘
Brother to sister, until your perspective changes, I won’t stop preaching too.
Let’s see things different.