If you have a circle of 5 – 10 friends, you may find that you only have 2 – 3 free weekends in a year to spend time with your family with others already appointed for this Intro shower of a classmate you knew whose names four days back, Landlord’s house warming party, Uncle’s child baptism party and bae’s friend’s girlfriend’s baby shower among others.
Indeed Ugandans have discovered many ways of fancy celebrations of their life goals however much their of no gain to even their best friends!!
However, this wouldn’t be a problem because we all enjoy having a good time and celebrating with friends for a step ahead in their lives, but financial management of all these may sometimes become hectic. Today, contributions to all these friend’s parties end up taking gigantic portions of some chap’s hardly earned cash enough to sponsor a Rema-Sebunya-like wedding plus a honeymoon in Ibiza.
What is more disappointing is that it seems like the organizers of these parties don’t know about the current economic hardships in the country as they have now adopted peculiar reasons and means of fundraising for them.
Fundraising has mutated from old school ways of ‘help a friend’ for valid reasons like burials, school fees arrears, hospital and mortuary bills to lame fund drives with fancy names. Social media platforms mainly Whats app has acted as the biggest catalyst for these endless and meaningless fundraisers.
It is that Friday night, you go to bed feeling wasted, tired & worried after not being able to clear the landlord who is threatening to slit your throat with his blunt car key since it is the eighth day into the new month, only to wake up to a Saturday morning of 197 fundraising invites on WhatsApp. As long as one has your number, he will just add you without your consent to his son’s welcome party from the US fundraising whatsapp group!!
People have now reached an extent of sending invitations to raise money for them to start a business and you wonder what the next thing to fundraise for will be if Ugandans are already at fundraising for business capital.
From the simple survey we conducted however, many admitted that they would rather finance someone’s business than fund their wedding, baby shower or house warming party.
“I do not fund raise for weddings. Weddings are about two people going to ‘munch’ each other, they should sort their bills.” a one Maike Lugonda (not real names) replied.
You may find no familiar contact in some fundraising groups and you wonder how your phone number could have been gotten by the people you have never interacted with or heard about in life. More surprising, when you try to inquire from the person who has added you to the group, the only reply you get is, ‘You will eventually know them’!!
You find an invite for a house warming of a four-bedroom house in Muyenga with a complete list of things the house owner expects to buy for her/ him including furnishing it yet you are still rocking a ‘Muzigo’ in Bwaise.
How low can we sink and what are we fundraising for?
These days, weddings are dowry payments are communal things that involve everyone. The people wedding have to involve every single person they have interacted with all the way from nursery school to present life with an aim to get the highest amount of money to meet their high garden wedding budget and finance their honeymoon to a world destination.
They use catchy phrases like; ‘The Lord loves a cheerful giver, be part of what the Lord is doing in our lives, choose a good amount and stand with us..’ all that to arm twist you to contribute!!
Baby showers and children birthdays have also been turned into money minting events. The people who post their children on social media asking for likes and comments on their birthdays have now taken it a notch higher. You are invited with very clear instructions that the parents expect presents and admission is by that.
Another recent reason for fundraising are retirement parties. These are especially notorious with village teachers and relatives. People are sick with huge hospital bills, orphans are dropping out of school for lack of school fees, someone cannot bury their parent because a hospital is holding the body over a bill and some people still have the audacity to invite you to contribute for a retirement party!
What to do?
Some social media contributions are becoming ridiculous!! Before inviting hundreds of people to contribute for your party first ask yourself if you or your closest circle cant afford it. It is also courteous to first seek people’s consent before adding them to groups. Make sure the person you are inviting is in good terms with the group person or at least knows them.
If you add someone to a fund drive and they chose to leave, please let them be. Do not follow them in their inbox with the inquest of why they left. It is just a WhatsApp group, not a maximum security prison!