Connect with us
//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Lifestyle

The Njangi

Published

on

In tough financial times when banks are failing and the systems we trusted before are no longer reliable; in times when money is scarce and financial responsibility enormous, I reflect on an age-old system of money management that is used to this day. A community based system that has supported families through tough times, stretched meagre incomes allowing parents to educate their children; giving others great opportunities to develop their lives without the total dependence on any banks or major regulatory system.

The Malians, Algerians, Moroccans and several other French-speaking African countries call it “”. Liberians and Ghanaians call it “”. In Nigeria it is known by many names but “ajoh” and “” seem to be widely used. In Cameroon “” and “” carry the same meaning.

The variety of names conveys the diversity of the beautiful African continent, however the underlying principles that have been handed down many generations to guide this process are not new.

How it works

In Cameroon as in other parts of Africa, the Njangi helps individuals save money. When done as a group it gives access to large amounts of cash loans with little or no hassle. With major institutions having stringent guidelines for borrowers, especially those who may have recently migrated into the United States, njangi, sousou, pari and tontine have stepped in to provide some much-needed financial relief.

Whether it is a group of friends, an alumni association or just a handful of family members, some Africans have historically pooled their resources together to help each other achieve financial dreams. The detailed requirements may differ across countries, ethnic or cultural groups but overall, the process is built on a high level of trust. Njangis also provide an avenue to meet friends or family members, socially.

Take the example of a group of 10 friends who have formed a social group and njangi with a monthly meeting. Every month they each decide to bring in $500. Members could increase their stakes. Two members decide to bring in $1000 each instead of $500. That means there are 12 ‘hands’ of $500 each. The group therefore has $6000 at each sitting. In some groups, members may cast ballots to decide the order in which they take home the funds. In other cultures the hosting member takes home the funds and hosting rotates to a different member’s home each month. On the day of the meeting, everyone brings in their contributions and the first member takes home a cash packet of $6000. This process will rotate each month for a year to consume the 12 ‘hands’ of the Njangi. Each time a member takes home money, the member is said to have ‘chopped the njangi’. The two members whose contributions are doubled will have two opportunities to take home money. They could negotiate with other members on the collection times. In some larger groups members “chop” or borrow funds on a bi-weekly or even a weekly basis. The Njangi term is consummated when all hands have been chopped and the group can start over.

How it is used

Some groups use Njangis as a support system or investment club. They require members to leave behind a token whenever they collect funds. For instance instead of taking home $6000 as in our example, each member leaves behind $50 which will be saved in a group account and could be used to invest in a mutual fund, visit a sick or bereaved member or some other purpose.

In some variations of this process, all funds pooled together can be borrowed. Some situations warrant the borrower to present some form of collateral such as a car or a house especially when the stakes are higher. In other cases one or two members will have to surety a potential borrower. Trust is the dominant factor in groups practicing the Njangi.

Njangi funds have helped Africans achieve the dream of owning a home. They have also been used to pay tuition bills, buy a car or relief an immediate financial crisis. It has helped many Africans save as it creates a level of discipline since the funds are actually a loan and must be repaid.

Some Njangi groups are actually set up for investment purposes. Every time the group meets, they put money down and when a project comes up, they all go into the project as a group. Njangis have helped some African Entrepreneurs thrive and has been the stepping stone to low or no interest borrowing that has propelled many African business men and women into much higher gains.

Njangis could be compared to a secure line of credit. It could also be likened to an investment club. There are many Africans in the Diaspora who will laud this process for their financial success today. Njangis have the added benefit of developing deep and lasting relationships while achieving financial growth and independence.

Facebook Comments

Advertisement //pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. LaBlaxicana

    October 19, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Thank you for sharing this information with us. We do community saving a lot in Latino communities and I’m always surprised that Americans don’t use this system more.

    Maybe you’ll spark a resurgance!

    Thanks again.

  2. nel

    May 29, 2011 at 4:11 am

    Found this article after I was doing research on sou sous/ partners/ meeting money. I’m from Barbados, we call it meeting money, my great grandmother ran one. My friends from Haiti call it Main, my friends from Jamaica and Trinidad and St. Lucia call it Partner or Sou Sou. Many of us have bought homes, paid college tuition and other big things with this. Glad we kept up the tradition in the Caribbean.

  3. trini

    May 29, 2011 at 5:57 am

    I am from Trinidad and Tobago and my family has always used this system. My mom moved to the USA and has done a lot of major purchasing through sousou. My great aunt continues to run sousou and has helped built alot of families and kept them debt free because of this tradition. Thanks for sharing this article.

Leave a Reply

Beauty

Miss Algeria 2019 Is Black, Racist Trolls Are Attacking Her But She Won’t Back Down

Published

on

The newly crowned winner of Miss Algeria beauty pageant has hit back at critics who have hurled racial abuse at her because of her skin color.

“I will not back down because of the people who criticised me,” Khadija Ben Hamou told Algerian news site TSA.

Slurs about her dark skin colour, nose and lips have been made on Facebook and Twitter.

ALSO READ: Tunisia Becomes Second African Country And First Arab Nation To Outlaw Racism. Here Is What Will Happen If You Break The Law

Darker-skinned Algerians face discrimination in the North African state.

Ms Ben Hamou, who comes from the southern Adrar region, said that she was proud of her identity and winning the competition.

“I am honoured that I have achieved my dream, and I am honoured by the state of Adrar where I come from,” she said.

Continue Reading

Travel

RwandAir Expands its Flight Destinations to Ethiopia

Published

on

RwandAir has announced that it will commence flights to Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, in April 2019.

The Rwanda national carrier will operate five weekly direct flights from Kigali to Addis Ababa with a CRJ-900NG aircraft.

ALSO READ: Rwanda Officially Joins Africa50 to Boost Infrastructure

“As an expanding young airline, it is imperative for us to fly to Addis Ababa Bole International airport as it is one of the important hubs in Africa” said RwandAir’s chief executive Yvonne Manzi Makolo.

READ MORE HERE >>

Facebook Comments

Continue Reading

Lifestyle

African Vibes Magazine’s Billionaires of 2018

Published

on

When it comes to African Billionaires, there are some usual suspects that make the list every year. Unfortunately, 2018 closed on a very bumpy note in the equities market and for many billionaires, this among other things resulted in some considerable loses in fortunes and some billionaires dropping off the list altogether.

The list dropped by 7 from 31 African billionaires to 24. A few billionaires still managed to grow their fortunes. Most Notably Nigeria’s Mike Adenugu who grew his fortunate the most with a 3.2 billion increase over his 2017 fortune.

Folorunsho Alakija remained Africa’s richest woman, Mohammed Dewji is still Africa’s youngest billionaire, and South Africa’s Elon Musk maintained the number one spot as the richest African on the list.

African Countries represented on the Billionaire list

By the end of 2018, South Africa had dropped 5 billionaires from the previous year. They closed with 6 billionaires, same as Egypt which dropped 2 billionaires from its 2017 list.

Nigeria maintained its 3 billionaires while last year’s newcomer from Zimbabwe still held his own. The other countries represented are Angola, Algeria, Ethiopia, Sudan, Swaziland and Zimbabwe with their first Billionaire.

African Billionaire Age Distribution

There are 3 billionaires in their forties, 5 in their fifties, 7 in their sixties, 6 in their seventies and 3 in their eighties. Africa’s youngest Billionaire is still Mohammed Dewji from Tanzania at Age 42.

Methodology

The African Billionaires list is a snapshot of wealth taken on January 1, 2018. It is based on the Forbes Real-time billionaire wealth calculator. The calculation is derived from stock prices and exchange rates from around the world used to calculate net worths. Some fortunes change from day to day due to fluctuations in the market.

The list is based on individuals rather than multigenerational families who share large fortunes, though included is wealth belonging to a billionaire’s spouse and children if the current list member is the founder of the fortune. In that case, you’ll see “& family” on the list. Also included are married couples who built fortunes and businesses together. 

It was an interesting year for African billionaires as some fortunes shrunk and others grew. So let’s look at who is left on the list and how they did in spite of the rough year-end.


PictureAfrica RankForbes RankNameNet WorthAgeWealth SourceHometown / Residence
1#35Elon Musk$21.9 B47Tesla MotorsSouth Africa / United States
2#125Aliko Dangote$10.5 B61Self Made, cement, sugar, flourNigeria
3#149Mike Adenuga$8.7B65Telecom, OilNigeria
4#180Nicky Oppenheimer$7.6 B73DiamondsSouth Africa
5#217Patrick Soon-Shiong$6.6 B66PharmaceuticalsSouth Africa / United States
6#240Nassef Sawiris$6 B57Construction, ChemicalsEgypt
7#316Johann Rupert$5.2 B68Luxury goodsSouth Africa
8#413Nathan Kirsh$4.4 B86Retail, Real estateSwaziland
9#519Issad Rebrab$3.8 B75FoodAlgeria
10#572Naguib Sawiris$3.5 B64TelecomEgypt
11#758Haim Saban$2.8 B73TV network, InvestmentsEgypt / United States
12#955Strive Masiyiwa$2.3 B58TelecomZimbabwe
13#958Koos Bekker$2.3 B66Media, InvestmentsSouth Africa
14#964Mohamed Mansour$2.3 B70DiversifiedEgypt
15#1033Isabel dos Santos$2.2 B45InvestmentsAngola
17#1107Aziz Akhannouch$2 B58Petroleum, DiversifiedMorocco
16#1110Patrice Motsepe$2 B56MiningSouth Africa
18#1317Othman Benjelloun$1.7 B86Banking, InsuranceMorocco
19#1387Folorunsho Alakija$1.6 B68OilNigeria
20#1405Mohamed Al Fayed$1.6 B89Retail, InvestmentsEgypt
21#1441Mohammed Dewji$1.5 B43DiversifiedTanzania
22#1463Yasseen Mansour$1.5 B57DiversifiedEgypt
23#1783Mohammed Ibrahim$1.2 B72CommunicationsSudan / United Kingdom
24#1786Youssef Mansour$1.2 B73Self Made, diversifiedEgypt

Facebook Comments

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Popular Posts