Debt Dressed As Decadence: The Middle Class Mirage And The Political Ostrich Syndrome

By Steve Biko Wafula / Published February 19, 2024 | 11:12 am



Middle Class

In the grand theatre of life, the middle class plays the most intriguing of roles, donning masks of affluence while their pockets echo the sorrowful tune of emptiness. “The dog barks, but the caravan goes on,” as the Arabian proverb goes, encapsulating the middle class’s disdain for the ballot box. They perceive voting as a mundane chore, beneath their elevated tastes, yet fail to see the caravan of politics shaping the very road they travel.

With a lifestyle financed on the fragile foundation of loans – from mobile, SACCOS, to banks – they juggle their debts with the skill of a seasoned acrobat. Entertainment, no longer a simple pleasure, is a spectacle paid for with borrowed digital coins. Here lies the irony, as the Chinese say, “He who takes a loan builds a castle in the air.” Yet, these castles crumble under the weight of reality when overdraft facilities like Fuliza become the lifelines for businesses whose profits have vanished into thin air, sacrificed at the altar of leisure and local escapades.

Read Also: In Kenya, The Entrepreneurial Rule Book Works In Reverse: A Country That Hates What Is Right

Weekends transform into markets, with groceries sold from the trunks of high-end cars in a desperate bid to maintain the facade of luxury. These cars, symbols of status, are ironically sustained by the same business meant to empower. “A book holds a house of gold,” whispers the Chinese wisdom, but our middle-class friends choose the fleeting glitter of social validation over the enduring treasure of financial prudence.

Living in high-end estates, they are the epitomes of opulence on borrowed time and money. The SACCOS loans, designed as lifelines, become the very chains that bind them to a cycle of pretense and indebtedness. The weekly chamas and gatherings are but a mirage, offering a semblance of community while drowning in a sea of loans.

Medical emergencies and funerals are no longer personal tragedies but communal fundraisers, a testament to the fragility of their financial health. They navigate the bazaars of life, seeking bargains to sustain the basic need for a meal, all while the fuel for their cars and the groceries for their tables are but another line of credit away.

Middle-Class

The pursuit of status symbols, like high-end phones and branded clothes, becomes a desperate attempt to stitch together an identity of wealth and importance. Yet, as they capture moments of faux happiness, they ridicule the very institutions designed to serve them – public hospitals scorned, public education dismissed, all while their heritage is auctioned for a taste of private luxury.

Read Also: The Best Financial Decision: Why The Person You Marry Is The MOST Important FINANCIAL Decision Anyone Will Ever Make

Their financial statements are tales of sorrow, a labyrinth of deductions and loans so convoluted that the memory of a full paycheck is but a distant dream. Entrepreneurship becomes a guise for deceit, a side hustle turned into a venture of embezzlement, all under the guise of ambition.

Amidst this charade, politics – the very essence of their plight – is mocked and dismissed as trivial. They stand aloof, cloaked in a veneer of woke indifference, blind to the reality that their every struggle is intricately tied to the political fabric they choose to ignore. “He who knows not and knows not that he knows not, is a fool; shun him,” the Arabian saying warns, yet they continue to dance on the strings of ignorance.

The wisdom of the ancients, from Confucius to Aristotle, echoes through the ages, reminding us that governance and politics are not mere distractions but the bedrock of societal well-being. “The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home,” Confucius proclaimed, yet our middle-class heroes have built their homes on the shifting sands of loans and pretenses, far removed from the stability of political engagement.

Business

As they navigate their self-imposed exile from the realm of politics, they fail to see the irony of their existence. They are the architects of their misery, building castles of sand while the tide of political apathy threatens to wash them away. It is high time they awaken from their slumber, for as the Chinese proverb reminds us, “A single conversation across the table with a wise man is worth a month’s study of books.” Politics is not beneath them; it is the very air that sustains their castles in the sky.

Read Also: Embracing Safety And Wisdom In The Wake Of Wealth

This is my advice to the middle class, the architects of their delicate dance between appearance and reality, it’s time for a heartfelt conversation. Politics, often viewed through a lens of disdain or disinterest, is not a distant realm reserved for the corrupt or the power-hungry. It is the very fabric that weaves together the intricate details of our daily lives, from the food on our tables to the electricity that powers our dreams. Each decision made in the hallowed halls of governance impacts the minutiae of our existence, influencing the cost of medicines, the quality of education our children receive, the price of fuel that moves us, and even the expenses we incur in times of sorrow and loss.

Why, then, does the middle class, poised with the power to enact change, choose to stand on the sidelines? The answer lies in a misapprehension of politics as a murky water best left undisturbed. Yet, the truth is starkly different. “The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men,” Plato once warned. By abstaining from political engagement, by treating it as an unworthy endeavor, we inadvertently allow the reins of our future to slip into the hands of those least concerned with our welfare.

Middle Class

It is imperative, now more than ever, to recognize that the levers of political power control much more than the laws of the land; they dictate the economic currents that run through our lives. The policies enacted by those in power determine the affordability and accessibility of essential services and commodities. Whether it’s the interest rates on loans that fund our lifestyles, the taxes on the properties we aspire to own, or the tariffs on the imports that stock our pantries, politics is the unseen hand guiding these elements. By engaging in the political process, by casting our votes with knowledge and intent, we can begin to shape the policies that affect every facet of our lives. We have the power to elect leaders who prioritize the public good, who understand the needs of the middle class, and who are committed to creating a society where the economy serves not just the few but all its members.

Read Also: Top 10 Tips For Teaching Children About Money

Investment

Let this be a call to action for the middle class: to shed the cloak of indifference, to embrace the significance of politics in shaping our everyday realities. Engage, question, and participate. Politics is not a spectator sport reserved for the few; it is the arena where the fate of our collective future is decided. Remember, “Every decision made by those in power once started in the heart of an ordinary person.” It’s time for the middle class to claim its place at the heart of political transformation, for in the grand tapestry of life, every thread counts.

Therefore, the modern middle class, with its intricate dance of loans and lifestyle, stands at a crossroads. Caught between the illusion of affluence and the reality of their political disenfranchisement, they must choose. Will they continue to scorn the ballot box, or will they realize that in the grand scheme of life, politics is not just an option but a necessity? As they ponder this question, let them remember, “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” It’s time to pick up the stones.

Read Also: Banish the ‘But What If’ Blues: Entrepreneurs’ Guide To Unshakable Belief And The Myth Of Doubt




About Steve Biko Wafula

Steve Biko is the CEO OF Soko Directory and the founder of Hidalgo Group of Companies. Steve is currently developing his career in law, finance, entrepreneurship and digital consultancy; and has been implementing consultancy assignments for client organizations comprising of trainings besides capacity building in entrepreneurial matters.He can be reached on: +254 20 510 1124 or Email: info@sokodirectory.com

View other posts by Steve Biko Wafula


More Articles From This Author








Trending Stories










Other Related Articles










SOKO DIRECTORY & FINANCIAL GUIDE



ARCHIVES

2024
  • January 2024 (238)
  • February 2024 (227)
  • March 2024 (190)
  • April 2024 (79)
  • 2023
  • January 2023 (182)
  • February 2023 (203)
  • March 2023 (322)
  • April 2023 (298)
  • May 2023 (268)
  • June 2023 (214)
  • July 2023 (212)
  • August 2023 (257)
  • September 2023 (237)
  • October 2023 (266)
  • November 2023 (284)
  • December 2023 (176)
  • 2022
  • January 2022 (293)
  • February 2022 (329)
  • March 2022 (358)
  • April 2022 (292)
  • May 2022 (271)
  • June 2022 (232)
  • July 2022 (278)
  • August 2022 (253)
  • September 2022 (246)
  • October 2022 (196)
  • November 2022 (232)
  • December 2022 (167)
  • 2021
  • January 2021 (182)
  • February 2021 (227)
  • March 2021 (325)
  • April 2021 (259)
  • May 2021 (285)
  • June 2021 (272)
  • July 2021 (277)
  • August 2021 (232)
  • September 2021 (271)
  • October 2021 (305)
  • November 2021 (364)
  • December 2021 (249)
  • 2020
  • January 2020 (272)
  • February 2020 (310)
  • March 2020 (390)
  • April 2020 (321)
  • May 2020 (335)
  • June 2020 (327)
  • July 2020 (333)
  • August 2020 (276)
  • September 2020 (214)
  • October 2020 (233)
  • November 2020 (242)
  • December 2020 (187)
  • 2019
  • January 2019 (251)
  • February 2019 (215)
  • March 2019 (283)
  • April 2019 (254)
  • May 2019 (269)
  • June 2019 (249)
  • July 2019 (335)
  • August 2019 (293)
  • September 2019 (306)
  • October 2019 (313)
  • November 2019 (362)
  • December 2019 (318)
  • 2018
  • January 2018 (291)
  • February 2018 (213)
  • March 2018 (275)
  • April 2018 (223)
  • May 2018 (235)
  • June 2018 (176)
  • July 2018 (256)
  • August 2018 (247)
  • September 2018 (255)
  • October 2018 (282)
  • November 2018 (282)
  • December 2018 (184)
  • 2017
  • January 2017 (183)
  • February 2017 (194)
  • March 2017 (207)
  • April 2017 (104)
  • May 2017 (169)
  • June 2017 (205)
  • July 2017 (189)
  • August 2017 (195)
  • September 2017 (186)
  • October 2017 (235)
  • November 2017 (253)
  • December 2017 (266)
  • 2016
  • January 2016 (164)
  • February 2016 (165)
  • March 2016 (189)
  • April 2016 (143)
  • May 2016 (245)
  • June 2016 (182)
  • July 2016 (271)
  • August 2016 (247)
  • September 2016 (233)
  • October 2016 (191)
  • November 2016 (243)
  • December 2016 (153)
  • 2015
  • January 2015 (1)
  • February 2015 (4)
  • March 2015 (164)
  • April 2015 (107)
  • May 2015 (116)
  • June 2015 (119)
  • July 2015 (145)
  • August 2015 (157)
  • September 2015 (186)
  • October 2015 (169)
  • November 2015 (173)
  • December 2015 (205)
  • 2014
  • March 2014 (2)
  • 2013
  • March 2013 (10)
  • June 2013 (1)
  • 2012
  • March 2012 (7)
  • April 2012 (15)
  • May 2012 (1)
  • July 2012 (1)
  • August 2012 (4)
  • October 2012 (2)
  • November 2012 (2)
  • December 2012 (1)
  • 2011
    2010
    2009
    2008
    2007
    2006
    2005
    2004
    2003
    2002
    2001
    2000
    1999
    1998
    1997
    1996
    1995
    1994
    1993
    1992
    1991
    1990
    1989
    1988
    1987
    1986
    1985
    1984
    1983
    1982
    1981
    1980
    1979
    1978
    1977
    1976
    1975
    1974
    1973
    1972
    1971
    1970
    1969
    1968
    1967
    1966
    1965
    1964
    1963
    1962
    1961
    1960
    1959
    1958
    1957
    1956
    1955
    1954
    1953
    1952
    1951
    1950