The Star Late Edition - - METRO - BOTHO MOLOSANKWE [email protected]

WHEN I was young, the “money is the root of all evil” phrase was one I was quite fa­mil­iar with.

If it was not be­ing bandied about in con­ver­sa­tions, there were phrases in books that made me think that without money, life would be quite sim­ple.

In my young mind, money was able to buy the car to take you from point A to B, and buy the food that would keep star­va­tion at bay.

I ra­tio­nalised at the time that had there not been money in the world, many of life’s prob­lems would prob­a­bly not have been there.

But it also made sense to me why money would have such a rep­u­ta­tion: didn’t Ju­das Is­car­iot be­tray the Son of Man for a few pieces of sil­ver?

Over the years, how­ever, the neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tions as­so­ci­ated with money slowly dis­ap­peared.

Money was no longer evil, but rather king.

And sud­denly, moola had the power to do the im­pos­si­ble.

Haven’t we seen old men with leath­ery skins and one foot in the grave pulling young gor­geous mod­els, only be­cause of the depth of their pock­ets?

Not only would they marry them, but these young women would also end up bear­ing them chil­dren.

Usu­ally young women don’t like be­ing pur­sued by much older men, as they find the whole idea of an older man woo­ing a woman barely out of her teens dis­taste­ful.

But at­ti­tudes seem to change when the one be­ing pur­sued finds that madala’s pock­ets are in fact very deep.

In­stead of be­ing a “dirty old man”, he would sud­denly be “dzaddy” – a term of en­dear­ment used to de­scribe a man past his prime but who, ac­cord­ing to to­day’s young­sters, can get it.

Such is the power of money… It has the abil­ity to change an un­de­sir­able man or woman into the per­fect suitor.

But money also has heal­ing pow­ers and can turn a cloudy day into a bright one.

I wit­nessed this on De­cem­ber 31, when I was home for the fes­tive hol­i­days in Mahikeng.

A friend had re­quested her em­ploy­ers to rather pay her salary after Christ­mas be­cause she still wanted to have money left over in Jan­uary, a month when most peo­ple strug­gle to make ends meet.

But when De­cem­ber 31 dawned, she was be­com­ing uneasy when she did not get the SMS no­ti­fi­ca­tion that her salary was in her ac­count.

We de­cided to go into town and check at the ATM.

We got into the car and drove into town in search of one.

She re­turned from the ATM de­jected. There was no money yet, and for the rest of that day she was no longer her bub­bly self.

Out of the blue she com­plained of stom­ach cramps. While she was still deal­ing with that, her hands started aching.

“I can hardly move them,” she said, clench­ing them to her chest, while con­tin­u­ing to wal­low in her sad­ness.

But when the SMS came through, it changed ev­ery­thing. The woman who had been ill sud­denly perked up.

“Iyoo Gwen (that’s what she calls me), I need to go home and put on some jeans and we need to go into town. I have fi­nally re­ceived my money,” she said ex­cit­edly.

I couldn’t be­lieve it. Here’s a per­son who was in agony a few mo­ments ago, re­joic­ing. She rushed to her house and when she re­turned, the dress, san­dals and doek had been dis­carded for jeans, sneak­ers and a weave. She even had make-up on.

The sickly per­son who had been com­plain­ing of aches and pains ear­lier had van­ished. In her place was an en­er­getic young woman want­ing to party.

As we later sat out­side wait­ing to cross over to 2019, and watch­ing her do the vosho… I mar­velled at the heal­ing power of money.

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