How to Stop Generational Poverty.

by Syl Tamanda

“Poverty is passed on from generation to generation, unless that curse is broken.” If Africa is ever going to rise above the ranks of the least developed continent on the planet, young Africans have to get into the business of breaking generational poverty.

The question, however, is, how then does one break the curse of poverty if one was raised by poor parents who were not knowledgeable themselves about how to make, keep and grow money?

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What is generational poverty?

This is simply when working-class parents give birth to children who become working class, and the grandchildren or great-grandkids end up in the same social class. It almost feels like a vicious cycle,a snowball effect of a curse. At the end of the day, if all your parents know how to do is manual labor, running after money every single day; that’s exactly what they are going to teach you intentionally or unintentionally.

Why is it important to break generational poverty?

In today’s world, not having a solid amount of financial education is suicidal. What I mean is that; unless someone in the family can learn how to make money work for them, rather than work for money every single day, the family will always struggle financially.

Although there’s a popular myth that money is the root of all evil, and cannot buy you happiness, I believe that being unhappy and broke is the root of all evil.

Poverty is not a good thing, and no one should be contemptuous about being broke if there is something they can do to change their economic circumstances and standard of living.

I remember the day I went to the ATM and tried to withdraw some cash to purchase some milk for my newborn. The machine beeped with the error message “insufficient funds.” Almost instantly, depression kicked in and I walked into the road almost unawares that an oncoming vehicle was honking at me. What happiness can poverty ever give anyone if you can’t feed your baby, pay for hospital bills or even secure a roof over your head?

When you break generational poverty, you will;

  • Have access to the best things in life
  • Live a longer, healthier and more fulfilling life
  • Afford regular medical checks to address any sinister medical symptoms before they become fatal
  • Pay tuition in schools that dispense quality education for your kids
  • Hire for help, and be able to raise your feet for some desired rest
  • Enjoy financial generosity to your family members and those you love and care about
  • Live a life of impact and possibly become a philanthropist

Having discussed why it’s important to rise above the poverty status of one’s parents, grandparents or great-grand parents, the main article is to discuss how to make this happen in the real world.

How to end generational poverty and create wealth

The information needed to create wealth is at the doorstep of most people in the world. However, most people are unaware of how easily reachable this knowledge is, and how to exploit it.

Most people in Africa complain about everything that isn’t going right for them, rather than spending the same energy to make things right!

Creating wealth can be done in the following steps;

1). Setting goals..

I know this point has been mentioned by almost any money guru and life coach you may have come, however, it is the first place to start. Let me remind you that the bible is as spiritual as it is practical, and proverbs 29:18 reminds us that we shall perish if we don’t have a vision for our lives.

The vision is where everything starts. If you are no longer going to tolerate your family being looked down upon, your voice being silenced or your kids going hungry, decide to change that today and write it down on paper.

According to neuroscience, people who vividly describe or picture their goals are 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to achieve them than those who do not. Read the full article here and didn’t always know much about goal writing, until I started reading books, listening to successful people and learning from those who had become very successful by writing down their goals.

Steve Harvey puts it very clearly in this YouTube video below, Check it out!

2). Knowledge Acquisition.

Now that you have decided to be the person who takes your family’s name out of the poverty list, how do you even begin to do so? Most people who are products of generational poverty are often financially illiterate or have no college education. Don’t fall into the trap of looking for riches without investing the time to learn the basic skills of a business or profession.

If you have some education, it’s even easier for you to start learning how money works. According to Robert Kiyosaki, anyone can change their financial world by simply changing a few words and a few ideas. Instead of saying I can’t afford it, say how can I afford it.

The 3 main takeaway points in the rich dad poor dad book, which is strongly recommended for you to read, alongside many other financial books to create wealth, anyone who is educated or uneducated should;

  • Earn an income through some type of job (working for someone or for yourself)
  • Transform your earned income into portfolio income( from paper assets, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, which are easy to have and maintain)
  • Invest your portfolio income into passive income ( real estate, patents, royalties or licensed agreements)

Check out this article on how to publish low content books on amazon to earn royalties, as a passive income.

Wall street trapper was stuck in a financial rat race whilst he was selling drugs in the streets. He found out something from a prison inmate that changed his life and made him famous. Checkout this YouTube video for his story.

3). Start a side business with little or no capital

The economic shock and job loss caused by the covid 19 pandemic have been a lesson for the entire world, especially the poor. Whilst poor people were lamenting in poverty and dying from depression, the rich got even richer.

The story of Bamboo Bamboo CEO could inspire you

Contrary to the general belief that covid-19 was a sour stroke for all humans, Credit Suisse found that while many people got poorer, the number of millionaires increased by 5.2 million to 56.1 million. By 2020, over 1% of adults will be millionaires for the first time. People who had been smart enough to build digital side hustles were laughing at the bank when things opened up again.

The question is, what kind of side hustle can you start if you are already poor, and how do you scale it?

The good news is that the internet has made it super easy for people to start businesses using just their mobile phones. Check out this article on 6 Business Ventures that Require Zero Capital.

Most often than not, our side hustle starts from a problem we face ourselves or a talent or skill we have. Gone are the days when any excuse for not being a winner is acceptable. It’s no longer about degrees, connections or country of birth, godfathers, or whatever else, it is only about starting where you are, and with what you have got, staying consistent and improving along the way.

I hope Ella’s story can inspire you.

4). Pay yourself first and everyone else last

The richest man in Babylon gave a piece of sound advice to his mentee which changed his life forever. He said, “when you earn money, pay yourself first, and everyone else later”. This is a principle that wealthy people master all too well. The poorest people on the planet are those who consume the most. One is left to wonder why?

The simple fact of the matter is that poor people have a poor money blueprint, which hinders their ability to master the game of money. To overcome generational poverty, make it a habit to save and invest a portion of every single penny you earn, consistently. Not a one-off thing. It has to become a habit. In Africa, the cultural pressure and expectation that because you have a little more than your siblings or relatives, you have to fund their lives are holding so many people back from escaping the rat race.

I used to make an okay income when I was in Cameroon, but I would spend everything paying fees for siblings, giving to aunties, cousins, you name it. At the end of the day, I was left dry with nothing to save or invest in. This particular behaviour was adopted out of ignorance. It’s not out of love that people always expect you to do stuff for them, but rather out of exploitation and entitlement.

When I started reading books and working on my relationship with money, I had a eureka moment. It was as if scales fell off my eyes. As I write to you, since I started paying myself first and everyone else last, I have been able to create some wealth for myself and my immediate responsibility (husband and kids). Don’t purchase anything or give money to anyone if you have not taken out a pre-agreed amount that you put aside for investment purposes.

5). Practice only quality people(OQP)

There’s something very peculiar about the company we keep. Even the bible notifies us in proverbs 13:20 that if we spend time with the wise we will become wise, but friends of fools will suffer.

I have never been a fan of a crowd in the name of friendship. The few times I have tried to build friendships, they didn’t end well, for the simple fact that most of them didn’t have my work ethics, nor did they have similar goals to me. You have to look for the birds that share the same feather as you so that you’ll flock together.

I remember hanging out with someone I was cultivating a friendship with, and I began to notice some side comments she was making. She would say things like, “Syl you work too much, life isn’t only about money.” She also said to me that the only thing that she’s excited to hand over to her only daughter is a European passport, which will open doors for her.

What value can such an unambitious company add to your life? If you evaluate your entourage, I bet you will be able to fish out those who have wisdom and a clear goal for their lives, and those who have made it their life mission to ensure that you never overcome poverty. After all, misery loves company!

Starting today, associate yourself with people who are more than you and you will learn a thing or two that will usher you to greatness.

Be mindful of who talks to into you, and be equally cautious of who you talk to.

Listen to Mr Brown’s advice on this very critical topic.


Generational poverty is when more than one generation of a family lives in poverty. This unpleasant situation, however can be broken using 5 steps. The first thing is to set goals. the second thing is to acquire the right knowledge or money mindset. The third thing is to start a side business with little or no capital. The fourth thing is to practice OQP. And the last but not the least is to pay yourself first and everyone else last.

This article is very enriching with videos, stories and other articles that’s capable of equipping anyone who wants to confront generational poverty and build generational wealth.

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