In Summary
  • There'll always be something to complain about.
  • You CANNOT afford to be someone's life plan.
  • What were they going to do if you weren't there?

Hi Brenda,
My question is on how to stop my relatives from asking me for money. I don’t make that much but they seem to think so…they call me religiously every month end to report their issues. Sometimes I feel like the village elder or chief instead of a 25-year-old woman. How do I tell them off without offending them? Ruth, Kisumu

You poor dear. We live in an African society and as such, certain things are expected of you.

I feel terrible that at 25 you have become a parent to those who sound much older than you.

But you must stop being polite because they don't care about being polite to you. Don't pick up when they call you.

Will they get mad at you for not helping? They are probably still talking about you now regardless – haters gon' hate.

There'll always be something to complain about. You CANNOT afford to be someone's life plan. What were they going to do if you weren't there?

You have your own life to live with your own obligations. And your obligations are valid, even if you want to splurge on yourself, that's okay.

You can allocate a portion of what you earn to your relatives – because I'm sure you'll feel guilty if you completely cut them off; we are African after-all.

And when that amount is depleted, just say NO. You are related to them so really, there's only so many ties they can cut anyway!