Keeping Wealth Under One Roof


Anna Shilongo

EVER wondered why the majority of the Chinese people appear not to have bank accounts in Namibia? So I hear from friends talking about it and I came to realise it.

You hear stories of Chinese losing thousands of dollars after they have been robbed of their money in their warehouse, homes, shops and retail outlets at Chinatowns around the country. Just look at the crime bulletin to prove me right.

The Chinese squat in their businesses, it’s hard to find them renting a house or a flat. The Chinese hardly bank. They would rather keep their money on themselves, and what’s worse you hardly find them in our local shops. They even import their own food from home like Chinese noodles and rice, never mind the local kapana like any other foreigners who come into the country.

One wonders what’s the secret behind all this? Are they avoiding tax, interest rates or is it another way of saving up? Maybe we can learn something from them, who knows! I know they are business orientated but what’s the secret behind it. Is it better to bank at home or is it better to pay the bank charges while your investments are secure?

From a Namibian perspective, we know how our elderly lived in the olden days. Our elders would keep their money under their mattresses but lately, you will also see them taking money out of a home made patched cotton material bag to buy brown sugar or even to give their grand children 50 cents for sweets or ice-blocks.

Are the Chinese also adapting to our elders way of living? Were they denied access to banking in the past? And if not, are they also behaving the same way back home, or is it a Chinese philosophy to bank on themselves? I think history needs to forgive me for being too critical but it’s out of curiosity. Who can blame me for being curious? After all, I am a journalist; a journalist has to be curious.

And if I may ask again, is inflation so high that it forces the Chinese to sleep in their own shops instead of owning a house or a flat of their own?

But never mind they are good loving people with a great sense of humour. They will never provoke you. They keep to themselves, just say ” Ni hau” which means how are you in Chinese then you will know what I mean.

In fact, they are brilliant and talented people, For those who like supporting Chinese please continue don’t let this demoralise you, after all they are just trying to make a living, but bear in mind what you buy is what you get – there’s no guarantee.

If you return products back to their shops they would normally say “who say wash, china no guarantee, go, go,” with a smile on their face. I am talking out of experience. To all my Chinese friends, please don’t crucify me. After all this is just Eewaaaaaaaaa


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