Black Tax

Black tax refers to the obligatory practice – mainly involving financial responsibility that young adults have towards their immediate family, in few occasions their extended family. This obligation rests solely on the first Child of the family or the first to attain a level of financial success.

Black tax is being named so because of it is predominantly practiced as part of culture for African communities. It is seen as a duty and a value that must be upheld. In a typical African family it’s the pride of parents that their children should provide certain things for them once they are able to make some money and this has become part of the values of the African traditions but in the process this has put pressure of young adults.

Young people these days carry this weight of providing for their families and sometimes this can be quite a lot for them. This can affect their growth and drag them back from progressing in their various careers. This might cause a huge distraction from their personal goals and make them focus on satisfying the need of the family. Some individuals go as far as sacrificing their own dreams and aspiration, basically putting them last. Their only goal will be to make decisions and plans that must accommodate their immediate family even at their own expense.

For some, Black tax is like something hanging over their head, like a debt they have to pay for the rest of their life. This takes a toll on their mental wellbeing and induces frustration which may result in depression. When they are unable to meet up to the demands, it leads to disagreements and feelings of guilt which is unhealthy or their relationships with family members.

To avoid this, it is advisable to set the pace by letting the family know when there are others things that need to be taken care of personal affairs. Also communicating to them that there are some things they might not be able to do due to one or two private engagements or self-developments; been open about their finances can also be helpful too.

This is not to say black tax is bad, as it represents the commitment of young adults to building the family but only to acknowledge the challenges it comes with.


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