Savings and thrift gatherings are ample avenues for women to discuss their issues.
Delphine Mokosso belongs to a Yaounde-based all-female ‘njangi’ or savings and thrift group that meets every month. “After collecting savings, dining and wining, members sit back to discuss lighter issues. These include sharing personal challenges, plans to carry out a charity project, relax in a local restaurant, visit a body massage salon, engage in group sports or any other relaxation activity,” she explains.
“Though our outings have so far been to locations in Yaounde, I know of ‘njangis’ whose members go as far as Douala, Kribi or Limbe, just to have fun,” says the journalist. It is also common for members to engage in gossip, share family challenges like sick relations, “trouble-making” husbands, etc. Others use the opportunity of such gatherings to sell wares such as clothes, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics and other personal effects, Delphinine notes.
Not unexpectedly, Delphine Mokosso’s savings and thrift colleagues are wont to engage in “negative competition” by purchasing trendy cars just to be seen to be up on the social ladder of “well-to-do women.” On the other hand, the ‘njangi’ Monica Mokake belongs to is more God-fearing. “We begin our meetings with prayers and Biblical exhortations. If a member presents a problem that requires prayer, we pray about it together,” she disclosed.
Mokake hastens to add that in the spirit of being one another’s keeper, members are encouraged to settle any differences without taking them to third outside parties. As further proof of the bond among members, Monica Mokake says her savings and thrift colleagues often share news of happenings in their families. Thus, the strength of their unity and growth.