SHOWCASE STORY TANGENI THE LOAN SHARK

Anna was in dire need of money. She needed money urgently to give her family a treat. She had no money of her own and did not know who would ‘rescue’ her. The party for her family was the most important thing that occupied her time and mind. She even approached the banks but was turned away because she did not have a fixed income. Naturally, the bank was worried that she would not be able to repay the loan, as she was unemployed at the time. She could also not offer any guarantee that she would repay the bank’s money at a particular time, if at all.

Her friends were not able to help her and some even said to her that they had challenges of their own and could not afford to loan even a cent of their hard-earned money.

The party was still far away and she had some time on her hands to find the money to organise what would, in her view, be the most memorable party ever to be thrown in her area.

Bolt from the blue, while Anna was minding her own business at home, a neighbour knocked on the door and introduced Tangeni to her. The neighbour told

How Anna had wished the earth could open so she could vanish forever! How was she ever going to repay that loan? Agape, she stood in front of Tangeni while memories of the party and a friendlier Tangeni were flashing past her. Anna thought Tangeni had become her friend, as he had even attended the party. She expected some leniency but Tangeni would have none of that. He had turned into something else.

It dawned on her that Tangeni was nothing else than a loan shark pouncing on an unsuspecting victim. She could not undo anything now. In the days after that, Tangeni kept demanding his money and used every means to harass Anna.

The pressure became too much for Anna to bear. She even had a mild stroke and was contemplating suicide. Eventually she was forced to sell off some household items like television sets and other goods of value to pay back Tangeni’s money. It was a hard lesson for

Anna. It also explained Tangeni’s flashy lifestyle. He was making a living by coaxing people into borrowing from him and then he would apply undue pressure for his money to be repaid with very high interest.

“It is better to

do nothing with money than something you don’t understand.”

– Suxe Orman

Tangeni about how desperately Anna needed money to organise the party for her family. Tangeni nodded in agreement and informed Anna that he was willing to advance any amount that she needed. The repayment terms were not of immediate concern and could be discussed at a later stage. Pleased, Anna gave Tangeni her account number and in an hour’s time, the money registered in her account. Finally the party could take place and everyone who was everyone was told about it. This was going to be The Party! Anna was so indebted to Tangeni in more ways than one.

The party did eventually take place and true to her word, Anna outdid herself. People enjoyed themselves and the revelers could not stop talking about it. It was the most wonderful event that brought together the who’s who of society. After all, Anna was known as the best party thrower and she once again did not disappoint.

After two months, Anna received a visitor. It was Tangeni. Unlike on previous occasions when the mood was friendly, this time Tangeni was in a different mood. It is as if he had a mask on his face. Such was the seriousness that Anna asked straight away what the matter was. Without mincing words, Tangeni cut straight to the chase. All he wanted was his money. Anna had expected Tangeni to one day come and ask for his money. She was not however prepared for the shock that Tangeni was about to offload. For the amount loaned to Anna, Tangeni demanded a repayment of double the amount to be paid in two installments. She was given two months to pay up or interest of an unspecified amount would be added for every month she would default.

THE LESSONS THAT ANNA
LEARNED:

Loan sharks like Tangeni always start out being friendly. And if they receive their payments they remain friendly. Defaulting or being unable to pay changes loan sharks into animals. They have the potential to physically harm a borrower or confiscate their property. Loan sharks also pressure people into becoming repeat borrowers, to repay one debt with another, and they increase the interest rate if and when they see it fit. This creates a “debt trap”, which borrowers will find difficult to escape.

“Often, loan sharks do not care with paperwork and no contracts are signed and no records of payments are kept. You can pay as long as the loan shark wants you to pay.”

To avoid being in a similar predicament as Anna, ensure that you only deal with microlenders who have been licensed by NAMFISA to do business. In case of doubt, demand to be shown a NAMFISA licence that authorises the lender to borrow money to people.

If no such licence can be produced, then that person should not be trusted as a legitimate microlender. They are most likely another loan shark preying upon unsuspecting people.

If you have been approached by someone you think is a loan shark, you need to report them to NAMFISA for supervisory action

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