STAY VIGILANTE: Money & Vulnerability


A few months ago, business associates and I hosted a “Wellness Pop Up” event at The Roof Top at the American Corner. The purpose of the event was to promote awareness about holistic wellness and why it is so important in today’s fast paced word.

The concept of “wellness” has for many years been associated with being physically active and eating well, which many people (myself included) believed was the crux of what wellness programs entailed.

Well, it was in August 2019 during my Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) at Northwestern University (NU) based in Chicago that I learnt about “holistic wellness” and why it is so important.

Holistic wellness according to Alexandra Piedoux[i] is based on 8 pillars that are essential for one to be considered truly well. Piedoux is of the view that “holistic wellness is the ultimate state of wholeness that can be achieved by a human being. It is the physical, mental, spiritual and practical utopia of the human experience”.  The other important pillars of holistic wellness include financial, emotional and intellectual wellness.

As a Personal Finance and Wellness coach, the concept of holistic wellness became truly relevant in the line of work that I do. For the longest time, I focused on helping people improve the financial aspect of the human experience, nurturing good financial management skills such as preparing good budgets and managing our debt levels. I hadn’t fully considered just how important the other pillars of wellness are in relation to the financial wellness pillar.

Think about it for a second, if you do not have money to pay for anything- transport, lunch or data; this immediately affects you emotionally. When you aren’t emotionally well, your physical and mental well-being are negatively affected too.

For people who are doing well financially, but live in toxic environments (either at work or home), it is almost inevitable not to be emotionally, mentally and physically affected.

The call is therefore to consider holistic wellness if we are to successfully help Basotho to achieve the state of wholeness. This has challenged me to take a holistic view in my pursuit to promote financial wellness and it is through platforms such as STAY VIGILANTE that I can achieve this.

Further to this, a recent tweet by Likeleli Monyamane [“The work of people like @tokiso_teex and @WomanAndFinance remains very key in tackling financial issues. Should also be done hand in hand with those tackling other factors that create an environment in which gender based violence (GBV) thrives”] also affirmed my views that I can no longer tackle financial wellness in isolation, but rather to incorporate the other pillars of holistic wellness in the work that I do by collaborating with other wellness coaches.

As I prepare for the STAY VIGILANTE event  (which I am very excited about) happening on the 20th December 2019 at the American Corner, my focus will be to help young Basotho relate better with their money by sharing personal financial management tips and strategies.

Often times, we have no relationship with our money or personal finances, leading to many problems such as emotional instability, mental health decay, social isolation and sometimes violence.

Secondly, I hope to reiterate the importance of being vulnerable and honest about our financial standing. Too many of us are too proud to be vulnerable about the financial challenges we experience.

As a result, many end up in financial situations that leave us broken, highly indebted and stressed, because they are too scared to speak up, to say “I cannot afford that”. Staying vigilante about our financial well-being and other aspects of wellness is absolutely important.

My hope is that my story, skills and passion for personal finance and money will ignite a new appreciation for money among the youth in Lesotho, to help them better manage, save and plan for their futures. I am excited about the journey from Lisente to Makholo –it is possible!

#Lisente2Makholo #HolisticWellness #MoneyTalk