I woke up this morning and the first order of the day was a phone call with a friend and we got into a discussion about What’s Your Legacy and that’s what inspired the blog post for today. Thank you Friend!!
But What is Legacy? How do we even go about it?
I am sure when you hear legacy,you are thinking of inheritance. You are thinking of the Mullaa,the dollar someone would have left for you when they pass away and you are not wrong. It is that but it is also so much more.
Dictionary.com describes Legacy asa gift of property, especially personal property, as money, by will; a bequest.It is also anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor:the legacy of ancient Rome.
There are also other words to mean Legacy like heritage,birthright, endowment and many others.
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”Ralph Waldo Emerson, author
Growing up, my dad made the entire family have a meeting every quarter.A family fireplace. I will not lie. I disliked them. I generally do not like meetings. I will do everything to avoid them but these ones were a must. We had to meet every quarter. One child came up with the agenda and another was the moderator and the other was the note-taker. The meeting always was about one thing- Family. Where we were at in every sphere- emotionally, physically and financially.
We had to know everything about the family. We knew our dad’s salary. We knew all bank accounts- hey, we were in charge of them. We had to make decisions for the family from childhood. I used to ask him why he could not be the dad and just do it all and tell us. He was like I am the dad but we are a family and so we do this together. He believed in Legacy. We had to hear the story of our ancestors every meeting. And He liked telling stories so he would stretch it. Unfortunately, we knew to the fourth generation only.
I thought this was the norm in every family until I talked to my friends and realized that nop, it was not. He was so about family and legacy that we began the process of creating a family trust so that all our property was under it. We each had to save an amount of money in the account to grow our family investments. We were all single then so we ofcourse asked about our husbands since we were three girls and one boy. He was adamant that our husbands became part of the family so they too became part of the trust and had to save as well but well, they also benefited. The trust covered medical insurance as well since health was a big issue in our family.
This trust was to grow our family for generations. We began the process but unfortunately my dad passed away in 2014 before we finalized. Now remember I said we had meetings with an agenda and reports. Well, after his burial, we followed his plan to the dot and I am proud to say we have a family trust. It has been the best thing that has happened to us as a family. We have grown even closer. We have not had squabbles over money like the stories I have heard in other families. We ofcourse disagree on how we should invest but that is necessary since we all have to say Aye to a decision but overall, we have grown. I am sure Daddy is looking down on us in pride.
Now I know you think creating a trust is such a big deal. It is not. You just need to register one, just like you would a company and open accounts and basically have board meetings every quarter. We try but sometimes whatsapp works for us. You may not think this important but let me tell you, when my dad died, we went to reputable bank here in Uganda to check his accounts, and the bank told us half of what was in the account with no shame whatsoever with eyes wide open. I listened to this bank manager in his plush office try to fleece my family with no shame in so much anger until I could take it no more and I burst out and blasted him. I showed him the statements as he shrunk in his plush office chair overlooking kampala city.
Now this happened to me and my family. How many more people do you think are out there being fleeced because the man failed or refused to share with his family the details of his accounts. Widows and children are suffering and a bank is gaining,all because man was afraid to share, or thought it being an African man to have it all together. I am calling for transparency in families in every area especially financially. Because of my dad and his transparency, no bank and no person or persons could try to take away what was ours and believe me, that happened but that is a story for another day but believe me, when I say it included police and jail and clan meetings and prayers.
“Your story is the greatest legacy that you will leave to your friends. It’s the longest-lasting legacy you will leave to your heirs.”Steve Saint, pilot and author
So you see my daddy left a legacy for us. Yes some was property but the most important that he left for us was his values. Values of Peace, Transparency, Community Development and Love. As a family in line with the trust, we have a family foundation that we are streamlining that will go towards education and economic development in Northern Uganda. We are still working out the kinks but stay tuned. We are also launching the Family Business- FO Shea which is a cosmetics company using Nilotica shea from Northern Uganda making hair and body butters. We are all about glowing naturally! We launch next month so stay tuned.
We are building a generational business. We are changing the narrative of non-generational businesses in Africa. I If Tata group, a USD113 billion conglomerate founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, founded in 1868, that is one hundred and fifty three years(153) still exists, even we in Africa can create such generational businesses.
So I have gone on about values and family trusts and family generational businesses but you see in the end, the question is what is your personal legacy?
Dr Mary White described it here. The influence an individual has on others is also an important aspect of legacy. People who set positive examples for others through their actions and words can leave a powerful legacy of good deeds and appropriate behavior. Parents and grandparents greatly impact their children, helping to mold their beliefs about family values and love from an early age that will impact them and future generations.
When a person dies, the mark the individual left on the world represents that individual’s legacy. While a person’s legacy can involve money, the concept of legacy is much larger than the value of an individual’s estate. It is about the richness of the individual’s life, including what that person accomplished and the impact he or she had on people and places. Ultimately, the story of a person’s life reflects the individual’s legacy.
So what is your story?
What legacy are you living? Yes, living because you first live it before you leave it.
Share with us in the comments!!