The Real African|| By Dumani Mandela
Fumio Sasaki writes an elegant and easy-to-read book about minimalist living. In an age where consumption is the order of the day and people are defining who they are through material items, Sasaki recommends a different life path and that is one of minimalism.
The book’s main gist is that one should not have any more items than they can easily recollect within a minute, and secondly having less material items leads to happiness.
It is achieving a life with less material items that we can give ourselves the freedom to focus on other things like our happiness and de-cluttering our lives.
The book has fifty-five tips on how to help you say goodbye to your old things from; asking yourself why you cannot part with your things, to getting rid of things if you have not used them in a year. In it, Sasaki notes that minimalism has given him more time to do other things in life, like travelling, saving money and more time for daily chores because he simply has fewer things to take care of that before.
In South Africa, this book will come in handy for the black middle class especially whose consumption patterns at the best of times are rather abnormal. With the black middle class historically not having property and voting rights, consumption of material goods to a certain degree was how one defined their value and standing within society.
Today consumption within the black middle in South Africa class is still a thorny issue from luxury German cars to clothing items from boutiques whose focus is in serving the growing black middle-class consumption patterns along with new financial products which are aimed at the black middle class and advertised at peek television times.
With the question of intergenerational wealth being one of the biggest challenges to the South African black middle class, Sasaki’s book on minimalism could be a tool to aid the current generation of South African black middle class on minimising consumption and preparing for the next generation of wealth creation.
Although there are no specific tools on intergenerational savings in this book the basic concept of minimalism could be a tool in kerbing consumption patterns within the black middle class that are destroying some of the hard-won freedoms and gains of a liberated South Africa.
Although Sasaki’s book is a bit long and is often repetitive and does not follow the true theory of minimalism in the way it is written, it is still a worthwhile book to read for any person who wants to be introduced to the ideas of minimalism.