FunDza readers first came to know and love the Majola family when they met them in ‘Moving up with the Majolas’ a financial literacy project that FunDza ran at the end of 2019 and again in early 2020 with the support of the Momentum Metropolitan Foundation.
At the heart of the project was a short story that centred around the relatable and heart-warming story of the Majola family, their joys and sorrows, financial stresses and career opportunities. The story formed the basis for an online course competition – so each story chapter was accompanied by an information section linked to a financial topic that had arisen from the story. And, for the course, each chapter/info section was linked to a quiz to test understanding.
Through the story, readers met Baba, who hadn’t read the fine print in the funeral policy for his beloved Grace; reckless spender, Themba, desperately in need of a budget! His savvy girlfriend, Lerato, trying to keep him on track while studying and working. Level-headed Busi who had clear aspirations for her future. And young mom, Samke, who needed to figure out how best to look after the future of her son Khwezi.
The course competition was a great success with more than 2,500 readers registering for the course and 1,610 completing it fully.
Readers did not want to say goodbye to the Majola family after the competition was over and neither did FunDza or the Momentum Metropolitan Foundation… so we’ve been working on bringing them back to life!
In 2020 FunDza’s creative team and Charlene Lackay and Claire Klassen from the Momentum Metropolitan Foundation have been working on a sequel, called “That Majola Magic”.
The creative process was exciting and, at times, nerve-wracking as the launch date drew closer. It was ultimately hugely rewarding for everyone involved especially when readers’ comments popped up on the competition and we knew that we had hit the spot again!
Together we took the Majola family members a little further down the road on their life journeys with a whole new set of challenges: from Baba reaching retirement to Busi just starting out in her career, Themba and Lerato about to settle down and save up for a home and Samke taking her business to new heights.
There were tears when Themba and Lerato, newly engaged, had differing expectations, love in the air when Baba fell for Ma Stella who ran Khwezi’s ECD centre, stresses when Busi faced toxic attitudes of some of her colleagues at work, frustrations when Samke didn’t ‘have time’ to give her new employee a contract, and – of course – much hilarity as Bra Mike continued to try and woo the Majola’s long time neighbour and staunch supporter, Ma Ruby.
But, at the end of the story – as Lerato and Themba are about to tie the knot – the family is stronger and more resilient than ever.
As with ‘Moving up with the Majolas’ the process of developing ‘That Majola Magic’ was collaborative. Zimkhitha Mlanzeli and Katherine Eve, who wrote the story and financial information sections, Mignon Hardie and Ros Haden from FunDza, and the Momentum Metropolitan team, came together to conceptualise the story. Then a chapter outline was created before the writing began.
‘Moving up with the Majolas’ had started with the death of Grace Majola and ended with the family finally being able to lay a tombstone for her. ‘That Majola Magic’ takes up the story eighteen months later, starting with Themba Majola and Lerato’s engagement and ending with their marriage.
There were many meetings with Team FunDza and Team MMF as each story and info draft was submitted, received feedback, and changes and tweaks were made. In the end, a polished, sparkling story emerged with accompanying clear, practical resources aimed at helping readers with life choices and developing their financial literacy skills through real-life scenarios.
The course competition launched as part of Money Smart Week SA on 22 March, and as of 12 April 2020 already almost 3,000 people had registered for the course competition, and more than 500 had already completed it.
Team FunDza and Claire Klassen from Momentum Metropolitan Foundation have been watching the reaction of readers and participants with interest to see how they are enjoying the sequel and learning from the information shared.
Reflecting on the project, Claire Klassen notes: “I am really impressed by the popularity of the 2021 “That Majola Magic” released at the beginning of Money Smart Week SA. The number of registrants for 2021 has already surpassed the total number of “Moving up with the Majola’s” released in October 2019. The quote that comes to mind is “Today I choose to be better than I was yesterday”. This applies to the thinking we would like to shape with FunDza Literacy Trust, to make today better than yesterday for the participants who register and visit the fundza.mobi platform, our youth. Momentum Metropolitan Foundation believes in the empowerment of our youth and we are doing so with partners like FunDza, whom we are very proud to be associated with. We look forward to more chapters and editions of the Majola’s story, the story that speaks to the heart of our people.”
Here are some of the reader comments that show just how engaged with the Majola family they have become and how they have felt they have grown in terms of financial literacy:
I like this story because it teach us how to budget our little money we have
This is gonna be great I just finished reading Moving up with the Majolas . That Majola Magic is gonna be lit.
I like the financial advice i love money wise making decisions and how it can benefit in my own life moving forward
Such a nice ending . I love Gogo, she is so down to earth amd gives great advices. I understand how hard it was for Baba to tell Gogo about her new lover.
There’s no important thing like a supportive family like this family, helping Samke to rebuild her salon.
Wow, I have learnt a lot from the Majola family. the different difficulties that each member had, and the solution offered are a really helpful. I didn’t know about RA,but now I can I about getting more clarity about it in order to take one.life responsibilities have solutions
What nice story I really learned alot and appreciate the information that gave to us about how you use a money when you start earning.
Congratulations to Themba and Lerato for finally getting married and working towards building their family.
Wow what a wonderful moment learn never stop.
Love love love it…i hope that i will be a part of this journey until the very very very end♥️ so excited
I like the introduction so interesting and simple,am glad it’s not complicated,am also grateful for the opportunity,for this competition course ,I will learn Alot,since I think there is financial advice. Thank you to Momentum Metropolitan Foundation for their sponsorship of this story, info sections, course, and competition,we will learn Alot here. Thanks
Home is where the heart is and congratulations to the newly weds and the Majola’s Family.♥️
FunDza has found it enormously rewarding working on ‘That Majola Magic’ with Momentum Metropolitan Foundation and is looking forward to the day we congratulate the lucky prize winners of the competition!