Forget a student grant, just show me the Mani

Ideas

Forget a student grant, just show me the Mani

The student who mistakenly bagged R14-million has clearly been touched by the money gods

Columnist

Right now. I don’t care what you’re doing. Drop it this instant. Immediately. Because before you waste another second you need to get yourself to a financial adviser and find out how you can invest in Ms Sbongile Mani.
You probably remember Mani as the accounting student who was mistakenly given R14-million in student funding in 2017 and managed to blow more than a hundred grand of it on good times before she was ratted out by people she failed to keep well lubed with Johnny Blue.
If the story had ended there we might have written off Ms Mani and her fair-weather friends as a strange story of youthful excess.
But the story did end there.
On Tuesday the Daily Despatch reported stunning news: Mani, currently facing charges over last year’s spending spree, has been handed another R100,000 by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).My first response to this was the urgent realisation that I, too, should apply to the NSFAS for student funding.
Let me be honest: I’m not a student and I don’t plan to study. If they give me R100,000 I will spend it on a holiday. Or perhaps, because I live in Cape Town, I will spend it on three hours of parking and four cappuccinos.
Even so, I reasoned, my chances were pretty good. After all, if they can give another R100,000 to a student who made national news by revealing their dysfunction, just how rigorous can their selection process be? Perhaps they simply write applicants’ names onto R200 notes, slather themselves with honey, roll around on huge piles of money and see what sticks.
But then I realised I was thinking too small. Give a man an NSFAS grant and you feed him and his friends for a few months until he pisses one of them off. But teach a man to spot a golden goose and you feed him for life.Friends, I believe Ms Mani is that golden goose.
This is more than luck. This is bigger than spectacularly tone-deaf NSFAS funding criteria. This is magic. She is a rainmaker. She is touched by the money gods. When she graduates, hire her. When she tips a stock, buy it. When she dials a phone number, use it as your Lotto entry. Seriously.
Until then, though, I’ll see you in the lobby of the NSFAS, writing my name on one of those R200 notes and hoping the honey and the money roll my way.

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