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Dear Greece

It is not the best of times. I’m not sure what the problem is over there, but it seems to be affecting everyone. Angela Merkel is angry, your own prime minister looks a little bewildered and the people of Greece, you, are hurting most of all.

As far as I can tell your banks let you down. We have the same problem here. In South Africa you can put R2 000 in a bank account and see only R1 913 show on your bank slip. It’s outrageous. It’s not as bad as getting no money at all, but still.

To get around this issue we do our own thing fiscally through organisations called stokvels. The way a stokvel works is a group of people give their hard-earned cash to one person who puts it under his pillow or in a kitchen cupboard. Everyone who puts money down then benefits from that pool of money.

Don’t worry, it’s not a pyramid scheme. Everyone knows each another and every month there’s a big bash where everyone can catch up. Naturally everyone also knows more or less what everyone else is earning. It makes for a very relaxed atmosphere.

Why don’t you form a stokvel? Our stokvels have familiar names like Indaba Vibe and Nasasa to nurture that all important community feel. You can call yours OXO — a tribute to the triumphant “No” voted recently and also a brand of stock cubes we know very well. That way we feel a sense of solidarity.

When your stokvel is up and running you can decide where to have the parties. Acropolis comes to mind. As does the ancient theatre. It’s up to you.

Unfortunately, organising a stokvel requires you have money to begin with and this where it gets a little tricky. Min anisycheíte, there is a way out: you have to produce more yoghurt. I know that sounds strange. Let me explain.


About a year ago South Africans started consuming Greek yoghurt by the tons. We put it on broccoli, chicken and so on. I know people who eat it straight from the tub. You have Prof Noakes to thank for that. Don’t mention it.

What I suggest is you start mass-producing your Greek yoghurt and send it over here. We’ll pay any currency you choose: drachma, rand, even sheep — fuck the euro.

The yoghurt sales should give you enough money to get the stokvel off the ground. From there it’s plain sailing.

We wish you all the best in these difficult times. The next Indaba Vibe get together is on the first weekend of August.

Obviously you’re all invited.


Hansie Smit


  • Hansie Smit is a self-employed writer. He spends a lot of time in coffee shops tapping into free wi-fi making sure he buys a bran muffin every time to ease the inevitable guilt he feels getting something for free. Hansie received a Diploma in Copywriting from the prestigious AAA School of Advertising in Cape Town. He often picks up spelling mistakes in brand communication taking time out of his day to write to said brand to point it out. He does this free of charge. He's won a Silver Pendoring and almost won a Loerie. For more of his stunning insight and weighted opinion, visit his website at or follow him on Twitter @freehance


  1. Skhumbuzo Mncwabe Skhumbuzo Mncwabe 6 July 2015

    lol nice article to start my monday, no offense to the broke Greeks who invented maths but not banks.

  2. Spectrekiller Spectrekiller 6 July 2015

    Sorry Skhumbuzo. The Greeks did not invent maths. I am sure you’re not lazy. So, you will do some research.

  3. Gelatinous Cube Gelatinous Cube 6 July 2015

    Hmm. An article with the words “Drachma” and “Rand” in the same sentence. Something tells me it’s not the last time I’ll see that happen ;-)

  4. 1Zoo1 1Zoo1 6 July 2015

    Its what happens with a socialist government. Its bad enough normally but when the Greek governments got hold of Euros and thought they access to Europe’s entire tax base, they went crazy. I have read the average Greek public servant earned 3x, yes, three times, the average equivalent in the private sector. The train company had an income of about E100mil and spent over E400mil on wages.

    Totally unsustainable yet many Greeks became addicted to the easy money – hence the “No” vote. Too many addicts out there.

    This Greek tragedy is simply yet another failure of socialism – like all others before them…

  5. LuSypher LuSypher 6 July 2015

    I want to start a stokvel that specialises in derivatives trading . . . (tax free profiteering – just like the corporatists)

  6. Rod MacKenzie Rod MacKenzie 6 July 2015

    Brilliant! Love it, thanks Hansie…must check out how Greek yoghurt is doing out here…

  7. Jaap Folmer Jaap Folmer 6 July 2015

    Why is “the bankers” equivalent to the “euro”?

    Those bankers live in London, outside the eurozone that they are hellbent to destroy…

  8. Helen Helen 6 July 2015

    I eat greek yoghurt out the tub lol I agree :-)

  9. The Praetor The Praetor 7 July 2015

    So true regarding SA banks…

    They talk about paying interest, but then their charges just swallow that back up, including quite a sizable chunk of your money as well. Sometimes it really makes you feel like keeping all your money under your pillow…

    But then again…a guy I heard of, did not want to declare all his income to SARS and kept a sizable part of his money in his safe at home. However when he decided to go on holiday the money bothered him, since he was scared someone could break in and steal it. So he loaded it into a suitcase and kept it with him…just to be safe. On way to holiday destination they stop at a garage and decide to have lunch.

    While enjoying lunch, the manager comes and enquires with the customers which cars they drive as there was a car on fire in the parking lot…and guess whose car it was?
    Moral of the story….You just cannot win!

    The Praetor

  10. Johan Johan 7 July 2015

    Tongue in cheeck- Adrian Niewoudt saw this solution long time ago!!!Cubus viva cubus!!!!

  11. Michael Michael 7 July 2015

    European banksters domination is the failure – not the Greek peoples lack of character or their ambivalent work ethic.
    The were forced into the EU and now the reality of mixing economically powerful countries with very poor ones is in the open for all to see.
    Unfortunately, Greece is just the first ‘canary’ to sing – I can think of four more countries who are at this moment clearing there throats in anticipation of an Euro-vision sing a long !!

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