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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