Watch Christiane’s financial success story in this video.
Christiane’s financial success story
I’m the perfect example of what happens to a family when they don’t have a financial education. My father went through a midlife crisis because he was suffering financial hardship. So as a result, he ended up abandoning the household, and all the kids. I came home one day – and I was still doing GCSEs – my father had cleared the house, sold everything, and moved out. When you are from an African household, you’re told not to say anything to anyone. So I continued to go to school and did my GCSEs. I would come home to an empty house. I worked on Saturdays, and we would buy noodles for five pounds to get us through the week.
Christiane’s time at university
By the time I left uni, I had so much debt. And I’m sure if we had had financial education, that would have been a different story. I also became a mother, but I was going in the same direction as what my father had already taken us. So I guess God wasn’t happy with that. He has a purpose for each and every one of us. And a lot of the time we seem to go away from what God wants us to do. So he gave me this nasty wake-up call. Nobody wants to ever get that kind of wake-up call. I was called in by my doctors, and I was given news no one wants to hear, ‘It’s not good. So I said, ‘How long do I have?’
But when I went home, I realised, why am I fussed about how long I have left. Because they’ve not told me something that was new. I guess death is part of life, right? We are born and then we pass away. For some reason, when I heard that for the first time, it was almost as if everybody else was immortal. And I was just told, ‘Hey, you’re the only one going.’
Christiane’s financial wake-up call
But then why did I see it as a wake-up call? I’m a mother. I didn’t want my kids to have the same yesterday I had. I didn’t want my kids to be homeless, like I was because of my parents’ bad financial decisions. So at that point, I realised that I was maybe sleepwalking into life. So this death sentence by the doctors was really just a wake-up call to say, you’ve got kids who are relying on you, and if tomorrow never comes, what would they say about you?
So I got to work. I went about it, and I found Genistar. Because I’m a fashion designer, but I’ve got boys, not all my kids want to do fashion right? I realised I could work for a company and if I pass away at that company, they’re gonna tell my family, ‘Oh she was such a hard worker. She was lovely, she was so bubbly. Well, you know, we’re sorry for your loss.’ And that’s it.
So when I can’t be with my family because of crazy times, I say, ‘Look, guys, I’m building a legacy. You all leave me alone. Mother’s on a journey.’