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80% of young adults struggle with basic financial concepts

Neelam Rahim | neelam@radioislam.co.za

3-minute read
16 August 2023 | 19:57 CAT

Image: Google

Eighty per cent of young adults struggle with basic financial concepts as they reach adulthood. This deficiency underscores the pressing need for innovative solutions to bridge this gap and empower the next generation with vital financial skills.

In an era defined by digital engagement, harnessing gaming to empower a financially savvy generation is pivotal, particularly given South Africa’s evolving financial landscape. By merging interactive gameplay with essential financial concepts, initiatives like Chow Town by Nedbank are vital in equipping South African youth with the skills to navigate and thrive in the country’s dynamic economic environment.

Head of Client Services at Sea Monster, the most significant impact games studio in Africa, Lebo Lekoma, spoke to Radio Islam International on the landscape of financial literacy in South Africa and how it impacts the country’s economic future.

He said the lack of financial literacy in South African adults has led to debt and overpriced loans as youngsters easily fall into traps that could have been avoided by understanding the basic concepts.

Parents around the world are discovering that digital games have the potential to offer their children educational experiences that help them develop life skills. Research has shown that games can improve cognitive development, social skills and overall well-being. Provided parents monitor screen time to ensure that their children balance gaming with more active pastimes, gaming can be an excellent way to teach essential life lessons.

Nedbank has become the first leading African bank to enter the gaming world with the launch of Chow Town, an engaging game in the Roblox metaverse that will help to nurture budding young gamers’ entrepreneurial and financial management skills.

“If we are able to make an impact at a young generational stage, in turn when those kids have children, they will have a solid background and a solid financial basis upon which to build on,” Lekoma added.

Nedbank developed Chow Town in collaboration with Sea Monster Entertainment on Roblox, a gaming platform that’s massively popular among Gen-Z. Chow Town is a unique tycoon-style game that offers children aged 9 to 12 a fun way to learn essential financial lessons. Players must set up, expand and manage a virtual restaurant.

The game integrates lessons on budgeting, investing and financial decision-making, equipping children with the knowledge to make informed choices about their money as they grow older. It stimulates their interest in entrepreneurship by presenting them with real-life business challenges within a fascinating virtual world. Young businesspeople are inspired to think creatively, solve problems, and develop a robust entrepreneurial mindset from a young age.

Listen to the full interview on Your World Today with Mufti Yusuf Moosagie.

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