Merry-go-round chamas though quite simple and basic also have their own kettle of problems that if not resolved could hurt the chama. As members of this group most of the times you have a common bond of friendship, neighbourhood or even family. Due to this, merry-go-rounds do experience unique challenges and here are the solutions.
Since many chama meetings are held in the homes of hosts, sometimes it creates some problems with the host’s family members who may feel that the chama members are invading their privacy. Also, some hosts who do not enjoy entertaining at home, may feel burdened on that day when they have to host the chama meeting. To fix this, you can opt to have your chama meeting in a restaurant or park and let every member be responsible for taking care of their own refreshments. This will ensure that resentment does not come about, affords members privacy as well as it gives everyone a chance to have fun, outside the home.
Lack of seriousness
Since these chamas comprise of people familiar with each other such as close friends or neighbours; people tend to be lax and many of them miss the meetings giving flimsy excuses; whilst others do not bother to contribute on time and send the money much later. As the chama leader it becomes very difficult to discipline the members as they are your friends. To fix this, you can introduce fines for any misconduct on the members’ part. For lateness perhaps you can charge Kshs.100 bob, absenteeism Kshs.500 etc. It is important to make the fines a little stiff as this is the only tool you have to discipline the members. Once they realise that their laxity is costing them, they will shape up.
As members come into a host’s home for the meeting, there is tendency to compare different homes they have visited and the entertainment skills of each host. This set up also brings about gossip from members who comment on the host’s living standards, cooking skills, state of home, the children and so much more. Since gossip is one of the vices that destroy chamas of all types, it is a good idea to avoid this vice at all costs. One way to do this is to encourage members to be loyal to each other and lead by example by changing the subject when a member comes to you with gossip or simply remain silent when someone shares some gossip with you. Also, holding meetings in a neutral place outside anyone’s home can also help.
Sometimes in merry-go-round chamas which comprise of mainly friends; cliques may form as three or four people within the chama come together. You may find in one chama you have two or even three cliques which brings a problem as there is no unity and chances of breakup of the chama may happen or just bad blood in the chama as different cliques think they are more superior than the other. To fix this, ensure that all chama members share many interests thus they feel a common bond. Also, make the meetings fun, and engage every member and also be very fair. Do not show favoritism to any member/s so as not to breed resentment. Also, resolve conflicts, fast without delay. If you do this, members will not feel the need to form cliques as they feel like part and parcel of the chama and ready to bond with everyone.
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