Christiane’s Story (Video)

Case Studies, Legacy

Christiane’s childhood was full of struggles because of her parents’ financial difficulties. One day, when she got some very bad news from her doctor, she decided to make sure her own children didn’t suffer the way she had. Genistar is helping her accomplish that goal.

Watch Christiane’s story on this short video, or read the transcript below.


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.

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 realized, 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.’

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 realized 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 realized 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.’

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