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Posted on: Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Adin ‘The no money man’ – Stories from the road by Ruan Smit

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Adin van Ryneveld

Adin van Ryneveld

When I left Johannesburg a month ago I was introduced to Adin van Ryneveld via a friend on social media, which means that I’ve never met this person and that all the contact we’ve ever had was on twitter and Facebook. No phone calls, no e-mail.

For the whole month I’ve been on the road he’s been supporting my journey, when I fell off my bike he was the first to ask if I was okay, when the heat was more than forty degrees, he was one of the people telling me to drink enough water. Odd from a from a person you’ve never met before, well that’s what I thought …

What I heard about Adin before I reached Cape Town was not much, just that he’s set a goal to live without money for five years and that he has almost finished one, unsure of what his goals are and how he manages to live we arranged a lunch meeting to actually meet the Facebook photo we’ve seen so much of.

Cape Town

Cape Town

The day Before the Argus Cycle Tour in Cape Town we arrange to meet at a little Rasta type restaurant close to Kloof Nek. We recognize each other without a moment of hesitation and then for the next two hours I experience the dream and hope of so many possibilities that I’ve seen in so many other South Africans. During this time we hardly get time to eat our perfect wood fired pizza, and if you are too busy to deal with a pizza you know the conversation is good…

Adin used to do many other things but eight years ago he was diagnosed with a disorder that made him think about his life for a second. He felt he had it within him to change the world but then laughed it off as a crazy idea. Then after he was treated he realized that there might be something to his whole saving the world idea and he started looking at options to save the world. He explains this with eyes shining and hands telling as much as his mouth is. He gets excited when he shares his story and it’s absolutely amazing to listen to this man’s story.

Then he switches over. The story is not about him, it’s about the people that make it possible for him to do what he does, so what is it that he is doing you might be screaming at this point. Adin is trying to show that there is an alternative to money. Not that money is wrong or that everyone should follow his example, just that money has alternatives. That why for the next five years no money will go through his hands, that means cash, plastic, EFT’s, nothing. The philosophy behind it is quite beautiful.

Cape Town

Cape Town

He wants to give away R5555555,55 in 5 years and the 5th of May is his first anniversary, he laughs at his little obsession with the number 5, he used to have OCD and everything he did had to be in multiples of five. So he made use of the number, tongue in cheek. One has to laugh at your own little obsessions and issues. What better way than to learn from yourself.

I wish everyone could meet this person sitting before me. He has the energy of a teenager and the thoughts of a wise old man. He believes, like Gandhi, that you have to be the change you want to see.

So how does one live without money, my question as well. His newest project is 25 tattoos on his right arm. The tattoos are neatly placed in a roll of film that winds up his arm. A company can tattoo their logo here and in exchange help him out with something he might need to finish his project. He’s also a life coach and will exchange sessions. The others are random acts of kindness, a man heard of him in a Cape Town newspaper and decided to sponsor his petrol every month for a year, people buy him lunch in exchange for a blog post, people just care.

And that’s why he’s decided on the new avenue, telling the story of the community that makes his journey possible. He wants to further this project by the help of everyone that is willing and in the process give 50% of everything to charities that the community decides on.

Read Adin’s blog and see what this man is about, he’ll inspire you just like he inspired me. This is Ubuntu, sharing without expecting anything in return. I’m joining in this journey …

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