I had one of those rare days last week where I was a full on couch potato. Im trying this new thing where I teach my brain how to concentrate for longer than a Game of Thrones episode, so I watch films. Anyway, so as I was looking for a good film to watch, I stumbled on an interesting TV program (I forgot the name) and the reason why I decided to watch it was because the topic that was being discussed was Lobola( bride price). Since I am a black woman living in South Africa, this matters.
Firstly,I found it very….interesting that there were only male guests on the show. I understand that women have no say in lobola negotiations (I’m lying, I don’t understand), it just becomes very tricky when a young lady wants to get married and realizes that her whole family is run by single parents who are women and there is no man to conduct the negotiations. This “not including women in lobola negotiations” thing has to end; because clearly the way things are going, our mothers, grandmothers and aunts will have to step up to this responsibility; and if they must do things right surely they should be “allowed” to observe and learn?
moving swiftly along… There are a few things that were discussed that I’d just like to share my (sometimes unwarranted) thoughts on.
- Loans are taken out to pay for lobola
Excuse me! what!? I feel like I was discussing this with a friend a few weeks back and I said “THIS DOES NOT MAKE SENSE, HOW CAN YOU WANT A WIFE AND A FAMILY WHEN YOU CANNOT AFFORD IT?” We both(you and I) know and agree that Lobola, in laymen terms means “Thank you family, you have raised a wonderful individual, im so blessed to have met her and now am ready to start a life with her; where we’ll build empires together, I will help her and she will help me to be great, and with this declaration I would like to give you a token of my appreciation for how you have raised her and prove to you that I am ready for this commitment.” that’s all.
So you say you love me right? Would you ever allow my life to get to the point where I’m working three jobs just so we can keep up with all the debt we’ve gotten ourselves into? (Which mind you, before we got married I was living thee best life, 1 job, no debt, cash dealings only) Wouldn’t you say its selfish? Do you see the point I’m trying to make?
- “My wife helped me pay for her lobola”
Nooooo! no no no! that’s the worst thing a woman can go through; and a man. If my family found out I had done this, it would be the end of life as you knew it. That’s your manhood gone. That’s all I have to say about this point.
- “I did not pay R250 000 for you to sit on the couch all day and watch TV”
You see the concept of Lobola is so pure and beautiful. I love yooooouuuu….you love meeeee…. We’re a… It’s simple, we love each other, we want to get married, you take out an amount of money as a token of your appreciation for the way I turned out; as well as to prove that you wont f* my future up, then my family accepts that amount, waits for us to open some kind of bank account which we will keep our money in for the wedding, house, honeymoon, furniture, whatever! They then ask us for our account number and transfer all that money back into our account so we can use it towards the wedding or down payment of our house. But nooooooo black parents “wanna shine” always! whyyyyyyy? why must you buy a Merc with that money huh!?
So now we are married, but it is not going great for you… you start asking me why you paid all that money if I’m going to sit on my ass all day, you want me to be a modern day slave basically, wake up at 5am and make you breakfast, at 6pm I better have some sort of idea of what I’m making you for supper, I handle laundry, and cleaning and I wake up every time the baby cries and I change nappies ALL THE time; and that’s my life 7 days a week till the day I die. Just because of that R250 000. Instead of me being made to feel like a modern day slave rather I pass on the payment. Really. No woman deserves to live like this. I’m not saying women should do nothing at all though, all I’m saying is that you should be reasonable. The woman you want to marry, who has the ability of building a dynasty doesn’t have the time to cook and clean and do the laundry and take care of the children ALL THE TIME. You need to help her, whenever it is humanly possible. Then, you need to show your gratitude when she performs these tasks because it is not her job. Her job is what she does at work. Everything she does for you at home is out of love.
In conclusion, before you decide to pay lobola for me, imagine me at my worst and laziest, if you still think im “graaayt” and lovely then by all means, pay your token of appreciation because then I’ll know its sincere and not something you will use as leverage later.