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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Is Lobola still relevant?

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Lobola is an age-old African custom that is as alive today as it was 100 years ago however; certain aspects of it have changed.

Lobolo or Lobola in, ZuluXhosa and Ndebele (Mahadi in SesothoRoora in Shona, and Magadi in Northern Sotho), sometimes translate as bride price, is a customary Southern African ritual whereby the man pays the family of his fiancée for her hand in marriage. (Compare with the European dowry custom where the woman brings assets.) The tradition is designed for bringing the two families together, nurturing shared admiration, and signifying that the man is proficient of supporting his wife money-wise. In addition, it is also regarded as one of the pillars that should grip the two families—and particularly the couple—sturdy.

Customarily, the Lobolo compensation was in cattle as cattle were regarded (still are to some tribes) as crucial mark of wealth in African society. However, numerous contemporary urban couples have altered to using hard cash.

Culture changes – with time, life gets more expensive and love is now for those with good credit – or am I exaggerating? The custom of lobola has evolved into an overpriced extortionist cultural practice. Lobola was a cultural practice where a man thanked the parents of his future wife, for raising her from a girl to a woman.

The obsoleteness of this cultural practice has raised a lot of questions as many people starts to question the relevance of it. Fana the Purp (2012) argues that lobola should be cancelled, as it is about affordability instead of culture and love.

“The parents had no right to demand an unreasonable amount for lobola, as the man is going to take care of their daughter. As culture evolved, lobola turned into a fixed payment process to acquire a wife then later turned into negotiation battle – where the woman’s family tries to get as much as they can from the man’s family. The nature of lobola moved from thanking to compensating – I am not disputing commodity involvement yet lobola has adopted an inflation system.”

Others argues that “ If it was up to me I wouldn’t let my man pay a cent, I think the lobola is unfair, nobody has to pay money to be with someone they love. Money or no money, people who love each other should stay together”

 

In contrast, a friend of mine contends that “We cannot have a blanket approach to it. Every man should be happy to pay lobola, we should see as your pride and assurance to the family that you can take care of their daughter. It reasons sufficient then if we are to conclude that every man’s case should be valued independently.”

The reality of the debate is centered around money. People(s) question the notion of attaching money to love. Is it worth it?

We live in the world of divorce, this Lobola money is none refundable and the criteria used to measure the value of the woman are flawed. People like to hide behind the name of culture, they do things that are logically insensible and say “it’s my culture”.

My question to you is, do you think culture should be a determinant factor if two people who love each other have to be together or not? In the age of economical dependence, how much do you think is an appropriate price and why? Is Lobola still relevant?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against this custom, I just need clarity. DR Martin Luther King would say: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. It is an issue that matters to many South Africans including the fact that there are trans-racial marriages nowadays. One can marry any one no matter the pigmentation of their skin.

 

 

 

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When you’re IN LOVE…take a note!

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Recently, I was observing some behavior from people whom classify themselves “In love” and it was such an educational quest.

Talking to someone I know and asking so many questions like a teen-aged girl, a close relative of mine opened up to me about his love life. What I found more interesting is the idea that in his relationship there were rules or bounds that he and her wife set for their relationship to last that longer.

They been together for 9 years and their still going strong. He contends that to learn some things about relationships, one ought to be in a relationship and must go through it to get to it. “Experience is key” he argued.

Talking about the bounds of which I found interesting and I think it could strengthen some relationships.

1. Never switch off your phone

Many couples tends to switch of their phones or cut communication when they’ve been fighting. fights are part of relationships, learn that and apply it. can you imagine a relationship where you’re always happy, no disagreements whatsoever?  No matter how angry you are, try to listen to your partner side of the story. There is always a story behind everything. Don’t rush to react, keep calm and try to digest the problem at hand. Communication is a very key element in a relationship. Pushing your partner away when there is a quarrel in your relationship might be “disastrous” if I use his own words.

2. Swallow your pride.

To many human beings lack the ability to swallow their pride. As a human being, you need to learn to learn to apologize. There are people with the tendency of being irresponsible. You know you have done something wrong, ask for forgiveness. Some people, in their own world their always right. You cannot be always right or perfect for that matter. its okay not to be perfect, learn and accept that from time to time. If you have done something wrong, accept that and ask for forgiveness and the important part is not to repeat the same thing again.

One of the sweetest things he said was that “sometimes I would be wrong but when I ask for forgiveness, and she will also ask for forgiveness as if she did something wrong”. Isn’t that so sweet? To see couples argue about being sorry. I can imagine the conversation goes like this “I’m sorry…No I’m sorry”.

3. Appreciate small things.

It is very important to remind your partner how beautiful she/he is as much as you can. Learn to appreciate small things that might not mean anything to you. Call her in the middle of the night if you’re away just to tell her that “I love you or I miss you etc” to show her that you do think about him/her. An early sms reminding your partner how you feel about him/her in the morning might brighten his/her day. Be that person that wants to put the first smile in his/her face every morning.

Respect the things your partner admires or like. If he is in to sport or soap, spend a weekend in a couch with him watching his favorite program. Learn to like what he likes in that way you enter his/her world.

4. Spare some time.

If there is one thing that one cannot take back or rewind then it has to be time. Time is very essential yet it is one precious gift that you could give to someone. Don’t be a high away, always busy kind of a person. Put everything aside and make time for that one person.

 We dwell in the new technology world, please gentleman; put that Playstation aside and spend some quality time with your partner. Think about this possibility: what if its her last day on earth and you are just ignoring her for a game? How are you going to live with yourself afterwards?

Okay I agree FIFA is not just a game but if she is around, spare some time.

Ladies, that chatting can be spare aside; put the cellphone aside when he is around. Give the unimpaired attention. Put your partner first, its for the best!

5. Listen to each other

Some people are just the Chuck Norris of the relationship. They want to take all the major decisions solely as if their on that relationship alone. Drop the bossy attitude and listen to your partner side. Let him/ her have a say about things that concern his life. Listen and value his/ her opinion.

Let her have a say, listen to him. Don’t develop an attitude that is perpetuated by the social construction such as “woman speaks a lot” it is totally rubbish he said!

These are basics that I found more interesting and willing to apply them. I thought I should share for others to learn something. As they say “take what you think is yours or applicable to your life” and leave the rest to others.

 
 

Leadership, where art though?

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I wrote this article in reference to an article inscribed by a columnist Khaya Dlanga on the 28th August 2011 titled “South Africa has no leadership” (http://www.news24.com/Columnists/Khaya-Dlanga/South-Africa-has-no-leadership-20110928).

The title of Khaya Dlanga article says a lot about what I want to say. Recently, I attended a talk about role models. One of the speakers whom I cannot call to mind his name said “No celebrity should be anyone’s role model… Parents should be the role models.” It was a very sturdy statement that meant something for me and I am convinced that most individuals will appreciate what it denotes. If parents are real models nowadays is another question to ponder on. I know there good parents out there but the real question is how many?

I brought this parent issue in order to contend that leadership commence at home. Kids are what their parents want them to be, their behavior can be always tracked to how they were groomed. Leadership at home is necessary. This could be achieved through good parenting.

Before I move forward, I think it is important to say that I am not a member of any political party at this moment.

What bothers me the most are the emerging leaders or what we call leaders in this country these days. Few months ago, Kenny Kunene publicly admitted on a national television that he is a Casanova. Kenny Kunene, as a businessman that most young people up look to (They shouldn’t) and he is always in a public eye, it would have been better if he was not treating woman like material things.

Funny enough, the same Kunene who was eating Sushi on top of a naked woman is thinking that he can lead South Africa. There is this new political party they call EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) which is led by Julius Malema. This is the same Malema who was found guilty of corruption and he owes millions of tax, his property was auctioned few days ago. Recently, he publicly said that the tender system should be scrapped after he benefited from it. These are the people who want to lead South Africa.  Do we have leaders? Real leaders where art though? We need you! These are just power hungriest and attentions seekers.

Reflect on the following, Zuma was in a rape case few years ago, Bheki Cele was in a corruption case, Zwelinzima Vavi is also in a Rape Case, Julius Malema was in court for corruption charges and hate of speech, recently the Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe has released the names of police officials convicted of fraud and corruption. The list is countless and all of these people are expected to be in the full front as leaders. It is such a shame!

I am afraid to see what will take place in South Africa soon. What is more shockingly shocking is the fact that more than thousands people are now part of the EFF nonsense! A friend my friend posted on his Facebook wall “Those Who Failed To Obey They Can Not Command.” Someone wants a land for farming yet he cannot even water a tree or plant spinach.

If these people wants to lead us or we call them leaders, I am forced to conclude that we do not have leaders in South Africa. Khaya Dlanga was right. Leaders where art though?

 

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2013 in Uncategorized