Africa-Press – Zambia. A few years ago, the person that I was dating decided that we should get married. I wasn’t for the idea but just began thinking of what my life would be with him. With these thoughts in mind, I approached my mother to ask her how much they would charge this person if we decided to get married. My mother told me K40,000. Before the guy could even know I was the one who started complaining and telling my mother that it was too much. I told my mother that remember I am divorced, with 3 children and just turned 40.
My mother totally refused citing things like I was very educated, was making good money, then other personal attributes that I can’t write here lol. I asked some uncles and relatives and they also gave me the same range. I was so freaked out. The person I was with at the time had no much money and I knew that he would not even afford it. I never mentioned this to him, but later on it’s one of the reasons which made me not continue with the relationship. My relatives could have embarrassed him in front of his relatives had we gone ahead.
I also remember how my ex husband had bitterly complained after the lobola negotiations, but his father told him that ‘she’s Lozi, that’s how they charge.’ God bless that man, he always knew how to resolve issues lol. But again, using the wisdom from our traditions and culture, relatives are clever when they do that, because indeed when you get married, the monetary value and contributions that a woman makes when she has those attributes, actually surpass what is paid as lobola in just a few months. So the man indirectly gets his money back and so much more lol.
We Lozis and Tongas charge in terms of cows. Today a cow is roughly about K12,000, so if they tell you to bring 5 cows, already that’s over K50,000. We are not like my other mbuyas the Kaondes who love chickens, to the extent of respecting a chicken ati ba Nzoro. So give them 5 chickens and my little sister is gone lol.
Our culture and traditions are very clear, a man that can’t afford to pay your bride price can’t afford to look after you well as a woman. A person should add to what you already have and not reduce it. After that lesson and knowing the thoughts of my relatives, I was very strict with the person I dated next because I never wanted to date a person that would not be able to meet my family’s expectations. Added to my CV are so many things that were not even there that time.
But at least I now chose well, even if they charged my spouse K100,000 he’s a person that can afford it. And the guy already has cows so he will just get from his farm lol. However, I know what is expected of a wife and I am not ready for that just now. I am ok being someone’s woman but not being someone’s wife. My job takes me to so many places and demands so much of my time, time which a man would demand from a wife, but as a woman, I can decide what my priorities are and which ones are not. I decide how to spend my time and on what.
I learnt something from my previous marriage, that domestic burdens will always be on the woman no matter how much you bring into the relationship. So culture and traditions are very much in order to charge the men as they do. Because apart from having a wife, a husband also gains a maid when he gets a wife. So consider lobola as maid services, unless you don’t want a woman who does the very things that you want from a wife.