Only Fools Pay Lobola
Only Fools Pay Lobola
By Fana the Purp
Disclaimer: read to understand, not to reply
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 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.
Let me get into the matter at hand, lobola should be canceled, as it is about affordability instead of culture and love. Currently, a man asks the family of the lobola amount then starts saving, which is wrong. In Tsonga culture a man offers what he has not what is requested, because it is not about money, it is the principle that counts.
In Traditional Tsonga lobola custom, the woman’s family does not have a set price on lobola, they say “Hi nyikeni hi dya hi xurha hi laha hi lavaku hakona”. This means, whatever you offer let it be satisfying yet greed could not dominate – as the man’s family states when they have reached their maximum lobola pay out. After all, “ndzovolo a wu heli” – loboling a wife never ends, as the man will still take care of her.
Looking at the current state of lobola, the woman’s family has to outsell their daughter. The basis of a lobola sales pitch is based on what family raised their daughter to be or wish she grew up to be. While the man’s family argues on what/who she is, using all the negatives to lower the lobola price. The woman’s education, sexual history and its results (brat(s) or not), beauty and age are common underwriting criteria in determining how much the family quotes the man for lobola.
A modern father’s job is to ensure his daughter has an education, to liberate her mentally and financially so she is not dependent on a man. Therefore why is her education included on the bill, it does not make sense, why should a man compensate/repay a father for educating his daughter.
I do agree her education will be of benefit, yet will there be a refund when her education/career restricts her from playing her role as a mother and wife? In a day with 24 hours, a week with 7 days, does she have enough time be a career woman, a wife, a mother, a friend and a relative?
The education you are charging me for – is it for me to have an accessory for a wife. Guess I will be married to a woman who can afford to pay someone to play her role – a nanny to raise her kid(s) and cook for me. I do not expect any woman to say “but” a man is expected to play his cultural role and lobola a woman. Therefore, when does the woman play her cultural role after lobola is paid but acts western?
This is a sensitive one, society tends to cover it up, and in fact, a woman’s sexual history is critical in determining her worth. A virgin is pricey, she is like the lottery Powerball, finding one is the ultimate jackpot and very rare.
Few individuals on twitter did not digest my tweets properly, things got worse when I tweeted,
“@FanaThePurp: divide the amount of lobola with the number of d*cks she has sucked #operationcheaplobola”.
Parents overprice their daughters claiming they are pure, not knowing anything (debatable though). Culturally a woman’s sexual history determines her rating on the value scale – A virgin is a rare diamond, exclusivity is not cheap. While a woman with a child out of wedlock is considered damaged this even includes a woman with sexual experience but childless.
These types of women are not valueless, just considered second hand goods, lobola is paid yet they are the most affordable – by losing her virginity elsewhere, she has taken away all bragging rights from her soon to be husband. With the current state of sexual liberation, what right does your family have to overprice lobola? While ignoring your Kamasutra skills, known by more than 10 men or is a man charged for sexual expertise – if that is the case, please send me the memo.
Beauty and age
Age is a major factor, as it is used to increase the amount of lobola – a young wife is expensive, as she is full of life (fertile) and can achieve greater things (having more than one boy child) since time allows her. Where a man impregnates a woman before he lobolad her – damages, lobola and age will point a man with bad credit to a loan sharks office. The younger she is, you pay the charge for taking away her innocence, would force a man to sell his liver.
Looks play a significant role, beauty is not cheap, and this is applicable with life in general. In Tsonga they say, “ku biha a hi ku tilavela” – means being ugly is not a choice, a very harsh proverb. We live in a society where ugly people are second best to beautiful human beings, the same principle applies in lobola negotiations.
A beautiful woman is one of a kind while an ugly woman, while an ugly woman is a commoner – classification of beauty. How is it fair for a family to devalue my soon to be wife because they do not see beauty in her? How am I supposed to take the family I am marrying into serious, when they look down on their own daughter, by classifying her as ugly?
This article responds to many questions, I am not one with a traditional response but if you read in context all points I have made are valid. The basis of this article is on three factors, there are other factors involved in lobola negotiations.
However, expecting a man to pay lobola is illegitimate, as times have changed and women are not traditionally African yet Western. The nature of lobola has changed, a woman claims love yet fails to defend her man from her family, and she is in support of the exploitation.
Women demand lobola to be paid for them yet with conditions, selecting what suits them of being an African wife and redefining their role to accommodate their unfairness. The results of such a failure, means as a Tsonga man I can request a refund of my lobola or the younger sister (hlatswa – most modern families do not know this, this is one of the reasons why intertribal marriage were not support that much, as cultures clash).
The exchange of capital for a wife has a duty, a woman needs to change her surname and learn my ways (culture), – and in my absence she is supposed to teach/raise our children in my culture. Yet that is not done, as she is ignorant (refuses to adopt my culture) and arrogant (miss independent, she keeps her surname).
Lobola should no longer exist, as it is abused, which is not fair, men are exploited for being in love. Lobola is no longer applicable in these current times – funny how a group of men charge another man more than what they paid for lobola combined. Uncles and fathers are now funding family businesses with lobola money, it is nothing personal just business, right? What exactly is a man paying lobola for – is lobola for the woman’s family to receive and for a man to be a fool?
Guest Post by Fana The Purp
Twitter @FanathePurp, facebook group, “Fana the Group”
“It’s the Purp, I mlilo, mumu lowu nga hisa tolo. I Nkulukumba Mabasa, I Mhlengwe, Tsonga Original”