As a result of lobola (bride price) most parents nowadays force their daughters into unwanted marriages which soon result in divorce. Sometimes the parents force their daughters because they want to reduce their big families. I think these mothers are aware of how expensive it is to divorce.
I once heard a woman saying that she had been forced to marry a man who promised her parent’s fat lobola. After some months she divorced and her parents were asked to return the money they had been paid as lobola
It can be better if a man can be allowed to pay lobola voluntarily because they see it as they are buying a woman. Women are treated as property to be exchanged. This result in women and girls suffering from violence like beatings because of lobola paid for them. At times it is difficult to come out of the brutal marriage because she is depending on the husband for a living.
Because of lobola women tend to lose all their rights. They cannot do anything on their own, the husband will always control. They cannot even go back to their parents as they will return them to their husbands because they cannot afford to pay back the price. It has been shared among the relatives.
Nowadays people prefer to cohabit because of the high bride price. The rate of HIV infections is alarming as young girls look for sugar daddies to give them money to help their boyfriends to pay for their bride price
Reforming from the practice of bride price will reduce violence that many women suffer because of the price related customs. The parents do take the price but when the marriage fails the woman is supposed to pay back her husband alone. This led to poverty on her side as she had to raise that money on her own.
Friday, 17 June 2011
By Pinkie Matiwaza
Shebeens in Sefhophe village are a way of life, this is where things like beer, women fights and talk flow loosely on for as long as those who are drinking want. Sheeben queens brew different kinds of traditional beer and sell it to their clients. This kind of business is illegal and the police know it, though they drink there too.
They say life begins at a shebeen; where people drink at home and have the benefits of other services; this is only a shebeen talk. People normally drink from morning to dawn and turns out to drink all the money they have. As soon as what they have in their pocket get finished they drink on and promise to pay at the end of the month. These affect them economically and may lead to greed, poverty or even end up abandoning their birthrights such as taking care of their kids.
Not only on beer but other services provided there; you name them. Dangerous beers such as sekhokho, mokoko o nchebile, Laela mmaago to name them but few, are traditional homemade beers that when drunk heavily, people start using vulgar language on others or even undress in front of small kids not caring who is looking. Those who drink extremely do get sick and at times end up dead.
Most of the people that go to the shebeen are men because it has more to offer that simply beer. They came because those drinking places are convivial opportunities to get away from the workplace or quarrels from their families. Although shebeens are expensive, they draw men with their intimacy and the attractions of attentive women. The result of this kind of social life may at times include tendency toward sexual misconduct, foolish behaviour, gossip and breaking laws.
When men are drunk, they start to get loose and loosen the women too. Things do happen there. The young girls of school-age parade themselves in front of older men as if they want to say “choose the best”. People there seem not to worry about Aids anymore, divorces, broken relationships and or anything that comes along with the kind of behaviour displayed at the shebeens.
Many people in Sefhophe village run shebeens in order to make something that could help them make a living. Usually parents make their daughters to sell there. As these girls spent most of their time selling, so many boys and gentlemen find them free to propose and make them pregnant. Finding fathers to these children will be difficult because the girls might have been in love with more than one man.
It is so heartbreaking to see a child of about ten or twelve years staying at home, brewing beer while her age mates are at school and learning. Parents please take care of your daughters so that they grow to be responsible ladies, get married and live happily with their husbands. However, if beer can be used wisely it is regarded as part of the diet and a source of employment for many.