"To marry or not to marry - That is the question?"

Mkhululi Ncube

To be or not to be, that is the question? To marry his sweet Caroline or not – all depends on his "pocket" - his finances. Can attempting to marry someone be so difficult? Well, what seems to be so easy has turned out to be very challenging for Mkhululi Ncube.

Mkhululi, better known as Cooper, is a model farmer at Ebenezer and he leads the United Pentecostal Church in Silozwe. He is intending to marry the love of his life – Caroline Moyo. Caroline comes from Mayezana Village which is approximately 55km walk from Ebenezer.

Mhkululi has realised that getting married culturally is not difficult but the young lady he has chosen is still a virgin and is intelligent and therefore, she comes with a price – a HUGE one. This is Coopers experience when he went to pay the bridal price (roora)

“I was happy when the 24th April 2011 came closer but with a little bit of fear. When we (I asked 3 men to accompany me – two uncles and a pastor) got there to Caroline’s family home , we went to her grandfathers home where we received a warm welcome. After having a cup of tea we went to the ‘main’ home where the lovely lady stays. It was like a dream. Then the charges started: to enter the gate, we had to pay USD2.00. This was a small amount. Then for the family to talk to us (Isivulamlomo), it came as quite a shock because we had prepared USD20.00 and they charged USD100.00. I then realised that things were changing and the friendly grandfather who welcomed us and gave us tea, had become a roaring lion. There is what we call ‘ukangaziwe’ which means for them to know me as a son-in-law, it went up above my expectations. They said they wanted USD2,500.00. I found myself shedding tears because I love my Caroline but the amount they are charging is becoming a hindrance. We tried to negotiate down to two beasts(cows) and USD350.00 which makes it 3 beasts. USD2,500.00 is equivalent to 8 – 10 beasts. Hey Imagine!”

Cooper is now searching and saving for the money to pay before marriage. His deadline is June 2011. Culturally, they are seen to be married by the families and Cooper has to take on more responsibility for Caroline. What an uphill task!

By Molly Manhanga

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