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Ethiopia Singles My family is still following African culture with regard to marriage ceremonies. We follow both Biblical and African practices of giving dowry or bride's price. Ethiopian and African women from worldwide seek men for dating and marriage.

African Marriages - Part 1

Author: Tankiso Letseli

This article is intended to share with readers, particularly those who are not familiar with African marriage customs. My wife, Duduzile, comes from a Zulu culture (largely concentrated in Kwa-Zulu Natal Province, in South Africa) and mine is Sesotho culture. My late father, Pasha, came from Qwaqwa, near Harrismisth in the Free State Province, South Africa - and my great grand parents came from the Kingdom of Lesotho).

My mother, Buzelwa, comes from Xhosa culture - in Emdizeni, near Muddelsdrift, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. My family is a rainbow of three cultures. My family is still following African culture with regard to marriage ceremonies. We follow both Biblical and African practices of giving dowry or bride's price ("lobolo" in Xhosa and Zulu cultures, "bohadi" in Sesotho, Setswana and Sepedi cultures).

I gave "bohadi" or "lobolo" of twelve cows for my wife, and my brother-in-law, Ayo, gave "lobolo" for my kid sister. This cultural practice has knitted our families together. In African culture marriage takes place primarily between two families, and secondarily between man and woman. The first question is not: What is the name of the girl/boy who wants to marry our child?" but, "Who are his/her parents and relatives?" "Where do they live?" If the family discovers that you intend marrying a man/woman from your relatives or enemies' family, it becomes a problem, and in many cases a love-affair is discouraged or disapproved, or even stopped.

The family members are interested in gaining information about the other family more than information about their prospective daughter/son-in-law. Assuming that the prospective family-in-law is known for its good manners, reputation, and "ubuntu", and a thorough research has been done about them, then the next step is to invite the girl/boy by the family - just to see him/her. My folk even made contact with my prospective family-in-law, and became friends. My mother invited my fianc‚e.

The next step will be to announce to the host or prospective bride's family that they should anticipate a delegation on a specific date. The chief-negotiator who, in many cases is the uncle, leads a delegation. If the uncle is deceased, then an elder or trusted, reputable family member is appointed to lead a delegation. The purpose of this visit is to negotiate the size or amount of "bohadi" or "lobolo". The delegation is often skilled in negotiations, and the host family is also led by a skilled chief-negotiator uncle or trusted relative. Part of the negotiations is to pass or share cultures from both families seeing that both families might come from different tribes with different cultures and traditions.

The two delegations would become bonded by and through a process of negotiations, and would be used in future to resolve conflicts between the newly wedded couple. These negotiations symbolise two families forging a long-term relationship. The two families, including members who were involved in negations, would be invited to support each other whenever there are ceremonies or occasions such as death or marriages or etc. This bond becomes permanent regardless of the divorce of the couple that brought them together. We will continue in African Marriages - Part 2.

About the Author:

I live in Somerset West, South Africa. I am a senior lecturer in the Helderberg College Faculty of Theology, Somerset West, South Africa. My area of speciality is Pauline Corpus & Apocalyptic Studies.

Article Source: - African Marriages - Part 1