The topic of Lobola is something that often generates very heated discussions in South Africa, not least of all in our monthly Ulwazi meetings where our colleague, Mbusiswa, doesn’t hold back on telling us what he thinks! He shares a common view that over time lobola has lost its meaning of joining two families together, and instead has become a financial transaction where a man essentially has to buy his wife from his father-in-law, who names his price for ‘selling’ his daughter. But on the other side of the coin, there are people who believe that the practice of lobola is of particular importance today, a time when many people are losing touch with their culture and associated traditions.
It’s an interesting subject and one that’s definitely worth exploring. If you want to add your voice to the debate then head on down to the Westville campus of UKZN this Thursday at 18h45 where the National Research Foundation is holding a discussion on Marriage in the 21st Century.
Photograph courtesy of Tatham Art Gallery.