Zulu culture has countless customs, an advantage of which is that when a certain situation arises, there are rules that guide the behaviour of the people involved so that they know what to do. For example, should a husband be infertile his brother can assist in impregnating his new bride. This is kept a secret from the husband. A makoti can even go to the extent of helping her husband in getting traditional medicine if the problem can be cured. Another example is where a marriage has dissolved. Zulu custom doesn’t allow for divorce, so a husband will build his wife a new house just outside of the homestead, where she will stay with her children. It is the husband’s responsibility to continue to look after his wife and children, regardless of the breakdown of the marriage. Should the wife meet another man, she must visit the man in his home – he cannot come to the wife’s house because she is still the responsibility of her husband.
Click on the links below to read more about these and other customs that Neli wrote about during the month February:
- Ukuxhumana Kwezinto Ezifundiswa Intombazane Uma Izoya Kogana (Lessons for a young Zulu bride)
- Ngokwesintu Ukuhlukanisa Kwabantu Abaganene Akuvumelekile (A traditional Zulu ‘divorce’)
- Ukusiselana Ngemfuyo (The tradition of lending a neighbour livestock)