Lobola and the misuse of culture

Lobola and the misuse of culture

Date: August 31, 2011
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Lobola is the Nguni word for dowry. As a gift for a bride, it originally signalled ubuhlobo (friendship) between the families and confirmed to the bride’s parents that the groom would be able to take care of his bride and subsequent family. However, the original purpose of lobola has been misapprehended, distorted and often manipulated in our modern society.

The misunderstanding and unabashed abuse of lobola has been highlighted in the South African media with a case of a father who was denied access to his children because he had failed to pay for lobola. After his wife passed away, his sister-in-law requested that the police remove the children from his care to force him to pay her family lobola. It was found that the father was extremely close with his children and therefore his sister-in-law was clearly not acting in the best interests of her nieces.

The courts found that this was unlawful and instructed that the two daughters be placed back in their father’s care. This connection and relationship is something that no one should be allowed to put a price on, yet it happens too often. And thus the court’s decision to protect the important relationship between a caring father and his children needs to be applauded. Click here to read more
Source: www.africanfathers.org.zw

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