Culture culture culture
When I read the topic I was conflicted on whether to write on the cultural things I have experienced or the ones I have heard or read about. Don’t say I should have written on both because the post was going to be too long for my liking. After much deliberation I decided my experiences are not that much fun LOL. Honestly speaking I don’t have much to pass on to the next generations when it comes to culture that is specific to being Zimbabwean as opposed to just being a human being. The fact that we relocated to SA when I was young and not experienced much ‘culture’ doesn’t help much either. Enough of my whining lets get into it.
Marriage is the most celebrated ceremony in all African cultures, Zimbabwean culture is no exception. There were and most probably still are a lot of ways that 2 people could initiate the process of marriage. Some ways are not as popular as others and other ways are now prohibited by the laws of the country. Despite the evolution of the process of marriage to what it is commonly known as now, the institution of marriage is still very much respected.
Back in the day there were different forms of marriage and these included musengabere, kuzvarira, kutema ugariri, kuganha, kutizisa or kutizira, chimutsamapfiwa, kugara or kugarwa nhaka, matengana gudo and kukumbira, among others.
I would be outright lying if I say I know any of the above methods in detail. I had to do a bit of research. I will just tell you about two methods that fascinated me; kuganha and matengana gudo.
Kuganha is a form of marriage in which a girl identifies the man of her choice and went to his home. The man was expected to accept the woman who was deemed a gift from the ancestors. This type of marriage was basically initiated by the girl, she had the power to choose the man and the household she wanted to belong to. The girl would pack all her belongings and go to the chosen household. She would sit outside the compound until someone notices and asks her what she wanted. The parents of the boy would then ask their son if he wanted to marry the girl, if yes they would then prepare the bride price to give to the girl’s parents. I would like to think that a girl would only do this if she was confident of the outcome LOL. This is very weird but it apparently used to happen. Like the girl could legit just pick a random guy, a guy that has never proposed love to her, someone please tell me this is a lie LOL. The guy would be encouraged to take the girl though, as I said before, it was considered a gift from the ancestors.
I cannot imagine what would happen if the guy refused, akwaaard!🤭🤭🤭
Maatenga gudo(baboon trade) is the other method of marriage that fascinated me. It is basically a boy saying to another boy “I will marry your sister, if you marry mine”. The boys would inform their parents and an assesment would be done if it was a fair trade. Most times there it was just a trade of the girls. In rare occasions one of the families would have to add a cow or something if the girl was not a virgin e.t.c. Wooooow, I know right, it would come down to whose daughter is more valuable. This method was however not very common.
The common method of marriage ‘kukumbira’. The guy sends his uncles to the girls house to tell them that their son is interested in their daughter. They then ask for a date to come and pay the bride price (roora). Who am I kidding, I dont even know this method properly either. The roora that I attended was so mordenised and is no point of reference, so I will end it here. It was fun though🙃🙃🙃
I am amazed, do you have anything similar in your culture?
Ciao 👋 👋