When Boaz and I met, it was true love. All my Zimbabwean friends fought me because of Boaz, some even said he was too dark-skinned, but I found him to be the most handsome of them all. I lost friends because of him because I knew all my curses could only be broken by my true love’s first kiss.
Miriam has never met him, she has never looked upon Boaz’s glorious face. When I showed her his picture when I was courting Boaz, she could not look at the picture, she looked aside, for the glory blinded her.
I said, ‘But Mummy, he makes me happy’, and she replied, ‘Leave him, he is not the right one for you.’
So in my heart, I knew Boaz was the right one for me because Miriam hated him.
So my oldest son took my hand, in that little private sacred ceremony in the secret garden, and he led me to Boaz, and said, here comes the bride. And my oldest daughter took both our hands, and said, ‘I now pronounce you, husband and wife.’
So it came to pass in the process of time, that lo and behold I became with child.
So I said to my husband, ‘My King, where I came from in the little Kingdom of Zimbabwe, they have a lot of culture and customs when it comes to marriage, and one of them is lobola. I am now with child, I pray, please honour my father, Chief Mutota, that’s how the culture is.’
So Boaz said to me, ‘My beautiful wife, but you left Zimbabwe, to be with me. To be with my people. You left the culture too. My mother loves you. My father accepted you wholeheartedly. My sisters, cousins and brothers treat you like the Queen that you are. You are already my wife. We don’t do Zimbabwe customs like that in Ghana. Lobola is just a token of appreciation, not the buying of a woman. In Ghana, no large sums of money are paid to the bride’s family. I don’t want to buy you like what is done in Zimbabwe, you are already mine.’
But needless to say, Boaz said I will honour your Father, the Chief. He told me he would not be able to pay the ridiculous amount of monies that are normally paid to purchase Zimbabwean wives. He gathered between £400 and £500. I told my former father Chief Mutota, that Boaz is ready to pay the lobola.
‘Daddy, Boaz and I want to honour the culture now. Boaz is ready.’ I told him.
He always told me, ‘Boaz is your husband, if he makes you happy, I bless your union.’
So Chief Mutota was happy about the lobola. Well, he seemed to be.
‘I am happy that Boaz is now finally marrying you pachivanhu chedu, because your two brothers always laughed at you, that you are living with mukwasha asina kana cent raakabvisa, (without paying lobola).’
So Boaz looked for a munyayi, and all was set and ready.
Then Chief Mutota called me, and said he had thought about it, he said he was not going to accept the roora/lobola, it was better the lobola was paid to my brother in the UK, and the ceremony done here instead of Zimbabwe because Miriam was also here.
But I said no Daddy, this can not be, how can they officiate my lobola ceremony when I don’t even talk to them, neither are they happy for me. You have to accept the lobola, I told him.
‘Very well then’, he said, ‘the ceremony will be done here in Karoi, Zimbabwe. But tell your mother Miriam all about it, even though she is in the UK, she has to be given her stuff, machira and mombe yehu mai, (ritual clothes and cow of the mother) according to lobola Shona traditions.’
Boaz and I were not happy at all, but nevertheless, I texted Miriam that Boaz was ready to pay the lobola.
‘Well, I am just happy that finally, you are now settling with one man and not jumping from man to man.’ Was Miriam’s reply.
But when have I ever jumped from man to man, I almost asked her. I just cried, but I vowed that that would be the last time I would ever shed a drop of tear over Miriam’s hatred.
Everything became very unpleasant. To cut the long story short, Chief Mutota asked me directly, ‘How much is Boaz bringing?’
I told him that the customs in Ghana were different, they do not buy women with large sums of money and I did not want to be bought. I told him in Ghana they just give a small gift as a token, so Boaz had gathered £500.
Chief Mutota became very angry, and he said it would be the greatest humiliation and insult for the Gasho family to gather and accept such a small amount from a son-in-law. He said Boaz was mocking Shona culture, and spitting on chivhanhu chedu. He said how then will he divide the money to aunties and all relatives, including Miriam’s money. He said the whole thing was a joke. So he refused to accept Boaz’s lobola, and cancelled the ceremony.
Boaz told me not to worry, and said the ceremony would be done in Ghana instead. He said it would be more noble, simple and beautiful. He said his big brother would arrange everything.
So I called the Chief and said, ‘Daddy, Boaz said we will do it in Ghana instead, so it is well.’
But he became more angry, ‘ Pachivhanu chedu haungaende kuneimwe nyika kunoroorwa. Mukwasha weku Ghana cannot claim you, because if you die today we will deny the body, and we won’t bury you. Is Nino going to bury you by himself then?’ He asked me.
‘Why are you wishing me death Daddy?’ I asked him…very upset
He didn’t speak to me for months after that, but I was just happy that he refused lobola from Boaz.
We both got on our knees, and offered a SACRIFICE of thanksgiving because it was actually the God of King David, in His mercy, who had stopped the Lobola ritual ceremony. For I would have been married as Jean Gasho. Boaz would have left Bethlehem to come to Moab, to marry Ruth there, in a pagan country, and sold his birthright.
The lobola had to be denied.
The Genesis of the Revalation
By Mary-Tamar, Queen of Nino