A few weeks ago there was a misunderstanding on Zimbabwe social media about lobola, the women thought that the Government had ruled that lobola had been banished, prompting a wild panic among the Zimbabwean women. The women of Zimbabwe were crying that they cannot be married “for free”, whatever that means.
The craziest thing about this lobola and the women fighting for it is that none of the women will be virgins. They spend years opening their legs to anything with a trausers but will only remember their “value” and “worth” as a woman when someone decides to marry them.
I do not support the loloba ritual at all, I believe its barbaric and should be totally abolished. But if there is any money to be charged at all for a woman, then it can only be justified if the woman is a virgin. If you want to fight for the culture of the Zimbabwe lobola, then you can not pick and choose the “nicest” part which is your father charging money, and neglect the most important part which is that a woman has to be a virgin before marriage. That is the culture of Zimbabwe in its truest essence, a woman should keep herself pure and wait for her husband. It doesn’t matter if the husband already has wives, or has been married before, there is no requirement for a man to be a virgin, only a woman has to be pure for her husband. If you want to talk culture and tradition, it can not get any deeper than that.
Nowadays the women of Zimbabwe, just like the rest of the world, don’t feel the need to be chaste before marriage, yet this is the biggest importance of paying the bride price/lobola. They will tell you that the importance of virginity is outdated, but they can not comprehend the payment of Lobola being also outdated. They want to be paid for, even for more than what their ancestors were paid for, yet their ancestors were virgins at marriage. Where is the logic in that?
A Zimbabwean woman will sleep with 15 men, giving it freely, even begging the man to deflower her, a man with no intentions of marrying her, then after she has finished giving it freely to the whole village, a man comes along and decides to redeem her and marry her, and that woman will say, “I cannot be married for free, (handingaroorwe mahara) I know my worth. I want my Lobola to my father.” The man who choose to do right by a daughter who did not even value her own body is then punished by the father of the bride. The man then pays thousands for the non virgin bride, literally paying for the sins of every Tom, Dick and Harry who lay with his “wife” before him, that’s actually what he’s paying for if you want to be real enough.
If you feel its so important for men to pay for you, then surely you have to be worth the money. And because today virgins are rare, then no man should be charged for a woman who is not a virgin.
I remember watching a video years ago, of young girls from a private school in Zimbabwe, Chisipite, bragging that they love raw unprotected sex. These girls were barely 16 years old. Today they are the ones who go to boys and beg to be deflowered, even in classroom toilets, even in a bush, they will beg to have their dignity stripped by boys who have no interest in their well being whatsoever. And these are the women that will later be charged $20 000 by their fathers because, “they went to good schools and were raised posh.” Yet its poor garden boys who would have deflowered them in their boys quarters on a dirty mattress on the floor.
If you are a woman, and you see it fit to disrobe and be humbled by a man in a bush or in a filthy place on the floor because you just can’t help yourself and you cannot wait, then your body is of no value at all. You do not deserve Lobola. Most women today are feminists anyway, feminism is against women being treated differently to men, and that includes lobola. If you don’t want to be virgins at marriage, then you shouldn’t be paid for either, you cannot have your cake and it too.
You say men are not virgins when they marry, so why should we? Yet you are the one who are the first to say, “I want a man to pay thousands to my father for me.” What then is the man paying for?
Some time last year, I also had the spiritual Zimbabwean women on my page arguing that Zimbabwean Lobola is biblical because Jacob worked for 7 years for Rachael.
Firstly, Rachael was a virgin, a chaste young woman of integrity. There was no way Jacob would work for 7 years for a woman who has slept with the whole village. A woman whom the whole village knows the shape and size of her womanhood. It was unheard of in those days for men to pay dowry for women who are already defiled, the value of a woman was in her purity. If a man married a woman and found her to be defiled already on their wedding night, she had to be beheaded or stoned right on her father’s door step, for it was considered “wickedeness” in Israel for a woman to defile herself before marriage. So before you use Jacob as your model for spiritually demanding lobola, remember that Jacob’ deflowered all his four wives, including his two concubines.
Secondly, it was Laban’s idea to make Jacob work for his beautiful daughter Rachael for 7 years. In normal circumstances Jacob would have refused this over the top offer, but he was a desperate homeless man and he loved Rachael so much, that’s why the emphasis is there that he agreed to Laban’s ludicrous offer. Laban was actually a pagan and a cunning man. He used and tricked Jacob. There is nothing to admire about a pagan man who used a vulnerable man for his own gain.
It got to a point where even Laban’s own daughters Leah and Rachael had enough of their evil selfish father, and took the side of their husband, and agreed that their father was a user who was benefiting from the hard-work and skill of Jacob but not giving him what he was due. Basically Jacob made the pagan and idol worshiping Laban rich. Just like how today in Zimbabwe selfish fathers actually wants to get rich through their sons-in-law, leaving these poor men with nothing for their own household. That is wickedness.
So do not even think using Laban and Jacob as your biblical reason to justify Lobola does you any favors, because in the end Jacob ran away from the evil man and his wives helped him to escape. In fact everything was a disaster because Jacob’s wife, the one he loved the most Rachael stole her father’s idols as they escaped and in the end she died during childbirth. If Laban had not used Jacob, and overcharged him so to speak, none of this would have happened.
The perfect example of dowry in the bible is Rebecca and Isaac.
This is what the bible says about Rebecca, “The maiden was very fair to look upon, a virgin, whom no man had known. Genesis 24:16” The woman’s worth at marriage is not how educated she is, or where she grew up, but her worth is her purity. Yet Rebecca’s family did not charge anything, but a token of appreciation in form of expensive clothes and jewelry was given both to the bride herself and also her family.
It is the man who is supposed to value his bride, virgin or not. He is the one who chooses what gift to give to his future bride and family.
This is what my Boaz wanted to do, but his offer was rejected and my father wanted to charge some crazy money that at that time my King didn’t even have. He had just come to the United Kingdom and trying to make ends meet, working hard to provide for me and the children yet the barbaric Zimbabwean culture wanted to punish him for doing right by me.
And for the record, there is nothing wrong with marrying a non-virgin. Historically a lot of non-virgin brides went on to be of more value to their husbands than virgins. King David had so many virgin brides but the one he loved the most and mother to his heir was a previously married woman Bathsheba. Rahab and Ruth are other examples of non-virgins brides who changed history and shaped their husband’s destinies, yet none of these women had obscene amount of monies paid to their fathers, in fact, nothing was paid for these women, yet they were jewels and crowns of their Kings and gave birth to heirs.
That said, a virgin bride will always be due her worth, and if Zimbabwean women cry that they cannot be married for free, the least they can do to validate that thirst for being bought with money is that they are paid for as virgins. A second hand car is not worth more than a car which has never been used.
If you are not a virgin, your father has no right to sit down and charge lobola, punishing a man who has chosen to redeem your shame. If anything your father should be grateful that anyone is marrying you at all, especially if you have already allowed the whole village to sample you freely.
The Genesis Of The Revelation By
Mary-Tamar was Jean