- Zama Mopai believes lobola fees have become overpriced and prohibitive for young couples to get married
- According to customary law, a fee as low as R50 is acceptable
- Phepsile Maseko says money cannot substitute the significance of a live cow
Planning a wedding can be an extremely challenging process. In Mzansi, the lobola negotiations prior to the wedding can be even more daunting.
The practice of negotiating and paying lobola has existed in South Africa for ages.
The families of the bride and groom to be arrange a meeting where the lobola fee is determined.
However, the practice has become exploitative and borders on extortion.
That is the view of Zama Mopai, a customary law lecturer.
The Daily Sun reported that even a fee of R50 is deemed acceptable based on customary law.
Mopai also revealed that less black people have wed in recent times and that the expensive lobola fees are discouraging many.
For this reason, more and more females are willing to contribute towards lobola.
Mopai added that current society misunderstands the rationale behind lobola.
According to her, the essence is for the groom’s family to acknowledge the removal of the bride and acceptance of her new family.
Mopai went on to say that there's a problem with black families assigning a value on certain attributes, such as qualifications or whether the female has children or not.
Her issue is that people are assigning monetary value on human life.
She also feels that it’s shocking that men are being forced into positions where they have to apply for personal loans to afford the lobola fee.
Briefly.co.za noted that Phepsile Maseko feels that a live cow is still crucial to negotiations.
Maseko, who is the national coordinator of the Traditional Healers Organisation, says it symbolises the presence of the ancestors.
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