ILobolo/Bride Price Dialogue
UKZN’s Howard College Men’s Forum hosted a dialogue on Ilobolo/Bride price at the University’s Howard College campus in October.
The panel, which included UKZN academic, Professor Sihawukele Ngubane (UKZN’s IsiZulu department); Doctor Nokuthula Cele (lecturer in the School of Social Sciences); Ms Kuhlekonke Ntuli (former SRC President for Howard College campus and current Honours student in Gender Studies) and Mr Bizo Bomela (Masters student in Gender Studies) – discussed the theme: Does Lobola have an Influence on Gender Based Violence….? And is it still Relevant in Modern Times?
UKZN HIV and AIDS Programme Co-ordinator, Mx Nomonde Magantolo said lobola was a decision made between two people. ‘There’s no right or wrong,’ she said. Magantolo also said norms and culture evolve and emphasised the importance of women’s voices being heard.
Ngubane stressed the importance of Lobola as a cultural practice. ‘It is relevant,’ he said. ‘It defines who we are as African people. It shows respect to the family of the bride when you tender - not purchase - lobola.’
Ngubane said it provides stability to customary marriages and is a ‘ceremonial transfer from the groom’s family to the bride’s family.’
Ntuli challenged the concept of ownership. ‘No one owns me. There’s no ownership of a human,’ she said. She emphasised the importance of women being present during lobola negotiations.
Cele said it is important to understand what lobola is before discussing it and stressed addressing problems within an “African framework”.
A member of the Men’s forum, Mr Nhlanhla Mazibuko, thanked panellists and the audience for contributing to a robust discussion.
Words and photographs: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer