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The Rules of Marriage

Lately I've notice a large majority of people I know are getting Married, already married or are starting to have kids and being raised African we have such a complicated way of getting married than Western cultures do. Unlike Western cultures who get engaged and can get married at any age, elope or have traditional uncomplicated weddings.

We Africans have to go through a long process of first discussing marriage, talking to the extended family and parents, then getting engaged, then going through lobola (dowry) and then thats when you are married traditionally and then you have your wedding and in some African cultures you have to live with the husbands family the night of the wedding and go through a variety of customs without question of what you are doing and why. It actually scares me to think of getting married because of all the things you have to go through.

Ring by Caucas
Photo Taken 01/02/2008
There are so many rules when it comes to this process that it does get very confusing to understand at times. Most African parents bring their children up to be well educated and go to school and come out successful and so if you get married whilst still in school or if you leave school to get married it can be viewed as taboo. The goal for many African females as well as men is to finish university and get a career and then get married. But then again you cannot wait too long because if you get married after the age of 25-26 then that's way too old so some people rush to get married young so they can start having children at a young age.

There are so many issues we young African women have to worry about as we enter this road to marriage. Polygamous relationships are allowed in some places in Africa and as women of African descent we are supposed to live happily with this. Then there is the pressure to get married which can make people desperate and then there is the payment of lobola (dowry) which can make some women feel like they are being bought and some men feel like they own their wives. So many contradictions and so many rules to remember.

How do you feel about marriage African or not?

This post first appeared on The Modern African Woman, please read the originial post: here

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The Rules of Marriage


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