I woke up to discover that #lobola is trending today. Some of the tweets are surprising though, they made me wonder, is lobola an African tradition, is it practiced by blacks only and what is its purpose? Where is its roots? Does it have anything to do with colour and culture? Where does the money go? Questions, questions, questions.
Looking back in the Biblical era of Abraham, we find lobola being practiced in its purest form.
If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife. If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the dowry for virgins.Exodus 22: 16-17
It’s called dowry… There are several other verses that talk about is as well.
Ask me ever so much bridal payment and gift, and I will give according as you say to me; but give me the girl in marriage.Genesis 34: 12
The servant brought out articles of silver and articles of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother.Genesis 24: 53
Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. And Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful of form and face. Now Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.Genesis 29: 16-28
Oh well, there are many more verses, but what I understand from these verses and more is that, dowry is not demanded. It is offered by the bride groom. Currently, dowry is now seen as a ‘purchase transaction’. This is so wrong! Are we putting value on women? On human life? It’s not possible! It is a token of appreciation offered! Not asked for, unsolicited! Hence I ask, are the best things in life really free? Oh yes, they are free but, offering a token of appreciation is highly appreciated! Dowry is originally an act of love, but as being human, we have made it into something else, an evil that some women have lost their lives over, “I paid for you!”
Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”Genesis 29:18
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