On this evening my Danny went to the communal lands on a mission to negotiate "lobola" (the bridal price) in behalf a young man who works for us here at Gwango. He’s got no family of his own to speak for him - having lost both of his parents when he was a child. I sent Victor along to help with the negotiations/translations.
I waited anxiously at the Heritage Centre. The night was growing dark and I was getting a little worried until at about 8:30pm when I heard the Land Cruiser pull into the parking lot.
The three men sprung out of the vehicle full of smiles and laughter. In his hand, Danny held a notepad. They excitedly showed me the list they’d negotiated.
1 female cow (for the mother of the bride) – to be given first
1 bull (for the father of the bride)
1 female cow (for the family of the bride)
$700 for damages (the young bride is now an expectant mother)
$2,500 $1,000 (for the young man’s acceptance to the family)
They told me that this bridal price was significantly less than what had been originally requested. This despite the fact that Danny came to the important meeting without the proper attire (a jacket), or groceries or cash to leave with the bride's family.
If only I could have captured the beaming smile on the young groom’s face!
Cheers for now,