I’m a terrible father – the worst! I mean I’ve been neglecting my first born child (My Blog) for quite a while now. But I must say, quite a lot has transpired over the 31 days since my last blog post (sh*t! It’s been a month already?) None have been more important in my life than the resuming of my big brother’s Lobola negotiations.
Bored as f**k by my lecturers who relentlessly keep shoving assignment after assignment, test after test, group activity after group activity down our throats. Especially these group activities, they’re the worse! We’re all different individuals that have different ideas that will never always be synchronized and easily integrate, so then why put us through the hell of getting our ideas shut down by ego maniacs that are part of your group? Mxm, HAAI MAARN! #Deep Breath# Now, where was I? Oh yeah, the Lobola… I went back home two Fridays ago. So excited of the prospect that I’m going back to my sister’s delicious cooking that I left my closed shoes, I left my toiletry stuff (washing towels, lotions, etc), and, oh yeah, and I left my clean undies… Yeah, my sister’s food is that good.
As I put my bag of changing clothes for the weekend in the boot of my brother’s car, I couldn’t help but gasp at the unbelievable amount of bottles of brandy and whiskey in it. And I was kinda thirsty… Just Sayin’ …lol… We took a short trip to some posh suburb, transporting the soon-to-be bride to check on the designer as to how far she is with the wedding dress and do them fittings and all (not sure I was suppose to say that, but I just did lol). But she’s the only one that got inside. After waiting outside with the husband-to-be for over an hour, we were on our way to Ashton, with some Joyous Celebration gospel music blessing our eardrums.
We arrived between 6pm & 7pm, and got the warmest welcome I could ever wish for from my 7 year-old nephew, Abenathi, and 3 year-old niece, Amyoli. I took out my bags from the car and big bro took out the bottles of brandy and whiskey and into the house. The smell of Umqombothi (african home-made brew) all over the house was quite overwhelming. My big bro told we have to go to a nearby farm to fetch a sheep. So as soon as I got out, I curiously asked, “How are we transporting this sheep?” And the answer I got, I did not expect. “In the boot of the car,” he confidently said. And I’m like Is this nigga kidding? I mean first of all, we talking about a freaking Mercedes-Benz C-Class C200 here. And second of all, that car will one day be mine (at least i pray for it to be lol). Now why the hell put a sheep in it? But I had no say, it was his car. We went to fetch a cousin of mine, only to find out he already had fetched the sheep and were in the backyard of his house… #sigh# Thank God! There were two sheep – two unbelievably fat sheep. The “white guy” in me wanted to name the sheep, but seeing as I hadn’t had lamb chops in quite a while, I couldn’t wait for these obese niggaz to be slaughtered. We went back home, but just as I was having my supper, load shedding became a b*tch. Before they could even light up a candle, I was eating. I told y’all, I came back for my sister’s food.
After some nice bonding with the family, I went to bed. For the first time in quite a while, I was sleeping in a double bed. Woke up the next day to a house full of people I forgot even existed, drinking umqombothi like their lives depended on it. At about noon, one of the sheep was brought to my home and was gonna be slaughtered on the grass. I’ve always felt sorry and just struggled watching an animal being slaughtered, but this time, I could just see the lamb chops in front of me. I was like, Chop this Muffaga’s head off! I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that I didn’t do sh*t to help with the slaughtering; you’ve guessed right.
In the afternoon I took a bath and put on my hat, my jacket, took my stick & looked like a true Xhosa elder. I was handed all the lobola money, & boy was I salivating at the prospect of having this much Madibas in my pocket.
At about twilight, my big bro, our family’s elders (the Zolani Black Mambazo as I referred to them on My First Lobola Experience part 1) and I made our way to the bride’s home. On our arrival, we were welcomed with singing from young unmarried ladies. Note: I specified that they’re unmarried… #Naughty Smile# They opened the gates and put an enamel dish in front of us. An uncle of mine asked me for a R100 note. He took it and placed it on the dish. The ladies didn’t even crack a smile but just continued singing. We put the second R100 note on the dish. The same happened. Then the third R100 note. Then a R50 note. Then a R20 note. My uncles were like Da fuq? One of my uncles then put a stone on the handsome stack of cash. That seemed to do the trick as the singing ladies took the dish and cleared our path to enter the yard. Sh*t! Wish we could have put that stone on after the first R100 note. Cost us R370 just to enter the gates. The male elders of the bride’s family came dragging a stubborn sheep to meet us by the gate. They told us we’re welcome to their humble abode, and the sheep is our gift from them to us. My cousin and I were told to drag the sheep to the place where we’ll sit. That damn sheep embarrassed me in front of the ladies. I was even tempted to whisper in its ears, “This morning I slaughtered your brother.”
We sat down and after a few greetings, we thanked them for their gift and asked them to slaughter it and we shall share it tomorrow. Then they asked what’s the reason for our visit. My eldest uncle said, “We’ve traveled a long way and are very tired. We just ask for a place to sleep and will tell the crux of our visit the next morning. They called the young singing unmarried ladies to show us where we’ll sleep. We were literally surrounded by the singing ladies and went next door where we were to sleep. After sitting & chatting in the lounge for quite some time, the elders opened a bottle of brandy and relaxed. Thulisa, the bride’s sister/cousin brought us our supper (not knowing the damn girl was actually spying). After having our supper, we heard joyous singing from outside, then Thulisa and a few ladies entered, saying they as the “kids” are asking for “sweets”. We had no idea if this was a metaphor or code for something else, we handed them a bottle of Richelieu Brandy. Uh-oh, big mistake!
The next morning, we woke up, had a fulfilling breakfast and made our way to the bride’s home. Told them that we came to complete the lobola negotiations. They said before we discuss anything further, they want to fine us coz they did not sleep all night as their “kids” were drunk all night and caused a raucous coz we gave them alcohol when they actually asked for “sweets.” We forked out R150 for the offence. Then the negotiations began. I must say, a hell of alotta money was splashed out. An agreement was reached between the men and we were asked to step inside the house, to report to the female elders and see if they accept my big bro as their future son in law. Inside the house, we sat down in the lounge and this very old gentleman from the bride’s family opened the proceedings with a very powerful prayer. As he prayed, I just could not hold back my tears. I silently wished my father could witness all of this. As I’m writing this blog post, I still get teary eyed. The female elders accepted big bro as their son in law. and we were showed the bride, and we closed with prayer once more.
We had an amazing Sunday lunch and then made our way back home only for our cars to be greeted with the loudest of singing and cheers I’ve heard since I came back from Xhosa initiation school.
I really didn’t want the weekend to end, it was amazing and I loved every minute of it. One thing I’ve realized throughout this whole experience is that my family loves, appreciates and respects all it’s members equally. I thank God each and everyday that I have them in my life. I can’t wait for me to begin my lobola negotiations in the year 20… Just chill, I ain’t about to tie the knot just yet… If I ever will. Love y’all!
‘Till Next Time Peeps, STAY GOODEST!