Of The Muse In You: Dead End

Welcome to the story which I will write with your help.

How it works: I tell part of the story and you can be a part of this journey by using the poll at the bottom and or in the comments to let me know how you feel the story should proceed….

Thank you all for your input last week  from the story HERE: Online Strangers

becoming

The story so far:

I received an email  from a stranger I decided to reply it, after a google search check to verify if email address was implicated in any scams. Now I decided how I should proceed.

The popular opinion “investigate cautiously” as you wait to hear from her

 

Once upon a time I got an email from a princess, her father, a warlord had been executed by rebel forces, leaving her sole heiress to a vast fortune in blood diamonds and prime real estate, worth several hundred six figure digits. All she needed was someone to marry her, then to transfer ownership of the late warlord’s estate to husband, so that the government would be unable to forfeit the assets and fortune. If I married her, she would grant me a quarter of the wealth, which would still be in the six figure region too. The catch though was that I had to wire transfer her plane ticket money and my bank details so she could begin part of the transactions……

Sounds too good to be true right? Yeah, that’s what a typical email scam looks like, you get lured in with a promise for wealth, lottery or a lucrative business investment and then asked to advance cash for something or other suddenly bang all the money in your bank is gone…….

Constant Vigilance” I thought to myself, in the words of Mad Eye Moody teaching a class for Defence Against Dark Arts in the Harry Potter Books. “Well if I knew what to look out for I wouldn’t get scammed, right?”

I opened my Google to do a bit of internet research. It’s strange, how little we know of what happens to world around us, even though the information is right there, if you know where to look. Nya Chiuta’s hometown state was in the area were the nightmarish abductions where being done by the Boko Haram, I had seen it on the news, I might have even tweeted a solidarity message hashtagged #bringbackthegirls. But could a hashtag ever really bring back anyone?

Who or what was the Boko Haram anyway and why did they kidnap people? Well according to Google, they are The Islamic State in West Africa and have gone by various names most popular being Boko Haram, which loosely translates to “western education is forbidden”  or “western influence is a sin” or “Westernization is sacrilege”…..

As I was doing my research, I happened to stalk Nya’s Facebook profile again to check when she was last active and noticed a tagged post. She was tagged in a post where people we people were praying for her safe return………..

A ping indicating new email interrupted my research.

It was an email from the mailer daemon indicating that the email to Nya Chiuta had failed reason unavailable mail server.

Message not delivered

What happens Next?

  1. Dead End: The End
  2. Check Email address and try again
  3. Send Facebook message
  4. Check if Facebook profile has alternative contact number
  5. Go to Tagged Facebook post contact person who tagged her
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Of MaRooro: A Traditional Marriage

Marriage has always been the ultimate commitment to any relationship, sometimes unspoken even downright ignored but it’s always there lurking…………..

a ring

In the Zimbabwean culture, the aunts Vatete (your father’s sisters) and their children (vazukuru) are the pillars of a family, they mediate and interpret the wills and wishes of the fathers and uncles….

There is a Shona saying:

Muzukuru mudonzvo

Meaning the nephew is an uncle’s walking stick.

When you plan to get married and also honour the traditional way, you first inform your aunt and she helps break it to your family and father(s) that you are now grown up and wish to marry. You contact the aunts of your fiancée’s family and they consult with their family and a date is set up when the in-laws can come to be seen, to ask for the daughter’s hand in marriage and pay the bride price (roora/lobola)

It’s a big to do, the day the in-laws come, marooro, the whole family gathers. A lot of cooking goes down and some will miss out (usually the daughters-in-law) as they will be stuck behind the scenes cutting vegetables, cooking and cleaning making sure everything is perfect….

When everyone is assembled and ready a message is sent out to the suitors that they can send in their go-between/mediator (munyayi). Sometimes the aunts can help you arrange for a mediator who understands the fathers to help swing things in your favour as cultural differences can cause misunderstandings, before the formalities are done one cannot be directly address wife’s uncles, hence the need for a go-between.

The mediators arrives and the fun begins.

First the mediator cannot sit on the sofas, even if invited to do so must decline politely and sit on the floor. The lobola (bride price) negotiation ceremony is delicate balance between a very somber affair and a light hearted occasion, and the mediator must walk this fine line navigating through the proposed figures and what they are willing to pay/afford to pay. Sometimes these talks have been known to break down so irrevocably that they get cancelled and the suitors are told to come back better prepared or when they are more serious….

Generally a list such as the one below will be presented with the proposed figures and the mediator takes the list to back to agree with the suitors and item by item they make a counter offer. The mediator will do a lot of back and forth as the suitors will be waiting a distance away or at a family friend’s house.

lobola list

Ndiro –is money for the plate the money will be put into, and no you wont get a discount even if you bring your own plate.

ndiro yeroora

ndiro

Vhuramuromo – which translates to Open Mouth is money so that the uncles can start talking otherwise they stay quiet even if you greet them. #FunFact A bribe is known as vharamuromo meaning close mouth (hush money)

Mauchiro ana baba – Round of applause to welcome and greet the fathers

Mauchiro ana mai – Round of applause to welcome and greet the mothers

Makandinzwa nani – how did you hear about us? That we had a beautiful daughter

Matekenya ndebvu – Tickling beard for the times growing up the daughter was playing with her father’s beard

Mafukudza dumbu – For the mother, for indignities suffered during child birth

Pwanyaruzhoafence breaking, this is a charge for the times their daughter snuck out of the house to come see you.

Rusambo– the actual bride price

Danga- the cows which can be delivered as actual cows or a cash representation

All of these items on the list are paid for with individual sums ranging from $1 to even an outrageous $20 000 depending with families.

No one is ever supposed to pay the whole amount and it’s a bit of scandal when suitor pays everything down to last cent, they say you are showing off, that you are trying to buy their daughter and take her far away and have no reason to ever come back and also be unaccountable should you harm or abuse your wife.

The change you leave behind that debt which you promise to finish is never really paid it’s a way for one to come back and meet the family and say I have brought a little of that amount that I never finished, also for the family to be able to ask favours of you. The elders say one takes better care of something you are still paying for. There is a Shona saying:

“Mukwasha muonde haapere kudyiwa”

Translation the son-in-law is a fruit tree one never stops eating from.

When the mediator is done with these formalities and payment negotiations finally the suitors are ushered into the house and welcomed and introduced into the family Kupinda mumusha.

Now they greet with their father in laws and they are now family.

 

If the are plans of a church wedding, this is when you inform and make a request of your intentions……

It seems easy enough, but it is all quite an emotionally taxing event, tempers will get tested, nerves will be frayed it seems like the negotiations go on for ever…….

 

What has your experience at such an event been like I am curious any different items on The Lobola list

~B

 

day 11 blog everyday challenge