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The Anatomy Of Lobola: ‘Typical’ Lobola List

I had the priviledge to participate in the ppayment of a bride price (lobola) for my sister and it really had me thinking. I am the oldest in my family and my father passed away in 2008 and this meant I was the person responsible for the lobola payment logistics. My first responsibility was to come up with the list or the anatomy of the bride price. I had a very surprising realisation. All my relatives were mixed on the actual list and also how to go about the lobola ceremony.

For too long, there has been a massive grey cloud over this tradition especially amongst those living beyond the borders but more importantly amongst young men and women in my own generation. The current practice has left many confused, frustrated and upset with the typical lobola practices that are currently going on. I have also gathered that part of the misconception about this practice has resulted from situations that probably turned sour during and/or after the actual ceremony.  I leave it here for now but will detail below an example of a recent Lobola checklist used earlier this year.
Photo (for illustrative prposes only) is of Zimbabwean couple Chipo and Gift. Photo: Oudney: www.oudneysown.com

A Typical Shona Lobola Checklist

A)     Roora
-          Ndiro
-          Kupinda mumusha
-          Vhura muromo
-          Sunungura homwe
-          Dare
-          Matekenya ndebvu
-          Chiuchiro
-          Makandidzwanani
The Anatomy Of Lobola: ‘Typical’ Lobola List

B)      Zvamai
-          Mafukidza dumbu
-          Hotamiro
-          Mbariro
-          Bvuri
-          Mwenje
-          Kunhonga musikana

C)      Pasuru
D)     Rusambo
E)      Dangarababa
-           X(insert a figure) live beasts (dzemunongedzo)
F)      Majasi  -
-          baba (1 x suit) (1 x shoes) (1x shirt) (1 x hat) (1 x umbrella) (1 x overcoat)
-          Amai TBA
G)     Masungiro
-          Mudya
-          Mbudzi  a) yamai b) yemusha c) yababa
-          Mombe yechishava
-          Mombe yemusungiro

If applicable: Mhosva (Damage)

Please note that the information detailed above is only guide. There are variations depending on tribe and/ or region.

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