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Zimbabwe: November Marriages Linked To Misfortunes, Divorce, Failure to Conceive




So there must really be something about this month that even traditional Christian churches observe November as a month of no weddings.

It was last month when Wesley and Rudo (not their real names) got married on a sunny day of October 24. Wesley paid lobola and partook in all the traditional requirements, but was told they could only wed after two years.

According to the Shona culture, Wesley is supposed to then take his wife home to start their new family and during the negotiations they agreed that the new bride will have to go to her husband’s house the following week.

Boom! It was now in November and Wesley had prepared their newly-acquired two bedroomed flat in Eastlea, Harare, and he got a message from Rudo’s aunt that she was no longer coming that week because of their respect and understanding of the Shona culture about the month of November.

Now the lovers have to wait for 10 more days to see each other. November is often known as “Mwedzi we Mbudzi”, or month of the goat because for some reasons it is also the same time when most goats undergoing gestation.

Wilbert Sadomba, in “Using taboos and Proverbs as Oral Archives of Indigenous Knowledge” eloquently describes this month as follows, “Women are regarded with the sanctity of nature because they possess power of regeneration through their fecundity.

This is reflected in a number of values, beliefs and taboos.” November marks the period of regeneration of both flora and fauna following the first rains. With abundance of food, herbivores of all kinds start to reproduce and November is the peak period for this process of regeneration.

This observation led to the development of the taboo that forbids marriage during the month of November. The taboo was developed to avoid accidental killing of animals during the gestation period. Marrying in November is normally associated with misfortunes like divorce and failure to conceive”.

Well, Wesley who goes to a local Pentecostal church was of different opinion as he views the month as just like any other months. Some locals regard November, a month which in traditional customs of the Shona people is sacred, meaning that no ceremonies are held such as weddings, parties, bira or kurova nguva (ceremonies to appease spirits) among others.

Some Christians are against the sacred month ban of activities, while some traditionalists still respect the sacredness of the month. A survey by Saturday Herald Lifestyle revealed that the issue of Black November comes with tradition and cultural beliefs.

“November is not a sacred month but is a scary one because on my side that is when most accidents happen, weird things and if you choose to celebrate it you end up having problems in future.

“I remember my brother got married in the month of November eight years ago and they haven’t conceived yet. “My uncle told me that it is because they got married in November, they did not listen to what we told them,” said 34-year-old Pardon Masawi from Chivhu. A visit to traditionalist Tichaona Makonyonga’s house in Norton, gives a very different depiction of culture and the sacredness of the month. He takes a bit of bute (snuff) from his palm, sniffs it, sneezes a bit, before narrating the sacredness of November.

“You see, November in Shona is called Mbudzi (which means goat). It is the month where most goats will be reproducing and goats are used for all traditional ceremonies,” said Makonyonga. “At all ceremonies, lobola and masungiro included, female goats are slaughtered.”

In this line of thinking, one will be killing more than one goat when they slaughter a female goat, while the foetus will be thrown away, going to waste.

Makonyonga believes the spirits and their mediums need rest and assess prayers and sacrifices during this time of the year, a sentiment echoed by another traditionalist.

Recently, businessman and socialite Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure met his fate alongside three of his friends while on their way from a party. A close source revealed that the death of the four was mysterious and the funerals would have some troubles.

Zimbabwe wedding ceremony. Some people conduct lobola ceremonies and wedding parties despite November being a sacred month

“Now it is 13 days after the accident but  Mitchelle Amuli (Moana) and the other two Limumba Karim from Malawi and a Mozambican model Alisha Adams are yet to be buried.

“I am not saying that they should not have died in November, but my beliefs concerning the month itself and partying have caused more problems for them,” she said.

Precious Mangundu of Helensvale, a private Science tutor said she does not believe in all the things said about November. “I got married in November, my third born got married in November. I have been married for 13 years. In fact, next week I am planning our anniversary party and have invited some of my family members. It is only those in the rural areas who said we can’t travel in November and this is not stopping my plans. I do what I like and believe. We are actually going to braai goat meat,” she said.

Carling Meats director Carl Magwaza said business has boosted during this month as they have been invited to help host barbecues. Apart from companies, families are holding ‘get togethers’ because of the lockdown restrictions that were lifted as they are tired of loneliness. Now we are booked four to five times a day at various   venues. They want our meat. I am a Christian and I don’t believe in all that hence I am continuing to work,” he said.

However, some regard November as a secret month, when some traditional rituals are conducted in secrecy. Besides the month ends before it ends.

adapted from Zimherald

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16 Years Of Wahu-Nameless Marriage



This september, two celebrated Kenyan artists that got marriage 16 years ago, are a couple that remains in a solid marriage that has inspired the showbiz industry.

Rosemary Wahu Kagwi and David Mathenge aka Nameless are arguably the most solid showbiz marriage in Kenya. They walked down the isle on September 10 more than a decade ago.

The two, whose marriage boasts of having produced two beautiful daughters 16-year-old Tumiso and Nyakio, eight, keep growing from strength to strength.

As a matter of fact, they even have a docu-reality show on Showmax titled My Love, which details some of their best-kept secrets in their 23-year-long journey of love.

“Six months into our marriage I remember doubting if I would manage, and I know for a fact the feeling was mutual. But look at us now, 16 years later still going strong,” Wahu wrote.

She also explained that there is so much she wishes she knew when she was getting married, but is glad they’ve both learnt and continue to learn along the way.

According to her, all the lessons gathered in marriage have helped them to become better people, better parents, and better partners for each other.

“I love you my Moody Monski. You are my best friend, or as Tumi would say, you’re most definitely my for-lifer,” she praised.

Wahu and Nameless exchanged vows on September 10, 2005, at a colourful ceremony held on the shores of Lake Naivasha.

They first had physical contact in 1997 when Wahu, appearing as a backup performer, shared a stage with the man who would become the father of her children.

“I said “I do” to you, and 16 years on, I still do. Here’s to the rest of our lives. Happy anniversary babe. I love you Nameless,” she concluded.

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Benin: Former First Lady Rosine Soglo Dies At 87



Grief has struck the people of Benin following the passing of former First Lady, wife of Nicéphore Soglo, who presided over Benin from 1991 to 1996, died this Sunday, July 25 in Cotonou. She was 87 years old.

Rosine Soglo, whose real name is Rose-Marie Honorine Vieyra, passed away on Sunday, July 25 at the age of 87 in her residence in Cotonou.

The former First Lady was admitted to a Cotonou clinic specializing in cardiovascular care several days ago.

Her health had stabilized, and even improved, over the past two days, but it deteriorated rapidly in the morning, according to a source close to the family. She then wished to be taken home, where she passed away.

“Benin has lost a fighter woman,” responded government spokesman Wilfried Léonce Houngbedji. “We will keep her the image of a brave and exceptional woman,” said Patrice Talon in the evening, who presented his condolences to the Soglo family, with whom he nevertheless maintains relations.

On many occasions since being elected President of the Republic, Rosine Soglo has indeed spoken very harshly to the Head of State.

Loud voice

Wife of president, Rosine Soglo will have been much more than that.

Before her husband took office, during his tenure and long after it ended, she was, for several decades, one of the strongest voices in the Beninese political scene. She was also one of the main actors, as her political weight was important.

Coming from a wealthy family from the Afro-Brazilian community living in Ouidah, she met her husband in France as a teenager. They married in 1958 While Nicéphore Soglo joined the National School of Administration (ENA), Rosine Soglo studied law.

In the early 1960s, Nicéphore Soglo was appointed Minister of the Economy to General Christophe Soglo, who then led the country.

But the 1972 coup led by Mathieu Kerekou pushed the couple into exile. They did not return to Cotonou until the 1990 national conference took place.

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Fine Art Is Not Proffesion Of Failures



Celebrated Ghanaian author and artist Ibrahim Mahama has called on educationists and people in authority to restructure educational curriculum to make art one of the major courses in schools from the basic level.

Speaking during a local radio talk-show Mahama stated that how art is perceived has left the impression that the profession is not a “serious” one.

“Sometimes you apply for certain courses in the university, and when you don’t meet the cut-off mark, they put you in the fine arts class. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. That alone shows how we regard the arts as a country,” Mr Mahama said.

Mahama Ibrahim

Mahama Ibrahim says how art is perceived has left the impression that the profession is not a “serious” one.

He explained that in other parts of the world, art courses are as important as the others, and thus applicants need to prove why they deserve to be given that field of study.

“It’s not every artist that is interested in the same thing. For example, an artist might be interested in using engineering, poetry, painting as a means of making art.”

Ibrahim Mahama urged artists to work together to help push their craft and change some of the perceptions people have attached to it.

He added, “the system has somehow taught us that we compete with one another, but we’re not in competition with one another; we need to build the society together.”

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