Frequently Asked Questions: Lobola/Roora In Zimbabwe
1. Is it mandatory that someone should pay Roora/Lobola for them to claim a woman to be their wife in the Zimbabwean culture?
2. Why must a groom pay roora/lobola for his bride?
As the elders say, its a token to the bride’s people for raising a woman good enough for him.
3. When must be roora/lobola be paid?
Before the couple starts staying together was/is the format that is generally expected by the elders. However, people can stay together before the bride price has been paid, popularily known as kutizira. Eventually, the groom goes to pay roora/lobola and formalise their relationship to husband and wife.
4. How Are lobola proceedings contacted
On the lobola day, the groom and his people usually his uncles and brothers go to the girls’ house after they had made prior arrangements and advise the bride’s family that they are coming. They are told by the Munyayi or go-between to stay at the arranged place usually a few meters away from the girls’ house. The Munyayi or go-between will then delibarate with the bride’s people and agree on different prices for cultural charges like rutsambo, danga, etc the go-between will negotiate between the groom and the bride’s people. Up until they pay for the things they can and finish the negotiations. The groom and his people are then invited to a meet and greet session once everything is done for the day.
5. If someone paid tsvakirayi kuno and didn’t pay the full bride price, does that mean they are customarily married?
No. tsvakirayi kuno, a small token used to notify the bride’s people of their daugher’s whereabouts is not the bride price. As long as the bride price is not paid, you are not customarily married.
6. What are the advantages of paying lobola
Apart from the fact that it’s honourable, scores of people had to pay heavily when the lady they were living with without paying lobola for died. Some grooms had to pay something before her people came to bury her or to her funeral. This is known as kuroora guva. Society tends to marginalise people who are cohabiting.
7. Is it necessary to pay lobola/roora in this day and age?
It depends on your beliefs as an individual. Some people say it’s irrelevant and some religions/rather churches say its no longer relevant. Still, the elders still consider it an honourable way to start your marriage.