‘Culture Can’t Get In My Way’

Real Life Story

Told By Anonymous, Edited By Eugenia Booi

Real Life Story

“Most black people would judge me for doing this but I don’t care because I’m deeply in love with my husband. I’m a 28-year-old who just and fell in love, and that’s really not a crime. When I was doing my fourth year in varsity I met an amazing Zulu man.

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I had my own apartment and every Friday I would invite my friends over. One Friday night some friends of mine brought some of their friends, and there he was. I wasn’t attracted to him at first but as the night went by we spoke and I was so amazed by his intelligence. When the night ended we exchanged numbers and we met again after two weeks. Each moment I spent with this man I fell more in love. We would spend time together every day, and eventually we decided to live together.

Real Life Story
In my culture it’s called ‘vat n sit’ which is not allowed because the man needs to pay lobola first. But I didn’t care: I was in love with this man and nothing would break us apart. Two months later my father came to my apartment unannounced…and he saw my boyfriend. He didn’t even stay for two minutes. He just said ‘hi’ and walked back to his car.

By the end of the day the whole family had found out about him and the ‘vat n sit’. My boyfriend didn’t feel comfortable about the whole situation so he decided to pay lobola instead. We are now married and have a three-year-old girl.

I just don’t understand these cultural rules.

In my culture the only way to be with a guy is by getting married – but how can one get married to someone they don’t know? My mom said things need to be done in a respectful way, but what is disrespectful just about loving someone. At the end of the day, though, I’m just grateful I get to be with the man I love, with no one getting in the way.”

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