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Courting Story: Author | Albertina | Rosalina | Valentina

Lives of Girls (Albertina Tiwana)
Courting Story


14 October 1995, Facazisse

A: How did I meet my husband? The distance [between our homes] is the same as from here to Magude, it wasn't far. And they, they build in their place, and we, we build in our place. Well, when we go to the place of playing, the xitikini, the place of those things, muchongolo dances there, I used to go, we went to sing. And he, he went. Here, we play here in this place, there in Xihluku. Well, he sees me. He courts me. I refuse. When he understands [that I'm refusing him], he chops off a switch! He beats me, I run! [laughs] I don't want him! I don't want this, him beating me, I refuse this man. Well, he says, "Why are you refusing me?" I say, "I said, 'I didn't want you!'" Ah, I was still at home, I was still a girl. Well, to court me with these things [i.e., by hitting], I refuse. Ay! [laughs] Well, he leaves me alone. Later, I accept him. . . . Eee! And me, I was still young. He, he was big [i.e., older]. I was small. [Everyone] said that they're selling me, I say, "I wasn't sold! We courted each other out of love." . . .

When I met him he had his first wife. She was Manchasse, of the Josina clan. Well me, I'm the second. Mmm. I was the small one there. . . . He gave lovolo for me, [but] he didn't finish it. Heh! [laughs] It makes me laugh! Ay! It was, it was, four timpondo! 1 [A laughs, R laughs] Well, it was because of love, for him! Well, I go home. While he's in Joni. I stay, I go to his home, I go and stay. He sends this money, to my home.

R: You go to stay [at his place] when he hadn't yet sent the money?!
A: Mmm! Because of love, only! In my heart. Yah. I go and stay there. [Thinking] if he, if he wants me, he'll work, he'll give them [the lovolo]. Suffering 2 because I loved him! [laughs]
R: For just four timpondo!
A: Eh, long ago, that money worked.
R: Mmm, vovo, it was a lot.
H: What did men normally give for lovolo in that time?
A: Eight head of cattle. For kuqoma, two timpondo. Mmm. And a 5-litre jug of wine. That's all. It's to show that, this girl is mine. Well, the person goes to marry. Eight head of cattle, it's money! It's money. Eight timpondo. Because you could find cattle [that cost] a sumbulana, 3 you could find them for one mpondo [each]. Mmm. Well, this money, [when it is given], they tell him, "Take this woman, go home with her!" [laughs] And yet, you'll find a witch! . . . Well, grandfather, the brother of my mother, he's the one who eats this money. Mmm. The brother of my mother, he was born from the same mother. Because, we grew up at our grandmother's place. Yah, with his mother. I and he, when his father hadn't yet died. Well, it's here where we marry and lovolo is given for us, when we were at our kokwana's home. Well, this money, it's eaten by our grandparents.

Courting Story: Author | Albertina | Rosalina | Valentina


Note 1: 400 escudos.  Back.

Note 2: Albertina uses the verb kucumela here (meaning to suffer from constipation), instead of more common terms (e.g., kuxaniseka and kuhlupheka) for suffering.  Back.

Note 3: 50 escudos.  Back.


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