Malibe seeks to help us reflect on our motives for marriage and goals thereof.
Lebone was a beautiful young woman in everybody’s eyes.
The eyes were watching her when she said‚ “yes” to Danny.
The eyes could see that her focus was on the size of his wallet more than it was on the size of his heart.
His wallet was simply a door into his massive bank accounts.
Danny was the kind of guy who would go on a business meeting for two weeks and come back with a new deal that would expand his financial muscle.
Everybody did not genuinely love him, but they pretended to love him because he had something that made him a darling. It was money; and Danny had lots of it. He was getting richer by the day, and women threw themselves at him at every turn.
He was a clever boy from Lebowakgomo and he knew why people loved him. Lebowakgomo is an affluent township outside Limpopo’s capital city, Polokwane. Boys from there were respected in villages around Bushbuckridge. They spoke Sepedi while people in Bushbuckridge spoke Sepulana, Xitsonga and a bit of SiSwati. Any Pedi-speaking guy was surely someone of high stature because most of them only stayed in Bushbuckridge for employment reasons. Danny did not stay in Bushbuckridge, but had relatives there. His relatives treated him like a god because of the money he had.
“If I don’t make money, no one will love me,” he would think to himself.
Receiving love from others was his main motivation to make money. He already had three luxury cars that made boys whistle crazily in the streets. Whenever he visited his relatives in Casteel, Bushbuckridge, his grandmother would ululate. He never came home empty-handed.
It was during one of these visits that he met Lebone. She was a clean young woman who respected her elders. The problem was that she had been dating a local teacher who had promised to marry her. When she met Danny, the young teacher had been saving money to send his uncles to her place. In our culture, when a man sends his uncles to a woman’s home he is showing the utmost respect. Most parents in our communities detest vat-n-sit (co-habitating). They also hate youngsters who go around dating and kissing in the streets without the proper procedures being followed first.
It was in this context that the young teacher, Mogau, was saving money to send his uncles to Lebone’s place. He knew that once he pays lobola (dowry) Lebone would officially become his wife. He would no longer feel guilty having to sneak her out of her parents’ house into his rented two-roomed house in Casteel. Mogau had been transferred from Hazyview to Casteel, where he felt it would be better to rent a house than to travel the double 30km distance to and from work on a daily basis. He thanked his ancestors for the decision because it had landed him a beautiful woman who took almost every man’s breath away.
What Mogau did not know was that Lebone did not really love him. She loved his wallet.
Unfortunately for his feelings, when Danny showed up Lebone kept her eye on him.
He had the bigger wallet. Mogau had not yet bought a car, but Danny had three cars. That’s
why when he visited his grandmother, Lebone was coincidentally sent to the house to enquire about the whereabouts of the funeral booklet. These are booklets that small black communities use to collect money for condolences whenever there is a funeral in the area.
When Danny saw her, he knew she had to become his wife. In his mind, she was a good and well grounded village girl who had just completed her matric. She was way too better than the women who pursued him for his money back in Polokwane. Her manners pleased him. She would be the perfect wife.
Without Mogau knowing, Lebone entered into a steamy relationship with her new beau, Danny.
Her family had no problem whenever she went to Polokwane for “training”. Since they could not afford to send her to university, they were happy that her job-hunting efforts seemed to pay off.
After explaining to Danny that she could no longer lie to her parents, the gentleman told her to move in with him at his flat in Polokwane.
“I got a learnership in Polokwane,” she lied to her parents.
As per agreement, Danny would ensure that she received R5 000 every month-end. She went home and showed them that her God was good. Her family got a lifeline from her stipend.
On the other hand, Mogau was struggling because Lebone was always too busy for him. She would only see him whenever she visited Casteel at the end of the month. He too would give her a little something to travel back to Polokwane with. He was surprised that she was only able to speak to him at certain times, until one Friday afternoon when he surprised her.
“Baby, where are you?” he asked.
“I’m still in the office,” she lied.
She was at the mall enjoying Danny’s money on her own.
“I’m in town, I’m here to see you,” he said.
“What? Tell me you are kidding me,” she said, sweat breaking through her temple.
“I’m serious baby. I thought to myself, ‘Let me surprise my baby and visit her for the weekend’,’‛ he said.
Lebone nearly farted in her mini skirt.
“Eish, baby, today we are doing stock taking. We will only leave at night,” she lied, almost panicking.
Mogau told her he would go wait for her at the nearest mall.
“Oh no! Let me ask my manager, I can come see you for a few minutes just now,” she said.
This was the end of the lies. Being the clever lady she was, she decided to call her man, Danny.
Within a few minutes she had already explained to Danny that her parents were forcing her to marry a local teacher.
“They say now that I am working I should get married to a decent man. So, they have arranged for the man to come and meet me. I don’t want to meet some lame teacher,” she told Danny over the phone.
Danny bought the lie.
“The best way to deal with this is to come clean and tell them you have already met someone. I will send my uncles to your place next weekend. We need to settle this once and for all,‛ he said.
When Danny got to the mall, they both called Mogau and Lebone told him that she was in love and her man was going to marry her in a week.
“He is right here and he wants to speak to you,” she told the shocked Mogau.
“Man, with due respect, fapana le mosadi waka,” he instructed Mogau to stay away from his woman.
“What do you mean you little bastard? Lebone is my woman,” barked Mogau.
“Man, this is the last time you attempt to speak to my woman. If you don’t understand that your family will never find your body,‛ he threatened, before hanging up.
“Baby, throw this phone away. I’m buying you a new phone. You need to call your family and tell them that my uncles are coming next weekend. This man must not mess around with me,” he said.
That was the end for Mogau. He only heard villagers talking about a lobola ceremony at Lebone’s place. As part of the lobola negotiations, Danny had thrown in a car as part of the bridal price. Both their families were happy. The two lovebirds became man and wife. A few months down the line, Danny and Lebone held a lavish wedding in Lebowakgomo. After the wedding, they moved into a brand new double storey house in one of Polokwane’s top estates.
The marriage seemed beautiful until the South African Revenue Service (SARS) came knocking at Danny’s door. He was charged with tax evasion and arrested. After his lawyers released him on bail, Danny discovered that all his assets had been attached, including the house and the cars. His bank cards were also getting declined whenever he tried to swipe for a few goods. He was forced to move back to his parents’ home in Lebowakgomo. All these incidents were affecting Lebone in a big way. She had escaped poverty but she was back to square one. How would she explain to her people back at home that she was now living with her husband’s parents? The relationship between the couple grew bitter by the day.
The fact that she was five-months pregnant made things worse.
“I’m getting an abortion,” she told Danny.
“An abortion?” he was shell-shocked.
“What will the baby eat? How will the baby survive when its dad is facing a R3 million tax bill and a possible jail sentence?‛ she asked.
The argument got extremely heated. Danny started realising that Lebone never loved him in the first place. He wandered back to his initial thoughts. He did not know what to do.
He so much wanted to father Lebone’s baby, but she would have none of it.
“I’m divorcing you and hell would have to freeze over before I give birth to your child,‛ she said to him.
When the news of Lebone’s death reached her family, Danny was a broken man.
Lebone lost her life trying to abort the five-month foetus. The abortion clinic had refused to help her abort her baby because of the duration. Feeling desperate, she had consulted a local abortionist she had read about on a street poster. What she did not know was that her life would end right there. Her love for money had led her into a marriage whose coffers would dry as fast as they had grown. This is to show that loving money over true love can be a serious pitfall for marriage.
The eyes saw it from the first day that Danny fell in love with Lebone. They saw her ambition to escape the prison of poverty. They saw her lying to her parents about a job she did not have. They saw her dumping Mogau like a hot potato and they also saw her exchanging ‘for-richer-for-poorer’ vows with Danny. They saw the SARS officials looking at Danny’s file. They watched as he got arrested and everything he owned got attached. The eyes saw it all.
Today, the eyes are looking at you. Only you know the reason you are getting married or the reason you got married. Some people, like Lebone, marry for financial benefit and material rewards. Don’t get me wrong. It is not only women who marry for financial gain. Men do it too, specially these days in which women are empowered to be financially upwardly-mobile. Men are known to be providers in relationships or marriage. That is why it is predominantly women who marry for financial gain. Some ladies will climb hills and mountain-tops in order to find themselves in the hands of men with money.
If you are a man without any income yours becomes a big mountain to climb. The message becomes clear. No money, no wife. Men with lots of money get luckier with women, even if it is only until things start falling apart. Men with money have that thing when they speak to women. Their voice is sound and clear whereas the voice of the poorer guy ya njerera (it is out of tune).
The same thing happens when younger men meet older women with money. The woman’s voice is like a swallow whistling at a bird-watching lodge somewhere in Limpopo.
The Ben10s get into these relationships simply for financial benefit. But it is rare where they marry the older women. If the Ben10 marries the sugar mama the risk is that he will use her resources to hunt for younger chicks. He will tell them that he can’t stay at the party because he has to go home and please the “magogo”. It is not easy for a magogo to go around holding hands with the Ben10 husband in public, but it is easy for a mkhulu to go around tightly holding on to his young wife. It’s a shame what the desperation for money can do to people.
In conclusion, we need to learn how to marry for the right reasons. Our mothers should stop teaching their daughters to only love men with financial means. This outlook on life leads to serious challenges in marriage later on. Yes, she will marry the older guy with all the money in the world but she will be unable to love him. When push comes to shove she might end up plotting his murder in order for her to become a rich widow.
As our democracy deepens more black people are getting a taste of the rich life. That is the reason today’s marriages are like soccer endorsement deals where the main star is sponsored to pretend they love a particular brand. When it comes to branding the requirement is not to play soccer, but to smile and look cute. Today men and women are getting sponsored to get married to their richer counterparts. This cannot be the foundation of a marriage. Let us stand together and build a better society.