What a weird practice
\nMai Chisamba, mukuroorwa mune mabasa.
\nI married the love of my life six years ago. My husband has two elder brothers and a sister. They have a rural home with electricity and running water. There is only one problem as far as I am concerned.
\nBoth my in-laws are still alive in their mid-sixties. Everyone in my husband’s family is married and well up but when we go home my mother-in-law does not want us to share bedrooms with our spouses.
\nAll the women are forced to go into one bedroom and so are the brothers yet there are more than enough rooms for all of us as couples. I once asked my eldest sister-in-law and she said takangozviwanawo zvakadaro and we just complied. Last month we went home as usual but I decided to watch a movie on my laptop in our car, my husband followed and we just decided to sleep in our car. My mother-in-law got upset, I can’t even explain her anger.
\nNdakatonzi usadzoke pano kana uchida kupikisana nemutemo wemusha. I tried to ask my hubby and his brothers, it seems havatoziviwo. Now she doesn’t talk to me, she does not even respond if I send her a message.
\nMai Chisamba, have you heard anything like this? She has threatened my husband about this. Am I missing something here? Who do I tell, I told my parents and they were all spellbound. Mushonga here? Imhiko here? Please help ndakutyira family yangu.
Response
\nThank you for writing in. Wow this is so weird, I have never heard anything like this. People should understand what marriages are about first. Spouses share the same bed until death separates them and this is understood, who changes this?
\nThe rural home is just another location, so why can’t the parents respect their children and spouses, chasanduka chii ipapa? I don’t even know why people comply with things that they are uncomfortable with like in the case of your sister-in-law kuti takangowanawo zvakadaro.
\nWhy can’t the sons ask, someone should know why. Who started it and why? What will happen if this is not adhered to? Ko kana uri mushonga unongoita kumhuri chete here usingavhiringe mai nababa. It’s obvious the parents share the bed because they have children. My advice is all families should keep their communication doors open.
\nPeople should feel free to ask why certain things are done in a certain way. There is no need for taking offense, questions should be answered transparently. My advice is rope in your parents, vatete, vamunyai and have an indaba with your in-laws and their delegation, of course, this should include your hubby.
\nAs far as I am concerned I don’t think you did anything untoward. I don’t believe in mushonga and mapipi so I wouldn’t want to talk about that but I strongly feel that there is no need to idolise these things. I will throw this to some of our readers who may be familiar with this practice to shed more light on this.
\nLast but not least don’t feel threatened, talk to God the owner of the universe through prayer and all this will come to pass.
\nContinue to love and pray for your family. Sleeping in the car sounds quite romantic with the stars and moon looking over you, I think it was memorable. I wish you all the best.
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Who gets pfuma yehumai?
\nMai Chisamba, I hope I find you well, thank you so much for your column, gore rino igore rezvidzidzo.
\nMy wife was raised by her stepmother after her parents were involved in a very nasty divorce. My in-laws don’t see eye to eye and it’s a problem to get them together under the same roof.
\nMy problem is my father-in-law wants me to give zvose zvehumai to the stepmother since she raised my wife.
\nHer biological mother insists that those things be given to her or to her family. I am confused I don’t want to appear as if I am taking a side please advise, ndinoda kuita zvinokodzera.
\nMy father is a man of very few words and does not like to see these family dramas so he had said we give to both the stepmother and the biological mother.
\nI love my wife, I don’t want to see her stressed but ndizvo zvinoitwa here izvi? Is what my father suggesting culturally accepted. I am 25 years old and my wife is 24 and expecting our first baby. I don’t want to compare these two mothers but if the truth be told mai nyakutumbura is very understanding. I hope my letter gets picked, ndaomerwa hangu.
Response
\nI am very well thanks for asking. I am very sorry about your in-laws’ nasty divorce, no wonder why. It hurts so much when children are made to suffer for things they don’t know about.
\nThe person who is now affected the most is your wife all because she was sired by these two. She did not choose to be raised by a stepmother so she should not be sacrificed for this.
\nI don’t want to take anything away from this great woman who looked after someone’s child, what she did is very commendable. Let’s not lose focus here, the point at issue is pfuma yehumai in our culture, this is very critical and you don’t mess with this.
\nThis is a very sacred step in lobola. This goes to the biological mother, her sisters or her nieces, vana vehanzvadzi dzavo, hazvina hurukuro. Stepmother despite the good work she did she is not a beneficiary of your wife’s lobola, igadzin’ina unfortunately.
\nWhy does baba want his wife to be given a thank you token from lobola? If he strongly feel that she should be given something yes it can be arranged separately but not from zvehumai. This issue has nothing to do with mukuwasha.
\nKo dai mainini vakachengeta vana vakomana chete vaitorepi mari iyi? It’s important to know about our culture and do things properly. Lobola is part of that and should be respected. Baba does not order you to give humai to whoever, mari nepfuma ine varidzi vayo, amai nyakutumbura vapenyu.
\nThe parents may be blaming each other for the divorce but still amai will always be amai and baba will always be baba. Yes, your father does not want to be bothered much but you can’t ignore such issues. My advice is humai goes to the biological mother and her family, it should not be done behind anyone’s back, tezvara should know also.
\nPlease don’t waste your kissing time embroiled in these family isuues, you are still a young couple, enjoy your marriage and each other. Relax and prepare for baby’s arrival. You are a great guy, at 25 you take the pains of making sure that lobola yaitwa nemazvo – sando dzako! I wish you all the best.
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MAI CHISAMBA, I hope I find you well. I am aged 22 and am a single mother. My problem is I am in love with a married man and the couple has a one-year-old child.  The woman stays at this man’s rural home, they don’t stay together. He says he has no love for this so-called wife because she imposed herself on him.

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He says he wants to marry me because he has found true love in me, I believe he is my soul mate. Do you think this woman will keep away from us? Haazondirasisa zvakare zvandakamboitwa nababa vemwana wangu here? I discovered he was married when I was six months pregnant.
Response
\nThank you for writing in. A single mother talking like a 10-year-old girl. They say “once bitten twice shy” but it seems you did not learn anything from your first mistake. You need a bit of growing up since you are your child’s immediate role model.
\nWhat’s the rush? You are only 22, usangozvipotsera. Why do you involve yourself with men who are attached to other women? How can you just believe that he does not love his wife? Mind you this other woman has five working senses too.
\nIwe ndiwe wakangwara manje zvekuona kupusa kwe uyu? For goodness sake, wake up and smell the coffee. There are millions of men out there, make your choice and stop stressing yourself up. Does it ever cross your mind why this guy does not send this woman packing? Yes, they do not stay together but maybe for reasons best known to them.
\nIt’s very common in our culture that people have two homes, one urban and the other rural. Tambira bhora pasi and relax, soul mate yawakureva ndeipi kare?
\nYour concern is about this woman keeping away from you, your worry should be to find out if this guy is married or not.
\nIf you don’t control yourself you will end up with a second child, please don’t create families you cannot look after.
\nRefuse to be taken advantage of. My final advice is don’t impose yourself, take one step at a time. If you can, wedzera chikoro and do something profitable.
\nLove and look after your baby, you are all he has. In true life you don’t hunt for love, it will locate you when time is ripe.
\nDo your research about this guy and his life and let me know. I wish you all the best.

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Write to: maichisamba@fbnet.co.zw or WhatsApp 0771415747.