Posts Tagged ‘girlfriends boyfriends’

If you were married, I would understand…

So where was this girl when all of this happened??Differences

“She was there in the room with us”

What? You mean to tell me, this man beat you up in his room with some chick watching the whole show? He most probably met her that very night at a pub and now he comes and upholds her more than you, and you are okay with it?

I somehow felt judgmental when I said this, it’s her business, but then again something sounds very wrong about this picture. It is a random girl after all, maybe if it was the new lady in his life one would understand, but iseqamgwaqo nje sasetshwaleni? Hai no, zero nje! Clearly Ephraim was trying to impress this silly girl when he beat up my best friend; this surely put a stamp on him getting “some” that night.

I could see the shame in Lydia’s eyes when I asked her if she’s okay with it. She kept on zooming her eyes up, and down keeping a small gaze in the middle. Up, gaze, down…, and she didn’t even once look me in the eyes.  And after a few of those, she eventually responded…

“Ok! Before you start giving me a long lecture on morality and the difference between right and wrong, I know a man only respects a woman that respects herself. I shouldn’t have gone to his place that night without letting him know. Yes I was drunk and probably said a lot of things I shouldn’t have said, but I needed to speak to him desperately. He tried to break things off when I confronted him about his cheating 2 weeks ago, but we have been talking via wats app since then, so I thought….”

…you thought what exactly Lydia? That you’re going to rock up one night and things fall into place? Listen here my friend; if a man wants you nothing can keep him away and if he doesn’t want you, nothing will make him stay. You need to stop making excuses for his behaviour and start smelling the coffee. Your relationship is basically non-existent at this stage. If he refuses to change his cheating ways and suggests a break up instead;  you’re still gonna run after him?  And you’re very right about self respect, your baby is barely 6 months old and here you are getting drunk at some tavern at night and running after men!

And the mere fact that you just gave birth to his child should at least warrant you a certain level of respect from him, don’t you think?

“Everything I do, I’m doing for my child can’t you see?  I refuse to allow my baby to be raised by one parent. We will make this work; we have to make this work Tselane. And yes I do realise that our relationship is practically over, but my heart still yearns for him. My love for him is so strong, I’m willing to overlook his mistakes as long as he loves me back and we get things to how they used to be. I know deep down inside he loves me more than anything in this world, I think him having a car now is making him go wild and girls throw themselves at him”


“But in all honesty I do regret that night. I shouldn’t  have went to his house unannounced”

I rolled my eyes. By now I realised this conversation is not getting anywhere, because now fresh excuses are being made for Ephraim. I had to ask decisive questions, just to understand where Lydia’s judgment stood about this beating. What bothers me the most are not her excuses, but her compromised dignity. We live in a very small township and everyone knew she’s been in a relationship with Ephraim for close to 6 years now. This girl that was with them the night of the beating is probably laughing it off somewhere over magwinya and atchaar with Lydia’s haters. It’s bad enough that Ephraim doesn’t respect her, now half of Itsoseng won’t too!  I kept these thoughts to myself. But I had to probe to her “regret”.

Oh, so you say you regret that night? What exactly do you regret? Going to his house drunk, unannounced and saying whatever or do you regret him beating you up infront of another woman? And if it’s for the beating are you going to open a case of assault against him?

“Yho! Tselane nawe you’re taking this issue way too seriously, gosh! I told you I still want to make things work between me and Ephraim, sending him to jail would totally ruin things, plus I don’t need that kind of drama in my life. Besides, he didn’t hit me with his fists and stuff, he used a belt. My body is green all over but my face doesn’t even hint of what happened. It was the first time my man laid a hand on me and punishing him over that one mistake would be cruel nje. I know Ephraim is not the aggressive type.”

I cringed.

Lydia, I would understand overlooking his “one mistake” if you guys were married! But you cannot compromise yourself so much over a paper-less agreement. He is merely a boyfriend, not your husband! Anyway, I can see you’ve already made up your mind about this whole situation and I’m not going to try and convince you otherwise. Do what you think is best for you and your little family. I’ll stay out of it.



Do you think Tselani is right about Lydia having the obligation to forgive/overlook  the beating if she was married to Ephraim? And how often should a woman allow physical abuse before she reports it to the police? Maybe Lydia is being too objective about her friend’s situation. Do you think if she was to get a beating from the man she truly loves, she would have seen this situation differently? Lastly do you think Lydia is actually protecting her little girl with her choices?

The bible does call for women to be submissive to their husbands, but in the very same sentence it says: “Husbands love your wives! And from what I know Love doesn’t hurt you. It is kind, does not boast, keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil and does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. It never fails!

What’s your take?

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So I came to Joburg…

It is called the City of Gold, but where you find gold, there is always rubble nearby. Here are 2 ladies who both came to joburg for different reasons, yet they are somewhat faced with the same reality.

Let me tell you their stories. Both are fictional, but have volumes to speak about what the real world offers women out there.

Story 1:

At age 6, both her parents were deceased, left to be raised by 2 older sisters, age 18 and 26 but useless. She struggled growing up (raising herself) and ultimately when she was 17 she decided to go to Jozi for a better chance at life. Here she met Sis Girly the pimp, who gave her a place to stay, taught her how to be a woman and how you need to sell your “thing” to get all you need. For a while life was comfortable being caught up with the money and the bling. At age 20 she was still pretty but her value had diminished that even for 40 bucks any man could get a ride.

At age 25 she eventually died of Aids, leaving 2 fatherless less kids, aged 2 and 6. About six weeks later there were heavy-cold rains and the kids couldn’t survive the cold in the pipe they were sleeping in (with no blankets). That night the 2 year old died, and a week later municipal workers discovered the body. Now here’s this 6 year old wandering the streets of Jozi with no clue how she will make ends meet. She learnt that sniffing glue keeps you warm and makes you forget the hunger, so that becomes her daily hustle because in this place, no one gives a care. Written by Mbongeni Khanyile

I’m sure you’ve come across a news headline that talks about a baby (dead or alive) being found abandoned in a bin somewhere. Now you know where they come from!

Story 2:

A teenager (Thandeka) comes to Jozi for the first time to study Law at wits and she is welcomed by an old friend from back home (KZN). This friend highlights to her that here in the city the “razor cut” weave makes you look rural and they don’t wear jeans and sneakers to the clubs, but freakums. Thandeka is quickly introduced to her home-girl’s boyfriend who drives the fanciest car she has ever seen. At the club they are treated like royalty and she receives R5000 as an apology coz her friend’s boyfriend touched her ass by mistake;  Which she reluctantly accepts.

This story goes into detail on the day to day decisions Thandeka has to make, and unfortunately her sense of morals is weak and she gets herself into all sorts of drama. After her home-girl dies (car-accident), she assumes the role of being the new girlfriend to Mr 5000. This is a well off girl, mind you. She lives in a fully furnished flat that is owned by her uncle and she shares it with some girl. So she really doesn’t need Mr 5000’s money, but for some reason it constantly lands up on her hands.  She later finds out that her new roomate is actually her uncle’s sugar baby… Written by Mike Maphotho (for the full story go to:

There’s an urban dynamic that occurs in cities, that unfortunately consumes young women in a tragic way. But also there is an element of choice. Without judging; Thandeka is rather well off, and the lady in the 1st story is not entirely a victim because not all orphaned kids have to end up in prostitution. All it takes is for these women to have a sense of pride in themselves are and know their value. Ladies: it is important to know who you are and being content with what you have. Yes, Joburg offers incredible opportunities, but if things don’t work out well, it will not kill you to go back home. Unless you want get there dead already. And here, there are so many ways to die.

“In life (and love) there are no guarantees. That is why it is important to love yourself first”


Unfortunately in big cities such stories have become a norm and street kids are just part of the ecosystem. We have somehow chosen to look the other way because these “things” are just pests! But unfortunately, street kids are just that, kids! Behind those naughty faces are children who have no one ask them how there are, let alone provide for their daily needs.

These children are very close to my heart because I believe it’s not fair for any child to miss out on their childhood. I am personally planning a few projects to make a difference in their lives. If you would like to be informed/be a part of this work, you can send me an e-mail at and we can get cracking. It is getting colder outside, so our efforts must be swift.


“For evil to triumph, all it takes is for good men to sit and do nothing”

When is the Perfect time to introduce Her to your Parents?!?

In life we sometimes have to go through a few partners before we find the perfect one. However by trying to simplify things, we complicate them by introducing our girlfriends/boyfriends to our parents before we are ready to commit to them.

In our African culture, it is taboo for a guy to just bring a girl over at home if there are no intentions expressed to marry that girl. The couple should meet far away, by the river somewhere; parents were kept out of it until the man was ready to formalize the relationship. The families (even though they may respectively know about the relationship), would not engage as one unit until they are formally introduced through lobola negotiations. Well times have changed and some of these boundaries have been relaxed so much that by a 3 month relationship a woman is treated like a makoti and attends all family functions.

There’s nothing wrong about it, don’t get me wrong. It’s actually encouraging to see that your partner takes you seriously enough to introduce you to his parents. But for what really?  if the guy not yet sure if he is ready to make you his wife, then what why are you doing things as if you were married. Yes you might be heading towards it, but you are not there yet. I personally don’t favor this modern way of doing things, your parents can only meet mine only if we are ready to commit not for socializing. Ukujola is different to umshado, that’s why they have different rules. They can create sticky situations if not treated as 2 separate institutions. Take time to know her, decide what you want to do with her, and then only take her home. Don’t rush into things, speed does kill.

Meeting the parents too soon can somewhat put strain on the relationship and limits both parties from making liberal decisions about their relationship. The first person you fall in love with might not be the last one you will end up with, but if you take her home too soon, she might just end up being the first and last. Parents delight in seeing their children committing to one person and will sometimes gladly help in making the partnership work, more especially if they like your partner and think he/she is ideal for you. This creates friction when you feel like you want to get out of the relationship (of which you have every right to because it’s not a marriage), where now you have to explain your decision to the families. Gees such admin from dating? You can’t just send the person a “please call: it’s over” without considering the after effects.

Should your families now stop attending each other’s functions just because you decided you want something different from this “unofficial” spouse you have?  Obviously someone will help convince you to stay and look on the bright side. Especially us ladies, we just look at the long term picture; that this guys is going to eventually marry you anyways coz his family loves you so much. I am talking from experience by the way. The mother in law will even go to the extent of telling you that they could never accept any other woman besides you because you are perfect for his child.

Another negative that comes from this is that, when there’s a problem in the relationship, us ladies then go to the “mother in law” to tell her of how much her son is not appreciating you and in most cases the mothers stick with the favorite “makoti’s “ rather than their sons. But I don’t get how a parent would mediate on a “dating basis”, really. White people do this all the time and it works for them, don’t ask me how, but in most cases they do. Maybe it’s because the families understand when the couple breaks up and they are more than happy to meet your next love interest. With us, it’s different, once we meet that one girl, she is the only one we want to ever see “we don’t want to see different girls all the time, you introduced us to this one and please stick to her”.

You see, with our culture if a guy brings a girl home it means something and we won’t just easily move on after the break. This creates a hostile environment on your partner because now because they don’t want to seem like a player in front of their parents and will respect them enough to make the relationship work as much as they can (which, could be a good thing also).

There are times also where the woman feels that they want get out of the relationship for whatever reason. And then the “mother in law” will encourage her to be strong and bekezela (hold on), it will pass. But isn’t “bekezeling” for marriage where leaving the relationship is the last option? Now in this relationship where they haven’t even paid lobola with even 3 chickens they are telling you to tolerate absurd behavior so it could work. I know that every relationship is hard work, there are tough times that do require resilience, but a decision of whether to stay or not should come entirely from you and not influenced by family.  Maybe your friends might help give advice, but not your boyfriend’s family, sorry. Perhaps I’m being old fashioned about this but I really don’t believe it’s any of their business until I am formally part of their family.

Another thing that pushes men away even from a perfect spouse is the lack of privacy that would then exist. If he cheated on you and you tell his mother, how can he face his mom when he sees her?  And what if he’s doing it for the 3rd, 4th time, can you imagine what it does to their relationship? It may then lead to them resent you for not hiding their faults (not that I’m encouraging that you should stick around after being cheated on more than once).

So we have this big fight with my partner and I tell our families about it and everyone agrees that the guy was wrong and is infuriated by his actions. 2 days later I have forgiven you and we are all lovey-dovey again, but my family won’t feel the same way about you. I will forget it, but they never will. You will always be “that silly boy who did this and that…” even if you are a changed man now. In marriage there are avenues in the family unit where such issues are resolved and the families can restore the union. I just don’t see this process being necessary while people are still dating; it is actually disrespectful in my eyes.

So let’s say things get so bad that you decide to break up and stick with that decision. So does this mean that I have to delete your mother’s number and break up with everyone else? I mean I also had built a relationship with them and this clearly isn’t fair. But if I sustain these relationships how fair will it be on your next partner? They will always judge her against me and she could never be good enough coz they are just not me! I mean it would be horrific for me if I dated a guy and he wants to marry me, only to find that the ex girlfriend is still buddy-buddy with the mother in law. How am I supposed to build a relationship with the woman who will soon be my “official” mother in law if history is still in the picture? Again, this can be tolerable in a marriage but from a dating platform such is unnecessary.

Ladies, I know we put pressure on our men to introduce us to their family to prove that they are serious about us. But, honestly, that isn’t a sign of commitment; it’s just no indication of where you are headed with the guy if you forced him to introduce you. In as much as you will be invited to some gatherings where you have to go together, please learn to keep to yourself. You may be friends with cousin’s/siblings but his parents are his, not yours. Until the day you are accepted as a member of the family they will remain his alone.

 Respect these boundaries, for your sake and for his as well. Don’t be mean or anti social but nje if umamezala uyaphapha uzenza umngani wakho, be as polite as you can. Your focus is to nurture your relationship with your man, not his family because at the end of the day your will marry him, not them. If you compromise to please them, remember that you will be sleeping next to that person for the rest of your life not them.

Understand who you are, and who your partner is and only commit only if you know for sure that you are satisfied with all they are willing to offer and overlook that which they cannot. Be realistic and don’t measure the love his family gives you to be the love you will get from him in your marriage.

In conclusion; yes our African customs might seem so boring and outdated but they are there for a reason and we should respect that. If I came home in KZN to introduce my boyfriend to my dad, I would get the biggest, hottest klap of my life. Before he declares anything he is not even allowed to set foot in our yard.

Maybe my experiences embedded a negative perspective to this “meeting the parents” concept. Obviously I might be generalizing a bit and such doesn’t always end in a bad way. Do you have a different view from mine? Do share them, so I could also be enlightened and maybe buy into it again.

Relationships are a very dynamic thing. But always remember that love is more of decision than it is an emotion.

“Introducing western solutions to African problems has never proved successful”- N. Khanyile



This article was first published on Intellect Magazine (Dec ember 2011)