Living at a house close to an events venue in the populous Bangwe Township, Andrew Kamale has practically attended numerous bridal showers traditionally women-only events, from the comfort of his home.
He has heard diverse pieces of advice being dished out to young women as they transition into marriage, from his own compound as he rests on weekends, and being a man, he believes most of the pieces of advice given do not take into account that men are different.
“One size does not always fit all, but then the advice often given does not take that into account. They give advice as if all men like the same things, but men and their needs are different. They might say you need to do this thing or that to keep your husband, but what works for one man will not always work for the other man,” he says.
He further argues that it is unfortunate that the groom is often discussed in his absence.
Blantyre-based bridal shower speaker, Joanna Kayisiya says a bridal shower is a tradition that is aimed at helping the bride as she assumes her new role as wife and setting up her new household.
“A bridal shower is all about the bride getting advice and insight from women that have seen it all in marriage, and in my view, this passing down of information should be kept sacred. I believe that if men are present at the bridal shower, it might change the dynamics of the day and what could have been a wonderful time to chat about ‘girly’ topics,” she says.
Marriage counsellor, Inkosi Chimalizeni does not subscribe to the notion of bridal showers.
He says: “I, for one, think it would be best if people had send-offs, where they are both there to listen to the advice, unlike bridal showers where it is only the woman. It is unfortunate that culture dictates that it is the woman that needs advice more than the man. But consider this, they are both new to marriage and both need counsel,” he says.
He says this is probably why it is often men that bring troubles in relationships. “We want to help the woman keep her marriage by offering the advice, but what about the man? The majority of men do things in marriage through trial and error, and end up erring. For the betterment of marriage, they both need to be counselled,” says the marriage counsellor.